April 08, 2016

Are cheap drinks prices of supermarkets and liquid stores harm the interests of restaurants and bars?


Wellington local bar employer point out that supermarkets and liquid stores low drinks prices harm the interests of restaurants and bars and they are eating away at the city’s hospitality industry.

Alistair Boyce is the manager of Backbencher Pub near the parliament, he said, legislation introduced that would set a minimum price per standard drink, across both off-licenses and on-licensed premises.

He said Wellington’s hospitality industry was in decline, because people were choosing the much cheaper option of buying alcohol at liquor stores or supermarkets, and drinking at home.

Restaurants and bars drinks prices are high because the drink service in restaurants and bars must provide meal and waiters’ service, which spending on waiters wages are 4-5 times of supermarkets and liquid stores.

Big off-licence outlets could buy in bulk, making purchasing cheaper. Liquor barns and supermarkets, they are often buying at significantly lower prices, and their margin doesn’t have to account for wages and service.

Hospitality Association Wellington branch president Jeremy Smith disagreed the hospitality sector was declining, but said it was under enormous pressure across the board.

What was happening now, which was not happening five years ago, was that businesses were closing, but not reopening. 

"Five years ago, one would close, and it would open again with someone who had a better idea." 

The impact of off-licence sales was not new, but the price difference was a big factor when it came to pre-loading – the practice of drinking at home before heading out to city bars.

"It's been a building crisis, it didn't just hit us overnight, and it’s something that's been going for some time.

"Why would people go into a bar and buy a Heineken for $10, when you can buy a dozen for $15?"

April 05, 2016

THAI Festival Wellington 9 April & 10 April @ Odlins Plaza


Sat 9 April 2016, 12.00pm-7.00pm
Sun 10 April 2016, 12.00pm-7.00pm

Wellington’s Waterfront will come alive on April 9 and 10 with the sights, tastes and sounds of Thailand. 

This special two-day festival is celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and New Zealand.

Join us for a variety of authentic Thai food, unique cultural experiences and beautiful performances.

Learn the delicate art of Thai handcraft with a range of demonstrations highlighting the exquisiteness of Thai culture. Observe the drawing of Khon masks, embroidery of Kohn costumes, scented candle carving, fruit and vegetable carving, popped rice displays and more.

Sample Thai delicacies not easily found in Thai restaurants, such as crispy gems in coconut milk or fried banana and kumara.

Take a ride on a tuk-tuk and learn to write your name in Thai characters.

Encounter a classical Khon Thai performance that was once only performed for royalty. This truly cultural experience combines several art forms including drama, music, painting and sculpture to create a traditional performance reflective of beauty, perfection and harmony.

With many other performances on both days, including the Dance of the Four Regions (North, South, Central and Northeast Thailand), there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy.

Plus your chance to win a wonderful Thai prize pack from the Royal Thai Embassy for taking a photo at the festival and posting on this page.

Attendance is free.
Please note there won't be Eftpos facilities at the festival, so please bring cash. The nearest ATM's are at the BP Taranaki St and inside Te Papa.

Photo competition! Your chance to win a lucky Thai bag of goodies simply by posting a photo from the event to our event Facebook page. Winner drawn Monday 11 April.