Restaurants’ Christmas wishes come true with summer spending surge

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    Waiheke’s hospitality industry is bouncing back with renewed confidence, as spending surges in the first summer completely unaffected by Covid-restrictions.

    Worldline NZ data, from its eftpos, card and online payment processing network, shows nearly $97m was spent in the Auckland region’s hospitality industry during the week of 17 December. That is up 22.2 percent from the same week in 2021 and 1.1 per cent in comparison to 2019 – bringing hospitality spending back to just over pre-Covid spending levels. 

    Te Motu Vineyard general manager Rory Dunleavy says the business isn’t quite back to its full pre-Covid baseline, but it’s not far off – and this summer is shaping up to be a good one.

    “It’s really encouraging. We have a bit more confidence and can reopen parts of our businesses that have been on the backburner.”

    Rory says Te Motu’s restaurant, The Shed, has been steady and consistent in the weekends – thanks to support from islanders and Aucklanders. “But until recently, on all the shoulder days we’d struggle to make our costs [if we opened].” Now The Shed can return to its full hours during the week, after the borders reopened and visitors are coming to the island in growing numbers as the summer season peaks. Rory says the return of Americans in particular, is a game-changer. “Having the tourist helps, because obviously Aucklanders aren’t going to come to the island on a school day, so to speak.” • Paul Mitchell

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