Restaurants
Browse the latest restaurant and catering news, events and information in the Australian Restaurant and Catering industry from restaurant owners, media and associations on Top4 News.
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Where to eat and drink along the Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Where to eat and drink along the Great Ocean Road, Victoria | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Fancy fresh fish, fine dining or hot chips with a cult following? You'll find them all on the Great Ocean Road.


Hugging the cliffs and headlands of the forests of the Otway Ranges as they drop down into Bass Strait, Victoria's Great Ocean Road is an iconic scenic drive linking old fishing towns and secluded surf beaches.


The Great Ocean Road made the news across the globe on Christmas Day. Raging fires destroyed forest and homes in the sleepy hamlets of Wye River and Separation Creek and forced the evacuation of the town of Lorne.

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Sydney’s top 10 seafood restaurants: Where to get the platters that matter this summer

Sydney’s top 10 seafood restaurants: Where to get the platters that matter this summer | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Nothing says summer, or a Down Under Christmas for that matter, like a platter piled high with seafood.


Our food critic Amy Harris hunts down Sydney’s top 10 venues to get your festive seafood fix.


Whether it’s on the beach or in the inner west, a traditional seafood platter or something more exotic, high end or more wallet friendly there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.

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Authentic Thai on offer at the city's newest restaurant

Authentic Thai on offer at the city's newest restaurant | Restaurants | Scoop.it

WHOLE barramundi with Thai curry sauce, rich roast duck and fresh paw paw salad are just some of the things Ipswich foodies are raving about.


Owner Jim Ludwig runs the restaurant with wife Yena Jo and his best friend and chef Sam Kharkamrai.


Mr Ludwig said his top chef had 30 years of experience working in the best Thai eateries in Thailand and Australia and was already making an impact with Ipswich customers.

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Productivity Commission backs abolishing Sunday penalty rates

Productivity Commission backs abolishing Sunday penalty rates | Restaurants | Scoop.it

The Productivity Commission has recommended changes to weekend penalty rates, calling for Sunday rates to be brought into line with Saturday's time-and-a-half payments.


The recommendations — laid out in the commission's final report into workplace relations released today — would affect workers in the entertainment, hospitality and retail industries, if adopted.


The commission did not recommend any changes to overtime penalty rates, night penalty rates or shift loadings, nor changes to rates for nurses, teachers or emergency services workers.


"Penalty rates have a legitimate role in compensating employees for working long hours or at asocial times," it stated.

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Sydney’s top 10 seafood restaurants: Where to get the platters that matter this summer

Sydney’s top 10 seafood restaurants: Where to get the platters that matter this summer | Restaurants | Scoop.it

NOTHING says summer, or a Down Under Christmas for that matter, like a platter piled high with seafood.


Our food critic Amy Harris hunts down Sydney’s top 10 venues to get your festive seafood fix.  Whether it’s on the beach or in the inner west, a traditional seafood platter or something more exotic, high end or more wallet friendly there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.

  • The Gretz, Enmore, $140 for two people
  • North Bondi Fish, North Bondi, $120 for two
  • Opera Bar, Circular Quay, $140
  • Ananas, The Rocks, Petit Plateau ($75) or Grand Plateau ($240)
  • The Boathouse, Shelly Beach, $110
  • Coogee Pavilion, Coogee, market price
  • West Village, Petersham $60 for two, $110 for four
  • Cafe Sydney, Customs House $135 for two
  • BayBlu, Blakehurst $99 for two
  • Fish At The Rocks, The Rocks $130 for two
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This restaurant chain achieved 12 years of unstoppable growth by making only 3 changes to the menu

This restaurant chain achieved 12 years of unstoppable growth by making only 3 changes to the menu | Restaurants | Scoop.it

At Wingstop, simplicity trumps all.  That means rare menu changes, minimal seating, and low costs.  This strategy is helping the company become one of the hottest chains in the business.


Wingstop increased total revenue 16.5% in the third quarter, the company reported in November. In 2015, the company is on track to post 12 consecutive years of positive same store sales growth.


“When we started 21 years ago, we sold wings, sides and fries,” CEO Charlie Morrison told Business Insider. “We’ve had the same three sides on the menu since the beginning, we’ve added boneless wings over the years, and we’ve added two new flavours. That’s innovation for us.”


At Wingstop, simplicity starts with design. Wingstop says its average unit volume is $1.1 million, but that it only costs about $375,000 to build a new location because of their small size (about 1,700 square feet).


Originally, Wingstop was takeout only. Now, there is some seating for lunchtime customers, but 75% of the business is still take away. This helps protect the company from factors that damage sales at wings-centric bars such as Buffalo Wild Wings, like a shorter sports seasons, while also fulfilling more customers’ orders more quickly.

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Manly’s dining scene is booming with string of new restaurants, cafes and small bars

Manly’s dining scene is booming with string of new restaurants, cafes and small bars | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Manly’s dining scene is in overdrive.


The suburb is booming with a wave of new restaurants, cafes and small bars, serving everything from Japanese tapas to green tea milkshakes and locally-brewed beer.


The hottest table in town is undoubtedly Sunset Sabi.


The team behind the popular Manly Mexican, Chica Bonita, have renovated Pony Room, turning the main road venue into a 75-seat mod Japanese restaurant.

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On-demand restaurant delivery service Deliveroo launches in Sydney and Melbourne

On-demand restaurant delivery service Deliveroo launches in Sydney and Melbourne | Restaurants | Scoop.it

On-demand delivery service for high quality restaurant meals, Deliveroo has today launched in Sydney and Melbourne.


Founded in 2013 by William Shu and Greg Orlowski, the UK start-up partners with premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer delivery.  The service is powered by Deliveroo’s proprietary technology and logistics platform which typically sees orders delivered within a 30 minute timeframe.


To date, the start-up has raised A$280m (US$200M) from investors including Accel, DST Global, Greenoaks Capital, Hoxton Ventures, Index Ventures, JamJar Investments and Hummingbird Ventures.  Since the start of 2015, Deliveroo has expanded to 50 cities across 12 countries with over 5,000 restaurant partners delivering through the platform worldwide. As part of the Australian launch, two offices have been set up in Sydney and Melbourne comprising over 40 staff.

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Exotic produce supplier, Sunrise Asian opens first store and restaurant

Exotic produce supplier, Sunrise Asian opens first store and restaurant | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Sunrise Asian, a supplier of premium and exotic Asian fruit and vegetables, has opened its very first store and restaurant in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay.


Widely considered to be a ‘chef's secret’, Sunrise Asian has been supplying the kitchens of some of the nation’s top chefs and restaurateurs including David Thompson, Neil Perry, Martin Benn and Peter Gilmore with exotic and rare Australian-grown produce for the past decade. The opening of the first Sunrise Asian store represents the first time that Sydney-siders will be able to purchase produce from the supplier.


In addition to premium and exotic produce, Sunrise Asian will also be operating their first café and restaurant, offering brunch and dinner options including the likes of pastas, curries, baked goods and ice cream.

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Casual dining feeds employment boom in services sector

Casual dining feeds employment boom in services sector | Restaurants | Scoop.it

You can call it the dining boom. Jobs in hospitality and the food and beverage industries are soaring as an increasingly urban Australia eats out more.


The Bavarian Bier Cafe, Sake Restaurant & Bar and Cut Steakhouse – along with new brands such as Italian-themed Stella – will be hiring 2000 people over the next two years as their Urban Purveyor Group owner seeks to more than double in size to a $400 million company.  Rival operator Merivale, which opens new venue The Paddington in Sydney's Oxford Street next week, is currently hiring 1000 people – at a rate of 100 a week – as it embarks on its largest-ever recruitment drive.


"Casual dining – where we play – has become very broad," says Urban Purveyor chief executive Thomas Pash. "It's the fastest-growing segment in the restaurant sector. For a lot of couples, a lot of folks – professionals – dining out is their hobby. It's not golf any more. That's what they do for fun."

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This 'better burger' chain wants to compete with Five Guys and Shake Shack by offering one huge perk

This 'better burger' chain wants to compete with Five Guys and Shake Shack by offering one huge perk | Restaurants | Scoop.it

In the restaurant industry, there is very little that is hotter right now than fast-casual. And, the within fast-casual space, there’s nothing hotter than burgers.


Smashburger and Five Guys are on international expansion sprees. Shake Shack has become constant fodder for conversation for everyone from foodies to financial analysts. Even McDonald’s is trying to upgrade its options, with the fast-casual inspired “Create Your Taste” platform that offers upscale ingredients like guacamole and ciabatta rolls.


To succeed in such a crowded market, burger companies need to set themselves apart — which is exactly what Fatburger is trying to do.


Last week, the burger chain announced a partnership with digital food-ordering company GrubHub. Fatburger customers can now order delivery from 75 locations on GrubHub’s platform, and, in 24 locations, GrubHub will delivery directly — the first partnership of this kind GrubHub has made with a restaurant chain since the company entered the delivery business last February.

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Frequent customers most satisfied with quick service restaurants

Frequent customers most satisfied with quick service restaurants | Restaurants | Scoop.it

In today’s time-pressed society, it takes a strong will not to succumb to the ease and convenience of fast food once in a while. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that almost six in ten (57.1%) Australians aged 14+ dine in, or take away from, a quick service restaurant during an average four-week period. What’s more, the more often they frequent the store, the higher their satisfaction levels get.


Since we last reported on Australia’s most popular fast food restaurants, the same five chains have held onto the five top spots. McDonald’s, visited by 29.3% of the population in an average four weeks, leads the way; followed by KFC (20.3%), Subway (16.4%), Hungry Jacks (13.0%) and Domino’s Pizza (10.5%).

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Eating green is great!

Eating green is great! | Restaurants | Scoop.it

VEGETARIAN is no longer a dirty word.


Roy Morgan figures from 2009 show there were about 1.6 million vegetarians in Australia, and 2 million in 2013. Head Chef at Transformer Luke Florence said people were changing their diets for the health benefits.


Evidence suggests vegetarians are at a lesser risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke and generally live longer lives than meat eaters due to the higher levels of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants from plant-based foods.

Top4s insight:

As the saying goes" You are what you eat for"

More and more people are being health buff when it comes in choosing the food that they eat. 




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From employee to franchisee with an appetite for business

From employee to franchisee with an appetite for business | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Some people may see buying the restaurant you work in as jumping from the frying pan into the fire, but not 22-year-old Akanksha Taneja.


She relishes owning Oporto Penrith and the many challenges managing about 20 employees — including her mother and aunt — presents.


And for her, it is just the beginning.


“I definitely plan to add a lot more branches to my tree and grow ahead in such a great company,” Ms Taneja said.

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Ten Cairns restaurants vie for Australian Culinary Federation’s best in 2015

Ten Cairns restaurants vie for Australian Culinary Federation’s best in 2015 | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Ten restaurants will fight it out for the prestigious Australian Culinary Federation’s Cairns chapter 2015 restaurant of the year.


The winner and two runners-up will be revealed on Monday night.


Federation spokesman John Vickary said each month from February to December 30 to 50 ACF members went to lunch at a restaurant and assessed the experience.


“This assessment is achieved according to a set criteria with two professional chefs and accredited judges (federation president Brian Down and committee member Jos Thys) adding a component for the technical aspects of each meal,” he said.

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Hottest restaurants that opened their doors to diners in 2015

Hottest restaurants that opened their doors to diners in 2015 | Restaurants | Scoop.it

It is a deep, deep well into which gigalitres of optimism are poured each year: the restaurant game. A dream for some, a calculated business decision for others, a disaster waiting to happen for many more. And this year was no different.


If you have the money, the patience to deal with bureaucracy and tradies, and a clean criminal record to apply for a liquor licence, you can open a restaurant. Some do it on those qualifications alone. The restaurants below threw more magic into the mix.


Here, in no order whatsoever, are my nominations for the hottest openings of the past year. Several undoubtedly will make the cut for our annual Hot 50 edition of The Weekend Australian. They’re all places where I’ve eaten, drunk and tried to have a good time.


  • The Shorehouse, Perth
  • Dinner by Heston, Melbourne
  • Long Chim, Perth 
  • Bennelong, Sydney
  • Paper Daisy, Cabarita
  • Anchovy, Melbourne
  • Firedoor, Sydney
  • Fino Seppeltsfield, Tanunda
  • Oggi, Adelaide
  • Minamishima, Melbourne
  • Estelle by Scott Pickett, Melbourne
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Indigenous custodians call for protections on native foods as bush tucker dining trends

Indigenous custodians call for protections on native foods as bush tucker dining trends | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Rayleen Brown was perturbed that Aboriginal women who scour the desert for days in search of bush tomatoes were paid a pittance for their gruelling work.


The desert fruit has nourished Indigenous people for millennia – raw, dried or rolled into tangy, sticky balls.


But as chefs and artisan producers cottoned on to the beauty of bush foods and the industry took off, the women who picked bush tomatoes were not seeing the benefits.


"There's not enough protection around these plants. A lot of the women … really don't know a lot about what happens to it later," Ms Brown said.


"There have been some sharks around who did not pay [Aboriginal people] enough. I heard about the price that was being paid and thought it was absolutely not right."

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'Hungry' Jack Cowin's recipe for success

'Hungry' Jack Cowin's recipe for success | Restaurants | Scoop.it

It was a queue of 50 people outside a Chinese takeaway in the Sydney suburb of Mosman on a summer night in 1968 that convinced a young Jack Cowin there was money to be made in fast food.


"You didn't have to be Albert Einstein to see there was a need in the market that wasn't being filled," said Mr Cowin, the pioneer of the Australian quick service restaurant trade.


Five decades later, Cowin, now 72, has amassed a not-so-small fortune selling fried chicken, hamburgers, fries and pizza.
He bought his first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in 1969 and founded Hungry Jack's, the local arm of US fast food giant Burger King, two years later.


His private company, Competitive Foods, which has sales of $1.02 billion, opens its 400th Hungry Jack's restaurant on Friday and his beef-processing and export company, Consolidated Foods, is now Australia's fourth-largest meat processor after Coles, Woolworths and McDonald's.

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Ideal serving temperatures for wine

Ideal serving temperatures for wine | Restaurants | Scoop.it

The temperature a wine is served at has a huge difference on its flavour. It makes good wine sing but can also give a wine all the awkwardness of a gangly teenager.


Most wines are blended in cellars where temperatures are usually a few degrees below room temperature. It’s in this range that the winemaker feels the wine displays the best combination of vineyard, winemaking and balance.


A wine’s balance – the combination of tannin, fruit, acid and alcohol – suffers when it is served at the wrong temperature.


Tannins – a key part of a wine’s structure – become astringent when a wine is served too cold, especially with elegant wines such as pinot noir and chardonnay.  At warmer temperatures, volatile alcohol fumes are released, making a wine smell boozy rather than layered with fruit and spice aromas.


Bubbles are known to be finer in sparkling when served icy cold, giving the wine a smooth mousse and mouthfeel. I actually prefer my bubbly a little warmer, so I leave the bottle out of the fridge after popping the cork.

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The Merivale effect: an insight into Sydney's hospitality empire

The Merivale effect: an insight into Sydney's hospitality empire | Restaurants | Scoop.it

With a seemingly endless supply of inspired concepts, Merivale is dominating Sydney’s hospitality scene.


Launching in 1959 as a fashion brand, The House of Merivale, the company was founded by John and Merivale Hemmes and is credited with revolutionising Australian fashion through its three boutiques in Sydney's Pitt Street, two in Melbourne and one in Canberra.


Nearly 40 years later, in 1996, it closed its last fashion stores and shifted its focus entirely to Sydney’s hospitality industry.

It’s never looked back.


Today, the company is operated by John and Merivale’s son, Justin. It boasts more than 50 restaurants, bars, pubs, hotels and function spaces in Sydney, has approximately 2,500 staff and is showing no signs of slowing down.

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Blue Sky buys into growth of clean fast-food chain

Blue Sky buys into growth of clean fast-food chain | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Blue Sky Venture Capital has taken a stake in expanding food venture THR1VE in an investment that will support the growth of the unconventional fast-food chain and add up to 15 more stores.


This is Blue Sky's second foray into food after it bought into the Mexican restaurant chain Beach Burrito in 2007. In 2013, it injected an additional $3 million into the business to support its expansion to up to 30 outlets.


Blue Sky Venture Capital is a division of listed fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments, which was set up in 2006 and has investments in private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds.


Blue Sky investment director Lachlan McMurdo said what set THR1VE apart from many other allegedly healthy-eating options was its position at the intersection of two rapidly growing segments: fast casual dining, and health and wellness nutrition.

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Social media can be a restaurant's friend or nightmare

Social media can be a restaurant's friend or nightmare | Restaurants | Scoop.it

ONE bad meal shared over Facebook can kill a restaurant's reputation, according to an Orica engineer who is trying to help restaurant owners through the muck and the mire of social media.


Adam Rossow started his business Managing Social Media three months ago and already has around ten clients that use his service.


"For some it is as simple as teaching them how to use their phone," he said. "Others just need reassurance that they are doing the right thing."


Mr Rossow moved to Gladstone with wife Jessica five years ago from Brisbane where he had a smorgasbord of dining options in walking distance.  To fill that void he started a Facebook page called Gladstone Food Rater out of "greed because (he) wanted to know about all the good places to go and eat".


What he noticed on the page, which now has more than 3500 members, was some restaurants managed social media better than others.

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The best restaurant and cafe design of 2015 has been announced

The best restaurant and cafe design of 2015 has been announced | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Looking for a new place to go for lunch or dinner this weekend? Then look no further than these cafes and restaurants awarded for their excellence in design as after all, it’s not just about the food…


After a record number of entries for 2015 (more than 175) the Eat Drink Design Awards have been announced awarding design in six categories: Best Bar Design, Best Restaurant Design, Best Café Design, Best Temporary Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.


The full list of winners:

 -  Best restaurant design - Beccafico (below) by Matt Woods Design, NSW

 -  Best cafe design (joint winner) - Abbots & Kinney by STUDIO-GRAM, SA'

-   Best cafe design (joint winner) - The Kettle Black by Studio You Me, Vic

 -  Best bar design - Smalls (above) by Fiona Lynch Office, Vic

 -  Best retail design - The District by The Uncarved Block, NSW

 -  Best identity design - Bang Street Food (pictured) by Sonnet, NSW

 -  Best temporary design - Australian Pavilion installation by Design by Pidgeon, Vic

 -  Hall of fame - Icebergs by Lazzarini Pickering, NSW

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Bondi Beach's Icebergs Restaurant Inducted Into Prestigious Hall Of Fame

Bondi Beach's Icebergs Restaurant Inducted Into Prestigious Hall Of Fame | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Icebergs by Lazzarini Pickering was inducted into the Eat Drink Design Awards Hall of Fame on Tuesday Evening, in recognition of its enduring influence in design and its position in the Australian culinary landscape, following its opening in 2002.


The annual awards program recognizes and celebrates Australia and New Zealand’s best projects, rewarding design achievement in six categories; Best Bar Design, Best Restaurant Design, Best Café Design, Best Temporary Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.


A must visit for tourists and reliable eatery for locals, the iconic restaurant is arguably one of the most famous in Australia.

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Let your customers tell us how they savour Sunday | Restaurant & Catering Industry Association

Let your customers tell us how they savour Sunday | Restaurant & Catering Industry Association | Restaurants | Scoop.it

Whether it’s starting the day with the perfect coffee, heading out for an all-day breakfast or getting the family together for a Sunday roast, dining out on a Sunday has become a new Australian tradition.


We’d like you to encourage your customers to share their memories of dining in your restaurant or café on a Sunday.


Sunday dining is the theme of Restaurant & Catering Australia’s (R&CA’s) Savour Summer social media competition, which was launched at the national Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence.


Savour Summer is an initiative of Savour Australia, which is R&CA’s consumer-focused website, aimed at promoting and profiling R&CA members among avid diners.

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