Montana brand change reflects growing role

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Iconic Hamilton catering company Montana Catering has announced the evolution of its name to Montana Food and Events to reflect the complexity and professionalism of its operations.

“We have always prided ourselves as being an innovative forward-focused company, often ahead of the market,” states general manager Peter Stark.  “As such we think it’s the right time to reflect the true nature of our work, the professionalism and standards we seek to achieve and surpass.”

While the catering term may have connotations of sausage rolls on a plate and after match bun fights, Montana has always been well ahead of the norm in its operations. 

Starting from humble beginnings as Montana Restaurant in Victoria Street in the ‘60s, the advent of professional rugby and the opening of Waikato Stadium, as it was known in 2002, propelled the company to the forefront of large scale catering and complex event management.

“The stadium took our operation to a whole new level.  Serving 1000-plus corporate dinners at All Blacks or Lions fixtures, with the highest food quality and management demanded, changed our game completely,” says Peter. “We want our name to reflect the quality and magnitude of the events and functions we manage, plus the technology incorporated and the creation of magnificent meals using fresh ingredients in a sustainable manner.”

The name Montana remains at the forefront as the organisation looks to build on its solid reputational foundation.

The foundation is broader than just the provision of high quality functions and events, given the company’s well known community support, highlighted recently by its fifth year as major sponsorship of Hospice Waikato’s Montana Bucket List Dinner. 

Food remains paramount in the company’s vision with the mantra being – the difference is always on the plate.  The aspiration is to produce top restaurant quality food but with the ability to deliver to intimate dinners or large gatherings.

The addition of ‘Events’ to the name acknowledges the growing complexity of conferences, functions and major dinners that the company now manages.

The logistics, set ups, theming and operation involved in delivering large quantities of meals in confined spaces, regularly to 500 plus customers is being recognised and promoted. Not only are the Montana chefs highly trained and experienced staff members but so are the operations, logistics and front of house team.

Director, Dallas Fisher noted that the Montana growth has been exponential in the last few years and that they have created of an umbrella Montana Group brand to link this development. “We now operate extensive catering operations in Auckland and Waikato with a range of major partnerships with key organisations, employing more than 200 permanent staff. Twenty-seven kitchens, one vision.”   

Montana Food and Events remains the flagship Waikato brand and is the resident caterer at the H3 Suite of venues – FMG Stadium Waikato, Claudelands Event Centre and Seddon Park. It also manages a significant out- catering operation at venues of their clients’ choice. Flame Tree Kitchens is the resident caterer for Auckland University’s Halls of Residence, functions, conferences and a range of retail operations. Like Kahurangi, University of Waikato’s equivalent brand, it is operated by Montana Group in a joint partnership. The company also has significant partnerships in place with Auckland Grammar and St Peter’s Cambridge as it continues to develop its growth within the education sector.  They recently launched their Village brand, as a specialist operator at outdoor events with numbers beyond 5000. Their skills were showcased at the HSBC NZ Sevens Tournament in Hamilton and the ACL festival in Auckland earlier this year.

“These are very exciting times for Montana Group,” states Dallas. “We continue to grow and forge innovative partnerships and maintain our position as the leading independent caterer in New Zealand.”

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