Montana Group’s Waikato catering brand Montana Food & Events has been awarded a Qualmark Gold endorsement in their 2020 assessment.
It is a rare distinction for a large-scale catering operation in the tourism industry’s leading quality indicator.
Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation, providing a trusted guide to quality travel experiences.
Owned by Tourism New Zealand and backed by leading industry organisations, it provides a star grading system for accommodation providers and a quality endorsement programme for other tourism businesses, as an official mark of quality.
Montana director Dallas Fisher said it might seem a little bit of an unusual industry endorsement for a catering company to seek but it makes perfect sense.
“For a group of our size and range of operation, it is tricky to find an internationally recognised quality assurance system, with the breadth of assessment to make it objectively high quality,” he said. “It’s hard to move past the tourism industry and the demanding criteria that they have in place for Qualmark.”
Not only is the group one of the very few catering organisations that subjects itself to the rigours of the international assessment but to achieve Gold is an exceptional result.
“Qualmark has broadened the scope of its evaluation criteria to recognise those businesses that are focused on protecting what makes New Zealand unique and special,” Qualmark general manager Gregg Anderson said.
“Your award can be proudly displayed as evidence that Montana is committed to protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing connections with our local communities, whilst also delivering a quality, safe experience for all.”
Montana’s performance was measured over four key criteria, economic, environment and culture, social/people, and health and safety. Overall Montana was assessed as representing best practice in 73 per cent of these, with the remaining 27 per cent rated as excellent. In three of the four sections, the Group was rated as operating at sector best practice level.
In confirming the award, Qualmark noted the huge improvement since the last assessment, and the close working relationship between Montana and H3, Hamilton City Council’s unit managing key venues within the city – FMG Stadium Waikato, Claudelands Events Centre and Seddon Park. Montana provides the catering and event services at those venues. The improvements in sustainable practices, waste minimisation and energy efficiency were noteworthy.
Fisher said how pleasing the result was for the Montana Group, praising the commitment by staff to implement improvements from previous assessments.
“It is special to us to be living our values statement and making a difference to our customers, colleagues and the environment.”