Simon Gault is the chef whose television revolution encouraged Kiwis to cook at home. Now, he’s trying to persuade them to go to restaurants again.
Gault is fronting a new ad campaign encouraging “social dining” – a play on the Facebook and Twitter worlds of social networking.
Kiwis have retreated indoors in the recession, he said. Now it’s time for them to get out again and interact.
The adverts are placed by five Auckland and Wellington restaurants, led by Gault’s Viaduct flagship, Euro. Nourish Group owns them all.
Gault said many Kiwi restaurants lacked a service ethic and treated people like robots – social dining was about treating them as friends.
“It’s about having a great time, staff being intimate with customers, getting to know them and understanding what they enjoy,” he added. “People like to have their own restaurant and to be recognised.”
The Rugby World Cup was an opportunity for New Zealand restaurants to showcase themselves to the world, Gault said, and he encouraged them to avoid deterrents such as poor service or holiday surcharges.