Category Archives: Team Talk

A place for you to get to know our team, our place and our restaurant a wee bit better. Plus we love to share great recipes, events and the odd laugh right here from our General Manager, Eddie Parker, our Operations Manager, Nelson D'sa, our Consultant Chef, Martin Bosley and more.

Family Culture at our Waterfront Restaurant

Posted by Eddie Parker on June 14, 2017

We Thrive on our Vibrant Culture

Eddie Parker, our general manager shares one of the things that he loves about being part of the team here at 35 Degrees South & Alongside. 

One of the things that I really love about working at 35 Degrees South and Alongside.  That's about our family culture.   I've worked at a lot of different places throughout my time, from little gaming bars to restaurants to pubs, you name it. I've been in and around most top venues and worked with privately owned, public owned, board of trustees, executive committees, the works. One of the things that I love about 35 Degrees is the structure and the leadership.   It comes from the owning family, and their core values and beliefs, everything from antiquity, a very upfront and honest people.Mike, Gayle & their 4 daughters Sarah, Katie, Lisa & Amy who own & operate 35 Degrees South in Paihia Restaurant

Core Values 

Community, which is also one of our values, is something that's been instilled in us again by the owning family, who are huge supporters of the community.  I think if you look at the work that the family does in their communities, you'd be really amazed at what they do. It's a sort of a work hard, play hard sort of atmosphere. We work hard but we have fun too. We have a joke and there's always someone that's pulling a sly one, with a smile on their face.  Passion, been really passionate about what we're doing. Again, you can see this in the family ... They're really passionate about everything they do.

If you look at our last value – teamwork, again, probably there were a lot of places where you see the owners and they're great owners but they leave the day to day operations generally to ... To be honest, I think you get two sorts.  We get the ones that leave the restaurant to their own devices, and they sort of pop down when there's some sort of large thing going, or you get the ones that are fully in there - 100%, and there's no real point in actually having any management because they're running the show.  I found that this family is a really good balance, a balance of support, but also a freedom to do what needs to be done. The family are always hell bent, probably down to help clean. The time that you see the family they're generally doing the dishes. They're in there with the team, shoulder to shoulder. If need be they can also be found peeling carrots or peeling potatoes.

Walking the Talk

Kyra serving cocktails over the bar at our Paihia RestaurantIt filters down. I think this is worth mentioning, just because you don't get that a lot in the industry, and you don't get a lot of what people say and what they do matching. I've been really privileged and honoured by working with this family. I've definitely improved during my time here.  A 100% improvement and that's due to the training and support of working with this family. You can see it with the team. Ask any other team member at  Alongside or 35 South what it's like to work for the McMasters and I think they'll reiterate what I say every single time. I think that's what makes us a place that's amazing - a place which we are always going to improve on, and being a huge part of this community with a lot to offer.

A chat with Violet

Posted by Eddie Parker on October 06, 2016

Eddie Parker:

Hey folks, Ed here again. Today I'm going to be hunting down one of our team members, we're going to have a little bit of a chat to her. Now a lot of you look over at Alongside and you're probably thinking this is a well-oiled machine. There's some people who make this a well-oiled machine, trust me. There are a lot of easier places you can work. It takes a lot of time, a lot of commitment, and that means we're really proud of about our team and where they come from, and really hit it.

The person we're going to be talking to today is Violet Rose. Violet Rose started as one of our junior sales and now she's the Assistant Manager of 35 Degrees South and Alongside so, she doesn't quite know that we're going to be doing this and here we're going to sneak out to her mid-shift. I think that's probably the best way to go about it, so that we get the most honest reaction from her.

Here she is.

Right, Violet, a few words to tell me, one thing that you love about working at 35 Degrees and Alongside what would that be?

Violet Rose

The opportunities. Ongoing opportunities.

Eddie Parker:

Also you've got to be talking about the opportunities of working alongside me, I can that in your eyes. What opportunities are there that people could enjoy by working with us?

Violet Rose:

Getting to know people around the community. 

Eddie Parker:

Now, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself, so to begin with, where did you come from, what made you apply for 35 Degrees, and where are you now as far as your career is going and where would you like to be?

Violet Rose:

Originally I worked in retail for about two and a half years. We've done going to Australia looking for a change, didn't quite like it. Had a few arguments with my sister so I moved back to New Zealand. Told myself I was never going to work with people, but then I decided to take a challenge and go into hospitality, something like I never thought I would. Mainly probably the opportunities and the front sector of the industry.

Eddie Parker:

Where do you want to be?

Violet Rose:

Where do I want to be? It's not a national position, hopefully on a cruise ship, relaxing, sipping piña coladas. More professionally, hopefully just somewhere coaching other people on the skills that I've been privileged to learn throughout the few years here.

Eddie Parker:

Thanks Violet. Now obviously you know, especially when someone comes and we get to say a period, where you really just got two thousand people just marching on and for coffees and meals or what not. You know, obviously there's going to be there, that little bit of crazy there, that little bit of crazy gets you through and obviously there's a bit of fun that keeps the team going and working so we'll have to give up, what's some examples of what makes working here fun?


Violet Rose:

What makes working here fun ... My ideal day would probably be walking and probably hearing Mark sing, and that's kind of fun, or pretty much just when everyone's having a laugh on the floor even though we've got two thousand capacity. We're at a delay, but fun, the team's what makes it that much more enjoyable.


Eddie Parker:

One last question. What is Violet's guilty pleasure?


Violet Rose:

Violet's guilty pleasure would probably be procrastination. Yeah, I'm really bad at it. I learned that from Eve though, so yeah. I'm working on it.


Eddie Parker:

Obviously chose the wrong person then here, the first time I've done that. I know you'll be hearing a lot more from our team, I'm going to be dedicating the rest of this year to just stalking them down and getting all those answers you've been wanting to hear from the team at 35 South and Alongside.



Oh, actually I just remembered one more question, let's go Violet again.



Violet, last question, fairly last question. What's your favorite dish at 35 or Alongside?


Violet Rose:

The Chicken Breast and nocky, yeah you can never, ah probably just the most flavors, I'm not a fan of carrots but they pretty much caramelize them too so yeah. Can't go wrong with chicken, I'm a sucker.


Eddie Parker:

Awesome, thanks Violet.



Thanks again for listening to the blog. Hopeful seeing you down at 35 South and Alongside.


Debt Free, Stress Free

Posted by Nelson D'sa on July 20, 2016

An inside look at how our team helps each other get ahead.

Nelson D'sa, our Operations Manager here at 35o South & Alongside pulls double duty by moonlighting as our team's financial coach. Our company values the ability to do things differently & create excellence in every part of our teams lives. Stress adds no value to anyone's life and the biggest stress most people face is money problems, only second to health. With that in mind Nelson is working with our teams to get them debt free, spending less than they earn and to set some financial goals. Below is his story about where he started & why he does this extra work in the business. We hope it helps you understand a little of who we are behind the scenes here at the restaurants.

My goal is to wake up on boat, on a tropical island in the sun. But realistically I need to work very hard in order to get there. I realized good things don’t come to those who sit around and wait but rather those who get up, get motivated and go for it. Which is when I also realized that yes, I was working hard, making a lot of money but I was also spending a lot of it too. I didn’t care how much anything was,whether or not I actually needed it but only if I could afford it so I bought it.

Then I met my partner who taught me the meaning of essentials, that just because I “wanted” something didn’t necessarily mean I “needed” it. She also taught me that I wasn’t going to end up on a boat, on a tropical island but instead on a kayak in a muddy river, if I didn’t stop spending carelessly and set up a savings plan. It changed my whole life.

I opened up a savings account with high interest after doing a lot of research as to what high interest actually meant. My first goal was to pay off my mortgage for our house we brought in Florida. 8 years later, it was paid off and we were debt free. Then the money that I made I wasn’t having to pay a bank, instead I was able to put it into my savings account. I am not trying to gloat or boast about how well off I was, all I’m trying to say is that if you set your mind to something and be consistent then you can achieve whatever you want to.

Every 3 months I reviewed which banks were giving the best interest rate, you have to be on top of this because banks will lower their interest rates and you wouldn’t even know. Everything we wanted to buy, was put into a list, the pro’s and con’s of each item were deeply discussed and we would then decide how urgent they were.

I am now very passionate about helping others be financially stable, helping them understand money. I want them to wake up every day and not worry about how many days until pay-day. I want them to be intelligent with their money and make wise decisions. It humbles me so much when my fellow team members who I have financially coached come up to me and tell me their car has broken down but that they have enough money to buy another one, or that another member of my team has moved closer to work so he can save more money. Stories like these make me feel like I have made a difference and makes all my hard work worth it. 60% off my team now have a savings account that they cant touch for 90 days, between 10-25% of their wages go straight into this account, my goal is to have 100% of my team with this account. Trust me, I will make it happen. 

My Team.... Scratch that, My Family.

Posted by Eddie Parker on July 13, 2016

Eddie Parker, our general manager talks about one of the things that he loves about being here at 35 Degrees South & Alongside. 

One thing I love about my job is the team I work with, they are the source of my influx of grey hairs and deteriorating hair line for sure. But they are also the reason I get out of bed on those days I just want to stay wrapped up in my blankets, they are the ones that make me smile and laugh when I’m not feeling at the top of my game.  And during six months of the year I spend more time with each of them than my friends or family. Actually scratch that, they are my friends and family. I guess that would make me the father. Urgh… Lets change that, how about we make Mike, the father in this family and I can be the ruggedly handsome younger uncle known for his swagger and style.

Right now we got that sorted, some Happy Facts about my team – Most of them have been part of our family for 2-3 years. All of them have a personality which is their own, although we have systems, scripts and structures they use these as a base line to shine through with their own personalities. They are all inspired to get involved in self development. They all (almost all.. it's a work in progress!) have a savings plan of 10%-30% of their weekly wages which go into a savings account that can’t touch for 90 days. That is on top of Kiwisaver contributions!

They all take part in every aspect of our business from menu and beverage list design to stock control, ordering, marketing and event planning. This business is a business of 20 leaders rather than that of 1-3 chiefs and 17 indians. No offense intended towards those that wish to just be Indians but my team is full of people who are striving towards being chiefs in their own right. We are involved in the local gym and our own company boot camps (healthy body and minds), we sit down together once a day and have a healthy meal and talk about our days events with each other. We all have learning journals with goals and a leadership team devoted to helping us all reach them. We are all humans, we make mistakes but we own up to them, we don’t blame, we admit when we are wrong . We are solution orientated rather than whiners and whingers, give us a problem and we will show you a solution. We spend a good deal of time joking & pranking as we do our learning and getting our hands dirty. We are in the business of experiences and memories and I think, well I know I have a team and family of individuals who are dedicated to this and dedicated to improving themselves so they get even better at this.

Ask me why I do this? On those really tough days what picks me up? What makes me go home and get ready to do it all again the next day? And I will answer easily without thought or hesitation and give you 20-40 names depending on the time of year or season. These are the names of my Team Members, the names of my Family. 

Follow us on Instagram#35degreessouth