Meet the winners: Erik’s Fish and Chips

5 Jun 2019

Last year, at Hospitality New Zealand’s Awards for Excellence 2018, Erik’s Fish and Chips lit up the ballroom with their enthusiasm and excitement for not one, but two Award wins.

By the end of the night, Erik’s Fish and Chips (which has two branches, located in Queenstown and Wanaka respectively) had walked away with a win for each branch: the Award for Excellence in Marketing (Erik’s Fish and Chips, Queenstown), and the People’s Choice Award (Erik’s Fish and Chips, Wanaka).

Did Erik’s Fish and Chips expect to win on the night?

“Oh my God, no!” replied Erik’s Fish and Chips owner and GM Anna Arndt.

Speaking to Hospitality New Zealand, Anna added that the team at Erik’s were already "surprised and thrilled" to have been listed as finalists, especially since they were “up against some big hitters”.

Erik’s Fish and Chips has become something of an Otago icon, a “must-try” when visiting either Wanaka or Queenstown. But even so, Anna explained, she initially felt that it would be difficult for a small business to compete against big businesses with a large staff (and perhaps even a dedicated marketing team). As a small, takeaway fish and chip business, Anna told us she could not have imagined in her “wildest dreams” that her small business would win.

“We were blown away”, said Anna, adding that her team’s excitement on winning the first award of the night seemed to set the upbeat tone for the rest of the evening. “It was such a great experience,” she continued, “I think people liked the story of the under-dog, a fish and chip shop, winning the People’s Choice Award.”

Having been in business for just three years, 2018 was the first year that Erik’s Fish and Chips had entered the Awards. Putting their win down to their dedication and their social media strategy, as well as the appeal of an “underdog” story, Anna explained that entering the Awards and completing her entry form was in itself a beneficial experience for her, adding that the entry process was not too difficult or too time consuming.

“As hospitality operators, you are often working in, rather than on your business. The nomination process really helps you to take stock of what you’ve been doing, and gives you new ideas. You get good value out of the process," Anna told Hospitality New Zealand.

Since winning in September 2018, Anna said she has “definitely” noticed a positive impact on several areas of her business.

“Winning the awards has been a great help with marketing. It has been a boost to the team, and makes them feel good. It also helps with customers,” Anna explained.

In November 2018, Erik’s Fish and Chips went on to win yet another award, this time winning the Todd & Walker Law Small-Medium Business of the Year Award at the Westpac Queenstown Business Awards 2018. Anna told us, she feels that winning at the Awards of Excellence “definitely helped” with the next award win. “Winning an Award for Excellence gives you good kudos as a business, especially as a small business. It means you can compete.”

Entries to Hospitality New Zealand's Awards for Excellence 2019 are now open. To enter your business for an award this year, visit

Take a look at the categories for the Awards for Excellence 2019 and the entry criteria for each category here.

Entries to the Awards for Excellence 2019 close on Friday 28 June.

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