Finnians licencee Corey Baker says a strong community connection, great food and service along with dedicated staff are key to its four nominations in the 2018 AHA NSW awards for excellence.
The tavern is one of four Port Macquarie-Hastings outlets listed as finalists in the awards.
The others are, Bar Florian, Settlers Inn Hotel and Fernhill Tavern.
Mr Baker said the nominations were testimony to the dedication of all staff, but had special praise for the outlet’s long-term staffers.
"It really does mean a lot," he said. "Particularly for the staff that have been here for a long time.
"The awards really mean a lot because it shows the level of effort the staff put into the place.
"The staff really care about our customers. We want them to leave here and know that they have made the right choice for their night out.
"These qualities, along with our strong community connection and focus shine through with these nominations."
Finnians is in line for the best traditional hotel bar - country; best wine list; best casual dining venue - country northern; and, chef of the year - country - Stefan Hostettier.
Mr Hostettier completed his apprenticeship at the Stamford Plaza, in Melbourne before spending time in North America. He eventually arrived in Port Macquarie about 10 years ago following a stint in northern Australia.
He has been head chef at Finnians for almost five years.
He says the nominations are recognition that the staff are producing consistently high standards of quality.
The kitchen staff create a really positive atmosphere in our work environment and that comes through in our food and its presentation to the customer.- Stefan Hostettier
"We try to exceed expectations and provide something that bit extra," he said.
"The kitchen staff create a really positive atmosphere in our work environment and that comes through in our food and its presentation to the customer.
"We've got a genuine care for the pub and its patrons."
He said the kitchen produces around 1800 meals per week with an average of 130 lunchtime meals and about 120 for dinner.
Along with Finnians, Bar Florian is entered in the best cocktail, lounge or themed bar while the Fernhill Tavern is a finalist in the best pub TAB - country category.
Settlers Inn Hotel is also in line for four awards - best family friendly; heart of the community; best cheap eat meal (under $15); and, best sports bar.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said hundreds of nominations were received for this year’s awards ceremony which honours the best hotels in the business.
“We had a record 630 nominations from right across NSW which really shows the quality of our hotels in regional areas,” he said.
“Pubs in regional and rural NSW really are the backbone of their communities and it is pleasing to see so many great country pubs nominated across a range of categories.”
The 2018 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence will be held at The Star Event Centre, Sydney on Tuesday November 20, 2018.
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