There is a saying the best things come in threes, which could not be more appropriate for Tauranga supermarkets celebrating triple success in this year's regional Checker of the Year awards.
The awards this week highlighted the efficiency and friendly skills of supermarket checkout operators throughout the North Island. More than 90 from the Bay of Plenty's New World and Pak' n Save stores competed at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre on Wednesday.
The checkers were judged by a team of eight senior Foodstuffs staff on their speed, presentation, customer service and accuracy as they scanned 30 items as fast as possible, while also staying friendly and composed.
The top three checkers were Eloise Braithwaite from New World Gate Pa, Holly Filipo from New World Westend and Ashley Mather from New World Brookfield.
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Event organiser Kristie McGregor said: "Our Checker of the Year competition has being going for over 40 years, and is a fun night for checkers to demonstrate their fantastic customer service skills and engage in a bit of friendly competition with other stores.
"Checker of the Year is a great way to recognise and reward our checkers for the value they add to the customer experience."
New World Brookfield owner-operator Brendon Good said the night was all about recognising their checkers as faces of the store and celebrating their high level of customer service.
"There is a big build up to Checker of the Year, and we even hold our own in-house competition to choose our team for the night."
The competitors' colleagues wore costumes in the "Kiwiana" theme of the night.
The top 12 checkers each received a $50 gift card, with the top three finalists winning extra prizes. There were also prizes for the best decorated banner, best support team and the best team of checkers overall.
There are 10 regional Checker of the Year competitions across the North Island throughout June and July, with mystery shoppers testing each region's winner to determine one overall North Island Checker of the Year winner and two runners-up, which will be announced at the Foodstuffs North Island Excellence Awards in November.