Catering legend Frank Gerbes is back in business.

Five days after his $30,000 generator was stolen, a tip-off has led to the recovery of the machine crucial to his enduring fast food franchise.

"I'm just so pleased, I'm over the moon," he told Hawke's Bay Today.

"It's back to business for me."

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Last week the Gala Caterers owner posted a $1000 reward for information leading to his big yellow generator's recovery. "It's already been paid, well worth it."

The veteran hot-dogger said he didn't want the eagle-eyed spotter identified for fear of reprisals from the offenders. "It's the safest way to go."

Police accompanied the businessman to a property in Fernhill on Sunday where the machine was discovered and fingerprints were taken.

"Police are involved so I don't want to say any more about where exactly it was found. They [offenders] obviously tried pretty hard to hide it."

The well-known Flaxmere local bought his first catering caravan in 1954, and now has 30 caravans operating.

He said the machine was an essential tool for his catering company and was used "almost nightly" to fire up his caravans.

It would be back in use at a catering function in Napier this weekend.