After more than 25 years in the hospitality sector the owner of Shed 2 Dennis Buckley says attention to detail and happy staff are vital for smooth sailing.
"Planning ahead and making sure everything is in place so our customers have an enjoyable experience every time they visit is just so important," Dennis said.
"Having a happy team working around you is also crucial. For me a happy person is more important than an experienced one. It's easy to train a happy person."
In fact two of his team, Kat and Queenie, have been with Dennis for 22 years — that's pretty impressive.
Dennis said one of the things he has enjoyed the most over the years is the people.
"It's been a privilege to meet all the people that come in here. We have hosted the All Blacks, however it's the loyal customers that keep coming back time and time again that we feel most privileged to have met. They are like family. We meet their children and then their grandchildren. It's really quite humbling."
He said he was blown away by all the people that poured in after lockdown. "It was just fantastic and exciting to see them all. It was really rewarding."
Three things stand out at Shed 2. The outstanding location overlooking the inner harbour at West Quay, the fire place perfect to sit around in the winter and off course the cuisine.
They are particularly well know for their lucy Lu Asian street food.
"Our team looked at lucy Lu food in Melbourne and the Chef Khovind and the team took it on and worked hard to develop our own take on it."
Just before lockdown Dennis was in the process of developing Shed 2's own take away, click and collect or delivery service online — Shed 2go.
"It was 90 per cent done, so that was a project we worked on while we were idling away.
"One thing lockdown did teach me was how important a work/life balance is. It was a good time for reflection. We had been open seven days a week but since reopening we are closed on a Monday and open Tuesday afternoon. That will change in the warmer months but for now it's nice to have a little bit of down time."
The destination restaurant owner is always looking for new opportunities "to keep us fresh".
Shed 2 has a huge menu with around 82 options in the winter months and 110 in summer — there's sure to be something to take your fancy.
■ Shed 2 at 1 Lever St, Ahuriri, Napier, is open on Tuesday afternoon and from 11am Wednesday to Sunday.