Last night, Kāpiti’s Vanessa Cone headed more than 100 checkout operators from New World and PAK’nSAVE stores across the greater Wellington region who took to the tills onstage at the St James Theatre to compete for the chance to be named Checker of Year in Foodstuffs North Island’s annual competition.
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 quickly as possible, while also staying friendly and composed.
The top three checkers were Vanessa Cone from PAK’nSAVE Kāpiti in first place, Noora Tautua from New World Porirua in second place, and Ashleigh Quayle from New World Miramar in third.
Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin said the company has run its Checker of the Year competition for decades, and it is an annual highlight for staff right across the business.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate the contribution our checkout operators make on the front-line of our business every day.
“Our checkers are the face of our business and their customer service skills are crucial to our success in meeting the expectations of our customers. The annual Checker of the Year competition is about acknowledging their skills and creating some friendly rivalry between stores,” he said.
While the competition is taken seriously by the competitors, the event also provides an opportunity for them and their supporters to have some fun.
With a ‘rock star’ theme this year, competitors’ colleagues, family and friends donned rock star outfits and cheered them on with banners, chants and store mascots.
The top twelve checkers each received a $50 gift card, with the top three finalists winning extra prizes. There were also prizes for the best dressed team, best supporting teams and best air guitar solo.
As the winner of the Wellington region heat, Vanessa Cone, from Otaihanga, will go on to compete against the winners of the nine other regional heats held over June-July. Each regional winner will be mystery shopped three times between August and November to determine the 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.