Focusing on the little things

In the middle of March this year, 31 workers at a mining camp in Karratha became sick.

A salmonella outbreak swept across the site, with more than 20 workers hospitalised and others quarantined.

With the food we eat having a direct impact on our health, mental wellbeing and productivity, catering for workers onsite is a serious business for miners and their workers.

Northern Rise Village Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delaware North, a company that has been in the hospitality industry for more than 100 years.

Formed in 2014, Northern Rise Village Services provides accommodation, catering, transport and facility management services in the resources sector.

One of the keys to a well-maintained minesite is treating the workers as a client, according to Northern Rise Village Services Director Gary Bradford.

“We see our client’s people as our guests, not as residents,” he said.

“We don’t see what we do as an extension to the workplace, we see it as creating a place of respite for our guests.

“We believe in this day and age that the broader wellbeing of our guests is our priority.

“It sets the mood, the culture and the sense of community in the village, with people being shown care by our sta , who are motivated to serve and have a great career in hospitality.

“That’s really where we focus and where we believe our focus should be.

“That goes right through to the food we serve and the standard of cleanliness that we operate with. All of those things are about pursuing the best experience for our guest.”

Mr Bradford said the look of the food was just as important as how it tasted.

“We all eat with our eyes,” he said.

“We put a lot of emphasis on great local produce that gives our chefs license to produce beautiful food which is visually appealing, healthy and tasty.

“It is also important to have enough variety in there that if you are looking for something a little less healthy you still have the opportunity to make a choice for yourself.”

Mr Bradford said that small things could make a huge difference to workplace culture, using the example of round tables as a way to promote community and wellbeing.

“I read a comment from one guest in one of our villages in the Northern Territory recently,” he said. “Whilst he spoke about the fact the rooms and the food were great, what he was actually saying to us was thank you, because while working away he was in a good frame of mind, and he went home to his family a much healthier, happier individual.”

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