Five Stags Rangiora Restaurant & Bar Sun, 21 Jun 2020 10:14:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Five Stags Rangiora 32 32 Re-opening Excitement Tue, 12 May 2020 05:41:04 +0000 We’ve missed you!

We are so excited to be able to see you again!

Easy does it though! We have a big, beautiful machine to get turning – so won’t be open lunch for Thurs and Friday to allow us to get the Stag Roaring again.

Watch this space we will be posting updates where possible.

Five Stags Rangiora Opening Hours

Working at Five Stags Rangiora Thu, 06 Feb 2020 04:15:32 +0000

In this quick blog post we’ve put together a few things about what it might be like for you working here.   Our culture, some of our values, our business goals and how we fuel them.  And a few quotes from team members.  This post is ever expanding as team members have input on content.

Five Stags Rangiora Work Culture: we love where its at and where it’s going!

These are some of our values – if they resonate with you, then maybe you’l be right at home working here!

The Waimak: “We’ve chosen to be here – and we love it!”

We love Rangiora and living in the Waimak!  From white sandy beaches, tramping, rivers and a growing hospo-scene.  In the Waimak we’ve embraced a vibrant and friendly mix of farming culture meets national and international imports.   Check out Waimakarir’s Instagram page. Did we mention the Waimak at time of writing this is the fastest growing area in New Zealand?  We’ve chosen to be here – and we love it!

Working at the Stags Rangiora: We want you to feel your best!

The Gym

We believe healthy and active team members have more energy to share with each other, at work and at home, We support this with 50% off Mega Sports Centre Les Mills Rangiora Memberships.  We hire and support the BEST people. 



But If gym isn’t your thing.. We build our team in a way that offers the opportunity to plan decent periods of rest or “mini-Holidays”.  Who doesn’t love that “back from a break” feeling?   Who doesn’t want energy to   invest not just in work – but in our personal lives!  Click here to see how its presented to the team

From the Owners: Our Business Goals – come help us!

Owners: Jay Bunea (click to read Jay’s intro blog) & Kerry Mason.

Having worked hard over the last 2 years – part owner Jay and his expert team have grown the Restaurant side of the business.  Moving our focus to other areas of growth in the business…Our current goal is to grow our bar – we’re getting into cocktails, party nights with scope for other activities like Quiz nights and Beer, Wine and Whisky food matching..  Having successfully pulled off some great events – we’re looking to innovate and grow these to become an everyday part of our operation and we always want to be leaders in what we do.  We are also focusing on Group Bookings and Functions with future scope for the Wedding and Corporate Market!  Lot’s going on – so we need your help! 

Team quotes


Come spend some time with the team – we’re happy to answer any questions you have!

If you this you have what it takes, have your duty managers and experience in the industry:

Email to introduce yourself

Or Call Kerry 027-300-7944 or Jay 021-202-1255

Staff Blog – “Crush the Rush!” Thu, 02 Jan 2020 22:31:11 +0000 Hi Team – here’s a blog post which relates to some of our 2019 goals for the little slice of heaven we call Five Stags Rangiora!

We’re gearing up to do some exciting things in the bar  – and its going to be so much fun!

In the process as a team, we’re going to learn to crush bar service, much like our Kitchen can crush 150 meals, our friend Alfie writes an inspirational 5 minute read on what bar service at Five Stags will look like in the future…  while attacking some of the challenges we will have – and have had – a long the way

Have a read, Alfie knows his shit!

…take it away Alfie!

How to Crush the Rush: Tips for Bartenders


The rush comes in like a tidal surge. It breaks relentlessly against the storm walls of the bar, throwing around orders like sea foam and pieces of kelp. The bartenders make eye contact with every guest they can, adding each new order to the long line of drinks to come. Words fly over the heads of those seated. According to my late-night, amaro-infused calculations, the sheer amount of work performed by a bar crew during a busy shift can rival the energy density of gasoline, or at least it feels that way. And by feels that way, I mean it feels like someone set you on fire with gasoline.

I’m convinced that as soon as you let your guard down, perfect strangers somehow all get together on a street corner near your bar, and after doing a headcount to ensure that at least fifty people are there, they walk directly into the place and all order at the same time. But the whole point is to be busy, right?

A cocktail bar is a particular kind of beast. The goal is to crank out amazing drinks—and fast enough to keep people happy—so that the entire room full of people is joined together in a community of boozy carousing. The crew must manage a crushing influx of business with aplomb and grace (maybe not like a ballerina’s grace, but it’s grace of sorts.) At a high-volume bar, the drink list needs to balance sound mixological theory and practical considerations. Nobody should have to wait 15 minutes for a drink, simply because the cocktail is complex, and for the record, simpler is usually better.

If you can’t make it simple, you have to find another way to make it work.


Kerry: I remember doing this with cinnamon – loads of fun and smells great!!!  Lets do it!


We once put a drink on a menu that was an eleven step pick-up. We thought we were so smart. Eleven steps, and each drink had to be made in its own shaker. It went like this: Measure and add 1 ½ ounces bacanora, ¾ ounce fresh lime, ½ ounce ancho chile liqueur, ½ ounce pineapple gomme, 1 ounce egg white, and ¼ ounce simple syrup. Dry shake vigorously to froth egg white. Measure and add 1 ounce coconut milk. Wet shake to combine and emulsify. Double strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with flamed Tiki bitters. It was a delicious cocktail. It perhaps (not perhaps, it totally) was too many steps.

But people loved it, so we developed a system to spread those drinks around to the available bartenders to make it work. As soon as the bartender serving the dining room received orders for more than two of this drink at a time, the third one would go to one of the other bartenders working the bar. If orders kept coming in, we just kept going around the horn. It also had the added benefit of every bartender constantly having to make the most difficult cocktail on the menu, which is good for keeping everyone up to speed. Sharing the workload allowed us to keep the complicated drink on the menu, and everybody behind the bar got their turn setting things on fire with a DIY bitters torch, which is good for morale.

Caveat: do not light your co-workers on fire. As much as you’d like to light a not-so-proverbial fire under their ass, this is not so good for morale. Yes, this has happened.

Efficiency is the key for handling a rush. The following strategies should be considered fundamental to managing peak hour business.

Mise en Place

It all starts here. Not being bogged down by constantly having to stop and find things will keep the drinks going out at a fast pace, and will help service at the bar stay attentive and orderly. All liquid ingredients in the well should be full with backups bottled and ready to go. All liquor should be stocked and accessible. All the tools and garnishes necessary to assemble the menu items should be within arm’s reach when standing at your well. The goal is to build a well station that can quickly produce great drinks all night long.


To minimize time to service many bars are batching cocktails, or portions of them. This technique has inspired some debate in the bartending community. Batching a cocktail means combining the appropriate ratios of all spirituous ingredients (and sometimes sugars), making a whole bottle of pre-measured, premixed liquor.

Some people feel that this can take some of the charm away from the process of cocktail assembly. In my experience, the batched bottle is usually only a portion of the full ingredient list for a drink, and the process still requires the visible steps of measuring and pouring fresh ingredients, adding tinctures or bitters, shaking or stirring, and straining. It can take a eight-step drink down to three or four steps, allowing for greater flexibility in cocktail creation, and for more layered flavors without slowing down service. Batching is a compromise between high-volume service and exquisitely crafted cocktail offerings. Some may see it as taking away some of a bartender’s essential acts, but in fact, the tactic can allow bartenders more time to interact with guests.


Behind a great bar, everyone should be checking in with their co-workers and helping each other out. If you overhear your fellow bartender take an order for the same drink you’re currently building in a shaker, double up on that cocktail and expedite the time to service for that order. It does your partner a solid and allows them to move on to the next order. There’s nothing like giving a guest a freshly shaken cocktail just 30 seconds after they order it. That’s the kind of service that exceeds expectations and makes guests into regulars. Constant, open communication between team members allows bartenders to respond immediately and seamlessly to guest input. Seamless service looks effortless.


You know what else makes service look effortless? Restraint. When we’re talking about efficiency behind our bar, we use the maxim, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” meaning that if you take the time to do your job perfectly, you will eventually reach an operating speed at which everything feels under control. It’s a matter of training yourself in the habit of being efficient, accurate, and complete. During the rush, you see, you can’t rush. A perfect example of this is not checking the POS screen for accuracy before firing a group’s meal. Let’s say one entrée is accidentally left off the order; the meal can be ruined for everyone, right? Spend fifteen seconds, save fifteen minutes. Paying close attention to detail requires discipline, but it pays huge dividends during a busy service.

You can recognize a good bar by the way they handle a rush. The bartenders’ eyes are up, not down. They seek out drink orders instead of reacting when the order comes in. The best bars manage to produce high quality experiences regardless of the pace of business, because they stay ahead of the curve. When the rush happens, they welcome it.

About the Author: Alfie Turnshek has been working in the restaurant industry for almost 20 years. He will pickle anything once, and is currently the bar manager.

So excited for the bar! Lets do this!  Thanks Alfie, from the team!


Staff Blog – Don’t loose your cool: stay hydrated! Sun, 08 Dec 2019 23:34:29 +0000

How you feeling at work?  

Do you ever feel tired, flustered, hot, stressed or even starving hungry?  Did you know that the body will send those signals to the brain when you’re actually just dehydrated!?

Check out the exert from below that could change your life!

But first here’s a challenge for you…

Take the “The Hydro-Fatigue Challenge”

  • Next time you’re feeling one of the above mentioned feeling, rate that feeling out of 10.. 
  • 10 for feeling great, and 1 for feeling absolutely shit!
  • Then drink “as much water as you can comfortably drink”.
  • Wait 3 minutes and again, rate how your feeling out of 10.. 

Did your rating increase?


Check out this Exert from which explains the importance of water.  The how’s, why’s and what you should be doing to stay hydrated.

Our body is made up of 60% water, so making sure that you are getting optimal amounts of water is essential for feeling good with optimal health and energy.

Water transports nutrients throughout the body, aids in digestion, regulates temperature, facilitates all pathways of detoxification, protects our joints, promotes healthy bowel movements, improves mental concentration and relieves fatigue.


So as you can see, water is pretty important. In the summer months, it’s even more important because the warmer weather places demand on our natural detoxification pathways due to increased body temperature and sweating. We are also often more active outdoors in summer, meaning we need to replace any water lost due to physical activity.


When helping someone on a wellness journey one of the first things I do is check if they are drinking enough water. Often they aren’t. If we all drank nothing but water, the health implications would be huge – even if we changed nothing else. Not only do you get the benefits of adequate hydration for bodily function, but you remove the processed sugars, chemicals and artificial sweeteners found in fizzy drink, juice, flavored water and flavored milk.

Making changes to consistently drink enough, quality, water is a step we can all implement easily.



It is important to drink the right amount of water for you according to your weight. To work this out the formula is:

0.033 litres per kg of body weight, which roughly equates to the following amounts: 

  • 60 kg = 2 liters
  • 75 kg = 2.5 liters
  • 90 kg= 3 liters
  • 105 kg = 3.5 liters

Note from Kerry: Do those amounts seem crazy now? Seem crazy for now?  Aim for 2 Litres a day – and feel the effects! Better sleep, digestion, skin, energy!


Only water and caffeine free herbal teas count towards your water intake. Tea and coffee does not count and can actually increase dehydration. If you drink one coffee it takes two glasses of water to break even as far as hydration goes.



  • First thing in the morning have a big glass of water with lemon squeezed into it. The citric acid will also help jump-start your detoxification pathways.
  • Invest in a quality glass or stainless steel water bottle and have it with you at all times. If you have a 750ml bottle, mentally calculate how many times you need to finish it for your body weight. For a 60kg person, you need just under 3 bottles. Once you’ve figured this out, you can space the water out through your day. Many clients at the BePure clinic have “water targets” they aim for by midday each day.
  • If you prefer drinking hot drinks, caffeine free teas such as chamomile, peppermint, licorice or rooibos will all count towards your water intake. So does bone broth, which will also support your gut health.



For this week we’d like you to work out your own personal water requirement and  commit to drinking that amount for 7 days. Use some of the tips above to get you started. If you currently drink a lot less than you need, work up to your personal hydration needs. Aim for 2 L a day and build from there.

Stay tuned for the next blog!

Summer Menu Update & other adventures Wed, 02 Jan 2019 04:07:21 +0000 Update

So since my last blog post – when I got back from New York – its been an exciting start to summer.  And we’ve just launched a new summer update to our menu. And I just want to say thanks to everyone who’s emailed, facebooked and popped into the (very hot) kitchen and said “Hi” after reading the first blogs 🙂

I’ll let you know about the update – and a quick note about how summer began for me!

Wedding Adventure

So, as well as getting to know everyone a bit better I’ve also had the privilege of leaving the kitchen in the hands of  the rest of the hard working team while I snuck to Akaroa for 4 days.

I was best man for my great old friend -Steve who I’ve spent many historic hours producing great tasting food with: Steve (the taller and hairier guy in the picture…).. Best moment of the wedding was (picture this) the best man, groom and groomsmen taking over table service at a wedding of 100+ people in Akaroa – that was us.. hospitality is a way of life!   If you want to hear more about that adventure, hit me up at Five Stags (it was a hoot!)…

Me with Steve (Steve is the taller hairier one)

The Summer Menu Journey

The wedding was HOT and busy and I feel like Summer has unofficially only just began! So we’ve launched a summer menu update..

If you’ve read my other posts or talked to some of the locals – you’ll know we’re going through an exciting evolution..

I’ve said before – that food is a journey… the exciting difference is now that I’m sharing my food journey with you – in my own area – in my own business!

We’ve really worked hard to create our menu.  And this latest menu update is based on many deep and meaningful conversations.. trials, tastes and a big-old survey!

What everyone told us…

I could tell you some fancy stats from our survey completed by over 300 people. But its not much different from… or should I say… Just confirms what you learn from just talking to 3 or 4 different tables of great locals on any given night.

It’s not Black and White – we need to constantly talk to our guests.

I’ll let Kerry my business partner explain a bit more of the numbers from the survey…

Kerry: Rangiora and greater North Canterbury has this real mix (about 50/50) of people who want and expect “Casual” style of dining Vs people who want refined or flavors. Over 90% of people in the region have mortgages – and deserve paying fair prices too. Value is a real consideration for people these days.  So its continuing to get feedback to find the right mix of  “Casual” meets “Refined”.  That’s what getting it right has been for us.

“Value is a real consideration for people these days”

But back to me…As most of you know by now – I’m a local boy – and my parents live out here.   As we listen to more locals – we feel like we are starting to really learn what Rangiora wants.

And when it comes to who wants what?  We’ve found that people want to decide when they arrive.   That’s all part of the experience.

And then I love for people to try new things – I’m always excited to hear about a regular local who’s giving something new a go.  A new food experience.  And waiting with anticipation to hear their feedback… that’s when I get my most valuable feedback.

Getting it right for that local is what gives us the confidence to launch new menu’s 🙂

So as Restaurant owners we need to carefully balance value, flavor, taste, familiarity and variation. To get that balance of Casual and Refined Kerry mentioned, just right..

What you’ll see and taste on this update?

You’ll be pleased to know – nothings really been taken off the menu… We’ve just added what you want – and how you want it!

And we’ve reduced some prices where we could – because we’re selling more > we can charge less. Simple.

For those who love the ease, value (and wow that we bring it) of “casual”: We’ve included the Chicken Snitz and Chicken Filo on – as well as Seafood Chowder and Rump Steak…

And some exciting new options we would like you to try.. including the Ceviche, oysters and jerk chicken salad which match up well with your favourite wine!

Oh and here’s a link to the new menu for you to check our before you pop in 🙂

[click here – this is the link to the new menu]

Check out the gallery of some pic’s i snapped on my phone…

Email me if you have any questions about anything to do with food 🙂


Sweet, Jay.

If you haven’t seen my other posts, take a look below.

  1. Meet Jay – my introduction blog post
  2. Summer Menu Update & Other Adventures


Back from a Trip to New York Wed, 05 Dec 2018 22:18:27 +0000 Back from New York

Back home in North Canterbury and its great to be home!

I was in New York for 3 weeks and I wanted to share some of my pics of some of the things that I thought were interesting 🙂

So here’s my run down..

My Top 5 Best Bits from New York

  1. Seeing Family in New York (my brother lives there)
  2. Experiencing the diversity of the food – its just done right, eating out is part of the lifestyle.. because it’s such good value and they work hard to do it right..
  3. The New York Scenery!
  4. The Oysters – you can buy them EVERYWHERE… I love Oysters.
  5. New Yorkers are obsessed with Kiwi’s (New Zealanders) – I don’t know if it’s our accents or laid-back style but its a fact!  If they keep up the good food – I’ll keep on being obsessed with them.


“New Yorkers are obsessed with Kiwi’s!”

“Oysters.. Ceviche Seafood Salad… New Zealand Green Lipped Mussells”



Actually, one of the most hilarious interaction was talking to someone selling “New Zealand Bluff Oysters” – that clearly weren’t even an NZ species of oyster!  And you won’t convince a New Yorker who knows they are right!?  All of the oysters were amazing though..


If you haven’t seen my other posts, take a look below.

  1. Meet Jay – my introduction blog post


Meet Jay – Five Stags Rangiora Fri, 30 Nov 2018 01:59:57 +0000  

Family is really important to me

Hi, I’m Jay!

New to the place a couple of months ago I pulled my camera out and posted a clip to introduce myself.

But this picture really sums me up…

It’s me baking cookies with my niece.  Food and Family… that’s really what’s important to me. It’s family that inspires me to cook. Mum was a Hospo-Queen in her day and Dad was playing in bands around Canterbury and Internationally.  I was always surrounded by hospitality and music. Mum and Dad live in North Canterbury so its amazing to still be so close to them!



Its the people that make the place work

Time has really flown in my first few months here. I really think its because I put my heart and soul into what I do.  So yeah, days and weeks have just flown by!

I’m someone who does things to the fullest, I naturally have lots of energy, but it’s really my team who gives me my fuel!  Writing this blog is a great chance for me to show appreciation for Manish (Head Chef), Kapil (Jr Sous), Haruka, Alex, Charlotte my business partner Kerry and the rest of the team who have shared every moment of this Journey with me – its the people that make the place work in my opinion.

Hard work and dedication to our mission is the key.  And that has never changed in my years working with great people who have lead me here.  Like the Murdoch family at the Carlton (pre and post earthquake) where I soaked up a lot about the business side of hospitality.

We’re on a journey and I really want North Canterbury to join us

If the last 6 months are anything to go by the next 6 months are going to be a blast!

Getting to know what Rangiora and North Canterbury wants from a Restaurant has been a real learning curve for me – which I’ll share in another blog post!  We’re on a journey and I really want North Canterbury to join us.

And the simple answer to any questions about my Journey here so far are –  “I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid” – fueling a great community with my food.


My Top 3’s


  1. Everything Food!
  2. Golf
  3. Art (I like Drawing), Reading, Documentaries, Shopping (Butcheries, Supermarkets not retail haha)!!

My Important Things

  1. Family
  2. Work / Career
  3. The Future!
  4. Food culture


“Food is an endless Journey – Food is a feeling”

One thing I want people to know about me is that I think food is a feeling..

Let me explain..

For me it’s about using every ingredient to its fullest.. understanding and appreciating food on a spiritual level. Everything that makes up the team and everything we know is driven by a true passion of food.  What I’ve learn’t in my career… from my family..

Working with hundreds of different chefs throughout my career and all the people who inspire me to believe that balance is the key – the balance between flavors and textures.. paintings and sculptures.  Understanding different cuisines, cultures and communities and striving for the best possible product that customers deserve.

Hard work and dedication is the key

I believe its my mission now is to continue to lead my team as the owner of a business. And as part of a growing community I feel like its my role to master getting the balance right.. its not just about making the painting pretty – its about listening to the community.. and translating that onto a plate that can bring friends and family together.  Hard work and dedication to the mission is the key.

Like the great Dwayne the Rock Johnson once said “It’s nice to be important – but its more important to be nice”…

So next time your in Five Stags – feel free to poke your head into the kitchen and say “Hi” to me!

-Sweet 🙂



If you haven’t seen my other posts, take a look below.

  1. Back from a trip to New York – check out the inspiration from New York




Fundraising Quiz Nights? Tue, 05 Jul 2016 08:55:32 +0000 How it works You hold a Quiz Night at our place. 100% of ticket sales go to your cause! We provide a Free venue for hosting quiz’s from 5.30pm on a Monday or Tuesday]]>

Have a fundraiser quiz night!

How it works

You hold a Quiz Night at our place.

100% of ticket sales go to your cause!

What we provide:

  • Free venue for hosting the quiz’s from 5.30pm on a Monday or Tuesday
  • All of the quiz resources and materials
  • $150 worth of Restaurant vouchers to use as prizes
  • Free designing and printing of tickets

What you provide:

  • Decide how much you want to charge for tickets
  • A host/M.C. for the event for the evening
  • Decide on a Day for your fundraiser event
  • Book in your event with us
  • Provide 2 x helpers to count points and help out during the event
  • Sell the tickets and raise the funds!

Five Stags Rangiora

Re‐Style Me Team Tue, 05 Jul 2016 07:57:56 +0000

Dear Kerry,

Well I am delighted to say our event for the ladies of North Canterbury was a huge success!

We have had amazing feedback and a great night was had by all who attended. We also raised $20,000 for our wonderful school!

I wanted to thank‐you so very much for your contribution to our 370 Goodie Bags which were fabulous and a huge hit with the ladies.

I sincerely hope your generous support brings business and recognition your way, I’m sure it will.

Once again thank‐you.



(for the Re‐Style Me Team)

Karlie Benney

Karlie Benney

Re‐Style Me Team

Player of the Day Vouchers Fri, 01 Jul 2016 05:00:24 +0000

We supply Player of the Day & Good Sportsmanship Vouchers for Sports Teams.

Contact us now to see how we can help support your team.