Opportunity to run Invercargill’s new museum’s cafe

Bluff oysters, wild venison, and the legendary cheese roll: Southland’s cuisine is famous throughout New Zealand.

An exciting opportunity to cement the region’s status as a foodie destination has now opened, with Invercargill City Council calling for tenders to become the food and beverage operator at Te Unua Museum of Southland.

The city’s museum redevelopment is part of Council’s Project 1225, which will replace the former Southland Museum and Art Gallery with three new cultural facilities: a specialist tuatara enclosure in Queens Park, a museum collection storage facility at Tisbury, and Te Unua Museum of Southland.

Invercargill City Council Programme Director Lee Butcher said the vision for Te Unua Museum of Southland was to create a bold, visionary experience that showcased the stories of the region in an innovative and exciting way – and that was the aim for the museum’s food and beverage component as well.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an ambitious operator to really make their mark within their industry, and craft a uniquely Southland food and beverage experience from the ground up. From the mountains to the sea, and the rich soil in between, Southland is renowned for its abundance of quality produce,” he said.

“We want our on-site catering experience to become a well-loved Invercargill institution that resonates with both locals and visitors alike. We know that food tourism is a burgeoning market that our region as a whole has placed a strong emphasis on, as outlined in blueprints such as Great South’s Murihiku Southland Destination Strategy 2023 – 2029.

“Our aim is for the food and beverage experience at Te Unua Museum of Southland to emerge as a leading voice within that space.”

The successful operator would also have the rather unique opportunity to provide extensive design input to the operational spaces, such as servery and kitchen areas, and equipment selection, Butcher said.

The cafe would be situated in the eastern wing of the new museum: also home to the amphitheatre building detailed in the concept design, with a spectacular outlook to Queens Park and the outdoor play spaces for children.

“Everything about Te Unua Museum of Southland strives to be industry-leading, and the opportunity for our food and beverage component is no different,” he said.

The Request for Proposal process will close on Wednesday, November 29. Interested operators could find out more and apply here.

For further information about Project 1225, click here.