Last night, 95 checkout operators from New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square stores across the Bay of Plenty region took to the tills onstage at Baycourt Theatre to compete for the chance to be named Checker of the 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 Nerissa Thorburn from PAK’nSAVE Whakatane in first place, Ashley Mather from PAK’nSAVE Cameron Road in second place, and Shannon Smith from New World Mt Maunganui 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," said Quin.
“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."
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 Bay of Plenty region heat, Nerissa Thorburn 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.