Checkout Operator of the Year 2018

Each year the FreshChoice and SuperValue supermarket group holds a Checkout Operator of the Year competition across its 69 supermarkets. Contestants firstly compete to win at their store level and then if successful go onto the regional finals.  The five winners of the regional finals move to the final round of judging which is held alongside the supermarket group’s annual conference and awards event. This year this was held in Nelson from the 31st of October till the 2nd of November.

The finals competition consisted of a practical in store assessment that was held at FreshChoice Richmond followed by an individual interview with the Head of FreshChoice SuperValue Group Robert Smith, and the Operations Manager David Callaghan. During the interview the finalists are tested on their knowledge of policy and procedures and on their approach to customer service. After a nerve wracking day the finalists were taken out to dinner at Nelson restaurant Hop Good where they could all unwind and enjoy some great local cuisine.

Pleasingly the standard was excellent and Operations Manager David Callaghan reiterated “Each year I’m always impressed by the attitude and aptitude of the people that get to this stage”.  With a significant prize of $3000 cash for the winner the competition is fierce and it is always a difficult decision to determine the winner.

The following evening was the FreshChoice and SuperValue awards evening where the most anticipated award is always the Checkout Operator of the Year winners. The waiting is then finally over and Joanne Airey from FreshChoice Te Anau is announced as the 2018 winner.

Joanne spoke about how she has been working at FreshChoice Te Anau for 10 years and loved her job. The store felt like family to her and the owners Keith and Monica Cullen had always been supportive to her both professionally and personally.

The runners up were Natasha Te Au from FreshChoice Te Ngae in second place who won $2000 cash and third place went to Hayley Wratt from FreshChoice Picton who went home with $1000 cash.

Not to forget Michelle Hart from FreshChoice Ruakaka and Stephanie Scott from SuperValue Mandeville, who both reached the National Finals, what an awesome achievement.

Mr Callaghan was thrilled with the success of this year’s competition “Well done to everyone who participated and congratulations to the winners. We appreciate the hard work you have all put in and it’s great to recognise our frontline staff serving our customers every day.”