High-profile Ponsonby café restaurant goes up for sale

Press Release – Bayleys

High-profile Ponsonby Central café restaurant goes up for sale

A highly acclaimed restaurant and bar in one of Auckland’s leading suburban hospitality hubs has been placed on the market for sale.

Toru in the Ponsonby Central food and beverage precinct on Ponsonby Road is a licensed hospitality business serving a café-style breakfast and lunch menu during the day, then morphing into a modern New Zealand cuisine establishment at night.

It is one of only two dining venues in the complex with frontage and seating facing onto the high foot traffic catchment of Ponsonby Road.

The business operates on a 142 square metre floorplan – encompassing 55 square metres of kitchen/food preparation and bar service space, 81 square metres of covered dining space and six square metres of outdoor dining.

Toru has twice been selected among Metro magazine’s ’50 Best Cafes in Auckland’ awards – receiving back-to-back accolades in 2013 and 2014. Toru is part of a stable of award-winning cafes from the V & M Café Group including Teed Street Larder, Wai Kitchen, and Scratch Bakery’s. Toru is being marketed for sale through expressions of interest closing on September 16 through Bayleys Auckland broker Leah La Hood.

Ms La Hood described the venue’s décor as a blend of character industrial – with exposed high stud steel beams, metal rod ceiling framing and sprinkler system piping, and skyward-facing saw-tooth windows – blended into contemporary minimalist chic through polished wooden floors and concrete block walls.

Ms La Hood said Ponsonby Central operated a ‘beehive’ marketing approach – creating a ‘buzz’ of activity where customers were attracted to the destination as an entity rather than individual venues, and then spreading discretionary spend across multiple locations.

She said the floorspace within the café/restaurant subtly segregated Toru into multiple zones – embracing standard café table settings, bar stool seating, and a lounge style area. As an eatery offering contemporary New Zealand cuisine, Toru sits alongside the more ethnically-specific choices within Ponsonby Central offering Latin American, Italian, South-East Asian, or Japanese fare.

As with all businesses operating within Ponsonby Central, Toru is levied a marketing fee by the landlord – equating to four percent of the base rental. That contribution pays for the marketing and advertising of Ponsonby Central as a brand across the broadcast, print and digital mediums as an urban drinking and dining destination.

“The marketing philosophy sees the 15 food and beverage operations within Ponsonby Central uniting their marketing focus with a purpose of collaboratively attracting customers to the location in preference to generic and competing Ponsonby Road destinations, or the likes of The Viaduct or Britomart,” she said.
“The concerted marketing approach is one of the reasons why Toru, and other hospitality businesses within Ponsonby Central, show better-than-industry-average revenue figures.

“As a result of high foot traffic volumes – particularly at night – Ponsonby Central was fully tenanted within months of its completion, and has gone from strength to strength on the back of individual outlets’ promotional activity and public recognition, and the levy-funded marketing campaign.”

Ms La Hood said the Toru premises operated under a restaurant license – allowing for the seven day service of liquor between 11am and midnight, and also displayed a sought-after A-grade foodservice certification from Auckland Council.

“As a well-established and efficiently functioning operation, Toru offers a potential new owner the existing base of continuing on with the existing food and beverage style and menu selections, and extending the night time dining that is currently operating from Wednesday – Saturday,” she said.

“The business is currently operating on an eight-year lease running through to 2020 and employs 12 staff – consisting of seven full-time personnel and five part-timers split between the kitchen and front of house sections.


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