Steaks are high as Smokey T’s wins People’s Choice award for third straight year

A Christchurch BBQ’s continued popularity comes down to focusing on dishes its staff believe in, its owner says.

Smokey T’s has won the People’s Choice Award at the Canterbury Hospitality Awards for the third year running. The award was announced at a ceremony in Christchurch on Sunday.

“We are happy with the treble, but we will continue to work hard,” said owner Tristin Anderson.

The award recognizes establishments that excel in customer service, deliver consistently good products, and are willing to go the extra mile.

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Smokey T’s specializes in American-style barbecue with a bit of kiwi flair.

The meat is grilled slowly, over low heat, and has proven popular with punters since Smokey T’s launched as a food truck in late 2016 and later took up residence on Cashel St in the city centre.

Anderson believed that “the proof is in the pudding” when it came to the success of his business.

Smokey T owner Tristin Anderson says barbecuing is about feeding the community.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

Smokey T owner Tristin Anderson says barbecuing is about feeding the community.

“We believe in our product and I don’t think we could have chosen anything more…tough.”

Anderson described barbecuing as one of the most difficult kitchens to perform due to its time and the way it was designed to feed large numbers of people.

“Smokey T’s replicates the true style of barbecue where we nurture the community.”

The 22 staff members were also “like family” and were thrilled with their latest People’s Choice award, Anderson said.

The key to Smokey T's popular food is that it's cooked slow and slow.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

The key to Smokey T’s popular food is that it’s cooked slow and slow.

“We don’t count our hours because we love and are passionate about what we do.”

The team attended Sunday’s awards ceremony to see the time and passion they had put into the business recognized, especially after a difficult few years for all hospitality establishments due to the pandemic. of Covid-19.

Smokey T’s was primarily focused on local customers rather than tourists, but Anderson said the business still needed to find ways to adapt, particularly when it had to close during Tier 3 and 4 lockdowns.

“We know it’s out of our control, so we jump into it and give it 100 per cent.”

Anderson says Smokey T's team are over the moon after winning the People's Choice Award.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

Anderson says Smokey T’s team are over the moon after winning the People’s Choice Award.

The team launched a click and collect service and created new products to build customer loyalty.

Smokey T’s new product line with Foodstuffs included barbecue sauce, rub and glaze.

The company was also working on instructional videos showcasing the products for those who wanted to fully replicate Smokey T’s popular smoked brisket at home, Anderson said.

“Covid-19 has taught us that if we can’t get the doors open, we need something to preserve our cash flow.”

Dino S. Williams