My parents Valerie and Phillip Littlejohn opened Orsini’s Restaurant in Wellington in 1958, so I was literally born in a restaurant and lived onsite for the first couple of years of my life.
This restaurant was one of the very first restaurants in New Zealand, even before people knew what restaurants were.
Being pioneers of the hospitality in New Zealand inspired me through the many years of restaurant connections. The family moved to Auckland and opened the 2nd Orsini’s in 1980 in a historic building at 50 Ponsonby Rd, which is now the ASB Trust Building. After working in New Zealand and Australia at several different restaurants I spent 5 years in London on a major OE , during which time I operated several off license premises for Boisdale Wines Group.
In 1991 we bought the family business Sails Restaurant. We have endured the ups and downs of the restaurant industry over the last 30 years and are very proud of how Sails Restaurant is performing in today’s competitive environment. We also bought number 5 Restaurant which we resurrected from a derelict state which continues to trade as a successful restaurant under different ownership to date.
My son Zachery is very with involved in Sails Restaurant, so he is creating the 3rd generation of Orsini’s Restaurateurs.
I have been on the board of the Restaurant Association in Auckland for over 20 years, and I was the president of the Auckland section for 10. I also served as the vice president on the national board. After several years I continue to be a sitting member of the Restaurant Association Charitable Trust.
Discover new ways to future-proof your business in this panel discussion. Presented by the Restaurant Association, this is a seminar all hospitality businesses can't afford to miss. Panelists include; Bart Littlejohn owner of Sails Restaurant, Isabel Pasch founder of Bread & Butter and David Meagher.