Thursday, 10th November, 2016

Central Auckland-based, Eat My Lunch was awarded the Supreme Business Excellence Award last night at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 – Central.

Eat My Lunch supplies lunches and for every lunch a customer buys, a Kiwi school kid in need gets a free lunch. This year, Eat My Lunch will make over half a million lunches.

“Eat My Lunch is a social enterprise, a business that puts values at the heart of everything they do. So, we’re a business which is about doing good and social impact,” says Iaan Buchanan, co-founder with Lisa King, of Eat My Lunch. “We decided wouldn’t it be great if we could take our corporate skills and do something which is meaningful and has got value.’”

Eat My Lunch is a concept that has really blurred the lines between traditional charities and the standard for profit business model. Working with thousands of volunteers and celebrity chef Michael Meredith, they provide free lunches to 35 decile one and two schools across Auckland and Hamilton and they are about to open in Wellington.

Earlier in the evening, Eat My Lunch won the Excellence in Innovation and Marketing categories. “Eat My Lunch was founded with almost no capital. So, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have received about $2.5 million worth of PR with almost no marketing budget. The reason for that is we’ve really captured the spirit and imagination of New Zealanders on how business can drive change. We invited New Zealanders to help us make lunches. And, in the year we’ve been operating, we’ve had around 2,500 volunteers,” explains Iaan.

“We’ve also developed a complex logistics business with a zero-food-waste model. It’s real food. It’s fresh food. It’s just-in-time delivery and we need to know exactly what our demand is, 24 hours in advance.”

Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett congratulates Eat My Lunch and all the Auckland Central awards category winners.

Winning businesses included WhereScape Software Limited, Fraedom, a payments technology company and Optimal Clinical Trials. Other winners were tourism and hospitality venture Wild on Waiheke and Animation College New Zealand Limited.

“These Awards are about our regions. Within regions, communities compete with communities and so they’re looking to provide the best availability of employees, the best conditions for the business to be successful, because if the businesses in their communities are successful then the region will be successful,” says Michael Barnett.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – Auckland Council’s economic growth agency – partners the Chamber to present the Awards.

ATEED’s Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says: “ATEED is very proud to support these awards, and we congratulate those businesses that have been recognised for standing out in their chosen fields.

“Auckland Central accounts for half of Auckland’s total GDP, with a high concentration of businesses across a wide range of sectors based centrally. It’s great to see some of the many examples of successful businesses, ranging from social enterprises to software firms, recognised at this year’s awards,” says Brett O’Riley.

Karen Silk, Westpac GM Commercial, and Corporate & Institutional, says: “It’s been great to see all the fantastic entries in this year’s Auckland Business Excellence Awards. I know the winners are all thoroughly deserving of a win, and I’ve been impressed with the extremely high calibre of entries. A thriving Auckland economy is fundamentally important to New Zealand’s global success and recognising the achievements of these businesses through these Awards, helps to highlight that contribution.”

The Westpac Auckland Business Awards, hosted by Auckland Chamber of Commerce with the support of ATEED, offer businesses a chance to be rewarded for their excellence, to share their stories and to celebrate their successes. For a complete list of finalists and details of the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremonies please visit


Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 – Central Winners

Excellence in Innovation sponsored by Victoria University of Wellington
Eat My Lunch

Excellence in Customer Service Delivery sponsored by Mercury
Wild on Waiheke

Excellence in International Trade sponsored by Ports of Auckland
WhereScape Software Limited

Excellence in Marketing sponsored by Soar Printing
Eat My Lunch

Employer of the Year sponsored by Marsh

Excellence in Strategy and Planning sponsored by Hesketh Henry
Optimal Clinical Trials Limited

Best Emerging Business sponsored by Air New Zealand
Animation College New Zealand Limited

Supreme Business Excellence sponsored by Westpac
Eat My Lunch



Password for downloading photos: Westpac2016

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.