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We designed the STONEGRILL® concept and proudly launched it to the world in 1985, though it all started in the 1950s.

Our history

After more than 30 years of the Verwey family cooking on stones, and further years of exhaustive research and development, the STONEGRILL® dining experience was born and launched in the mid-80’s.

In 1985 they opened their first STONEGRILL® Restaurant in Australia. They then established it as a private company in 1991, Stonegrill International Pty. Ltd, along with the STONEGRILL® brand.

The company’s launch on the international market in the 90’s was met with rapid global expansion. This expansion is reflected by the concepts’ success amongst operators internationally, ensuring strong continued growth of the company, and the brand name in a world-wide market.

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We are worldwide

STONEGRILL® now has over 900 operations in 80 countries, so far – Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East and more recently the U.S.A. and Canada.

‘THE STONEGRILL® EXPERIENCE’ offers complete turn key solutions, menu graphics, full recipes and processes from a team who own and operate multi-venue chains. This innovation from industry leaders is ground breaking and offers extraordinary insight into developing successful STONEGRILL® concepts.

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Our Head Team


Director of Operations

Following successful careers in Management and Financial Planning, I established the New Zealand flagship Stonegrill restaurant in 1996. I had great confidence in the brand and my vision for the way it could be tailored to a global market, that I purchased the Stonegrill Master License for New Zealand, and then later for the USA.

My many years in the hospitality industry have honed my ability to read the market and capitalize on current trends, while ensuring  business sustainability and longevity. In 2014 I designed and developed CBK Craft Bar and Kitchen – launching in the tourist hub of Rotorua. The concept immediately took hold and we have successfully rolled out CBK throughout the country as a thriving multi-outlet brand. There are now seven CBK locations in New Zealand, with more in the pipeline.

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I was always a people person, but I didn’t realize I was born for Hospitality until I found myself as a Bar and Restaurant owner – and not just any bar down the road, but an icon.

Flashback 25+ years ago, I was working at the renowned Mac’s Brewery in Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand, when Terry & Bev McCashin offered me the opportunity to buy New Zealand’s first micro brew bar, The Brewers Arms in Merivale, Christchurch. This is where my hospitality career started.

The McCashins were the pioneers of the craft beer industry in New Zealand, and I was lucky to have their support and mentorship.

The Brewers Arms has always been an extremely busy venue, a famous pub pouring lots of pints and serving lots of food. But we had a tiny kitchen and there was no room to add more expensive equipment or more people.

The big question for me, as the new owner of The Brewers, was how could we increase table turnover and provide faster service while lifting our menu offering. So, I went looking for a solution, and I found Stonegrill!

After implementing the Stonegrill system into The Brewers Arms, and experiencing literally an overnight success, we decided to buy the rights to the Stonegrill concept for New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and more recently, the USA.

Stonegrill provides café, bar, hotel, restaurant owners, and in fact any food service operator:

– with a simple, cost effective food service system that creates theatre & atmosphere in your venue,
– a unique point of difference that appeals to all senses,
– it saves you labor & food costs,
– fast efficient service,
– and a sense of relief of how easy and simple it is to integrate it into any hospitality business without any downtime.

If you need more bums on seats while exciting your customers, and keep them coming back, please get in touch, we have a great product we believe in, and we would love to share it with you!

And if you think your venue feels tired and outdated, you are struggling to stand out from the crowd, we have several great hospitality brands and a fantastic support system we can share with you as well.



Tony Wheeler has nearly 40 years’ experience with sales and service in the hospitality industry in USA and New Zealand.

Since 1999, as Managing Director Raising the Bar Consulting, he has worked with hundreds of craft bars, taverns, theme bars, clubs, gastro bars & restaurants across USA and New Zealand, investing passion and expertise into changing the dynamics of global hospitality. Tony promotes innovative yet critical thinking; he offers statistics, tactics and information along with an engaging energy to assist businesses to improve their brand and operation. His ability to positively influence the core culture of an operation has been pivotal in the turn-around of a huge number of failing bars and restaurants.

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Tony is also the owner and developer of the Jimmy Jacks Rib Shack & Craft Bars and the co-owner of Orange Door Music Video USA. Orange Door is the 3rd biggest music video system producer in the USA and Canadian markets, with over 500 US clients. In New Zealand, Tony is the driving force in brand development and marketing of CBK Group: Craft Bar & Kitchen; a fast-growing restaurant brand that is currently in the middle of a multi-property roll-out across New Zealand.

Multi-property and brand development has become Tony’s main focus in recent years, investing insight and expertise gained from his extensive work throughout the US in recent years. However, he continues to support operators large and small to develop the best in music video, sports media and digital media marketing, food and beverage programs and venue rituals right across the spectrum of bar and restaurant development.


Sales Manager

Dave Lawrence has in-depth experience in sales and service, having worked for over 35 years in the hospitality industry – primarily involved in audio-visual solutions and business development. Dave is a long-term co-owner of L & S Audio Visual based in South Dakota.

Dave has a long history in dealing with successful food, beverage and logistics projects in all areas of the industry and been closely involved with mid-west bar business operators for the past 20 years. From 1991 to 2015, he worked with many of the global superstars of the industry; his clients range from single location operators to 12-24 venue chain’s like Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, The Barrel House, Kravins and many more.

Dave has been the go-to-guy for leading national management companies undertaking takeover builds and developments across branded properties, where his key skills of logistics solutions and action planning are valuable resources.

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