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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

Officially launched in 1985...

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 the first STONEGRILL® Restaurant, opened in Australia by the company founders, the Verwey family. The company, Stonegrill International Pty. Ltd. and the STONEGRILL® brand was established in 1991 by the family as a private company, and proudly remains so today.

Since it’s introduction, STONEGRILL® has captured the interest of diners, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs throughout the world, and has been incorporated into hundreds of restaurants, cafes, international hotels, clubs and resorts with outstanding success.

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.

The past decades has seen the company, and the STONEGRILL® brand expand throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, United Kingdom and Europe, becoming a dominant force globally.

Stonegrill® has hundreds of operations

We are now poised to expand even further

STONEGRILL® now has hundreds of operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East and has recently begun to expand its operations into the U.S.A. and Canada.

The Team at STONEGRILL® are launching an even stronger presence in the USA with ‘THE STONEGRILL® EXPERIENCE’ this is the latest evolution of the concept as the team with over 100 years combined hospitality experience offers an exciting collection of concepts perfect for re-branding and redevelopment of any food and beverage operation.

‘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.

With our clients – our ‘Rockstars’ – developing new sites all the time the growing network of licensed STONEGRILL® operators continue to expand world-wide into new countries and markets, building upon its proven success and international reputation for quality.

Our Head Team


Tony Wheeler


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

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 NZ and the USA, 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.

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 the country.

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.


Tony Scott

Director of Operations

Following successful careers in Management and Financial Planning, Tony Scott established the New Zealand flagship Stonegrill restaurant in 1996. Such was his confidence in the brand and his vision for the way it could be tailored to a global market, Tony purchased the Stonegrill Master License for NZ, and then later for the UK. Under Tony’s expert eye, financial savvy and ability to turn innovative ideas into profitable and unique solutions, Stonegrill restaurants are now well-recognised, high-performing operations across the length and breadth of each country.

His many years in the hospitality industry have honed Tony’s ability to read the market and capitalise on current trends, while ensuring that ideas are implemented in a way that ensure business sustainability and longevity. In 2014 he designed and developed CBK Craft Bar and Kitchen – a concept operation that he successfully launched in the tourist hub of Rotorua. The concept immediately took hold and Tony has been successfully rolling CBK out throughout the country as a thriving multi-outlet brand. There are now six CBK locations in NZ, and more in the pipeline.

Continuing to utilise his talent of developing an innovative idea or current trend into a successful business, Tony is currently well underway with developing his most recent business – the Sidecar Brewing Company. Sidecar will produce a range of craft beers and cider to be initially sold exclusively in CBK/Stonegrill locations, further enhancing the image of uniqueness and desirability for both brands; before being rolled out to other hospitality sites nationwide.

In addition, a new craft concept called the Sidecar Craft Pizza Bar & Eatery, offering Sidebar craft beers, Stonegrill and stone-cooked pizza, is about to be launched in the market.

Tony’s creative, big picture vision coupled with his focus on detail and finding practical solutions is a huge asset in an industry where it is vital to stand out from any competitors and to offer quality, interesting products to customers. He continues to be excited about supporting new and existing operators to get the most out of their businesses by thinking boldly and producing a quality product and service.


Dave Lawrence

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.


JoArna Hulse

Head of Administration

JoArna excels in the areas of problem solving and logistics skills. She has many years experience in a broad range of industries; financial, administration, customer sales and service and hospitality. A number of years ago she was head-hunted for the rollout of Orange Door USA, where she has been integral in the success of the operation. She has turned her attention and energies to a wide variety of new ventures and businesses – from Raising the Bar Consulting, to Jimmy Jacks venues and 100s of hospitality industry redevelopments, along with large events. Her logistical and administrative skill contributed to the development of the world’s largest snapper fishing tournament – the Century Batteries Beach and Boat.

JoArna’s well-proven skills and get-it-done attitude along with her friendly and welcoming personality will be a great asset for both Stonegrill USA and for our clients, ensuring action plans are implemented, ‘i’s dotted and ‘t’s crossed as we move forward together.

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