Customer stories

Two Boys Network on staffing for seasonality

Staffing for seasonal ups and downs is a challenge for businesses of all sizes. But for the men behind farm and food empire Two Boys Network, it’s key to their success.

Reading time: 3 minutes

Two Boys is born

Lloyd Rooney and Mike Fraser were farming for ten years before they fell into the restaurant game, when an opportunity to buy a Northland restaurant – The Cove – came up.

Understandably, they were nervous. The change in lifestyle was going to be massive – but Lloyd, who admits he likes to give anything a go, saw the opportunity.

“We bought The Cove and we transformed it and that ended up transforming our lives,” he says.

The pair formed the Two Boys Network and expanded their foodie empire to include four restaurants in Whangārei, Waipu, and Mangawhai, as well as their beef and sheep farm Highgate Hill and their market garden, The Vege Shack.

“How things can grow so quickly that surprised me the most. I didn’t realise the business would expand so naturally the way it did.”

I think the biggest challenge is staffing; ramping up for seasonality and ramping down [for] seasonality – Lloyd Rooney

Paddock to plate

Having previously worked in and owned eateries in London, Lloyd oversees the restaurants while Mike runs The Vege Shack, which supplies all four restaurants with freshly picked, spray-free vegetables and herbs.

The pair enjoy the symmetry between the veges and herbs they grow, and what they serve – the produce picked by Mike in the morning is on the plates Lloyd serves in the restaurants at night. It’s expensive, but they do it because they believe in it.

“It's hard work and it’s sometimes difficult, but we ensure the best gate to plate experience we can.”

The biggest challenge

Staffing for seasonal ups and downs and dealing with cash flow are challenges for businesses of all sizes, and Two Boys Network is no exception. The change in seasons brings about significant staffing changes, as they employ up to 160 people in the summer months – but it can be as low as 80 in the winter. 

“I think the biggest challenge is staffing; ramping up for seasonality and ramping down [for] seasonality,” says Lloyd.

Their ANZ Business Specialist is on hand to provide additional support in their periods of growth or change, helping with funding and figuring out what the next step is. Even small changes can impact the Network’s cash flow cycle in a significant way. 

“If we didn't expand we wouldn't have an issue with cash flow because we obviously make profit for the summer and that sustains us in the winter. And so the only reason we have an issue with cash flow is because we’re constantly expanding,” explains Lloyd.

Do it, and do it well

Mike and Lloyd love the Northland community and strive to employ as many locals as they can. To them, good staff is everything and they couldn’t grow without them.

“You can't do it all… you've got to trust that you've got a great team around you, strive for great talent and back yourself.”

Their advice for a new business starting out? “Don't do it if you're not going to back yourself. If you don't believe in it, no one else will. Secondly, do it, and do it well.”

For this hard-working double act, it’s all about doing something you’re passionate about. “Money is a by-product of true success and true success is doing something that you're proud of.”

Contact an ANZ Business Specialist

Our specialists understand your kind of business and the challenges you face as a business owner. We can help you figure out how to make your business grow and succeed.

ANZ Business Start-up package

If you’re in your first two years of business, sign up and pay no transaction or monthly account fees on an ANZ Business Current account or a ANZ Business Flexible Facility for two years.

Important information

We’ve provided this material as a complimentary service. It is prepared based on information and sources ANZ believes to be reliable. ANZ cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. The content is information only, is subject to change, and isn’t a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice, which you should seek before relying on it. To the extent the law allows, ANZ doesn’t accept any responsibility or liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any act or omissions by any person relying on this material.

Please talk to us if you need financial advice about a product or service. See our financial advice provider disclosure at

Was this content helpful?