Cobb & Co celebrates 50 years

Cobb & Co celebrates 50 years

Golden year for Taupō family restaurant

Traffic lights, crunchies, bright red swinging saloon doors: Cobb & Co restaurants offer diners of all ages a taste of nostalgia and fun. This year, the nationwide franchise is celebrating fifty years since opening their first branch back in 1973. We caught up with local Taupō branch owner Peter Birch to reflect on what this milestone means to both his and the wider Cobb & Co families.

Stagecoaches and simplicity

In the early 1970s, Cobb & Co caused a stir when they opened inside hotels around New Zealand. The affordable menu offered family favourites alongside an immediately endearing stagecoach theme, which proved to be a recipe for success. By the 1980s, the chain had reached an impressive 37 restaurants around the country, including Taupō, each fitted out with the now-iconic swinging red saloon doors.

Birch remembers his sister working in the Taupō restaurant during that time, and being impressed by the modern, well-organised kitchen and use of new technologies to improve service and efficiency. In fact, Cobb & Co were one of the first restaurants in New Zealand to start using computers, even including a usable floor map of all tables.

Innovating diner experiences

The business has continued this enthusiasm for adopting innovative technology and systems to drive a better experience for the team and guests alike. In 2013 Cobb & Co restaurants began using iPads, initially as a clock-in system – not long after they had been launched.

Consistency is another major theme at Cobb & Co, and the Taupō kitchen is a perfect example. Everything has been designed to enable their chefs to create well-cooked, familiar dishes to satisfy, no matter the time of day. 

Blended with ongoing training and systems for the wider front of house team, this creates a fun, laid-back atmosphere where diners can relax knowing they are taken care of. And with Cobb & Co Taupō’s stunning views across the lake to Tongariro’s snow-capped peaks, every visit is sure to delight the whole family.


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