7 Questions to Gerrick Numan, Owner & Creative Director at Millé in New Zealand.

May 4, 2021

Gerrick has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. Before founding Millé, he managed one of New Zealand’s most renowned & awarded hospitality design studios and owned four of his own hospitality venues. He has been involved in 100’s of hospitality interiors and operations, designing some of New Zealand’s most celebrated and iconic hospitality venues and has invaluable expertise in hospitality design, construction, and operations. He is sharing with the LIV Design Awards, his professional journey and love for Hospitality!

Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I spent 10 years living in Melbourne through my 20s.

What has inspired you to work in the Design field in Hospitality?

I’ve always loved the hospitality. I remember loving going to cafes with my mum as a small child. My first job was in a café at 14 and I continued to work in hospitality through university, before starting a café in my 20s and going on to open 4 venues of varying sizes.

Can you tell us more about Millé?  What are your creative’s principles?

Having started out working in and then owning and operating hospitality venues, our design principles at Millé are very much focused around fundamental success factors for hospitality venues. We focus strongly on three key things:

1. The interior and exterior elements that affect our client’s success and desirability to their target market, such as street presence, customer experience, a unique point of difference etc. I believe that success in hospitality is not down to any one thing, it is all the 1%’s that you add up (lighting, music, signage, pricing, menu mix, service etc), to create an experience that your customers love.

2. We design to ensure staff efficiency. Wash stations are close to food and beverage passes, so staff walk in and out of kitchens with full hands, all elements of staff and customer flows are considered to ensure that labor costs are considered in all space planning decisions and efficiency maximized.

3. We focus on respecting our client’s capital. It is easy to design interiors that consume capital, but the hospitality industry is a tight-margin business, and by designing intelligently, we can set our clients up with a business that isn’t overcapitalized and has the foundations for success.

Do you have any ongoing ventures you can share with us?

We are currently designing 4x cafes, 3x dumpling shops, an Indonesian restaurant, a Smash Burger concept, 2x pizza concepts, a sushi shop, an Indian street food concept, 3x hotdog and hoagie venues, a bakery, and a fish & chip shop. We have our hands full!

If you have to choose only one project you have been involved in, which one’s would it be and why?

I can’t. I see Millé as a conduit for our client’s dreams. Each project we really go so deep with our clients, to discover their wants, needs, loves, hates, target market, values, passions and interests and really do everything we can to get into their vision and brand to bring that vision, image, or brand to life in a physical form. It’s a hugely rewarding process every time we see our client’s eyes light up throughout the design process and at the end when the venue is open

You own also four hospitality venues,  does operate restaurants/bars have modified your sense of Design?

I previously operated them – they have been sold. Having owned venues, it gives us a deep intrinsic trust between Millé and our clients because we know what we’re talking about when it comes to operations. I know hospitality numbers, what the cost structure is and how difficult to operate they are, I know where the pain points are and I can discuss these confidently with clients and my team to try to reduce risks and increase chances of success in every design decision we make.

Do you mind sharing what are your passions outside of the design world?

Easy – my family.


Filly cafe

Filly Cafe

Umu Pizza

Wise Boys Burgers