Profitable Hospitality Podcast
Information and Interviews by Ken Burgin of ProfitableHospitality.com.au Focused on Restaurant & Hotel Management, Marketing & Cost Control. Tune in if you're the owner, manager or chef of a restaurant, cafe, hotel, club, bar or catering business.
Time Management, Productivity and Stress ReductionJun 18, 2019 42:36
Dave Nitzel has a background in the corporate world, and in joining Barmetrix he was able to bring his knowledge of logistics, stock control and management to the busy and often crazy world of bar and restaurant operations. It’s always good to have an experienced outsider bring some perspective to this industry!
We had a wide-ranging discussion about time management, improving personal and employee productivity, the real work of business owners, and overcoming the ‘badge of honour’ thinking about long hours of work equalling dedication and achievement.
Dave’s 3 P’s framework for improving time management and reducing stress make sense for people at all levels of your business. It’s well worth acquiring his excellent book Bar Shift for your own education and for training staff. I learned a lot from this conversation.
Finance, Loyalty and Digital Marketing for Modern RestaurantsMay 28, 2019 45:42
Most people are interested in trends and predictions, especially for the restaurant and foodservice industry. In this interview, Ken Burgin talked with Johann Moonesinghe, CEO and co-founder of InKind, a funding and customer loyalty system that’s now available in the US and Australia. We discussed foodservice trends, changing customer expectations, raising capital, modern loyalty systems and lots more.
Johann loves food, wine and technology, and he watches industry developments closely to make sure that his restaurant clients are ahead of the game with their marketing and customer service. As a former restaurant owner, he understands the struggles a local business goes through, and also the value of good technology and the power of a group of regular customers.
Creating a Business That’s Easy to Exit AnytimeApr 15, 2019 31:26
Ken Burgin has another conversation with Paul Leach, a business broker and the director of GSE Business Consultants. He’s sold nine of his own food businesses over the last 24 years, and has learnt a thing or two about how the sale process works, and the value of having your business ‘ready to sell’ at any time.
We discussed the importance of having well-documented systems and processes, and the value of cloud-based systems that make it easy for a purchaser to verify figures (eg Point of Sale, accounting, rostering and bookings). We also talked about the importance of a good long lease, and the many small things that make a business attractive to a potential buyer. Paul had buyers making unsolicited offers for some of his businesses – maybe that could happen for you too!
Financial Habits of Successful Cafe & Restaurant OwnersApr 15, 2019 45:42
Ken Burgin had a lively conversation with Brisbane accountant Jason Andrew, who is keen to challenge the financial habits of hospitality entrepreneurs. Their decisions are too often based on ‘gut feeling’ and emotions, rather than the truth that accurate figures can reveal. Jason has just published a book Stark Naked Numbers, and gives a great blueprint for ‘High Touch’ businesses like cafes and restaurants, and how they can focus on the daily and weekly numbers that show what’s really happening.
We also discussed his 5 Principles for running a successful business, starting with a commitment to make yourself redundant, and then working to maximise margins, optimise cashflow, leverage your assets and continually ‘sharpen the saw’ with learning, innovation and better business habits. Whether you’re a ‘numbers person’ or not, you will learn a lot from Jason’s approach to making a business successful.
How to Sell Your Business for the Best PriceApr 11, 2019 29:56
Ken Burgin talks with Paul Leach, a business broker and the director of GSE Business Consultants. He’s sold nine of his own food businesses over the last 24 years, and has learnt a thing or two about how the sale process works! We discussed the different professionals involved in the sales process, and went step-by-step through the decision to sell, preparing it for sale, listing the business, establishing a selling price, looking for buyers, negotiation and closing the transaction.
We also talked about negotiation with landlords, satisfying suspicious buyers, the value of ‘growth potential’ and keeping momentum through the sales process. Paul has handled many cafe and restaurant sales, and it was great to draw on his extensive experience.
Opening a New Italian Restaurant: Growth and ExpansionMar 18, 2019 37:22
Ken Burgin talks with Andre Ursini about the opening of his new Italian restaurant Orso, in Adelaide. We previously interviewed Andre in Podcast #283 From Master Chef to Italian Restaurant Success, and it was great to catch up with him again to talk about his second restaurant.
We discussed the challenges of renovating and opening in a historic building, building and strengthening a team of employees, expanding the management systems and creating a competitive edge against other restaurants in the city. We also raised a question often asked in interviews with restaurateurs: ‘how do you have a business and also have a life with your family?’.
Growing a Healthy Food BusinessMar 18, 2019 52:51
Ken Burgin talks with Ilija and Nicole Sumracki, the owners of Nutrition Republic in Adelaide. Their business has grown from one retail shop, to four very popular food outlets, catering to people who want to ‘consume real, whole, unprocessed food, and have an awakening to the unnecessary and not so healthy ingredients used in many commonly bought foods’.
We discussed how they share responsibilities, managing cashflow and administration, developing business systems, creating a positive culture and working with a growing team of staff. Neither of them have a hospitality background, and they’ve learned and grown at a fast pace – there’s a lot they share that you will relate to!
Talking About Kitchen Equipment, Repairs and MaintenanceMar 14, 2019 40:33
Ken Burgin talks with foodservice equipment expert Cathy Goodwin about the selection, maintenance and repair of all that expensive equipment you have in your kitchen. In the constant rush of foodservice production, it’s easy for this to be neglected.
We toured around a typical kitchen, discussing dishwashers, stoves, refrigeration and freezers, deep fryers, exhaust systems, drainage and plumbing – when it’s working well, it can produce some great profits. And when it breaks down, the repair bills can be a shock! You’ll enjoy tapping into Cathy’s wide-ranging knowledge and experience.
292: Food at Sporting Events - Speed and InnovationFeb 24, 2019 43:11
For a change of pace, Ken Burgin talks with Blair Hughes, a sporting fan engagement specialist and long-time sports enthusiast. He’s visited sporting grounds and stadiums all around the world, and advises teams and venues about the best way to give fans a memorable experience, beyond the time they spend watching the game. Food & beverage are obviously a very important part of this, and he had some great observations about how this is changing and improving.
Topics we discussed included prices and ‘fan-first pricing’, speed of service, and broadening the offer beyond traditional hot dogs, chips, pies and beer. We also talked about catering to dietary needs (eg gluten free), food for kids, reducing packaging waste, and technology changes to maximise through-put and fan enjoyment. It was a lively and very interesting discussion. As well as his excellent web page and blog, check the many fan experience he has gathered on Pinterest and Facebook.
291: The Science of Restaurant Menu DesignFeb 18, 2019 41:24
Your menu can be a powerful sales tool, or a hit-and-miss catalogue of the food and drinks you sell. By taking a careful, even scientific approach to layout, contents and design, it’s possible to increase sales of your most profitable items, and influence people to order more than they originally planned.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with behavioural specialist and consumer expert Bri Williams about the many elements that can be brought together for effective menu design. It starts with an understanding of the basic ‘irrationality’ of customers, and builds with the form, menu choices and descriptions used, plus pricing, highlights, typeface, paper and colours. It’s a fascinating subject, and one that can give foodservice operators some quick wins if you take care with menu design and production.
290: New Recipe and Food Product DevelopmentFeb 12, 2019 37:47
The food products you see on supermarket shelves don’t just happen by accident – the recipes were carefully crafted by chefs, food technicians and marketers to meet the flavour, presentation and price expectations of the retailer and the consumer. On a smaller scale, the same process is undertaken by a chef developing a new recipe for a restaurant.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Corporate Chef Adam Moore about how new recipes and food products are developed. We discussed his 6 Step Development Process, and how it’s been applied to successful food products. We also talked about food trends, product life-cycles, and why some recipes are more popular than others.
289: Rethinking What Drives Restaurant ProfitabilityJan 23, 2019 45:20
Ken Burgin is talking with restaurant profitability expert Ivan Brewer, and they’re attempting to work out what will drive restaurant success in the future: 2019 is very different to 2009 or even 1999!
They discussed Ivan’s background in restaurants and fast-paced hospitality, and where he learned his greatest lessons. Plus the modern skills that smart operators need to manage tough conditions and ever-growing competition. They also talked about skill shortages and labour productivity, and the simpler levels of service that customers will accept, if wage costs are to be reduced.
288: Managing Food Costing, Yields and Standard RecipesJan 7, 2019 27:51
Ken Burgin continues the conversation with chef and kitchen management expert Andrew Briese of Cooking the Books.
In the second of two podcast interviews, they talked about theoretical and ideal food costs, improving yields and the importance of standard recipes. Check the first conversation in Podcast #286: Managing Food Purchasing, Storage and Stock Control.
Topics covered in this interview include:What sort of food cost percentages should chefs and business owners aim for? What is the costing best-practice you see across different types of food businesses? Best ways to do accurate recipe costing
Doing the maths – formulas and rules of thumb 'Make or Buy' decisions
287: Growing Melbourne's Best Coffee, Breakfast & Lunch BusinessDec 17, 2018 44:24
Meet Simon O'Regan from the EARL Canteen group in Melbourne's CBD - 7 stores and growing! They specialise in breakfast, lunch, coffee and catering. Since opening their first store in 2010, owners Simon and his partner Jackie Middleton have maintained a steady pace of expansion in this very demanding precinct, recently adding a central commissary and catering kitchen.
Their inspiration came from being 'two hungry waiters who, at the end of service every night, watched big chefs do simple things with fancy ingredients. It gave them an idea. Simple, honest, everyday eats made from the finest, locally sourced produce. Good-morning breakfasts, wake-me-up coffee, wholesome salads and fancy sandwiches made fresh every day.' They've also seen the benefit of technology innovation and smart marketing - there's a lot to discuss in this conversation with Ken Burgin.
286: Managing Food Purchasing, Storage & Stock ControlDec 6, 2018 35:07
Ken Burgin talks with chef and kitchen management expert Andrew Briese of Cooking the Books. In the first of two podcast interviews, they had a lively discussion on the initial stages of the food management sequence: ordering, storage and stock control. Topics covered include:Common mistakes people make when they choose suppliers Best practice for ordering methods and deciding on quantities Best practice with storage or dry and cold goods. Managing the ever-present problem of theft Stocktake methods for small operators – who usually never do stocktakes! Managing and measuring food wastage
285: How to Build the Love for Your BusinessNov 22, 2018 19:21
Customers want fresh, not stale; inspiration, not gloom – it’s time to turn off the news! One way to lift everyone’s spirits is to share the things that we love, that our staff love, and our customers love. Put a smile on their faces and share the love of food and entertainment, music, customer stories and business success. Now you’re creating great word-of-mouth marketing and conversation starters – and lots to share on social media! Talking about what we love creates a strong personal connection between staff, managers and customers.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin shares themes and ideas to get you sharing the love and reaping the benefits. And like the love between two people, sharing this affection a little and often is more important than an occasional big event and then nothing for months.
People love to be inspired by hard work and commitment rewarded – from you, the community and your employees. They can also love the business owners, so it’s good to share a family photo or some stories from the past. People love their town or local area, so your support for sporting teams, schools and charities keeps customers inspired and connected. People love photos and videos, the modern means of communication, so record and share food, parties, special customers and behind-the-scene activities. Many people also love animals, and you can include them in social media sharing without bringing them into the shop – Facebook and Instagram are great mediums for this. And people love events and celebrations – ideally once a month, not just Valentines and Mother’s Day.
284: How ‘Modern Slavery’ Impacts the Hospitality IndustryOct 31, 2018 40:34
This is a change of pace for the podcast – Ken Burgin talks with Sally Irwin, director of The Freedom Hub, an organisation that helps people trapped by human trafficking and slavery. This is not the chains and slave markets we envision from the 19th century, but the degradation and restriction of people’s freedom is no less real - Sally shares some graphic examples. And it’s happening in western countries like Australia – this is not just a ‘third world’ problem.
We also discussed the organisation’s Survivor School to help rehabilitate victims and give them work opportunities, and how restaurants and cafes can avoid purchasing food products made by slave labour. There’s a lot to think about…
283: From Master Chef to Italian Restaurant SuccessOct 22, 2018 40:02
Ken Burgin talks with Andre Ursini, owner and founder of Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar. Nine years ago he was also a contestant on the first series of Master Chef in Australia, and then used his love of hospitality to open and develop a highly successful Italian restaurant. He’s about to open a second and much larger business, and also has plans for a wedding venue.
You’ll enjoy Andre’s honest and open approach to business – we discussed his methods for finding and keeping good staff, managing equipment, using reputation as the main marketing channel, and how he finances daily operations and expansion. We also talked about menu styles and content, and how staff have the opportunity to work at the restaurant’s vegetable garden – it’s an inspiring story!
282: Talking About the Economics of Restaurant OperationsOct 9, 2018 45:34
Ken Burgin talks with Veronica Fils of Restaurant Lume, a venue that describes itself as “a restaurant reimagined for people who are bored with traditional fine dining. Those fed up with formality and stuffy service, but who want an experience”.
We agreed that for high-priced and high-quality dining to survive, there needs to be a very different approach to managing customers, service and reservations, plus the cost of labour, food and beverages. Restaurant Lume has embraced these challenges, and uses the latest technology to support growth and efficiency – it’s great to hear their optimism.
281: Talking About Cafe & Restaurant DesignSep 3, 2018 43:06
Ken Burgin talks with Vanessa Cullen, whose business Forward Thinking Designs works with cafes, restaurants, fast food operators and retailers. She has a wide range of experience and the discussion covered design for new businesses, shopping centres, main street businesses and renovating a tired or outdated space.
We also covered the latest food and design trends, food courts, landlords, branding, concept development and customer expectations. This business has B Corp accreditation, and their tagline is ‘stunning spaces for a beautiful bottom line’ – it all works hand in hand.
280: What Happens When an Accountant Buys a Cafe?Aug 6, 2018 42:37
Nadi Elias is an accountant who has bought into a cafe! He has many clients in the cafe and coffee roasting business, and has probably advised many more people to walk away from these opportunities. If he’s gone ahead and taken the plunge, we need to know why!
Ken Burgin talked with Nadi about due diligence and valuation for a business purchase, setting up good systems, building a team, partnership agreements, accounting systems and keeping track of the numbers. His book Count More Beans is an excellent guide to building a successful cafe.
279: Getting Better Results from Your Restaurant BookkeepingJul 23, 2018 41:31
Many hospitality operators are not, but nature, ‘numbers people’ and it’s easy for this important area of management to be neglected. In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Christine Green from Restaurant Bookkeeping Australia about how to get the best results from your account-keeping system.
They discussed cash flow management, the importance of separating personal and business expenses, integration with Point of Sale systems, claiming GST credits and the correct coding of entries. They also talked about preparing a business for sale, how to reassure buyers and the role of accountants.
278: Using LinkedIn for Restaurant Marketing & Personal BrandingJun 11, 2018 31:36
Should we regard LinkedIn as the serious, professional side of social media? With more than 500 users worldwide, it can be tremendously powerful as a marketing tool to build your business and your personal reputation.
In this episode, Ken Burgin discusses the three steps for LinkedIn effectiveness – building a complete, professional profile, growing your circle of connections, and expanding your influence by sharing quality content. Small steps day by day will soon lead to very satisfying results.
277: How Chefs Can Build a Positive Public ProfileMay 30, 2018 42:55
Ken Burgin talks with celebrity chef manager Karen Lateo of Entrée Management, about the many ways chefs can build a local and national reputation. With the rise of TV cooking shows and the public fascination with chefs and food, there are now many more options for a chef who wants to make a name for them self.
We discussed the value of having your own YouTube, being able to talk and cook at the same time, and developing presentation skills. Plus, the difference between publicity and talent management, how to be paid, negotiation with clients, the right way to use social media, and the work needed to get yourself noticed.
276: How to Take Your Bar from Good to GreatMay 18, 2018 47:42
Ken Burgin talks with bar manager and entrepreneur Daniel Knight about the many factors involved in creating and running a great bar. The small bar sector is one of the most dynamic parts of the hospitality industry, where successful bar operators combine technical skills, leadership and entrepreneurial flare to help them thrive amidst so much competition.
We discussed Dan’s 3 P’s for bar success – People, Product and Passion. We always hear about People in hospitality discussions, and Product is the many things that create the physical experience. Passion can be harder to define, and needs strong and creative leadership – you’ll understand this important element much more from this conversation. You can find Dan at his blog My Bar Secrets.
275: Finding, Motivating and Looking after Good ChefsMay 2, 2018 44:37
Christine Mathison-Green is a chef, a former restaurateur and passionate about hospitality. She’s employed hundreds of people over the years at her ten restaurants, and worked with many different cooks and chefs. She writes about food and travel, and shares dozens of interviews with chefs on her website Just the Sizzle. She’s also set up Off the Hotplate, a support site for chefs who want to avoid burnout and learn better ways to handle the emotional demands of a cooking career.
In this discussion, Ken Burgin talks with Christine about the background to the command-style management of kitchens - where the classic ‘Yes Chef!’ response started. We also discussed the needs of young chefs, the value of mentoring, the increasing number of women in cooking, and the importance of realistic hours. We all know chefs are in short supply, and I believe we have some answers to the problem in this discussion.
274: How to Build a Culture of GreatnessApr 18, 2018 41:08
Corporate Culture Specialist Greg Hawks talks to a lot of employees and business leaders, and they all believe in the importance of a strong, positive workplace culture. But what does that really mean, and how can it be developed?
In this lively interview, Greg talks with Ken Burgin about the four pillars he sees supporting a great culture – honour, excellence, identity and significance. Words that by themselves may not mean so much, but his explanation and examples brings them together into a clear and achievable roadmap for every restaurant, cafe or foodservice business.
273: Talking to a Chef Who’s Opened & Run 42 RestaurantsApr 4, 2018 45:57
Craig Macindoe looks surprisingly calm for someone who has opened so many restaurants, and right now he has 10 under his control at the Kensington Street restaurant precinct. Maybe it’s because he can now work on strategy and marketing, instead of being caught up in the kitchen. As a chef, he brings valuable insights to management – cost control, menu development, purchasing and product quality.
Craig talked with Ken Burgin about modern restaurant trends, equipment, partnerships, customer expectations, recruiting staff, social media marketing and the many management skills he has learned over the last 20 years. It was a fascinating interview.
272: How to Simplify Your Business for More Profitable ResultsMar 22, 2018 19:17
Simpler is usually better in business – restaurant processes can be done more quickly, there are fewer costs, less need for highly-skilled staff, and fewer mistakes. This is not about ‘dumbing down’, but removing the complexity that can often develop in menus, customer service, management and financial reporting.
Ken Burgin gives you a quick hit list of more than a dozen ways to bring back flexibility and speed to your operation, in the front of house, kitchen, marketing and administration. Your staff, customers and accountant will thank you!
271: Using WeChat & Chinese Social Media for Restaurant MarketingMar 5, 2018 41:43
It was fascinating to talk with WeChat marketing expert Matthew Brennan about online marketing and e-commerce in China. In many ways the country is leading the world with innovations in social media and cashless payments, particularly through the communication and payment channels of Tencent (owner of WeChat) and Alipay.
We also discussed the integration of menus into apps, ordering and food delivery systems, and how tourists from China will be researching and preparing for their trip to another country. This is the future!
270: Smarter Phone Management in Restaurants and BarsFeb 5, 2018 44:11
With the growth of mobile phones, calls to your restaurant are more important than ever – a quick Google search finds your number, and if a call is made, it’s likely to be about an important issue or sales opportunity, rather than just a booking request.
In this lively interview, Ken Burgin talks with Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor about phone answering, sharing information, and handling complaints. We also discussed how to handle staff training, impatient customers, and combining sales with good customer service. And don’t miss her great advice on eliminating 5 Frustrating Voicemail Phrases – we’ve all used them!
269: How to Drive Word of Mouth MarketingJan 22, 2018 16:53
Word of mouth marketing doesn’t work automatically, and it’s not always positive. It can develop slowly and accidentally, or you can take the lead and give people lots of positive experiences to share with their friends, week after week.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks about the many different ways customers experience your business, and the five key areas that drive word of mouth – design, speed, generosity, flavour and inside information. You may be surprised that there are so many positive things happening – let’s get the good news out there!
268: Menu Simplification, Flavours and ProfitabilityJan 8, 2018 34:58
Join us to learn how an experienced chef plans a menu makeover, taking a good product and making it even better. Ken Burgin talks with Executive Chef John McFadden and hears about the process of menu simplification and cost control he is using for the new menu at Abode Bistro, the restaurant at Sydney’s ParkRoyal Hotel.
We also discussed flavour improvement, food trends, staff training and the changing popularity of lunch and dinner menu items in a busy city location.
267: Understanding Food FlavoursDec 18, 2017 36:38
What makes food taste wonderful, or bland, or maybe it’s sour, hot or bitter? There are so many things to understand with food flavours, so we asked Adam Yee, a food scientist for assistance. He talks with Ken Burgin about the chemistry of flavours, how we experience them, and how a chef can use this knowledge to create memorable tastes and popular recipes.
We also discussed potato chips, smoky flavours, , snacks, desserts and what makes ethnic food so popular. The food scientist sees the essential elements of taste coming from flavour, texture, depth, time, heat and moisture – everyone in the kitchen is a scientist in one way or another!
266: Menu Development for a Family RestaurantDec 11, 2017 36:39
Ken Burgin interviews Steve Sidd, a chef and experienced restaurateur. He now runs Indulge Brasserie at Moorebank Sports Club, recently named Best Family Restaurant in the Restaurant & Catering Assoc. National Awards for Excellence.
Serving 5,500 customers per week, this is a high-volume operation in an area of young families and a large army base. We talked about how he develops a menu, meat, seafood and vegetable options, purchasing and negotiation with suppliers. We also discussed healthy food options, kids’ menus and popular desserts – Steve has developed a winning formula that we can all learn from!
265: Talking about Women in HospitalityDec 4, 2017 31:30
Ken Burgin caught up with Julia Campbell, founder of the recently-formed Women in Hospitality group, and Clare van Vuuren, a board member and owner of Sydney’s popular Bloodwood restaurant. The mission of the organisation is to “inspire, recruit and retain more females in the hospitality industry and to give them the confidence to back themselves in their professional development.” There has been an enthusiastic response to their events and mentoring program.
We discussed male and female leadership, the value of networking events, sharing business information, and building the confidence of women to take on management roles. We also talked about the industry competitions that end up with all-male winners, and handling sexual harassment in the workplace.
264: How to Become an Executive ChefNov 27, 2017 36:30
It was great to meet up again with Executive Chef John McFadden to learn about his culinary career, and what it takes to become a kitchen leader.
We discussed his early learning, the leadership qualities of chefs who’ve inspired him, and how he has developed skills in planning, menu development, people management and finance. We also talked about the importance of bringing on the next generation of cooks and the value of having clear standards and accountability. We need more chefs with his passion and commitment!
263: Using Popular and Profitable VegetablesNov 20, 2017 37:48
For this podcast, Ken Burgin headed out early to Sydney Markets to talk all about vegetables with Chef Julio Azzarello from Gourmand Providore. Julio is surrounded by fresh ingredients at the largest markets in the southern hemisphere, so there was plenty of inspiration for our conversation.
We discussed the most economical vegetables for daily use, cooking methods, how the seasons work, using Grade 2 or ‘ugly’ vegetables to save costs, and building a positive relationship with your supplier. It was great to get back to the source!
262: How to Organise a Great Photo Shoot at your RestaurantNov 13, 2017 36:46
Ken Burgin talks restaurant and food photography with professional photographer Brandee Meier. These days, everyone eats with their eyes, so great images are more important than ever… and there’s a big difference between what’s done with a phone and the work of a real professional.
We discussed how to choose a good photographer, preparing for a photo shoot, and organising lifestyle, food and bar photos. Plus the technicalities of copyright, file formats and the many ways that photos can be used.
261: How to Use Your Credit Card for More Points and TravelNov 6, 2017 31:37
Steve Hui is the points whisperer – his business I Fly Flat works with business owners to get the best travel deals from credit card points, and increase the number of points you earn. Everyone in business uses a credit card, but most people don’t know hot to maximise their points, or choose a card that gives the most flexibility for points redemption.
Steve’s conversation with Ken Burgin will definitely have you thinking differently about how you pay bills, and taking a fresh look at the cards you accept from customers.
260: Talking About Low-Budget Food Start-UpsOct 30, 2017 43:56
Becky McCray is bubbling with enthusiasm about the possibilities for food startups and pop-ups in small towns and rural areas. She regularly tours through the US and Canada, energising and inspiring communities to activate their main streets and empty buildings. Food is an essential part of that strategy.
Ken Burgin talked with Becky about locating businesses within museums and public spaces, using empty restaurants, sampling events, food trucks, cutting through regulations and low-cost ways to promote a new business. This is an interview that will definitely inspire you – make sure to download the 101 Tiny Business Ideas from her website.
259: How Taco Bill Run Their Profitable and Popular RestaurantsOct 23, 2017 42:23
Taco Bill restaurants have been a success in Australia for more than 50 years - they are still fresh, modern and popular. In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Stan Teschke, one of the business partners, about how they manage the food, the staff, the parties and the extravagant drinks. They now have 33 stores, with 27 of them franchised, so there’s also the need to watch standards and ensure franchisees remain profitable and true to the brand.
We also discussed how Stan learned his trade as a restaurateur, what hasn’t changed with customer expectations, and the role of email, social media and traditional mail in their marketing mix. Please enjoy this wonderful interview with a master of the industry!
258: Profitable Breakfast BusinessOct 16, 2017 26:55
Breakfast gets your business and customers off to a strong start – there’s definitely money in the morning. Breakfast is easier to prepare, and you don’t need expensive chefs or high-cost ingredients. Great coffee, speedy service, and a combination of classic or new food items creates a very successful formula.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Graeme McCormack of Food Associates about how you can make the morning into a very profitable part of the day. They discussed beverage and menu options, how to innovate with traditional items, portion sizes, all-day brunches and packaging options for take-away.
257: Cafe and Restaurant Success in Rural AreasOct 9, 2017 29:39
We all look for good food and hospitality in a country town or tourist destination – sometimes we find it, and sometimes we don’t. This week’s guest Deborah Culhane is a lawyer working in the large rural town of Albury-Wodonga and she closely watches the success of local restaurants, cafes and wineries. Why do some succeed and others fade away?
Ken Burgin talked with Deborah about the reasons for rural businesses success, and the value of Chamber of Commerce membership for networking and discovery. We also discussed how small operators can compete with the large chains, take advantage of tourism promotions, and the value of ‘anchoring’ a business to a tourist activity.
Businesses mentioned in the podcast include The Black Sheep in Coryong, Boynton’s Feathertop Winery and Riverdeck at Albury. Also check the videos from Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaigns.
256: How a Restaurant or Cafe Can Become a B-CorpOct 2, 2017 37:48
The B Corp movement says that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders - it also has a responsibility to the community and to the planet. B Corps meet high standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. They ‘aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems’.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with business advisor Tim O’Brien of Hatched.io about the value of B Corp accreditation, and how to achieve it. This involves assessing your performance in the areas of environmental impact, the workforce, customers, community and corporate governance. Start with the free B Impact Assessment – you may be surprised at how well you do, and B Corp advisers will help with the process. You can also hear the story of how Pablo & Rusty Coffee Roasters became certified, and the value that has added to their business.
255: Casual Food Trends from New York and LondonSep 25, 2017 32:04
It’s hard not to be fascinated by the food, presentation and service when travelling overseas – there can be a lot of inspiration. But what can be applied back home – will it appeal to local customers and give us a competitive edge? Every food business needs to be developing new products, and updating existing one – better flavour, production methods and service.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Graeme McCormack of Food Associates, about his recent trends tour to New York and London. He and his team were looking closely at new products, display, merchandising, packaging, new flavours and changing attitudes to healthy food claims. There is lots of inspiration for your next menu!
254: Sustainability for Cafes and the Coffee IndustrySep 18, 2017 31:35
Sustainability sounds like one of those worthy topics that is too serious for the happy world of cafes. But our guest today, Kim Elena Ionesco says it’s one of the most interesting and exciting jobs in the coffee industry! Kim is the Chief Sustainability Officer of the Speciality Coffee Association and has developed this role and watched the industry advance for the last 10 years.
Ken Burgin interviewed Kim about the wide range of sustainability projects underway, from plantations, to transport, roasting, retail, right through to disposal of the cup. The type of work done on farms is changing, and climate change is having an impact. Roasters have new options for processing beans with less energy, and there are many ways for cafes to work more consciously and use fewer resources. SCA have published some excellent Green Guides to help you with the process.
253: Successful Chef Recruitment and RetentionSep 11, 2017 33:34
The shortage of chefs is on the mind of every restaurant operator, and each year it seems to get worse. But chefs have a choice of where they work, and even with shortages, smart operators will have more success attracting talent if they tune into the wants and needs of the people they’re after – chefs are no different to other professionals.
It’s inspiring to talk with executive chefs and managers who are successfully finding and keeping the right staff - they see it as a challenge that can be overcome. One such person is Gary Johnson, National Food Manager of the Spirit Hotels Group. Ken Burgin talked with Gary about how he has dramatically reduced the turnover of chefs, created a development program for younger chefs to move into responsible positions, and runs a continual training program to improve their management and leadership skills. It’s a great story!
252: How to Create a More Resilient WorkforceSep 4, 2017 31:23
Hospitality is a fast-paced and often stressful industry, and doesn’t have a great track record for looking after its people. It’s no wonder that we have high turnover and difficulty keeping good staff – chefs, managers and front of house. We need to improve our support for employees at all levels, so they can handle the pressure, feel valued and look after themselves. The annual RU OK? Program has special relevance for an industry with so many casualties.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with psychologist Annette Koy about how to help employees become stronger and more resilient, and the value of listening. We discussed strategies for business owners, senior staff, chefs, new managers, men and women. You can contact Annette Koy through Linkedin.
251: Create a More Profitable Christmas at your RestaurantAug 28, 2017 23:28
It’s never too early to start planning for the biggest profit season of the year – Christmas! And as the saying goes, the more you plan, the more you earn, so let’s get started.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin shares dozens of ways to make November and December more popular and profitable, starting with the Christmas Menus. It’s also important to communicate early with previous Christmas party customers and be more effective with how you reach out to potential new business. Booking systems need to be smooth and efficient, and event agreements should leave no room for cancellation or disagreements. There are also great options for selling hampers, Gift Vouchers and all the merchandise at your counter.
Now wrap this up with smart marketing and a great atmosphere (music, decorations and service) – it’s not just a profitable season but also a solid boost to a great new year!
250: Talking About Chefs and Food CompetitionsAug 21, 2017 24:56
It’s good to know there’s a serious side to cooking competitions - very different to the fireworks and drama of Masterchef and other TV food shows. Every year there are dozens of culinary competitions across the country, where chefs compete against their peers to create the best flavours, textures and appearance, using a high level of skill and technical proficiency. They work against the clock, and sometimes don’t know what they’ll be cooking until the last minute – it’s a nerve-racking business!
To explain the competitive world of professional chefs, Ken Burgin talked with John McFadden, Executive Chef at the Pan Pacific Hotels Group. He’s passionate about the industry, and dedicated to training the next generation of chefs and cooks. We discussed the competition scoring process, what judges look for in cooking techniques, the attitude of a winning chef and the value of these events to attract people to the industry. Connect with John on Linkedin, and see his food at the Parkroyal Hotel.
249: How a Coffee Group Became a B-Corp BusinessAug 14, 2017 38:30
Ken Burgin recently met coffee roaster Saxon Wright, to hear about Pablo & Rusty’s recent certification as a B-Corp. Speciality coffee seems to lead the way in the beverage industry with its focus on sustainability from grower through to consumer. B-Corps ‘aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems’, and the Silver Chef group is a proud member of the worldwide B-Corp community.
We discussed the growth of the business, their commitment to sustainably sourced produce, and the additional B-Corp priorities of environmental action, improved employee conditions, customer and community support, accountability and transparency. Even coffee waste is being imaginatively re-used with their Huskee Cup project. The company is growing fast, and Saxon sees the focus provided by B-Corp standards as an important part of their success.
248: How to Get the Media Interested in Your RestaurantAug 7, 2017 50:17
Do you ever wonder why some cafes and restaurants are constantly in the news? Stories regularly appear in the local paper about their food, events and award-winning staff. Their chef may even be heard on local radio and seen on TV. What’s the secret? To help us understand how the media works, Ken Burgin interviewed public relations expert Jules Brooke about the type of stories that will create interest, how to prepare a Media Release, where to send it and how to use the publicity that follows.
We discussed the value of sharing ‘educational’ content, how to build your own profile, and a wide range of story ideas that will appeal to busy journalists. We also talked about the style and format of photos needed by the media, and when to engage a professional photographer. To help small businesses do their own public relations, Jules has developed the HandleYourOwnPR website, with expert writing and story advice, plus local Australian media lists. You can start sending media releases to your local journalists this week!
247: Building a Profitable Food Truck BusinessJul 31, 2017 37:32
Suddenly food trucks are all around us, and can be a simpler way of entering the food service game than signing a lease for a traditional shop. Flexibility and mobility are two of the positives, but there are also challenges with establishing a recognised brand, working out of a tiny space, and the need for constant promotion.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Harry Fleming, a chef and owner of The Bun Mobile – Brisbane’s original food truck and still a leader with its innovative menu and a huge following of hungry fans. We talked about establishment costs, regular social media posting, good photography, food safety, production kitchens, and the importance of a location calendar. Harry is very generous with the information he shares, and combines a successful business with regular holidays, which he also shares on social media! You can follow the Bun Mobile on Facebook and Instagram, and also check his Downey Park Food Truck collection.
246: How Chefs Can Become Great LeadersJul 24, 2017 39:24
Kitchen work needs a lot of people for supplies, production, service and cleaning. Timing is critical and hierarchies are important – we need smart, experienced managers to create a profitable result. So what are the qualities kitchen leaders need for 2018? They’re very different to 10 years ago.
Helping chefs to become great leaders is a passion for Chef Chris Hill, and the driving force for his book Making the Cut, and new book Lead Like a Chef. In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Chris about his 7 Dimensions of Chef Leadership, and how to apply them to industry challenges: attracting people to cooking careers, the shortage of women and people of colour in kitchen leadership, high stress and relationship breakdowns, substance abuse and addiction. It’s a challenging list, and Chris’s fresh take on leadership shows there is a way forward if modern leaders embrace new skills.
245: What You Need to Know About Running Coffee ShopsJul 18, 2017 50:54
Colin Harmon is a four-time Irish Barista Champion and owner of Dublin’s 3fe Coffee, one of the world’s most innovative and progressive specialty coffee shops. His work in coffee has extended to roasting, training and consultancy work, as well as developing coffee equipment for the specialty market and beyond.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Colin about how he has developed his cafes and roastery, and created a business model that combines efficiency, quality, great service and a positive employee culture. It’s an inspiring story, and he has shared all the details in his new book What I Know About Running Coffee Shops – it’s a great resource and highly recommended.
244: How to Train Staff to Understand Money and Cost ControlJul 12, 2017 19:25
Feeling frustrated that staff don’t appreciate the value of cost control and sales promotion? Maybe they think you’re just rolling in money – all those sales go straight to profit! Only when you’ve coached them about the real cost of running a business will they realise the importance of controlling expenses, suggestive selling and turning every customer into a repeat.
In this podcast Ken Burgin shows you simple ways to build the number skills of your managers, chefs, production and service staff. We use examples of labour costs, recipe costing and utilities, bringing them back to costs per hour or per customer to make the biggest impact. If you want staff to help you create an efficient and profitable business, start working on their understanding of cost and profit drivers – it pays off!
243: Growing a Successful Craft Beer BusinessJul 3, 2017 38:03
There’s something about the artisan origins of craft beer that attracts passionate support and loyalty. They’re small and independent, compared to the brewery giants, but they still need to run on sound business principles, with good distribution, great marketing and a strong point of difference.
Steve Jeffares is one of the pioneers of craft beer and ale houses in Australia, and he recently opened Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall, in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. He now has his own brewery, a large bar, and a terrific restaurant open 7 days a week. Ken Burgin talked with Steve about the range of beers offered, the food, the customers, and how they promote the business. We also discussed the huge growth of craft beer in Australia, and the importance of his Great Australian Beer Spectapular festivals.
Also mentioned in the interview: the annual list of Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers, the Handle Your Own PR website, and an interesting article on The Future of Business is Giants Pretending to Be Small.
242: Helping Staff with Gambling ProblemsJun 26, 2017 24:18
Do some of your staff have chronic financial problems? Modern life is expensive, but we’re talking now about constant money shortages, borrowing from family, debts with friends and overdue bills. Gambling temptation is everywhere we look – online, phone apps, sporting games, poker (slot) machines in pubs and clubs, and of course casinos. Chances are some of your staff need help.
Ken Burgin interviewed Gerard Byrne form the Salvation Army’s Addiction Help Services – they work with people whose lives are affected by drugs, alcohol and gambling. We talked about how to identify and talk to someone with a gambling problem, how to refer them for help, what treatment may involve and how to educate all your staff about the problem. If you need help, or know someone who does, contact the Salvation Army on the link above, or the Gambling Help Line. https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/
241: Immigration Update for Australian RestaurantsJun 19, 2017 27:28
Overseas workers have become an essential part of the Australian hospitality workforce, just as they are all over the world. But that doesn’t stop immigration from being a political football, which means unpredictable changes in government policy that makes workforce planning difficult. In April 2017, changes were announced on who can work in Australia, and their rights to become a permanent resident.
To help us navigate these changes, Ken Burgin talked with Justin Browne of Edupi Hospitality Immigration Specialists. Justin has many years of experience in hospitality, and now with immigration. We discussed the type of workers who want to work in Australia, the skills they have and how to help them settle into a new culture. We also discussed the costs and paperwork involved, when extra training is needed, and options for people who want to work in a rural area.
240: How to Use Job Descriptions for Better PerformanceJun 12, 2017 30:29
Do you have good, up-to-date Job Descriptions for everyone working in your business? Sometimes they’re filed away where no-one can find them. Or describing business activities that are way out of date. A well-written Job Description can be a powerful guide and tool to help with recruitment, performance management, training and even termination.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Doug Kelsall, the Talent Division Manager of Benchmarque. He’s recently revised and updated the library of 24 Job Descriptions available for download at Profitable Hospitality, and we talked about what is included in well-written JDs for managers, line staff and trainees. We discussed essential duties and responsibilities, the importance of a purpose statement, accountability, knowledge, experience, qualifications and measuring performance.
239: Creating Good TeamworkJun 5, 2017 16:28
Teamwork: everyone believes in it, and there are thousands of books written about it, but it’s more often talked about than actually achieved in most workplaces. On the sporting field the benefits are obvious, with different skills working together to chase a common goal… winning!
In this podcast, Ken Burgin looks at all the elements that make for successful teamwork, including shared goals, good leadership, measuring results, solving problems, a combination of skills, and the value of coaching to improve performance. A strong and happy team creates a vibrant business with excellent service, a great product and a growing reputation. It won’t take long to improve your team’s performance and the profits will follow!
238: Talking About Coffee Training and EducationMay 29, 2017 37:40
The world of speciality coffee is getting bigger all the time! It’s no longer just based in Australia and North America, but also growing strongly in the traditional coffee-drinking countries in Europe, and enjoying incredible growth in Asia. To maintain the high standards expected of specialty venues, good training is essential.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Ellie Hudson, the Director of Professional Development at the Specialty Coffee Association of America. We talked about practical skills, sensory awareness, global knowledge and the importance of business owners keeping up with modern coffee trends. We also discussed the variety of training methods – coaching, tasting, quizzes, videos, visits to roasters and using mobiles as a training delivery mechanism.
237: What to Include in a Restaurant’s Social Media PolicyMay 22, 2017 27:46
Do your staff have one eye on their mobile phone and one eye on their work? Social media is all around us, and digital distractions are plentiful. It’s easy for social media clumsiness to turn into a big issue if the wrong comments and photos are shared by staff. In many cases, they don’t realise that they’ve done the wrong thing – guidance is essential. A comprehensive and easily-explained Social Media Policy is a very important part of your staff management toolkit.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Richard Edwards of Whites Legal, a Melbourne firm specialising in hospitality businesses. He’s helped many owners and managers with employment issues, and has drafted the Social Media Policy that is available to download from the Profitable Hospitality website.
236: Running a Successful Japanese Restaurant & Sake BusinessMay 15, 2017 42:12
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with restaurateur Brett Carboni of Tsunami Restaurant in Perth. We talked about growing his business from when it started in 1998, change and development through the GFC and economic changes, menu changes and building the function side of Tsunami. Plus the importance of constant marketing, how he uses social media and keeping his professional knowledge up-to-date.
We also discussed the growth of his SuperSake importing business, and how he promotes sake sales through festivals, tastings, special dinners and public education. He even writes the SuperSake blog while doing his workout at the gym in the morning!
235: What to Include in Restaurant Staff ManualMay 8, 2017 37:24
A comprehensive and easily-understood Staff Manual is an essential tool for modern restaurant and foodservice management. Especially as employees are usually the biggest concern (and cost) for most operators: recruitment, hiring, productivity, behaviour, guidance and occasionally, dismissal. Just relying on team spirit and people ‘doing the right thing’ is not enough – it’s important to be ready for every situation.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Richard Edwards of Whites Legal, a Melbourne firm specialising in hospitality businesses. He’s helped many owners and managers with employment issues, and has drafted the suite of Staff Management Policies that are available to download from the Profitable Hospitality website.
234: Designing and Promoting Popular Children’s MenusMay 1, 2017 17:03
A good children’s menu is about more than just attracting families to eat with you. It can also be an important way to build your reputation, positioning you as a place that children enjoy and the food is healthy. You don’t just drop everything into the deep fryer.
In this podcast Ken Burgin discusses the many angles to a successful children’s menu – the choice of food, the way it’s cooked and served, how staff look after children, pricing and discount options, and how to use a popular kid’s menu to spread good news and attract more customers.
233: Counting Potatoes for Business SuccessApr 24, 2017 39:15
What have vegetables got to do with numbers and business? We’ll find out from Trudi Yip of the Numeric Eight bookkeeping and accounts management business, which she started in 2006. She has more than 20 years experience running small businesses and comes from a family of entrepreneurs – in fact she first learned about business as a child by counting potatoes in the Sydney Markets before dawn.
She’s brought her business experience and insights together in a new book called Counting Potatoes – Transform Your Creative Passion and cleverly connects potatoes, onions, pumpkins, ginger, garlic and even watermelons up to all the elements of business success. Intrigued by the sound of this? The interview is definitely worth listening to!
232: Managing Customer Service for Consistent High QualityApr 12, 2017 44:34
Customer service – it’s so important, and can be so variable. Chances are it’s what people talk about more than your great food and beverages, especially if things don’t go right. Consistency is key, so visitors know what to expect and managers know that when they’re not around, service will be delivered to the correct standard.
In this podcast Ken Burgin interviews Justin McGurgan of training and consulting firm Zealifi. We talked about how customer expectations have changed, and the role management must play in creating a strong service culture. We also discussed the effectiveness of monthly training, the role of supervisors, and how to measure success. Here’s a man who is passionate about customer service, and who gets great results from his enthusiastic training programs.
231: How to Manage the Kitchen If You're Not a ChefApr 9, 2017 32:25
Many of the people who listen to this podcast aren’t chefs, but many of you do have responsibility for kitchen results. It’s the heart of the house, and the product of all that ice, fire, food, hard work and creativity can either attract and delight, or sometimes leave customers unimpressed. If you own or manage a business where food is served, you must have an understanding of how the kitchen works.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks from his own experience as owner of a busy cafe and restaurant, and from what he’s observed working with chefs and restaurant operators as a consultant and through Profitable Hospitality. In recent years, good technology has given chefs more control, and managers much more access to costing, ordering, workflow, sales and customer responses. Good communication is always essential, and that too benefits from modern channels to keep everyone ‘on the same page’. Good teamwork is when everyone feels they have the control they need…
230: 10 Ways to Maximise Restaurant Tax SavingsApr 3, 2017 37:22
No one likes to pay taxes, and sometimes the hospitality industry plays a bit fast and loose with the way they avoid them. In fact there are many ways to minimise your taxes legally, without resorting to semi-legal avoidance tactics. Make as much money as you can, then get a good accountant working on all the ways to keep most of that money in your hands. You’ll sleep better and the bank will be impressed.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Chris Wheatley from Scope Accounting about his top 10 ways to maximise tax savings. We talked ‘big picture’ first, about understanding the tax options within your business structure, and then focused on wage and superannuation payments, claiming for equipment purchases, maximising stocktake deductions and getting the most from vehicle expenses. Plus a lot more suggestions along the way – credit card payments, home office costs, home internet and even sunscreen!
229: Growing a Healthy Cafe Business with Good SystemsMar 26, 2017 43:24
Success stories are always favourites with podcast listeners, and this one is terrific. I’m talking with Samantha Bottegal of the PekoPeko Cafe group in Western Australia. She and her partner have grown their business from one to three cafes since they started in 2003, and they’ve made sure that growth has also meant having a better life style.
We talked about Samantha’s early experience with food in Japan, the enthusiasm for Japanese food in Australia, challenges in her first business and developing systems to manage sales, recruitment, communication and financial management. We also discussed the value of expert consulting advice, and how loyal staff will step up to manage a business for you - even when you take a holiday in the busiest month of the year!
228: How to Give Effective Feedback to EmployeesMar 20, 2017 41:00
It's usually easier to give praise, and we often avoid the more difficult moments when negative feedback needs to be given to an employee who’s a bit slow, making mistakes or not following guidelines. It could be a frontline worker, someone in the kitchen or a manager. Roger Simpson of The Retail Solution has some excellent tactics to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of feedback - the negative, the positive and for improvement.
We talked about when to have the conversations, how they should be structured, words to use and avoid, the importance of listening and when to follow up. Roger has trained staff and managers on this topic, from some of the leading foodservice operators in Australia - he knows what works and shares it with you now. Definitely an interview to pass on to supervisors and your management team.
227: How to Start Online Training for an Independent RestaurantMar 12, 2017 29:15
We like the idea of online training, but it’s easy to think it’s just for big restaurant groups with lots of resources. In fact there’s a lot that an independent restaurant or cafe can do to get much of their training online. The benefits are considerable – better consistency, training sessions that can be run at any time, and access to material that can be sourced from industry as well as what you create.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks again with restaurant trainer John Isbell. It’s a follow-up to Podcast 225 on How to Create an Effective & Affordable Training Program. We discussed the areas that best lend themselves for online training, the ‘baby steps’ you can take to get an online program started, integrating online sessions with face-to-face training, and ways that staff can help create content.
We also talked about ready-to-use training systems, using YouTube videos, the staff who may not be so quick to adapt, and measuring ROI. I hope you’ll get lots of inspiration from this interview – I know I did! You can find John on Linkedin and on Twitter…
226: How to Simplify Recipes & Menus to Reduce CostsMar 7, 2017 49:06
It’s easy for menus to become more and more elaborate, as everyone adds their ideas and favourites. Before you know it, prep and service times are longer, and labour and food costs rise. This can be a problem for individual restaurants, and a major issue for franchise operators.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with chef Richard Robinson of Food Associates in Sydney. He works on the development of recipes and menus for foodservice businesses of all types – maximising flavour, simplifying production, reducing labour costs and ensuring that the recipes contribute to the business concept.
We talked about how he analyses a recipe, what items can be outsourced, and skilling up your workforce so they all work quickly and efficiently. We also discussed supply chain issues, flavour shortcuts and making sure special diets are handled in the easiest way possible. This is an interview to share with everyone in the kitchen!
225: Creating an Effective & Affordable Training ProgramFeb 26, 2017 33:48
Can you afford regular staff training? John Isbell, our guest in this podcast says you can’t afford not to train, especially as competition increases from new concepts and venues. Our customers also have increased expectations and product knowledge, so every business needs to be optimised for peak performance.
John is an experienced restaurant trainer, working with independent operators, restaurant groups and franchises to help them get the best from back of house, front of house and management staff. We talked about the quick wins a trainer can get with a new program, and the priorities for kitchen, service and leadership teams. John also had some great suggestions on how to involve staff in helping to create training content, and putting your activities into a calendar that will continue to benefit the business month after month. Lots of inspiration in this episode!
224: Understanding Chinese Food, Food Culture & VisitorsFeb 19, 2017 48:55
Gradually restaurants and foodservice operators are becoming aware of the scale of worldwide Chinese tourism - more than 100 million people from China went overseas in 2016, and the number is growing steadily. That means lots of opportunities, especially if you tune into the particular needs and desires of this market.
To help us understand tourists from China, and the food culture there, Ken Burgin talked with Glen Hingley from Destination Taiwan. Glen is originally from hotel sales and management in Australia, and has lived in mainland China and Taiwan for almost 20 years. He’s watched the growth and change of Chinese restaurants and food culture, and is an excellent guide to a world that is still a mystery for many westerners. We talked about how Chinese people prefer to eat at a restaurant, red wine, flavours, comfort food, and how to make your guests feel welcome.
223: How Young Managers Can Become Good LeadersFeb 12, 2017 37:21
It’s been said that managers look after things, and leaders look after people. A manager handles the roster, security, service quality and logistics. Leaders handle the more challenging tasks of motivation, team building, discipline and all the personalities in restaurant life - customers and staff. Some managers are good leaders, and others not so much. It’s a tough call for a young manager in their early twenties to handle the human side of the job - every business has a big range of ages, personalities, skills, language abilities and experience.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with restaurant coach and consultant Donald Burns about how young staff can build their skills and experience to become good leaders. When they can handle the ‘people side’ of hospitality with confidence - conflict management, interviewing, coaching and teamwork, a whole new world of careers open up. We need more real leaders in the front and back of house! Connect with Donald Burns on his website and RestaurantCoachUniversity.
222: Success Interview with a Sydney Cafe EntrepreneurFeb 6, 2017 36:43
Some of the most popular Profitable Hospitality podcasts are interviews with successful cafe and restaurant owners. Entrepreneurs who are tuned into customer desires, ready to take risks, keep a sharp eye on costs and have a knack for marketing and staff management.
One of these smart operators is George Dannaoui, partner-owner of the Moody Chef cafes in Sydney. George has been in hospitality for 13 years and shares his insights about business development, menu design, cost control, marketing, landlords, leases and finance.
George will also be the special guest of Profitable Hospitality and Silver Chef at a full-day workshop in Sydney on 18 March. This is a unique event held at one of his cafes, exploring what makes his businesses work and how you can have similar success. More information and bookings here - don't miss this!
221: Easy Planning for Busy Restaurant PeopleJan 30, 2017 40:11
The P word - Planning. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea, but who has the time, and isn’t it all a bit complicated? Think of a plan as a bit like a map - a guide for how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. That next place might have more sales, lower food costs, better customer feedback and the ability to attract better staff. All of these are ‘big issues’, and will need work - writing them down is an essential first step.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with management consultant Cindy Tonkin. We discussed the major parts of any planning process, setting priorities, how many things can be handled at once, and getting your team involved. We also discussed calendars, to-do lists and project management systems - it was a great discussion, and considering it’s a serious topic, we also had a few laughs along the way! You can find Cindy at ConsultantsConsultant - check her books, articles and newsletter.
220: 10 ‘Old’ Marketing Methods That Still WorkJan 22, 2017 36:03
Social media and online activity are essential parts of your marketing mix, but don’t overlook the many ‘old fashioned’ ways to attract and delight customers. These tried and tested methods attract interest, build loyalty and keep people coming back... and telling their friends.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks about how to use business cards, decoration and ‘quality signals’, your front window, internal pictures, illuminated signs, and the 5 key drivers for restaurant word-of-mouth. Also discussed were the value of direction signs, regular events, support for community groups, list building and excellent customer service. You can start many of these activities this week!
219: How AirBnB Can Be Used by Restaurants & Cafes To Gain More CustomersJan 16, 2017 48:49
Chances are you’ve stayed with the popular accommodation service AirBnB, either locally or overseas. It’s popularity is growing, and unlike hotels, the hosts generally don’t offer meals and try to keep their guests eating in-house. So that means a lot of them need to eat locally - and there may be hundreds of AirBnB properties in your area!
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with long-time AirBnB host Paul Hart. He has an AirBnB property in Melbourne’s popular St Kilda area, and has used AirBnB widely overseas. He also takes part in the huge AirBnB Open conference held in the US each year - an enthusiast! We talked about the best ways for cafe and restaurant owners to reach out to local AirBnB operators, how and what they are recommending to their guests now, and Paul’s excellent new service RoamLocal, that gives local businesses an easy way to connect with AirBnB guests.
218: How Restaurant Owners & Managers Can Develop a Positive MindsetJan 8, 2017 36:00
It’s more than just smiles and optimism. A positive mindset enables you to handle the ups and downs of the hospitality industry with more confidence and certainty, and with less strain. Problems aren’t so overwhelming, and a clear path for business growth becomes more apparent. You’ll be less focused on what your competitors are doing, and focus on the improvements that can be made at your own cafe or restaurant.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with restaurant business coach Donald Burns. He works with a wide range of restaurant owners, showing them how to tackle business challenges, quieten the ‘inner critic’, improve employee culture and of course, boost the bottom line. Many people are attracted to hospitality for the lifestyle and profits – a positive mindset gives you the power and focus to achieve that.
216: Restaurant Management Repair and RenovationDec 26, 2016 44:03
In this podcast we’re not talking about new furniture or equipment, but a management makeover that addresses profit levels, customer satisfaction, employee performance and growth. Many businesses limp along until they are either sold or close. The smarter ones call in the experts to help fix the problems.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with turnaround expert Jim Affeldt from Haley Kammerer. They’re the restaurant consulting arm of the Sodel Concepts group in Delaware (with more than 10 restaurants and foodservice operations). We discussed the primary importance of getting the business culture right, points of service, menu analysis, cash flow, inventory, marketing and systems – it’s a real A to Z of what’s needed for restaurant success.
217: Better Bookkeeping & Numbers for the New YearDec 22, 2016 43:07
Let’s face it: most hospitality people are not big on numbers. They prefer to make the drinks, welcome guests, sell events or cook great food – doing and communicating, not counting and analysing. But without a close eye on the figures, profits can melt away in this highly competitive industry...
To prepare for the new year, Ken Burgin interviews accountant Chris Wheatley of Scope Accounting. We talked about many ways you can make business more profitable, and your life more enjoyable, by taking control of the numbers. We discussed record keeping, cloud-based bookkeeping systems, staff and food costs and all the ways to integrate control into a ‘dashboard’. The old demarcations between bookkeeper, accountant and business owner are disappearing fast – this podcast has information you can take to the bank!
215: How Smart Restaurants, Cafes & Bars Use Instagram & SnapchatDec 15, 2016 40:23
Rose Johnstone, editor of Time Out Melbourne, is in a unique position to see how savvy hospitality operators are using social media. She’s also actively using the major channels to promote Time Out stories and events – they are busy people!
Ken Burgin talked with Rose about how smart operators are using Instagram and Snapchat, and the continuing value of Facebook. We discussed what content is best for each channel, the type of images that get the best response, the value of video and what makes a good ‘story’ on the new Story features. And of course how to turn cool social media content into real sales. You can follow Time Out on Instagram and Facebook – they do a great job!
214: Cafe Success FactorsDec 12, 2016 56:14
There’s no shortage of opinions on what makes a successful cafe. Looking at businesses that succeed (or not), it’s obvious that marketing and management are the major drivers, and within those two headings we can identify location and size, design and layout, the employee team, good service, menu and products, equipment, financial management and of course marketing in all its variations.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Andrew and Claire Bowen, authors of The Daily Grind - How to Open and Run a Coffee Shop That Makes Money. Having created three thriving cafes, they’re in a unique position to talk about success, and what new operators need to consider. We also discussed how existing business owners can improve and grow - it was a very productive conversation. You can find Andrew & Claire's book here and also check their excellent website.
213: Social Media Skills for Hospitality LeadersNov 29, 2016 52:57
There’s no avoiding social media, especially for restaurant, cafe and hotel marketing. And there’s much more to a digital marketing strategy than just ‘getting one of the young staff to handle it’. Hospitality managers, owners and leaders need to take social media seriously and develop comfort, skills and fluency for this modern digital world.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with leadership coach Des Walsh about how leaders can build confidence to guide social media strategy and interact online with colleagues and customers. We also talked about which social media channels are the most appropriate and effective for hospitality marketing, and building your own reputation. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram – you don’t have to use them all, but you can’t hide in the shadows and pretend this doesn’t apply to you!
212: Better Health and Energy for ChefsNov 24, 2016 43:17
Long hours, heat and stress – that’s the working life of many chefs and kitchen staff. And even though they’re surrounded by good food, many chefs rely on coffee, snacks and sugary drinks to get through the day. Another reason why hospitality finds it hard to keep good people!
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Pip Seldon of The Healthy Tradie Project. She usually works with trades men and women in the construction industry, helping them to improve their job performance, mental clarity, diet, mood and energy levels. Here we talk about the cooking trade, and how her 6 essentials apply for a better work and personal life: exercise, mindset, nutrition, play, sunshine and sleep. You will enjoy her practical approach to improving work, whether you’re a chef or a manager who needs to improve productivity in the kitchen.
211: Successful Public Relations for RestaurantsNov 17, 2016 47:23
Have you noticed how some bars and restaurants are constantly in the news, or a chef is being quoted and making a name for herself? Chances are a public relations person is helping to get their story into the media, and keep them top of mind with the public. PR people aren’t magicians, but their years of experience and contacts can be great way to cut through and have your message noticed.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with publicist and communications expert Prue Gillespie. She has worked with restaurants, bars, events and foodservice entrepreneurs over quite a few years, promoting their products, helping them build personal profiles and even putting out a few ‘fires’ when things don’t go to plan. A professional publicist can be a great asset for any size of business, and Prue gives us great insights into how to leverage public relations and become much more recognised.
210: How These B-Corp Restaurants Have Increased Sales & ProfitsNov 2, 2016 49:43
It was great to catch up with Court Desautels, Group Leader & COO of Canada’s Neighbourhood Restaurant Group in Guelph, Ontario. The group has been on the expansion trail for some years, and recently embraced the process of B-Corp certification. We’ve talked about B-Corp before in the interview with Silver Chef founder Allan English (podcast 203).
Court and I discussed how their two Borealis Grille restaurants, Woolwich Arrow Pub and Miijidaa Cafe have built on existing commitments to local produce and sustainability, and taken on the additional B-Corp challenges of improved employee conditions, customer and community support, accountability and transparency. It’s an inspiring story and the net results have been double digit sales growth and reduced costs – items on every business owner’s wish list!
209: Building a Successful Neighbourhood Bar & EateryNov 2, 2016 51:59
It’s great to revisit previous podcast guests and find out how their business has grown and prospered. There are usually plenty of lessons along the way, about managing money and costs, managing people, sales and marketing, plus time management. I first interviewed Gus McAllister of The Tippler & Co Bar & Eatery two and half years ago, and how things have changed!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Gus about how he has built a strong local network of business customers and residents, effective use of his time and money for marketing, menu development and staff control. We also discussed how he has built a strong function & events side of his business and made everything more systematised.
208: How to Veganise Your Menu – Food With StyleOct 26, 2016 46:18
How things have changed – instead of being a fringe request that’s ignored by most restaurants, vegan and vegetarian food is now a popular choice. A recent survey in Australia found 1 in 9 people (11.2%) said they are ‘vegetarian or almost vegetarian’. That’s a lot of customers looking for menu options beyond a salad or pasta with tomato!
To help us understand how chefs and restaurants can cater for this growing demand, Ken Burgin talked with chef and cafe owner Paul Smith of Green Zebra in rural NSW. He’s now a vegan, and tries to create vegetarian food that meat eaters will love! It has to be more imaginative than yet another serve of pumpkin risotto or vegetarian lasagne. We discussed the challenges of creating healthy food with flavour, presenting food on a plate so it’s not always ‘meat in the centre’, and all the angles to modern menu design. Paul is a thoughtful and creative chef – I know you will enjoy this interview. You can also find him on Twitter and his new website PlantYourMenu.com
207: Developing a Positive and Moral Workplace CultureOct 19, 2016 37:36
“There is a growing expectation that businesses are responsible for the material as well as the moral development of their employees. There is a growing expectation in society that business will play a larger role.” These are the words of Mike Connell, the head of People & Culture at Silver Chef and my guest in this week’s podcast.
Silver Chef (of which Profitable Hospitality is now a part) is a public company, very different in scale to the cafes, restaurants and foodservice operators that they finance. But there are many things they are doing that are directly applicable to businesses of any size, to act as a ‘force for good’ in the world, and to attract and engage the best employees around. Let’s not be afraid to use the words ‘morality’, ‘values’ and ‘workplace culture’ – you will enjoy Mike’s very practical approach to putting these concepts into action.
206: Stronger, More Loving Relationships for Hospitality WorkersOct 12, 2016 40:49
In restaurants and bars, we don’t have a great track record for successful relationships and happy families. Long hours, lots of stress and working when others relax - it can be exciting, and a recipe for instability. The idea of ‘work-life balance’ seems to have bypassed this industry!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with therapist and counsellor Colleen Morris about how we can reduce the pressure and increase happiness in our very consuming jobs. We talked about how to recognise the signs that a relationship is under stress, the different ways men and women communicate, and how to be more aware of a partner’s needs. We also discussed how to help friends having partner problems, and helping young staff to be more successful in their personal lives. This was a very satisfying interview, and one I hope you will share with your team. You can find Colleen at Watersedge Counselling, and on Twitter.
205: How to Modernise Your Wine Training for More SalesOct 6, 2016 44:14
Traditional wine training with serious faces and tasting notes doesn’t quite cut it in 2016 – employees don’t find it inspiring, and customers want better information and enthusiastic recommendations. There’s a lot you can do to make your wine training faster, brighter and more effective – it all leads through to better sales.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Kyle Thacker of online wine directory Uncorkd – we each had plenty of ideas on how to add energy and variety to wine training, whether it’s quick tastes or a detailed comparison. From sensory sessions to online videos, quizzes, winery visits and staff choosing ‘wine of the month’ – use this podcast to revitalise your training and boost sales.
204: Managing Employees in a Successful BarSep 29, 2016 40:05
Successful bars have a good team of employees – it’s fair to say you can’t have one without the other. In this second of two interviews, Ken Burgin talks with Ben McBeath, managing director of Sydney bars The Arthouse Hotel and the Treehouse.
We discussed all the elements that go together to make a productive and high-performing workforce, how they handle recruitment and induction, promoting managers from within the ranks and what makes ‘bar people’ different. We also talked about incentives and bonuses, and how to improve workplace culture and diversity. Hear's your opportunity to listen to one of the leaders in the industry!
203: Allan English talks about B-Corps and Business as a Force for GoodSep 23, 2016 35:58
B-Corps are companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. They come in all sizes – from small cafes, to large coffee roasters and food manufacturers. Here’s a list of some of the B-Corps in the hospitality sector.
Collectively, B Corps lead a growing global movement of people using business as a force for good. Through the power of their collective voice, one day all companies will compete to be best for the worldTM, and society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity for all.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Allan English, the founder of hospitality finance company Silver Chef. He has been a passionate supporter of the B-Corp movement for a number of years, and Silver Chef was certified in 2015. It’s having a profound and positive effect through all areas of the business. B-Corp certification is a process that your business could also embrace – it’s worth looking through what’s involved.
202: Reducing Restaurant Food Waste – Facts and MethodsSep 7, 2016 33:08
Everyone believes in waste reduction – it’s been drummed into us since childhood. And commercial foodservice has extra challenges with large quantities, food safety issues and customers who don’t eat everything on their plate. In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Dianne McGrath of Watch My Waste, a large-scale survey of foodservice operators and and consumers.
The research is still underway, and already she’s found surprising information about the percentage of food purchases that end up in the garbage, why that happens, and how unaware most operators are of the scale of the problem. The consumer survey information is also interesting – preferences about portion sizes, left-overs and what’s served on a plate. Lots of great money-saving information in this very informative interview and on Dianne’s website.
201: Running a Popular and Profitable BarSep 7, 2016 46:02
There are many moving parts involved in a successful bar – the beverage list, stock management, service systems, financial management, staff and marketing. In this first of two interviews, Ken Burgin talks with Ben McBeath, managing director of Sydney bars The Arthouse Hotel and The Treehouse.
Ben shared lots of great insights about the range of services they offer, the need for very regular upgrade of interiors, tracking numbers, managing competition, efficient service and effective marketing.
200: Talking about Schools - Food Technology and Food CareersSep 2, 2016 46:06
Food technology and hospitality subjects are very popular at high schools. This is driven in no small part by TV food shows like Masterchef, and people like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. Whatever you think of TV chefs, the interest in cooking is very welcome – now we need to leverage this to turn keen students into our keen young employees!
In this interview I went back to school and talked with a Food Tech teacher and three students at Auburn High School in Melbourne. We discussed the most popular parts of the their cooking course, the range of topics covered, the Masterchef factor and what they imagine is the life of a chef in a restaurant or cafe. It’s time to make friends with your local hospitality teachers and students - talent is waiting!
199: Hiring & Managing Employees in a Growing Food BusinessAug 24, 2016 53:04
A fast-growing business is exciting – more sales, more venues, more employees and more fame! Expansion also brings new challenges – not just finding talent, but also developing managers and scaling up the systems for recruitment, induction, training and clear communication.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Bree Vatner, HR Manager at the Mr Burger group in Melbourne. They are growing rapidly, and the group also includes food trucks and their own food truck park Welcome to Thornbury. We talked about the central importance of a strong and positive culture, and how that is articulated and put into practice with all their 150+ staff and leaders. We also discussed recruitment methods, in-store and online training, how the HR Manager’s role is changing and much more.
198: How a Restaurant Broker Does a Business Health CheckAug 18, 2016 39:09
So what makes a business healthy? Ken Burgin talked about this with broker Dan Levitus of Linked Business Brokers – he specialises in the sale of cafes, restaurants and foodservice operations, and there’s not much he hasn’t seen!
Financial health is a key element, not only the income and expenses, but how well information is recorded and the likelihood of good sales continuing. We also talked about the owner’s role in the operation, and how well systems are recorded and ready for use by others. Plus the vital importance of the lease and having premises that are ‘fit for purpose’. If you’re thinking about selling your business, or how to increase it’s value, this is information you can take to the bank!
197: Creating a More Effective Restaurant WebsiteAug 10, 2016 44:00
On your website, how much is ‘just enough’ information to make customers and search engines happy? Or is a good Facebook page sufficient? More than 60% of your restaurant or café website visitors will use their phone, so ‘mobile friendly’ is essential.
Ken Burgin talks with digital strategist and website builder Tim Hilton about what needs to be in an effective website, and what can be left out. You want to be found locally, compete with the big listing services (like TripAdviser, Yelp and Zomato) and give customers enough information so they divert their car or make a booking. Ultimately it’s all about sales! We also discussed the best way to work with a web designer and how to brief them, so the result is everything you expected and more. You can find Tim at Hiltonand.co and on Twitter.
196: Creating a Profitable Tea MenuAug 4, 2016 48:25
There is definitely life after coffee, no matter how cool your local barista. Tea has infinite variety, full flavour and centuries of stories. Visiting your cafe or restaurant are hundreds of customers who either don’t drink coffee at all, or limit themselves to one cup a day. That means lots more sales between lunchtime and late night, if you add a variety of teas.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Corinne Smith of The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar. Over the last 6 years they’ve developed a thriving tea wholesale tea business, and now have their own beautiful tea bar, featuring quality brews and the food to go with it. These are robust flavours for all ages, and a valuable part of the profit mix. We talked about tea menus for summer and winter, brewing methods for a busy venue, staff training and appealing to a wide demographic. They are also part of the annual Sydney and Melbourne Tea Festivals – if you’re nearby, don’t miss them!
195: Smart Local Marketing for Cafes & RestaurantsJul 28, 2016 40:57
It was great to interview marketing expert Michelle Falzon of WeAreContent.com and the Content Sells podcast (one of my favourites). She talked to us wearing her marketing hat, and also as a resident in a rural area who enjoys the local cafes and restaurants.
We looked at the ‘buyer’s journey’, marketing mountains, becoming known for something distinctive and all the ways a business of any size can build a tribe of loyal fans. We also discussed the importance of regular conversations via social media or email, and how ‘content’ can be used to attract, delight and convert. I know you will enjoy this podcast!
194: Stop Thief! How to Prevent Staff Burning Your BusinessJul 21, 2016 47:51
We like to keep the tone positive on this podcast, but it’s important to be realistic – where there is food, alcohol and cash, there are sure to be thieves. My guest in this interview is Nigel Pickhardt, one of the authors of the book How to Burn Down the House: The Infamous Waiter & Bartender's Scam Bible by Two Bourbon Street Waiters. Nigel now runs a popular seminar focused on strategies to reduce fraud and theft in hospitality.
We discussed the basic methods of employee theft and how to find your vulnerabilities before dishonest employees strike. Plus specific defences and management responses for a range of scams, and how to develop a natural instinct for detecting the tell-tale signs of theft. There aren’t many scams that Nigel hasn’t seen over the years, and he shares with us fully and frankly. Find out more about his seminars and the book at Scambible.com.
193: Managing Conflict in the Hospitality WorkplaceJul 18, 2016 44:40
Conflict: between kitchen and front of house, chefs in a rage, managers with short fuses and owners yelling. When not handled carefully, it creates stress and negativity, leading to high staff turnover and low productivity. It’s not about being soft and gentle all the time, but the way most workplaces deal with disagreement seems to have negative results, not positive.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to business coach and communications specialist Berry Kruijning of Crowning Communication. Berry has worked across cultures and industries, and has a great deal of experience with hospitality employees. We discussed different types of conflict, generational and cultural issues, how coaching can make managers more resourceful, and whether it’s possible to have a life free of conflict. In our industry we have a potent combination of deadlines, pressure and diversity, creating many times where conflict flares. Contact Berry directly to discuss her coaching and consulting work.
192: Talking About Branding, Menus and MarketingJul 11, 2016 46:55
It was great to talk with restaurant marketing expert Charlie Hopper about what’s working for smart operators, and how we all need to double down to stay ahead of the competition. He recently published his second book Nuggets, Nibbles, Morsels, Crumbs with articles on topics as diverse as menu vocabulary, discounting, food photos, branding, social media and the sophistication of children.
He’s keen to eliminate the hype that’s so common in most restaurant communication – let’s be more direct, authentic and ultimately more persuasive.
191: Using Emotional Intelligence to Improve Restaurant ProductivityJul 1, 2016 48:23
It’s inspiring to talk with restaurant managers who are looking at new strategies to overcome the age-old problem of staff shortages and high turnover. In most areas there are more vacancies than available staff for kitchen positions – the problem is widespread. But that doesn’t mean your business can’t work to minimise the problem and be the preferred employer in your town or street.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Lisa Hobbs and Breanna Lawler from the Dedes Restaurant Group in Sydney (with 8 separate brands). They’re working hard to improve the employee culture at their restaurant workplaces – developing the leadership skills of managers and head chefs. Part of this uses the techniques of Emotional Intelligence to improve staff happiness, develop team performance and reduce burnout. It’s had a significant effect on staff turnover and helping to reduce labour costs - we can all learn from this.
190: How to Improve Restaurant Performance With a Business CoachJun 24, 2016 44:36
Ever feel like work is just chasing your tail? Managing all the hats you wear in a restaurant or hospitality business: marketing, recruitment, operations and even bookkeeping. And then there are family responsibilities - people at home need attention too! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to move forward - you’re busy, but things don’t seem to be improving.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with business coach Maureen Pound, about how she helps managers and business owners to be more effective and bring back satisfaction in their work. We talked about different types of coaching and the big issue of time management. We also discussed to-do lists, accountability and how coaching could work for your managers and chefs. Maureen operates with clients across states and internationally - talk to her about how coaching can improve performance and reduce stress.
189: Talking about Italian Restaurant SuccessJun 16, 2016 32:58
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Tony Percuoco, one of Australia’s leading Italian restaurateurs. He and his brothers have opened a number of highly-regarded restaurants in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Australia. His current restaurant is Tartufo in Fortitude Valley.
Tony and I sat outside the restaurant (hence the atmospheric sounds) and talked about menu and marketing developments, his profit secrets, managing staff and finance, the changing restaurant scene and how to keep customers happy. Here’s a chance to listen and learn from a master!
188: Helping Restaurant Managers to Be Their Very BestJun 9, 2016 45:54
There are many types of management skills – in this interview Ken Burgin discusses them with communications and leadership coach Carmel Murphy, the Communications Queen. She’s also a senior manager in a restaurant chain, so she knows what’s needed in real life.
We went through her list of essential ‘people management’ skills and how these can be developed in young managers and staff who want to take more responsibility. We also talked about personality types, working with cultural differences and overcoming fear – topics of relevance for all of us.
You can also hear Carmel in one of our most popular podcasts (#30) on Understanding and Managing Employee Personality Types.
187: Allergies - Turning a Restaurant Problem into a Marketing BonusJun 5, 2016 45:23
It’s time to turn the ‘problem’ of customer allergies into a positive opportunity for promotion. Let’s stop the eye-rolling and groaning every time a gluten-free or nut-free request comes in, and see that there are thousands of potential customers who will flock to your business if they know their food sensitivies and allergies will be understood and respected.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with restaurant coach and consultant Joshua Clifton. We discussed the common allergies to be aware of, the dangers of an anaphylactic reaction by someone who encounters food they should not eat (potentially fatal) and Joshua’s personal challenges with this issue. We also talked about the correct wording for menus, the awareness training staff need, and how to manage a busy service while still taking this all into account.
He recommends we check the Anaphylaxis Network of Australia, the Primal Pantry in Brisbane and see how Disney foodservice handles the issue at their theme parks.
186: How a Young Restaurant Manager is Improving Her SkillsMay 30, 2016 45:07
It’s great to interview Brooke Adey, the manager of Yellow restaurant in Sydney and 2015 Winner of the Appetite for Excellence Young Waiter Award. This is Australia’s premier national award for chefs, waiters and restaurateurs.
She happily admits to being a ‘lifer’ in hospitality, and is sharpening her skills in management after a wide range of experience in Adelaide and Sydney restaurants.
Brooke says “I have always loved great food and wine, performing and learning, being a waiter allows me to do all of these things and more. As for my service philosophy, I believe you should treat the restaurant like your home, your colleagues like your family and your guests like your friends. Take pride in your venue, from the way it is presented to the energy that it gives; like members of your family, you might not get to pick your team but they can be some of the greatest relationships you will ever have.
185: How to Write Better Job Ads to Attract the People You WantMay 22, 2016 26:29
It's not hard to write a good advertisement for staff. And most of your competitors' ads are so poorly written that, with a little care, yours will stand out like a beacon. The secret is to offer benefits that match the desires of the people you want to hire. Don’t just talk about what you want, but list in detail the benefits you offer that will appeal to applicants. These are much more than just ‘good pay’. although that’s important.
In this podcast Ken Burgin tells you how to get into the mind of an applicant, and put together ads that will get the phone ringing. This works for chef employment, front of house staff and managers - each of these groups have their own requirements and expectations you need to meet. Make use of the Profitable Hospitality Staff Management department and the Staff Management Downloads - we've got your employee management needs covered!
184: ‘China Ready’ Opportunities for Restaurants and CafesMay 12, 2016 43:51
More than 106 million people from China will vacation overseas in 2016 – the numbers are staggering! Just to Australia alone, there will be more than one million visitors, creating massive pressure on travel infrastructure and the staff resources needed to meet demand. The opportunities are fantastic, especially as more than 30% will be independent travellers, looking for good cuisine and great experiences, ready to enjoy the great food, drink and coffee at your restaurant or cafe.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with John Hart, CEO of Restaurant & Catering Australia. John recently travelled to China and has been working closely with Tourism Australia on their extensive China Ready program for restaurants. Welcoming the new wave of Chinese tourists is a very exciting development for foodservice operators everywhere – be prepared!
183: Training Customers to Enjoy RestaurantsMay 8, 2016 49:38
Ken Burgin talks with Adam Reiner, who says the mission of his website Restaurant Manifesto is about ‘helping people dine more successfully by decoding the secret language of restaurants from an insider’s perspective. Certainly, I have a lot of life lessons from my work in restaurants that I’m happy to discuss with the listeners, but I’d prefer the conversation center more around the themes of how people can become better diners. So many blogs today spend so much energy ranting and raving about how awful restaurant guests are, but precious few come from a place of love or, God forbid, offer the guest any advice on how to use this information more constructively.’
Adam has worked in New York restaurants for almost 20 years. He was a member of the team at Mario Batali’s iconic Italian restaurant, Babbo, for nearly ten years and he currently works for Major Food Group as a captain at Carbone in Greenwich Village. He spent the majority of 2015 living in Hong Kong, where he was hired to be the New York Liaison and Brand Ambassador to the Carbone restaurant there. ‘It was an amazing experience to witness service dynamics in a foreign country, to interact with guests overseas and to train people on how to understand our New York swagger and style of service.’
Adam launched The Restaurant Manifesto in early 2014 (under the pen name Peter Camarero, to avoid conflict of interest) and since then has tried hard to be a more compassionate voice for helping people’s dining experiences. ‘Restaurants are complex organisms and too many restaurant patrons, even ones who fashion themselves experts, have overly simplistic ideas about how the organism functions. Gaining more literacy about the ecosystem, in his opinion, helps people cultivate better relationships with staff and, ultimately, results in better service.’ Follow Adam on his website and his pithy Twitter feed.
182: Promoting Special Events & Festivals on the Social WebMay 1, 2016 44:38
A smart online marketing strategy is essential for modern events – whether they’re conferences, meetings, entertainment, dinners or festivals. Your restaurant, club or bar can have the same promotional success as a big venue if you use imagination and the wide variety of social media and online channels available.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Sheila Scarborough of Tourism Currents, a high-powered trio of smart marketers who share a wealth of information about social media and online marketing for destinations, events and small business success. Sheila has a wealth of ideas on how to make your special occasion a big success, and shows us the importance of having separate strategies for before, during and after the event.
181: Automating Your Restaurant to Improve Efficiency & Cut CostsApr 27, 2016 36:10
Why automate? Not because we want to be robots, but it can make replies and communication faster and more reliable. And it also keeps labour costs down. It won’t replace warm smiles and a human voice, but how many calls have you forgotten to return?
It’s also about setting up systems that other people can do for you. Some automation involves information coming IN to you eg reports and price information, and other automation sends decisions and information OUT eg email auto-responses, roster updates for staff etc. And some automation replaces time-consuming work with the labour of others eg an online assistant who types up lists or recipes.
Start with areas where the most human errors are occurring – slow replies, inaccurate reports, tasks forgotten etc. This is expensive. Use this podcast list to start automating your processes, and send us suggestions if you have other areas that work for you.
Lots more information about developing an efficient and profitable business at Profitable Hospitality.
180: How Millennials Can Be Great ManagersApr 19, 2016 51:47
Let’s challenge the wide-spread perception that Millennial or Generation-Y employees are a problem: self-centred, too casual, a short attention span and living on their phones. Every generation says the ‘young ones’ are a disappointment - conflict between young and old is nothing new!
The Millennial generation is now the largest of the working age groups (USA) – more than Gen X (born 1960-1979) and the Baby Boomers (1945-1959). We need to build their skills and prize their ability. They expect more frequent training, and don’t need a manager to give them information – they can find it themselves. Let’s use their more casual approach to improve our hospitality, and their ease with technology is exactly what we need more of. This interview (and book) is full of practical ways to turn your young workforce into a competitive asset for the future.
179: How to Improve Sales in Restaurants and CafesApr 6, 2016 45:32
I’ve followed Bob Phibbs the Retail Doctor for quite a few years – he writes terrific articles about all aspects of retail: trends, sales improvement, customer service and employee training. He’s also a motivational speaker and consultant, working directly with retailers to improve their sales and reputation.
Many of the issues faced by retailers apply to hospitality – we have employees who need training and motivating, a highly competitive landscape and customers who are always ready to leave us for a better offer! In this interview, we started talking about the retail opportunities for restaurants and cafes, and quickly moved onto the topic he’s most passionate about – creating great sales through great service.
This was a brilliant conversation – I know managers, restaurant and cafe owners will get great insights into training, customer and employee personalities, and so many extra ways to make sales and build customer loyalty. Make sure all your people listen to this!
178: How to Attract More Local CustomersApr 4, 2016 23:13
In most places, there are all the customers you ever need within 10 kilometres (5 miles) of your business. But we’re often so busy promoting far and wide, that we forget the simple and effective neighbourhood activities that work so well for restaurants, cafes and bars. Many of them you can do for free.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin goes through dozens of ways you can connect with local customers, employees and suppliers, and build strong relationships. Plus the many ways you can reinforce these connections through social media and your website. Lots more Sales & Marketing resources and ideas at Profitable Hospitality...
177: Improving Customer Service - Beyond the Hello!Mar 27, 2016 53:51
There are many small moments of service after the first welcome - together, they add up to a powerful positive (or negative) experience. It could be on the phone, at the front door, tasting the food or all the way through the cycle of service from arrival to departure.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with restaurant consultant Kate Edwards about her many years in the hospitality as a manager, adviser and trainer. She has just published her first book Hello! And Every Little Thing That Matters – it’s a powerful and easy-to-use manual on how to create a quality relationship with customers by paying attention to detail and making the little things count.
Based in New York, Kate has worked with some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry, from Le Cirque in New York to The Viceroy in Anguilla, as well as restaurants at The Essex House and The Plaza Hotel. Her company creates service and training programs for hospitality businesses and provides coaching to owners, general managers, lawyers, and entrepreneurs on how to express and implement their service vision and lead their teams. You can contact her at Kate Edwards Consulting.
176: Improving Security for Restaurant POS and Credit CardsMar 15, 2016 50:01
There’s an army of bad people who want to hack into your personal privacy, bank account and digital devices. They’re also keen to get into your business equipment and access the transaction details, payments and customer information held there. Many hospitality operators leave their systems wide open to attack.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Bob Frazier of POS-Advice.com. He’s spent many years selling, installing and now advising on the best POS systems, plus the wide range of integrated services that make a POS the digital heart of your restaurant. We talk about defining your needs, comparing the competing offers, and what it takes to create real security. When you have a new system, set up strong protection for your money, your data and your customer information.
175: Growth and Change in the Events BusinessMar 10, 2016 45:58
It’s exciting to talk to a business owner about how catering and events have changed over their 20 years of operation. The hospitality industry does not stand still, and only the smart have survived – new food and event trends, government regulations, glamorous venues, and customers who want more and more for the very best price!
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Ross Mitchell, one of the owners of Forte Catering & Events, and the Nosh Staff Agency in Sydney. We discussed how Forte have diversified their business to strengthen cash flow, the importance of watching financial reports, and the constant cycle of new competitors and venues. Plus new developments in marketing, and the challenge of customers who are so well informed from their online research.
174: Developing a Mindset for Restaurant SuccessMar 6, 2016 29:23
Why are some people so successful with business, and others struggle? We see it time again – entrepreneurs who create a great restaurant, cafe or bar that is immediately loved by customers, with good staff, a popular product and excellent profits. And then they do it again and again.
In this podcast Ken Burgin looks at what makes these people tick – how they think and develop a vision, how they relate to other people, and how they follow through with their ideas. Plus their readiness to take risks, make sacrifices and accept responsibility. There’s not one just standard for success, but there are definitely a set of thinking patterns and attitudes that can be copied if you want to achieve great results in business.
Find out more about Ken's attitude to business success in the Profitable Hospitality newsletter and blog, plus these podcasts - hundreds of articles and insights about better results for restaurant, cafe and bar.
173: Restaurant Social Media Success with a Small BudgetFeb 25, 2016 55:24
You want your marketing to make a big impact, but the budget is tight! And maybe you’re just being cautious as you learn the ropes and sort through the social media hype. You need to choose the right social media channels, and show how the money you spend will lead to an increase in customer visits and sales. Measuring the Return on Investment takes a different type of thinking.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with social media marketing expert Leslie McLellan. Her business Just a Small Town Girl works with small cities, rural towns and the small businesses within them. As she says, ‘when done correctly, social media marketing is equivalent to winning the lottery. Lake Arrowhead, CA., the small town resort community I marketed for two decades, was saved by social media’. She shares dozens of great tips and suggestions for stretching your marketing dollars – you’ll love Leslie’s enthusiasm and generosity. It’s time to take action, and pick up the pace!
172: Talking About Seafood Supply and SalesFeb 20, 2016 49:57
Seafood sales are up, and consumers are convinced about the health-benefits of fish, but they’re often wary about taste, texture and bones! There are also big changes in the supply chain – fishing, farming, processing, labelling and regulation. It’s a lot for restaurant operators and chefs to handle!
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Roy Palmer, Australia’s Mr Seafood. He’s had a long career in the industry – commercial fishing, aquaculture, fisheries, food safety and even running his own fish shop. He is committed to raising the profile and consumption of seafood, and sharing information with business owners, politicians, consumers and the media. You can contact Roy through Linkedin
171: Reducing Sexual Harassment Risks in HospitalityFeb 11, 2016 46:35
Last month, Australian mainstream and social media lit up with reactions to suggestive comments made to a TV journalist by a well-known cricketer. What he thought was just ‘having some fun’ was interpreted by many as a blatant case of harassment, and and example of the pressure many women feel to stay quiet and ‘just ignore it’. A lot like the daily banter and harassment experienced by some female (and male) staff in hospitality workplaces.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with lawyer Richard Edwards of Whites Legal, and HR specialist Natasha Hawker of Employee Matters. We talked about definitions of harassment, how to implement a Sexual Harassment Policy, managing staff with ‘big personalities’ and rules about language, behaviour and protecting vulnerable employees.
Make use of the HR resources available in the Profitable Hospitality Download Center.
170: Easy Photo & Content Ideas for Restaurant Social MediaFeb 3, 2016 26:14
Social media is a hungry beast – to make a real impact on your fans and followers, you need to be posting a photo or news update at least once a day. Or more! That’s a lot of pictures and information, especially if your main job is organising service, food and lots of employees – who has the time?
Part of the panic comes from ‘what will I photograph or write about??’, so in this podcast Ken Burgin goes through 10 different content areas, most of which will be very familiar to you. From special deals and announcements, to community activities, anniversaries and a look behind the scene. Once you have the inspiration and content, pushing out something new each day will be a piece of cake!
169: Getting More from Facebook for your RestaurantJan 31, 2016 49:16
One thing’s for sure: Facebook marketing options keep changing, and it’s a challenge to keep up! There’s more focus on photos and video, easier ways to run competitions and the need for better quality posts. And paid advertising is essential to get any sort of reach. In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Facebook marketing expert Luke Moulton from Plankton Digital.
He’s been working with online marketing and social media channels for many years, and focuses on getting the best value from advertising dollars. Facebook ads should now be a part of your weekly promotional budget – there are so many ways it can reach your exact target audience with the right message. Luke shares some great examples and shortcuts on how to make your Facebook marketing much more effective.
168: My Restaurant & Cafe Wishlist for the New YearJan 21, 2016 31:29
Wishing and hoping - for more profitable restaurants, cafes, hotels, clubs and bars. More efficient, less stress on the managers, better profit margins, more enjoyable to visit and more attractive to the quality staff we want to find. I’ve based this podcast on discussions with many business operators and podcast guests over the last 12 months – I’m getting it off my chest!
Looking at better ways to manage figures, bookkeeping and profit margins, management skills, employees and marketing. With great uncertainty in the world economy and widespread conflict, now’s the time to strengthen our foundations and increase the quality of what we serve. A strong business can offer high-quality hospitality. Use the comments and me know what’s on your wishlist for 2016.
167: From Hire to Fire - Using the Employee Life CycleJan 17, 2016 43:43
It’s no surprise that podcasts and articles about employee management are the most popular content on Profitable Hospitality. Finding the right people and creating a strong team are a constant challenge for restaurants and cafes of all sizes. Recruiting a new chef, training a manager, or showing a team how to be more efficient – the work never stops.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Natasha Hawker of EmployeeMatters. In her work with clients (and in her book From Hire to Fire), she uses a 9-step Employee Life Cycle to explain the recruitment, management and exit stages in every employee’s time with a business. She also emphasises the importance of strong legal foundations – the right policies and compliance measures to reduce risk and protect management. This is a great conversation for business owners, managers and chefs who want to build a strong and productive team.
166: Food Trends 2016 – What’s Important and What is Not.Jan 11, 2016 34:13
The‘trends treadmill’ can be a challenge – at the end of each year, a wide variety of chefs, food writers and pundits come out with their predictions for the following 12 months. What will be hot and what will not – ingredients, flavours, concepts, cooking and service styles. Plus the brands they see growing and declining – it can be overwhelming! It’s also interesting to look back at predictions made in the last few year – some of them keep recurring.
In this episode Ken Burgin has surveyed 16 different food trend articles for 2016 and pulled together the key themes. It is important to be aware of changing trends – customer taste is changing, and new competitors suddenly appear and capture people’s imagination. TV is a constant influence. You can’t afford to ignore what’s going on around you.
165: Need for Speed - Get Better Results on the Busy DaysJan 3, 2016 24:16
Busy days, busy lunch or a crazy coffee rush – if you don’t have everything well-organised you will be missing out on some great profit opportunities and making everyone’s work more difficult. In today’s impatient world, everyone wants service, food and drinks right now!
In this podcast Ken Burgin looks at two key factors and a host of different ways to improve speed with less stress and more efficiency: good preparation, good equipment and great systems. Sometimes you need to change the layout or upgrade machinery, and sometimes it’s about being more organised and having the right staff. When it all comes together, you’ll have a business that serves everyone in the crowd, makes them happy and fills your bank account!
164: What I've Learned from 24 Great Podcast GuestsDec 27, 2015 31:26
It’s been a great year for podcasting, both what we’ve produced for Profitable Hospitality, and for the spread of the podcast medium. More and more people know what podcasts are, how to find them, and how easy it is to tune in to your own 'personal radio station’. You no longer need to make an appointment with a regular station and hunt around for the episode if you missed it - what you want is there whenever you want it.
We presented a podcast for all 52 week of the year in 2015, and I learned so much from the people I interviewed and the subjects I researched. In this final episode of the year, I talk about particular lessons learned in the areas of Marketing, Personal Development, New Business, Productivity and Staff Management. You can see all the episodes mentioned here.
Thanks for all your comments, reviews and feedback - it means a lot to me. Here’s to a great year in 2016! Ken
163: Creating a Happier Business in 2016 – the Boss, the Staff & the CustomersDec 17, 2015 19:41
Happy, friendly, fun, cheerful – definitely words you want associated with your business. Sometimes you've chosen well with staff who smile and share their enjoyment of life. Other times we need to remind them – hopefully their efficiency makes up for the occasional gloomy look.
For many, it's been a challenging year, and your job has been to keep smiling, creating warmth and hospitality for customers. There are many ways to 'build in the happiness’ so it doesn't depend on having a comedian at the bar. Ken Burgin goes through his Top 20 list of how to make sure your business is a genuine place of hospitality, 365 days of the year.
162: Talking Food Bloggers, Magazines and Modern ReviewsDec 9, 2015 39:20
Restaurant and cafe owners are often nervous about food bloggers, worried about what they will say and who will read it. But don’t we want more people hearing and talking about us – of course we do! It’s just taking some operators a while to get used to the huge diversity of blogs and social media activity, and the hunger for novelty and new flavours.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Lee Tran Lam, a food writer and editor, with her own food blog and podcast The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry. We discussed the changes she’s seen in food publishing, how to reach and engage with food bloggers, the role of PR agencies and the #1 factor that will catch the eye and interest of foodies and potential customers.
161: Rising Again – Recovery After a Cafe Burns DownDec 3, 2015 53:21
One minute I was interviewing Steve Cumper about his famous Red Velvet Lounge, and then a few months later it was gutted by fire! Every owner’s worst nightmare – a thriving business turned into a smoking ruin. You can hear the interview I did with Steve back in July 2014, and this time around, we talked about rebuilding and relaunching.
Steve has built up a big community of friends and fans in the small town of Cygnet in Tasmania. They rallied around in so many ways to help with the recovery, and he also had to work with his landlord, insurance companies, creditors, equipment suppliers, finance companies and staff to get things back on track. Plus the town’s expectatios that things would return to exactly how they were before. There are so many lessons here for how small operators handle ‘risk management’ – one of those terms we usually shrug off, but here it come to life in full, flaming colour. Steve is an interesting and articulate guest – enjoy the interview and please learn from his experience.
160: Creativity, Food Writing, Cookbooks and RestaurantsNov 26, 2015 01:00:39
Enjoy this great conversation between Ken Burgin and food writer Barbara Sweeney. We sat ‘at the kitchen table’ and talked about food trends, food writing, publishing, modern consumers and how restaurateurs can connect with this world of constant change.
Barbara is the curator of Food & Words food writers’ festival, the ‘Talking Cookbook’ at one of Sydney’s largest farmer’s markets, and a food writer with Good Food, The Sydney Morning Herald and Country Style. She is also a member of TEDxSydney Food Team and a honey judge at Sydney Royal National Honey Show. Find out more about her achievements and interests on her website Barbara Sweeney.
159: Cafe Success - the Story of Little Green CornerNov 19, 2015 54:57
It’s always a pleasure to watch a business grow from a dream, to the planning stage, through site selection, opening nerves and now popularity and profit. That’s how it’s been with the Little Green Corner in Geelong, Victoria, run by Hugh Whitehead. I met Hugh several years ago when he attended the Profitable Hospitality Starting a Cafe or Restaurant Workshop. The business is now open, popular and successful.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks to Hugh about choosing the location, why they keep the menu small, staff selection and scheduling, and working with customer expectations. We also discussed technology, social media and his approach to marketing. And as a bonus, Hugh is completely transparent about food, beverage and wage costs – which are excellent! Lots to learn here if you are starting a new business, or want to take a fresh look at your current operation.
158: Taking the Heat – Women Chefs and Overcoming InequalityNov 12, 2015 53:11
Diversity is a big issue in hospitality, and we employ a United Nations of workers. But when you look at management, it seems to be overwhelmingly ‘white guys’. We can’t keep complaining about lack of skilled staff, when we tolerate the many ways other good talent is excluded from higher-paid positions.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks to Deborah Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas State University in Austin. She and her colleague Patti Giuffre recently published Taking the Heat – Women Chefs & Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen. It’s a detailed and fascinating study of why this trade remains so male dominated, and how to make changes. This is a topic I’ve long wanted to discuss on the podcast, and I was delighted to find this new book and connect with the authors. There’s no shortage of short articles about diversity in foodservice, but it’s rare to have people research the issue so thoroughly and present their findings in such an approachable way.
I highly recommend you buy the book, and the authors have also put together an excellent Teaching Guide to help instructors use it in their courses. It will also be useful for managers and chefs who want to raise the issue in their workplace and work on making changes
157: Getting the Best Deal from Food SuppliersNov 5, 2015 52:49
There’s always pressure to keep costs down, and we often look first to the vendors who supply us. Big ticket items like meat and seafood attract plenty of attention, and we should also be watching frozen and dry goods, paper and plastic, fruit and vegetables. Some prices are seasonal and others just seem to creep up over time.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Joe Dunbar, the Food Cost Wizard. We discussed negotiation tactics and what makes a ‘good deal’, including price, price stability, availability and delivery. The value of locking in a single supplier for long-term deals, the importance of product specifications, and using online ordering systems and portals. There’s not much Joe hasn’t seen in his many years working with restaurants, foodservice and vendors of all sizes – it was great to tap into his experience!
156: 10 Ways To Quit Bad Habits and Start Some Good OnesOct 29, 2015 49:39
Is there a bad habit you want to kick, or a healthy habit you want to start and stick to? Maybe it’s smoking, overeating, too much alcohol or the way you react to friends and family. Perhaps you want to start walking and exercise regularly, and not quit like the last time. Sometimes there are bad business habits: disorganised, avoiding issues or reacting impulsively. It can be hard to maintain good habits and stop the bad ones.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with counsellor and therapist Jacqueline Stone of Wise Stress Mastery. She’s put together 10 tried and tested ways to make the changes you want, to stick with them, and succeed! After good habits are repeated often enough, they soon become regular and almost automatic – and that’s a great feeling!
155: Improving Restaurant Speed and EfficiencyOct 22, 2015 47:48
‘Every work position, process, equipment piece and facility in a restaurant has a capacity that can be measured, and therefore, managed.’ This is the positive message from Brian Sill, of restaurant consulting group Deterministics. Since 1985 Brian has been evangelising the merits of an engineering perspective to restaurant executives.
In this interview. Ken Burgin talks with Brian Sill about the five key areas to improve operational excellence: reduce variability in work processes, improve the output of work positions, identify and fix bottlenecks, throughput modelling of menus and recipes, and finally developing ‘labor recipes’ for each food and beverage item to understand the true cost of production.
No matter what size restaurant, cafe, hotel or bar you operate, the insights and suggestions shared in this interview will help to boost your efficiency, cut costs and increase sales.
154: Handling Employees Who Want RevengeOct 15, 2015 47:45
Why do some employees want to take it out on their boss, a co-worker or a business? Maybe they quit, or were dismissed: maybe the anger is justified, maybe not. It might be an allegation of unfair dismissal, of bullying or sexual harassment. Maybe they know something about the business that they’re threatening to reveal to a government department. And then there’s all the mischief that can be created with social media comments and review sites, watched by thousands of people.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Richard Edwards of Whites Legal, a Melbourne firm specialising in hospitality businesses. He has helped many owners and managers with employment issues, including a wide variety of staff who want to ‘get even’. We discussed how to make your business more ‘bullet proof’, the skills managers need to intervene and fix problems early, better record keeping, and how to negotiate with government authorities if they start to make inquiries.
153: How to Attract Affluent Travellers to your RestaurantOct 8, 2015 52:30
We all love customers who appreciate our offer, and aren’t afraid to spend. People who want good food, the best wine and great service – bring it on! These people are often ‘tourists with money’ – they like to travel in comfort and experience the best that’s available in your city, town or countryside.
But how do smaller operators attract these visitors – isn’t this all tied up by the big hotels? And what if you’re a cafe, boutique patisserie or quirky bar? In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jeff Ward, the Savvy Navigator. With many years experience in airlines and travel, he knows all about the expectations of well-heeled travellers from the USA and Europe; he organises tours for these people all the time. We talked about the food & beverage experience they’re after, the value of authenticity, the role of online review sites, and dealing with hotel concierges. You don’t need to be a big, high-priced establishment to access these travellers, but they won’t find you by accident.
152: Starting a New Beer CafeOct 1, 2015 38:15
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a podcast listener who was keen to share his story.
Dane Adkins wrote: ‘I'm opening a community café/bar in the beautiful, seaside suburb of Semaphore, South Australia in the not too distant future. Sweet Amber Brew Café will be home to South Australia's tastiest craft beers - and home to those who enjoy drinking them. Our food will be largely inspired by the craft beer revolution with many of the meals using beer as an ingredient, and then paired with particular beers to enhance the tasting experience. All of which will take place in a relaxed, eclectic café-style environment.
Whilst listening to your podcast on my morning walk an idea came to mind; many of your interview subjects are already successful hospitality professionals (who offer knowledge through recounting their experiences). However, it would be great to hear the 'real time' experiences of a novice opening and establishing a café. It could be produced and published as an ongoing case study, identifying the significant challenges that others are likely to encounter on their journey. As an example, topics of discussion may include; liquor licensing legislation & council approvals, finding and developing relationships with key suppliers, marketing a business from scratch, website creation and many more topics. This sort of information will be incredibly useful to anyone intending to open their own establishment. Thanks again Ken for sharing your valuable knowledge with the hospitality community, I hope to be able to do the same!’
We agree Dane, this information could be very useful for people in the planning or ‘considering’ stage, and even for experienced operators. Enjoy the first interview just before the opening of the Sweet Amber Brew Cafe!
151: How to Tell Stories with Video - for Restaurants, Hotels, Bars & ClubsSep 24, 2015 53:32
Video is the hot format for all types of online marketing – on Facebook and YouTube, or playing on your website. Keep it short, sharp and interesting, and use it to promote a conference or wedding venue, show your dining facilities or bar, the entertainment, behind the scenes in the kitchen, happy staff and happy customers.
In this video Ken Burgin talks with video maker and TV presenter Duane Strauss. We discussed the types of video storytelling that work for a venue, how to get the best from a video maker, how to plan content to tell a good story, and how to hold people’s attention. Duane’s craft is making short videos for TV, so he knows how to tell a story that keeps people watching right to the end. You can find him online here.
150: How to Get the Best from Gen Y and Millennial EmployeesSep 17, 2015 48:20
Is the work ethic of your young employees frustrating you, or maybe it’s just hard to understand? Your feelings are shared by many hospitality business owners and managers, even of the same age! Maybe we’re trying to fit ‘square pegs into a round holes’... ignoring the terrific skills and aptitude of staff in this younger generation. These are our future leaders, and in some countries there are now more Millennials working than Baby Boomers - it’s time to be more understanding.GenY or Millennials were born 1980 - 2000 Generation X – between about 1960 - 1980 Baby Boomers – post WW2 to 1964
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with HR strategist Avril Henry. She is passionate about transforming leadership models, building diversity and reforming out-dated workplace practices. She has worked with organisations of all sizes, from small companies to the Australian Defence Force. We talked about different motivators across generations, how to make feedback relevant, status symbols, training styles, mentoring, better recruitment and job security. If you want to really engage and use the talents of your Gen Y workforce, listen to this great interview and check Avril’s books, available from her website AvrilHenry.com.
149: How to Create a Great CV or Resume for a Restaurant PositionSep 13, 2015 48:37
There’s a lot involved to make your job application concise, interesting, and relevant to the organisation you’re applying to. And in the digital age, many applications are received and sorted electronically, before they are reviewed by a human – so many factors to consider!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Catriona Watt, the CV Saviour. We discussed the essential elements of a good CV, how long it should be, and what to leave out. We also discussed the importance of Linkedin, the right and wrong way to talk about your achievements (with her format of Challenge, Action, Result), and what should be included in the Cover Letter. There’s so much great information in this conversation – make sure you also download Catriona’s 20-Point CV Health Check to put you on the front foot and get that interview!
148: Building Strong Cafes, Restaurants & Bars in Small TownsSep 3, 2015 55:31
It's easy for rural towns to feel left behind – a small population, it’s hard to find good staff, and just too far from the action. But there are many rural communities that are thriving – from natural resource booms, agricultural expansion and a growing number of residents from internal migration. At the centre of successful small towns are good cafes, restaurants and bars where people can relax, enjoy a meal and meet with friends – your business can be the heart of the community, if you want it.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Becky McCray, business owner, resident of Alva, Oklahoma (pop. 5000) and an advocate for the natural strengths of rural towns and small business. She says people from rural areas ‘have characteristics, part of the culture you grew up with, that makes you a stronger and better business person’. Her website Small Biz Survival, her enthusiasm and the hundreds of businesses she connects with give us a big, rich serving of ideas to help make your business dynamic, competitive and popular. It’s time to get busy!
147: How to Crowdfund a new Hospitality BusinessAug 27, 2015 57:15
Lots of people dream about having their own business, but get stopped by a lack of funds. It takes money to buy equipment, renovate premises, legal fees, builders, electricians, marketing and the stock to get started. Maybe the bank will help, or a rich admirer – we wish!
Another option is Crowdfunding – where you put an investment proposition together and raise money from a lot of small investors. In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with icecream entrepreneur Scott Kilmartin of VintageIceCreamTruck.com. He’s currently funding the renovation of his vintage icecream truck Grace.
Crowdfunding is a great idea and it can be successful IF you prepare properly and understand how the process works. That’s what Scott explains to us in detail – how he’s going through the funding process and how it could work for your new restaurant, cafe or bar. Just recently a country town in Australia raised $600,000 through this process to rebuild their beloved pub that burnt down – anything is possible!
146: Better Negotiation with Staff, Suppliers and CustomersAug 23, 2015 55:22
We usually go all out to ‘win’ – nail down tough conditions and low prices from a supplier, and not give an inch to customers who ask for a better deal. And as for more pay, forget it! Sometimes we win, but sometimes our negotiation ‘foe’ takes their business elsewhere. Then it becomes Win-Lose, not the Win-Win that will put both sides ahead.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with business development consultant Diana Tapp of Real Changes. She has helped hundreds of business owners and managers to develop their negotiation skills and become much more effective with business communication. We discussed negotiation tactics with staff asking for a pay rise, and with organisers who want your ‘very best’ price for an event package (when you’ve already at rock-bottom). We also talked about how to set up an agreement with a new supplier so both parties can move ahead with confidence.
It’s easy to just focus on price, price, price – and that usually shows lack of experience. Diana Tapp gives us four winning ways to make negotiations more effective, and ultimately more profitable for all concerned. This interview has great content for managers, chefs and business owners – it’s a skill everyone needs to improve!
145: We Need to Talk – Handling Difficult ConversationsAug 17, 2015 50:13
The words we’re often so nervous about saying, or hearing: We Need To Talk. It may be an honest conversation with an employee whose performance has slumped, with a business partner about sharing the workload, a supplier about prices, or even with someone in your family. Most people aren’t good at these conversations, and we don’t learn it at home or at school.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Andrea J Lee, a business coach and writer who’s helped hundreds of people to handle interpersonal communication much more effectively. Her new book We Need to Talk sets out a simple and powerful model to help ‘untangle the stuckness’ with the conversations we fear. It can help with money conversations, employee interviews, time-wasting meetings, handling apologies to customers and even just saying No to requests you’re not excited about. We all need to be more assertive and ask better questions – I'm sure you’ll find this interview extremely helpful in all areas of your business and personal life.
144: How to Manage Partnerships in the Restaurant BusinessAug 10, 2015 41:27
Partnerships sound like a great idea – share the resources, the work and the brain-power. More inputs mean more profit, so 1 + 1 = 3, right? But most partnerships don’t work out as hoped – the expectations were unrealistic, the profits weren’t there, or the division of time and responsibilities led to disagreement.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with lawyer Richard Edwards of Whites Legal. He’s helped many business partners set up a cafe or restaurant, helped others to fine-tune their agreement, and assisted others to end their partnership. Hopefully the termination will be amicable, sometimes it’s not. We discussed essential elements of a partnership agreement, the division of work and profits, buy-sell agreements, and how family members can come into the equation. If you’re planning a partnership for a cafe, restaurant or bar, or you’re in one and have questions, this is an excellent source of information.
Richard was also interviewed in Podcast 93 on Legal Essentials for a New Cafe, Restaurant or Bar
143: Better Leadership – There’s an I in TeamAug 2, 2015 45:29
Effective teams need good leaders, and that's the topic of a new book by Gihan Perera – ‘There’s an I in Team’. It upends the cliché that 'there's no I in team', and examines the leadership needed for a modern organisation – effective teams need good leaders, they don’t just wait for the right course of action to emerge.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Gihan about the three essentials for an effective leader in the digital age: Be a Leader People Want to Follow, Build a Team They Want to Be a Part Of, and Reach Out to a World that Wants to Help. Gihan Perera has a unique ability to make management concepts clear and achievable – you will enjoy the many insights he has for all of us in hospitality. You can buy the book in paper or digital format at There’s an I in Team, and follow Gihan on Twitter and LinkedIn.
142: How to Develop a Strategy for Social Media MarketingJul 26, 2015 49:35
So much social media activity done by business is random and inconsistent, with little thought as to how it will lead to sales. Hospitality venues miss so many photo opportunities, and use the same sales pitches that they use everywhere else. But social media is about connections and conversation, not just being talked at!
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Holly Galbraith of Go Future Media. Holly is an experienced tourism marketer with great hospitality experience, and a strong desire for businesses to put a social media strategy together before they go firing off Facebook updates and tweeting in all directions! Amongst the many topics covered, we discussed the content ‘pillars’ that can support your social media, how to choose the right platforms, how to maintain consistency and how to measure results. You can also hear Holly on her own Tourism Tweetup podcast and find her on Twitter.
141: How to Create Popular and Exciting Wine EventsJul 20, 2015 46:43
Let’s face it – a lot of wine dinners, tastings and events are dull and a bit disappointing. Too much talk, too many frowns, and not enough of the enjoyment and pleasure that wine is all about. They don’t help to grow the audience for wine, or they're not events that people rush back to.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Dan Sims – he’s committed to ‘producing large scale events for wine drinkers that are informative, interactive and not in the slightest bit scary.’ His company Bottleshop Concepts produces the wildly popular wine events Pinot Palooza, the new Game of Rhones and many more. They’re full of fun, passion and attract a younger (and more female) demographic – wine with enthusism, not snoozing. If you want to bring your restaurant wine list, staff training and wine events to life, you’ll find this podcast full of inspiration.
140: A Better Life and Career for Chefs Over 30Jul 13, 2015 42:10
The high turnover and shortage of kitchen staff is a worldwide problem – it’s not a career that attracts or holds enough good people. The work is physically hard, the hours can be long and unsociable, and the career opportunities limited. Many chefs leave hospitality completely, instead of finding other ways to use their experience within the industry.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Geremy Glew of Placed Recruitment. a specialty recruitment company focusing on chefs and hospitality staff. Geremy is a chef and knows how kitchens work in large and small venues – he has many insights into this situation, and shares practical advice for chefs and the business operators who employ them.
139: How to Reduce Employee Theft in RestaurantsJul 5, 2015 45:27
It’s a big problem in hospitality – and it’s probably happening at your business. Independent restaurants and cafes are especially vulnerable, as they often lack rigorous systems for hiring, training and supervising employees. Once a thief starts working for you and finds your weaknesses, they’ll just keep going.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with the ‘Crime Doctor’ Chris McGoey about the wide range of employee fraud and theft in restaurants. With food, liquor and cash in daily use, and often with inadequate security and controls, it’s easy for things to go wrong. Chris shares some excellent suggestions on how to tighten up your systems and keep profits in the business instead of in the pockets of dishonest staff. You can find him at CrimeDoctor.com and also listen to his podcast Crime School.
138: A Month in Italy: What I Learned About the Restaurant BusinessJun 29, 2015 36:23
When you travel, there’s a lot you can learn about your own industry – customers, service, menus and marketing. Make sure to keep your camera busy! Even if it’s just to another city, but in this case I went to Italy for a month – travelling in the area around Rome and to the south in the 'boot', then another week in the north visiting the big cities of Genoa and Milano.
I’ve recorded my observations here, particularly food, service and restaurant operations – I was also interested to see how well I could operate my own business, Profitable Hospitality, from on the road. It’s fairly different to your venue, in that I’m not serving guests with food and drinks. But operating remotely with the aid of modern digital tools went very well, and I’ve explained how in the last section of the podcast. I’d love to hear your observations about travelling in Italy – the food, the service and ‘the business’. Click on the Comments link and add your thoughts...
I’ve put a wide selection of photos from the trip into several albums on Flickr – you can see them here
137: 10 Less-Common Skills to Improve Customer ServiceJun 22, 2015 31:12
Great customer service needs more than just a friendly smile and product knowledge. There’s a bunch of other skills that service and front-line staff need if your business is going to be ahead of the competitors.
In this podcast Ken Burgin outlines 10 skills that go beyond ‘the usual’ – some will be familiar and others maybe less so. As staff and managers improve their ability in these areas, there will be a significant improvement in service quality, positive feedback and sales.
Many more articles and resources for restaurant, hotel and bar customer service on the Profitable Hospitality website...
136: How to Build a Community with your CustomersJun 15, 2015 39:52
Guest, visitors, customers, pax – what do you call them? There are many benefits when you decide to go further, and work to make the people who enjoy your food and drink into a community - increased loyalty, increased spend, return visits and recommendations. PLus you're likely to get more pleasure from the work you do in the business.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Suzi Dafnis, CEO of the Australian Businesswomen’s Network, about how they’ve built a community from a diverse range of members, and how that experience can be applied to a cafe, restaurant, club or bar. First there needs to be a willingness to be ‘community minded’, ready to engage with visitors as real people. You’ll also be actively listening and responding to what they want, and taking a leadership role to build the community through better communication, events, and product improvement. There’s a very optimistic feel to this interview – so much is possible with small steps. I hope you enjoy it!
135: 10 Everyday Habits to Make You a Calmer PersonJun 8, 2015 53:49
How do calm people achieve that state, and maintain it? They seem to be confident, relaxed and in control – frustrations and roadblocks are handled, and don’t cause upsets and drama. And why does the hospitality industry seem to be so addicted to stress?!
In this interview, Ken Burgin interviews Jacqueline Stone, a counsellor and therapist. Her business Wise Stress Mastery is committed to helping people find relief from stress and lead happier, more productive lives. We look at the 10 everyday habits she suggests to help you be calmer and more effective, even when staff don’t turn up, the fridge breaks down or a large booking cancels!
Jacqueline was also interviewed in Podcast 49: How to Help Your Staff Give Up Smoking.
134: Using Influence Patterns to Boost Sales and Manage StaffJun 1, 2015 28:35
In business, your ability to influence the actions and beliefs of customers and staff is crucial. It’s also important not to be constantly influenced by others. So when we discuss the idea of influence, the most useful question is, "How, when, where, and why do we influence people?"
In his famous book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini addresses the 'how' by providing the Six Principles underlying the process of influence and why they work. It’s what Ken Burgin discusses in this podcast, looking at how you can ethically influence customers to spend, recommend and return. Plus how to influence staff to be reliable, productive and engaged in their work. Cialdini’s ideas are easy to understand and very powerful.
133: The Power Stories Every Restaurant & Bar Must TellMay 25, 2015 34:33
Everyone loves to hear a story, and traditionally they have a beginning, middle and end. They may tell us about success, adventure, lessons learned, happy times, difficulties faced, challenges overcome, and moving onto the next stage. There are many stories you can tell about your business, and some of them will be a powerful part of your marketing and influence.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Valerie Khoo of the Australian Writers Centre, about the 8 ‘Power Stories’ that she believes every business can and should tell. You don’t have to be a professional writer to tell stories, just draw on your experience and share the details. Stories are useful for a variety of audiences – your customers, the media, your staff, your bank and even to convince yourself of the value of what you do. Make sure to also check Valerie’s book Power Stories: The 8 Stories You Must Tell to Build an Epic Business
131: What Tourists Want from Wineries and RestaurantsMay 11, 2015 53:27
Tourists are hungry and thirsty, just like our other visitors, and they also have extra needs and desires. By adding to their experience they will spend more time and money, come back for a second visit, and tell their friends using photos and social media.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Robyn Lewis of VisitVineyards.com – a leading directory of food, wine, wineries and vineyards. As well as hosting a huge list of destinations and experiences, she shares about industry marketing trends and runs industry surveys to find out what customers and operators are really doing. This interview will be a rich source of information for restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars, wineries and tourism operators.
130: Social Media, Food Trucks and IcecreamApr 13, 2015 51:55
Food trucks are at the cutting edge of food innovation and social media marketing. Competition is fierce and there are low barriers to entry; consumers expect fast service and great flavours. The US leads the way with mobile food development, and there’s always value in a trip to the east or west coast to check developments.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Scott Kilmartin of Short Batch Icecream Company and the Online Store Guys. He’s just back from a trip to the annual Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego, and he also visited San Francisco and Los Angeles to see icecream shops and food trucks – he has a lot to tell us!
132: Keeping Up with Industry Information & Getting Things DoneApr 8, 2015 34:48
Coping with the flood of industry information is a constant challenge – food & beverage trends, government regulations, staff requirements – it never stops!
In this podcast Ken Burgin talks about the tools and techniques he uses to stay up to date, save important information and share it with his team and Profitable Hospitality members.
129: Understanding and Using Mystery Shopper SurveysApr 8, 2015 41:59
Social media gives feedback in a random way, but how much better if you could find out in detail what customers experience – the food and beverage, the welcome, the service and departure. Even the toilets! Customers compare your place with others they visit – an objective view is so valuable.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jen Walls of Above Benchmark. Her company runs mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys in all areas of hospitality. You may have tried your own feedback forms – what’s clear from this interview is how much is involved in getting useful, measurable information, that can be compared from one month to the next. Information that gives constructive feedback to managers and staff, leading to improvements that bring customers back more often and telling their friends. Listen in and learn how professionals design surveys and gather the most useful feedback.
128: Successful Kitchen RecruitmentApr 8, 2015 50:55
The #1 issue for most hospitality operators is finding and keeping good kitchen staff – it’s a big challenge. There’s worldwide competition for good cooks, and a declining number of people who want to work the long and unsociable hours. But many operators could do a much better job of promoting the jobs available and choosing the right candidate, not the wrong one!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Geremy Glew of Placed Recruitment, a specialty recruitment company focusing on chefs. Geremy is a chef and knows how kitchens work in large and small venues – he’s the ideal person to give us advice. We discussed job advertisements, responding to inquiries, personalities, matching staff with a position, reference checking, the conditions staff want and the role of recruiters. If you want to find better kitchen staff, with more hits and fewer ‘misses’, make sure you listen to this podcast – it’s packed with useful information. You will also find the job descriptions, job advertisement formats and management documents you need for chefs at Profitable Hospitality.
127: How I Organise Management Training for RestaurantsApr 7, 2015 44:11
It’s very satisfying to organise inhouse training for a restaurant, hotel or club – we can dig deep into the particular needs of an organisation and work on their issues. In this podcast I pull back the curtain on some of the Profitable Hospitality workshops I have run in the last two years – topics and techniques.
Whatever the training agenda, there is usually a common core of issues to be covered – financial management, efficient training of staff, staff supervision and ‘leadership’. It’s easy for sessions to focus on cost-control, and forget that increasing the number of visitors and sales per customer will also make a big difference to the bottom line. Using social media to drive sales has become another popular subject, and guidance on managing online feedback and reputation issues.
126: How Restaurant & Bar Operators Can Develop Multiple Sources of IncomeApr 6, 2015 37:49
People work very hard in this industry, and the risks are high. The economy is a challenge, trends change, and new competitors arrive all the time. Developing an income that doesn’t just depend on customers ‘turning up’ makes a lot of sense.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Diane Kennedy, a CPA based in Reno Nevada. Her business USTaxAid is in the business of helping people to ‘Make More and Keep More’, through expanded income opportunities and the wise use of tax minimisation. I’ve known Diane for quite a few years, and always been impressed by the enthusiasm she brings to helping people get better fianncial results from their hard work.
We discuss five types of income and how to develop them:
- Active income
- Leveraged active income
- Recurring income
- Residual income
- Passive income
125: How Restaurants & Chefs Can Develop Retail Food ProductsMar 29, 2015 48:58
Retail products can be a new income stream for your restaurant, add some marketing flair, or create an independent business that doesn’t depend on lots of staff and expensive premises. Jams, pickles, sauces, dry products, pre-cooked meals, baked goods, savoury and sweet items – there are many options.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jane del Rosso of My Other Kitchen – her business is focused on helping people to research and develop new food products and get them to market. Whether it’s in her large commercial kitchen, through classes or consultation, Jane has helped hundreds of people bring new products to market. Production methods, packaging, labelling, health regulations, marketing, profit margins, pricing, online sales and retail options – there’s a lot to consider!
124: Managing Rosters and Staff SchedulesMar 23, 2015 43:01
It’s the job that most managers dislike, and one of the most important: the staff roster and schedule. Putting strong staff on the busy shifts, having just enough people to match customer numbers, juggling time off, and controlling wage costs. There’s got to be an easier way!
In this interview Ken Burgin interviews Kristin Harris from Deputy.com – one of the leading online rostering and staff management systems. We look at the advantages of online vs traditional systems, how labour and administrative costs can be saved, and the ‘convenience factor’ for management and staff. Plus a range of tasks that can now be done more efficiently – alignment of sales to roster hours, reporting, journal entries and task assignment. It’s time to take this tedious job online and enjoy the advantages!
122: Online Branding & Reputation for Hospitality ProfessionalsMar 9, 2015 38:08
Good brands are memorable – and stand out from the crowd. The same applies for professional people working in hospitality: it’s important to present yourself online with clarity and focus. You already have a brand, whether it is associated with your personal name or your business name - just try Googling your name and see what comes up!
In this discussion, Ken Burgin talks with marketing consultant James Burgin about the opportunities to build your online presence, reputation and network. It’s not just about social media channels, although they are important, but also about creating an online profile, sharing written and photographic content, protecting your reputation and using the right online tools and resources.
As the saying goes, you can ‘not, not create an impression’ - let’s make sure it’s the one you want!
123: 10 Essentials for a Winning Restaurant WebsiteMar 2, 2015 51:19
We all need a website, but what does that mean this year compared to 12 months ago, and when will it need to be upgraded again? The website also needs to be mobile friendly, because Google now actively penalises websites that don’t work well on mobile phones – so many things to consider!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Ben Jones of Growth Studios. Ben is an experienced web designer with a background in graphic design, direct marketing and web design – it’s a strong combination. We discussed the best way add menus, photo albums, an About Us page, an Employment section, Location details, a booking link, and an inquiries page. Plus ecommerce, strong visual design elements and the importance of good SEO to attract Google searches.
121: How to Profit With Senior CustomersMar 1, 2015 55:05
We’re not just talking about the frail and very old, but everyone 55 and over. Many have another 40-50 years of life ahead of them - that’s a lot of eating out, coffee, snacks and beverages! Understanding the segments within the broad group of ‘senior diners’ was one of the first distinctions raised by today’s guest Aaron Fish, a foodservice executive working in the retirement living sector in Texas. He has extensive experience in restaurants, and brings that understanding to this conversation with Ken Burgin.
Topics discussed include menu options, handling dietary needs, choosing the right staff, service expectations and the role of food in the lives of people who don’t go to work every day. Lunch and dinner can be important for entertainment as well as nourishment, and that gives more possibilities for creating a popular and profitable business. Baby-boomers and seniors are a massive proportion of the population - often overlooked and under-serviced, and that means opportunity!
You can connect with Aaron on Linkedin and also on Twitter @ahfish
120: Values, Vision and Mission Statements – Cutting through the BSFeb 23, 2015 50:06
Vision, Mission, Values, Culture, Empowerment and Engagement... So many big words used so carelessly by people who think repeating them will magically improve productivity, reduce staff turnover and boost profits. It takes much more than fancy signs on the wall to do that!
In this week’s interview, Ken Burgin talks with Kevin Dwyer of Change Factory. He’s worked for many years with companies large and small that want to make real improvements in their workplace culture and management effectiveness. That’s why he gets impatient with people using these terms without genuine commitment. He gives us real, understandable definitions that everyone can grasp, and we also discuss the important issue of having the company’s vision match with the personal vision and ambitions of the staff. You’ll enjoy this interview and have lots to think about for your own business, no matter what the size or style.
119: How a Large Caterer Manages Staff and CultureFeb 16, 2015 01:01:53
Staff shortages, costs and challenges are often on the mind of hospitality people, and they love to complain. So it was great to talk with a business operator who employs more than 100 people and finds his employees a source of strength and opportunity, rather than a drama.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Miccal Cummins, director of award-winning catering group Gastronomy. They’ve established a great reputation in Sydney for corporate catering, creative events, venue management and the quality of their food. They’ve also developed a ‘second line’ called Packed Lunch, for online ordering of food for conferences and meetings. We discussed the growth of the business, management of recruitment and induction, the type of staff they look for and how they maintain a strong, positive culture. This was an interview that left me inspired and positive about the future of the industry!
118: How to Work with a Restaurant Web DesignerFeb 9, 2015 53:31
A new website or an upgrade? It always feels like hard work and uncertainty when restaurants, bars and clubs decide to make a change. There are so many things to consider: all the technical details (usually confusing and unknown), briefing a designer, the budget, design and branding, plus adding new features like social media integration, photo galleries, a booking service, email subscription and a ‘shop’.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Ben Jones of Growth Studios, an experienced web designer with a background in graphic design, direct marketing and web design – it’s a strong combination. As well as the topics above, we discussed choosing the right platform (is Wordpress the right one?), what restaurants and bars usually have on their ‘shopping list’, how to add e-commerce facilities, the importance of making the site Google-friendly, and keeping the project on track. If you’ve got plans for a new website or an upgrade, this podcast contains important information!
117: Success Strategies from the Organic Market & CafeFeb 2, 2015 52:33
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Grahame Murray of the Organic Market & Cafe - they've been open for 26 years! It’s in the beautiful hills above Adelaide, Australia. The business has expanded and modernised in that time, taking over more space and adding an online shop. They’re also using modern technology to manage staff, bookkeeping and even tablet ordering for ‘queue-busting’ when it's busy – another way to keep customers happy and willing to spend.
We also discussed design and retail display, menu development, working with local fruit and vegetable suppliers and how much true organic produce can be included on an affordable menu. Plus building a stable team of staff and the value of an active presence on social media – make sure to check them on Instagram and Facebook.
116: Updating 8 Neglected Areas of Your BusinessJan 26, 2015 30:33
It’s January 2015, and while you've still got the 'new year feeling', it's time to check on a few business and personal issues that might be holding back you and the team.
Buckle up and let's give our attention to people, money, tech and equipment. Build up the things that work and reduce those that hold you back. The appearance of the business and how well it responds to customers. Let’s look at your website from all angles, your local profile, and how much feedback staff are receiving on their good and not-so-good performance. And a quick check on your own efficiency and business skills for the demanding, competitive year ahead. You'll find lots of resources and how-to articles to help at Profitable Hospitality.
115: My Best Apps and Online Tools for 2015Jan 19, 2015 37:59
Here’s my annual list – about half are new this year, and the rest are well-tested and help make my business efficient, responsive and available wherever I am. I have chosen tools that will also be useful in your cafe, restaurant, hotel, club or bar – whatever size of operation you have. Let me know in the comments which services and apps you use, or if you have another favourite we should know about.
Apps and online services mentioned:
* ToDoIst – to-do list that syncs across devices
* Teamwork and Trello – project management
* Evernote – note-taking, web bookmarks and documents – syncs across devices
* NutshellMail – daily notification of social media mentions
* Dropbox and Google Drive – store documents in the cloud and access anywhere
* Jotform and Wufoo – create forms online, to use with customers and staff
* Jing – take screenshots and screen-recordings to share explanations
* Hootsuite – post to Twitter, Linkedin and Google+, plus advanced scheduling
* Canva – become your own designer with this online service
114: How to Find and Select the Right Service StaffJan 12, 2015 01:03:03
It’s a constant frustration for restaurant and bar operators – plenty of people looking for work, but most who apply don’t have the skills, attitude or knowledge that’s needed. Customers are sick of it too – slow service, staff who don’t notice and a shortage of smiles. But there are good people looking for service positions. If the recruitment you’re doing now is not working, it’s time to take a fresh look at your advertising and selection process.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Roger Simpson, an experienced retail trainer and consultant who works with businesses to increase service levels and grow sales. He’s worked in all sectors of hospitality, and one of his famous (and ongoing) clients is Beechworth Bakery, a business that’s transformed an entire rural town and the face of modern bakeries in Australia. We discussed how to identify staff with potential, developing an ideal ‘person description’ for the staff you want, and his 6 Essential Steps for Recruiting the Right People.
113: Employee Termination and Dismissal – How to Avoid ProblemsJan 5, 2015 55:25
Ending the employment of a staff member is never easy, especially if they’ve worked at the business for a while and formed relationships with other staff. Many managers find it hard to give ‘bad news’, even when they recognise that the person is not capable of doing the work required. The law varies in different countries, but there are over-riding principles of fairness and ‘due process’ that need to be followed in almost all jurisdictions.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Dru Gillan, a lawyer specialising in employment law. We discussed the principle reasons for dismissal: poor performance, misconduct, dangerous behaviour, refusing to follow instructions and retrenchment. We also discussed how to hold a proper performance interview and whether ‘3 warnings’ are always necessary. If an employee comes back with a claim of ‘unfair dismissal’, when are they justified? As always, good Job Descriptions and proper Work Contracts make the whole process much fairer and straightforward.
Find Dru Gillan at Service Industry Legal Services – the man to talk to in Australia for industrial relations and employment law assistance.
112: What Can Be Learned from Spying on Competitors?Dec 19, 2014 26:55
Every restaurant manager, owner and chef worth their salt makes sure to watch and visit the latest hot places and clever competitors. Many of your customers got there first – they’re after newer and better – the pressure is unrelenting!
In this podcast, Ken Burgin looks at how you can take an organised and strategic approach to learning from competitors. The focus of your observation will be on three main areas: the visitor experience, productivity, and sales & marketing. It’s much more than just looking around and snapping photos. Consider the staff, the furnishings, how the atmosphere is created and how management orchestrates the experience. Is the place productive, and how can you work out their running costs? You’ll also be looking at the menu, the marketing and social media activity – that’s where you see customer reactions.
111: How to Manage Harassment & Bullying in the WorkplaceDec 19, 2014 39:43
Work can be a bit rough in some restaurants and bars – high pressure, long hours, impatient managers, heat, late nights and alcohol. No wonder staff sometimes say and do things that they shouldn’t – insults, sex talk, swearing, pushing and yelling. For a long time the attitude was that you put up with it or got out. But modern workplaces now have a much greater focus on safety and management’s ‘duty of care’ – protecting staff is not optional. And employees are much more aware of their rights and legal protection.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with HR expert Natasha Hawker of Employee Matters. We discussed definitions of sexual harassment and bullying, plus the idea of ‘Duty of Care’ and how it applies to managers and supervisors. Also covered were grievance procedures, investigation methods, and the responsibility of staff who witness harassment or bullying – there’s a lot to consider.
110: 10 Ways to Measure and Improve Restaurant SalesDec 17, 2014 25:47
If you're watching staff productivity, menu performance or changing customer tastes, the results usually show up in the sales figures. But what should you check first? Most POS systems offer hundreds of report options, but a few key numbers will give you the most important information.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin goes through 10 important restaurant KPI’s that will show you the success of your sales effort, and help to uncover where improvements can be made. It could be in food, dessert or beverage sales, number of items per customer, menu design or the selling skills and productivity of employees. You’ll find lots more information on sales improvement at Sales & Marketing and the Menu Marketing departments of Profitable Hospitality.
109: What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur in Hospitality?Dec 8, 2014 56:37
Entrepreneurs are inventors, and they’re also risk-takers – ready to go out on a limb with a money-making idea. They’re opportunistic, they like the idea of ‘extreme sport’, focus on the positive side, know how to find followers, and keep an eye firmly on the financial success of a project. Our industry thrives on entrepreneurs who are constantly designing, testing and occasionally failing with new bars, restaurants and cafes – it’s exciting to find a ‘new place’ that ticks all the boxes!
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Harry Hawk, a New York-based marketer and hospitality operator who tells us how he set up a highly-popular beach bar – hiring and training staff, dealing with massive crowds, handling government regulations and keeping customers happy so they stick around, spend up and tell their friends. Plus PR, issues with neighbours, fast food, power supply and even the toilets. You can find Harry on Linkedin.
108: Effective Training for Service Staff and Their ManagersDec 1, 2014 51:15
It’s a common request – how can we train new staff in the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective way? Or work with current staff who are not getting the sales results you want, they’ve stopped smiling, are often late, and aren’t supporting the team. We also need supervisors and store managers who can take the lead and deliver this coaching whenever it’s needed.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Roger Simpson, an experienced retail trainer and consultant who works with businesses to increase service levels and grow sales. He’s worked in all sectors of hospitality, and one of his famous (and ongoing) clients is Beechworth Bakery, a business that’s transformed an entire rural town and the face of modern bakeries in Australia. We discussed his 4 step system for turning leaders into coaches, and his 5 key steps for success with staff – it’s a great discussion.
You can find Roger at TheRetailSolution and I recommend you download his excellent free e-book.
107: How Restaurants & Bars Can Use Linkedin for MarketingNov 25, 2014 41:18
It’s easy to put all your energy into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as the main social media channels for restaurant, hotel and bar marketing. They’re hugely popular, and the advertising options can be effective. But ‘there’s a serious side to business’ where you can make professional connections and turn them into customers and networking opportunities – that's best done with Linkedin.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin shows hospitality business owners and managers how to use Linkedin to enhance their own professional reputation, and reach out to others through its unique networking system. The sales opportunities can be particularly useful, and are rarely used in our industry (but heavily used in the corporate world). Find local professionals you’d like to do business with, connect, make friends and hopefully do business. It needs a ‘slow and steady’ approach, and there’s lots of upside. I hope you will also connect with me on Linkedin – just seach for Ken Burgin in Sydney.
106: Reducing Tension Between Kitchen and Front of HouseNov 17, 2014 29:50
Friction and arguments between restaurant floor staff and the kitchen - it's boring, unproductive and costly. It’s usually a result of poor communication and unrealistic expectations, plus senior management who aren’t taking leadership on the issue.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin of Profitable Hospitality goes through more than a dozen ways you can improve communication and reduce tension between FOH and BOH – clearer goals, a better understanding of teamwork, more productive meetings and an improved flow of information. Plus fixing the system breakdowns (and sometimes equipment breakdowns) that cause unnecessary hardship when the pressure is on. Don’t give up on this issue – when tension flares, it leads to increased costs, loss of sales and high staff turnover
105: What Sport Can Teach Hospitality About Social MediaNov 10, 2014 47:42
Does the use of social media lead to more sales? What’s the ROI for the time and money you put into Facebook, Twitter, YouTube videos and other social media channels? Yes, these questions are still being asked, although at least people are now more focused on the best channels to use and what type of content creates the behaviour you want.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Sean Callanan, the founder and CEO of SportsGeek, a sports digital marketing agency. He’s an avid sports fan, and his business focuses on connecting sporting teams, players, fans and sponsors using modern technology and social media. In sport the talk is about members, fans, game attendance, loyalty, scores and results. Compare this with restaurants, bars and clubs where we discuss customers, visitor numbers, weekly sales and per-head spend. Both industries should be watching and measuring what fans like (and don’t like), what excites them and what lights up social media. Hospitality has a lot to learn from the world of sport!
104: 10 Ways to Improve Staff ManagementNov 3, 2014 32:37
Most staff are happy with things just the way they are: they’ve built their life around the roster, the work rhythm, the other employees and what makes the boss happy (or not). When you want to make changes there is sure to be some resistance, but if costs are rising, there’s not much choice.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin covers a wide range of staff management changes – from recruitment to rostering, training, accountability and teamwork. Plus bonuses, pay rates and even social media policies. Regular, steady change will keep you ahead of the competition and positioned as the best place to work. Don’t forget to also check the Staff Management Dept at Profitable Hospitality, and the huge number of downloads – all available 24/7.
103: Learn about Restaurant Blogging from a Media-Savvy ParkOct 27, 2014 52:39
Centennial Park is very different to a restaurant or bar, but their ability to find stories in the daily events, landscape, visitors and staff are an impressive model for anyone who is wondering about ‘what do I write about’ on a blog. It’s not a small space, with more than 20 million visitors per year and a space that covers 220 hectares (approx 550 acres). Their blog is always interesting, and it’s backed up with great use of social media to reach different audiences.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Craig Easdon, Manager of Marketing & Communications at Centennial Parklands – he’s a fund of information about content creation for the blog, the publishing calendar, social media management and creating popular web content that appeals to visitors, world-wide web browsers and the media. Full and happy disclosure – I live 100 m. from the park and walk around and through it most days of the year!
102: Quick Fixes for Rising Restaurant Food CostsOct 16, 2014 28:41
Supplier prices keep rising, and traditional cost-cutting methods don't always work – you can’t just reduce the portion size, or use cheaper product. Menu price increases are another option, but that’s not always possible - you’ve got competitors and customer reactions to keep in mind.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin looks at some of the ‘quick fixes’ you can do to control the cost of vegetables, dry goods, meat, seafood and dairy products. Reduce the cost percentage, and increase the gross profit margin – there are many things you can do that will together make a substantial impact. Don’t forget that good recipe software has to be part of the mix – we recommend the Profitable Recipe Manager and the Profitable Kitchen Manager Set.
101: How Restaurant & Hotel Managers Can Negotiate a Higher SalaryOct 13, 2014 44:48
Many managers and chefs think they deserve more money, and most of the people who make salary decisions are struggling to keep down wage costs. So how do you have a productive discussion? There are many ways to request a salary review, in a way that can be a ‘win-win’ for both parties.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Sabiha Vorajee, an HR specialist who’s worked with a wide range of companies in the area of reward and remuneration. Through her company High Value Woman, she specialises in coaching women how to negotiate higher salaries – to gain the confidence and skills to ask for what they deserve. Here she shares tips for women and men, plus suggestions for senior management on how to handle salary requests. If you don’t keep salaries comparable to the market, you will soon be losing staff. Pay and benefits is a topic that makes everyone ‘lean forward’ – I’m sure you will find this interview very interesting!
100: How to Create a Paperless Restaurant: Office, Bar, Kitchen & StaffOct 10, 2014 36:28
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks about dozens of ways to create a more efficient and paperless business. It won't happen overnight, but month by month you will find more and more ways to stop the flood of forms and paperwork.
Does this mean new and unfamiliar ways of working? Yes – you need to get the team on board, and most of them are quiet happy with 'the good old ways' but that won't lead you into the future. Your profitable competitors are making this a priority – using iPads, tablets, mobile apps and web services. And making demands on suppliers to get with the program!
Services discussed in this podcast include ToDo Cloud, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Deputy, BurstSMS and the Fujitsu ScanSnap.
099: The Future of Credit Card & Payment Systems for Restaurants & BarsSep 21, 2014 32:59
Hospitality operators have mixed feelings about card payments – we like to offer convenience, but we don’t love the fees charged by banks and card companies. And like many fees, they always seem to be going up! This may be changing, with new competitors, and new, more secure ways to make payments.
In this interview Ken Burgin walks with Paul Wallbank, a digital strategist and writer on technology and business. We discuss the impact of Apple’s new payment system, how Paypal is competing with new services, plus the offers from Google and the banks. Will this result in some real competition for a change? It’s just possible that it will – now could be a good time to ask your bank to ‘sharpen their pencil’ and hold back from making long-term agreements. You can read more from Paul Wallbank on his website and on Twitter.
098: Who's Who in the Entertainment Industry – What Club & Bar Managers Need to KnowSep 15, 2014 41:42
From venue bookers to agents, and all types of managers. Producers, promoters, publicists and ‘friends of the band’ – there’s a whole cast of characters behind the singer, comedian or musician you want performing at your venue.
In this podcast Ken Burgin talks with Chris Keeble, a woman with a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry. Chris helps us understand ‘who’s who in the zoo’ and how to get the best results - a full house of happy customers. She’s undertaken most of the roles, and also writes shows – there’s no better person to be our guide! You can find Chris online at her website and Linkedin.
097: How to Use Facebook Competitions to Grow SalesSep 8, 2014 31:49
A lot has changed for businesses using Facebook – it’s no longer a free ride. Just having people ‘like’ a Facebook Page won’t guarantee that fans will see your news and updates. For that to happen, you need much more compelling content. Competitions are a great way to spark up interest, and have always been a part of hospitality marketing – now you can drive them through Facebook as well.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Nathan Latka, the CEO of Heyo, a company that gives you the tools to create powerful Facebook contests, promotions and deals. It’s the service we use at Profitable Hospitality because it’s super-easy to set up and it gets results. Not only can you put attractive, mobile-friendly campaigns together, but you’ll stay on the right side of Facebook’s strict rules about competitions. Nathan explains the 6 elements of a popular competition, and what type of prizes give the best success rate – sign up for Heyo’s free 7 day trial and give it a spin!
096: 20 Lessons from Smart Cafe & Restaurant OperatorsAug 27, 2014 52:13
A change of pace in this interview – Ken Burgin is talking to another industry podcaster, Eric Cacciatore from Restaurant Unstoppable. He’s a young industry gun who’s hungry to find out how new and seasoned operators are handling social media and marketing, staff management, technology, innovation and competition. It’s no surprise that cacciatore means ‘hunter’ in Italian!
We covered these topics and more, with Eric sharing from the experience of his interview guests and the ‘knowledge bombs’ they throw his way! I was interviewed by Eric a few months back for his Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast, and now he’s returning the favour for Profitable Hospitality – I hope you enjoy this non-stop show!
095: How to Negotiate With Landlords and Business OwnersAug 25, 2014 55:48
Negotiation is part of everyday life – we’re always having to work out deals with family members, staff and suppliers. Occasionally there are BIG deals that need to be agreed upon – the sale or purchase price of a business, details of a bank loan, or the lease terms with a landlord. Many of the same negotation skills apply, but the risks can be much bigger.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Peter Panagiotopoulos, the Cafe Lawyer. Peter works primarily with foodservice businesses, helping them to buy, sell and work out leases. He’s seen plenty of successful negotiation, and some that’s worked out badly for one or more parties. Offers, counter-offers, concessions, brokers, lawyers, timing, respect, caultural issues and the right way to communicate – there’s a lot we cover in this conversation.
094: Preparing and Promoting a Food & Wine DinnerAug 18, 2014 57:07
Food & Wine Events are a great way to showcase your food, wine list and the skill of chefs and sommelier. Customers book and pay in advance – they’re keen, the numbers are known and the cash is already in the bank. What’s not to love?
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Rafael Delgado, an experienced sommelier based in Orlando, Florida. He has prepared a 7-course Menu, pairing American cuisine with Napa Valley Wines. In the first part of the interview, he describes how he has matched the wines with the food, focusing on regionality, balance of flavours, matching body, contrasting flavours and encouraging the use of all the senses. This is not just ‘swallow and talk’, but building on volume, aromas, weight and texture.
In the second part of the interview, they talk about all the ways an event like this can be promoted to existing and new customers – through ‘four wall’ methods within the venue, and via the website, social media, email and online event listing services. There’s a lot of marketing detail covered, with methods that can be used for any type of event.
You can find Rafael on his blog, and he was also a guest in Podcast 77 on Wine Trends, Wine Descriptions and Educating Customers.
093: Legal Essentials for a New Cafe, Restaurant or BarAug 11, 2014 49:17
There are plenty of legal issues to be handled before you begin a new restaurant or bar: the lease, a contract if you take over an existing business, planning permission and all the details around finance and equipment. But there’s still more to come once you open the doors - that's our topic for discussion today.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks to Richard Edwards, a lawyer with Whites Legal a Melbourne firm that specialises in hospitality businesses. He compares this early stage of business to ‘the awkward teenage years’, when you’re growing up fast, making a few mistakes and having to learn quickly about what responsible adults do. We discussed essential employment law, staff policies that should be in place, insurance, Workcover and workers compensation, paying taxes, paying license fees for music, and the obligations and milestones in your lease. This interview has important information for all new restaurant, cafe and bar operators.
092: How to Make Short, Interesting Videos to Share with CustomersAug 4, 2014 30:55
Marketing and social media keep changing, and video is more popular than ever – with customers, and with potential guests. Google also wants to show more video, not just text and photos. We all have a smartphone in our pocket - it’s time to take it out and film what’s happening all around. Customer comments, community events, interviews, staff, new supplies and ‘behind the scenes’ – hospitality is full of stories. Short is better – think of how much information can be squeezed into a 30-second TV commercial!
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Max Hitchins, the Hospitality Doctor. Over the last few years, Max has recorded hundreds of videos and posted them to his YouTube channel. He uses a regular camera, and sometimes just his phone, then adds titles and descriptions in the YouTube notes. He explains his video process, and how easily you can do it too. Everyone’s now talking about ‘content marketing’, and what could be easier than asking customers for an interview so they create it for you!
091: How to Protect your Recipes, Menus and Intellectual PropertyJul 29, 2014 47:32
Ever worried that someone is copying your ideas without permission? Recipes, menus, designs – even your name. When people see that you’re successful, it won’t take long for them to borrow your ‘intellectual property’ – a quick Google search usually gives them most of what they’re after!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Geoff Moller, a business consultant and expert on intellectual property. We discuss trademarks, business names and logos, customer lists, ‘trade secrets’, photographs and of course menus and recipes. There’s a lot of protection you can take advantage of if you take the right steps – and first you need to understand the terms and concepts.
090: Helping Staff Manage their Money and their FutureJul 24, 2014 53:13
Ever worry about how your staff manage their finances? Rent, cars, credit cards, mobile phone plans and another round of vodkas – it’s not just the young ones who get behind in their payments. We don’t pay high wages in hospitality, and many staff live from week to week with little left over.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with financial planner Craig Bigelow of Rising Tide. We discussed how to start positive conversations about money, improving people’s ‘financial intelligence’, using peer influence for positive results, the difference between good debt and bad debt, plus saving, insurance and wills. Craig worked in a bar for five years, so he knows how the industry works. This is a very positive discussion with value for staff (and owners) of all ages.
089: 10 Ways to Make Your Cafe Stand Out from the CrowdJul 20, 2014 59:47
There's a lot more to cafe success than good coffee. You need the right location, equipment, product knowledge and menu. Plus staff who can deliver great service and create a consistent product day after day. Then add smart marketing and a friendly helping of social media.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Levi Andersen of Boyrista.com. He first decided to pull shots for career day at age 6, complete with a Starbucks t-shirt. He resumed his connection with serious coffee during high school, and was soon running a family coffee stand, then a number of cafes. Fast forward several years and he’s now working with Coffee Fest and helping new and existing cafe operators to raise their barista skills, popularity and profits. You can also follow him on Twitter and his regular podcast.
088: How to Run Successful MeetingsJul 14, 2014 52:09
So many meetings don’t work – too long or too short, some people talk too much, others say nothing. Important decisions may be forgotten or ignored, and accountability is avoided. Typical meetings in a restaurant, bar or hotel could be the ten minute pre-shift gathering, half an hour each week for the management team, or a monthly meeting for all staff, designed for education and updates – they can all be very useful.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Cindy Tonkin, the consultant’s consultant. She’s worked in many business settings – large, small, serious corporate and informal small operations. She brings great energy and creativity to this discussion, and will help make meetings a regular, productive and appreciated part of your management. She has also gathered for us a number of recommended articles on meetings – check them out and all the resources on her website.
You can also hear Cindy in Podcast #72 on How to Be a Successful Restaurant and Bar Consultant, and check here website The Consultant’s Consultant.
087: How can Restaurants get more from their Bank?Jul 14, 2014 46:09
Banks can be a source of endless frustration. You want to borrow money for a startup, extend credit during a quiet period, or arrange finance for expansion…and the answer always seems to be ‘No!’. Most of the time, we just don’t know how banks work and how they make decisions.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Neil Slonim, The Bank Doctor. For 30 years he held senior leadership positions in Business Banking, Corporate Banking and in the ‘bad banks’ of both NAB and its subsidiary Bank of New Zealand. ‘Bad banks’ are the divisions where problem loans and borrowers are managed. Neil now works with small and medium size businesses to help them survive and thrive – he’s ‘the banker in your corner’.
We discussed finance for startups, how successful operators can raise money for expansion, how bank decisions are made and how to get the answer you do want to hear. As a part of his consulting service, he offers a very useful Bank Risk Report, giving you detailed information on where you stand with your bank, plus 40 suggestions on how you can improve your standing. More information at The Bank Doctor website, and use the discount coupon ABIS15. You can also follow Neil on Twitter and subscribe to his monthly newsletter.
086: Yes, There is a Great Life After Restaurants – Interview with Alex HerbertJul 10, 2014 01:01:46
You can still create great food and stay connected with the public after a life in restaurants – that’s the reassuring message in this interview with Sydney chef Alex Herbert. Since closing her famous Sydney restaurant Bird, Cow, Fish two years ago, she has created a life that balances family, consulting, cooking for her stall at Everleigh Markets, and regular appearances at festivals and food events.
If you feel that restaurant life is taking its toll, or maybe you want to work with food but avoid signing a lease, there’s much to learn and enjoy when you listen to this interview. Part of Alex’s success comes from staying connected with customers and ‘fans’ through Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn – just because you don’t have your name in restaurant lights doesn’t mean you drop out of sight.
085: How E-commerce Can Boost Sales in your Cafe, Restaurant or BarJun 30, 2014 36:27
We all value the convenience of online banking and ticket sales, and can buy just about anything from a website. However many restaurant and foodservice operators have been slow to embrace all the ways e-commerce can help customers book, visit, eat, drink, spend up and tell their friends.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Scott Kilmartin of the Online Store Guys, an e-commerce agency that creates online stores and advises on e-commerce growth and development. We talked about why e-commerce is more than just money-sales, security issues, the rise of mobile payments, modern customers, and integrating social media into the marketing mix. Plus options to start with Paypal and then grow with one of the online shopping cart systems. Scott is passionate about online sales – let’s embrace that enthusiasm and use his insights for our food & beverage success.
You can also hear Scott in Podcast 83 talking about Developing an Icecream & Gelato Business.
084: Big Success for a Country Cafe – the Red Velvet LoungeJun 30, 2014 59:15
Most people like to get out of the city and enjoy country hospitality, local food and a more relaxed way of life – we all need a holiday! But what’s not always guaranteed is that our very high TV-tuned expectations will be met – it's a big challenge for any small rural business.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Steven Cumper of the Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet, Tasmania – Australia’s southern-most state. This is a country cafe that really does offer all that you want and more – excellent food, attentive service, friendliness and hospitality. Steve took over the business seven years ago and the reputation has grown ever since. He also writes a regular blog The View from My Porch and is active on Twitter – well worth following online and when you’re in the area, make sure to visit!
083: How an Entrepreneur is Developing an Icecream & Gelato BusinessJun 30, 2014 32:03
Full dislosure: in my cafe days we made lots and lots of gelato every day, summer and winter. Two or three flavours, classics or experimental, and it was always very popular. There’s nothing like real house-made gelato, and the combination of milk + sugar + flavour + air gives a very profitable boost to the menu!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with entrepreneur Scott Kilmartin. When he’s not involved with his ‘day job’ the OnlineStoreGuys, he’s developing the Shortbatch Icecream Co. As he describes it “Ice cream craver has idea, goes to gelato school in Italy. Travels the world, visits gelatarias in six countries. Opening ShortBatch initially in the form of an ice cream cart hitting Edinburgh Gardens in Melbourne's inner north...” We had a great discussion about production, distribution, sales, staff and social media – whether you sell icecream or not, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here for developing your own business.
082: How to Create a Profitable Cocktail ProgramJun 26, 2014 57:14
You’ve seen plenty of cocktail menus in bars, pubs and deluxe venues. With the familiar, the unknown, the overpriced and even the outrageous. So how are the profit margins – not just on individual cocktail recipes (they usually work out OK), but across the whole range? Is it a profitable list, or an ego trip? Does it reduce the sale of other easily-made, profitable drinks? Does it appeal to the majority of your customers, and the people you want to see more often?
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jason Jelicich of Barmetrix about how to go beyond the cocktail list and create a profitable cocktail program. Designed for popularity and bottom line results, based on research and knowledge of customers and marketing objectives. Cocktails that can be produced quickly during busy times, and appealing to men as well as women – there’s a lot you can do to improve results.
081: Thirty Years of Italian Family Success – Lucio’s Restaurant in SydneyJun 22, 2014 54:09
It’s 30 years since Lucio’s Restaurant opened in the inner suburb of Paddington in Sydney. Its reputation is stronger than ever for great food and wine, friendly, professional service and a magnificent collection of Australian art on almost every inch of the walls.
In this interview Ken Burgin sat down with Lucio and Sally Galletto, son Matteo and daughter Michaela to talk about the growth and development of the business. They discussed the roles played by each family member, staff, menu development, the kitchen and wine list, cost control, plus marketing and social media. Visit Lucio’s when you’re in Sydney next, and if that will be a while, you can buy also buy his books online – publishing and public appearances are an important part of maintaining the restaurant’s reputation.
080: How Restaurant Owners and Chefs Can Build a Strong Local ProfileJun 19, 2014 48:48
People in hospitality often don’t realise that they’re ‘the most interesting person in the room’ at local events. If you're bogged down with running a business, it’s easy to overlook the opportunities right there in your local area – with the media, local associations, schools, social clubs and wherever people gather.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with media and presentations coach Jaimie Abbott about how restaurateurs, managers and chefs can turn their experience and personality into a major marketing asset. It won’t always be TV or radio, but there are dozens of other ways you can become well known locally – and customers prefer to do business with people they recognise. You can contact Jaimie at JaimieAbbott.com.au
079: International Coffee Trends – Beans, Machines and ServiceJun 15, 2014 41:13
It’s the world’s second most valuable trade commodity, and the word ‘coffee’ is always buzzing in the media and urban stories. Cafes are one of the fastest-growing segments of foodservice, and the latest serving options range from DIY espresso pods through to pour-overs and cold-drips.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talk with Christine Cottrell from Perfect Espresso and the Coffee Education Network, about the international trends she’s observed at coffee shows, competitions and cafes in Europe, the US and Australia. She and her partner have used this research to develop the Barista Bible and a wide range of industry training modules that are used around the world.
078: How Barzura Cafe Has Achieved 20 Years of SuccessJun 12, 2014 52:51
It’s quite an achievement to grow and prosper for twenty years, especially in a highly-competitive beachside suburb in Sydney. That’s the record of Rodney Sen and his family with this very popular business. It’s open seven days and nights and much-loved by the locals and tourists.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Rodney about his role in the business, staff recruitment and loyalty, cost control, menu development and food production. They also discussed marketing, social media and their very active sponsorship of local and international non-profit groups. Plenty to inspire you here – check the Barzura website, connect on Facebook, and call in when you’re next in Coogee – the view is not bad!
077: Wine Trends, Wine Descriptions and Educating CustomersJun 9, 2014 52:33
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with sommelier Rafael Delgado, who's based in Florida. For him, helping customers discover and share the unified story between the food and the beverage program is the secret to successful wine sales, happy guests and repeat visits.
“Every restaurant has its DNA and the wine list should match that DNA. Every wine list should capitalise on the story of each bottle of wine, whether it’s the variety, the region, the ideal pairing with a dish, the winery or winemaker story, or a special wine feature such as weight.”
076: No Barfing! Better Food Safety Management in Kitchens and RestaurantsJun 5, 2014 49:27
“The interested public can handle more, not less, information about food safety. The best restaurants will not wait for government; they will go ahead and make their food safety practices available in a variety of media and brag about them – today”. That’s the opinion of Dr Douglas Powell, a former Professor of Food Safety at Kansas State University now living in Australia. He's the author of the popular (and graphic) Barfblog and you can also find him at Powell Food Safety.
In this interview he talks with Ken Burgin about the gap between the industry’s commitment to food safety and the often careless, inadequate reality. They discussed staff training (much of it ineffective), temperature monitoring, raw food, verification of food origins, handwashing, cross-contamination and the illnesses that can result from careless handling. Illnesses that don’t just cause an upset stomach, but can also cause a long-term organ damage and even death.
At Profitable Hospitality you can download more than 600 Food Safety and Work Safety Posters - ready to print and change around regularly for staff training and awareness.
075: How to Make a Family Business Stronger and More ProfitableJun 1, 2014 53:04
The world of hospitality is built on the back of family businesses – parents who worked hard and established a restaurant, cafe or bar, then bringing some or all of their children into the operation. Or it may be brothers and sisters who work together, building a business with shared skills and a deeper level of trust than is usually found between regular ‘business partners’.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with business advisor Aristidis Semertzidis. Trained as an accountant, Ari has worked with family businesses of all sizes. He has helped them to understand the shared responsibilities of a ‘family constitution’ and establish proper financial systems. We also discussed managing business succession between generations, and protecting family assets that have been built up over the years. You can contact Ari at WorkingKapital and on Linkedin.
074: How to Choose a Professional Camera for Restaurant & Event UseMay 29, 2014 32:19
Many restaurants and venues want to do more of their own professional-quality photography. They know that smartphone cameras are useful, but there are limitations, especially at night. Having a professional photographer available is great, but may be outside the budget. So what pro camera should they choose for food and customer photos, event shots and all the images needed to show off their facilities?
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with professional photographer Mark Burgin, leading on from Podcast 68 on How to Use an iPhone for Quality Camera & Bar Photos. They discuss camera options, lenses, when the camera will be used, and the editing and post-production of photos. You may also have heard Mark in Podcast 5 talking about How to Work with a Professional Photographer. You can find his great work and wide-ranging hospitality portfolio at Mark Burgin Photography.com.
073: Managing Restaurant Growth with Gavin van Staden of Red Spice RoadMay 26, 2014 50:49
Growing restaurants always need to develop their management structure and systems. More staff and venues need different skills and different types of reporting and accountability. Melbourne’s well-known Apples & Pears Group have grown rapidly in the last few years – they now have more than 100 staff and 3 venues – the original Red Spice Road, plus Burma Road and the Orchid Room.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Gavin van Staden, Managing Director of the group, about developing his own management skills and those of his team. Growth is exciting, but it’s easy for profit margins to be squeezed unless a close eye is kept on sales, wages, cost of goods and marketing effectiveness. The growth and reputation of the group shows how well this is being done.
072: How to Be a Successful Restaurant or Bar ConsultantMay 22, 2014 51:49
So you’ve built up years of experience running a kitchen, bar or restaurant, and now you’d like to have more time at home or with the family. Great idea. Consulting often comes to mind when chefs, managers and owners look for another way to turn their knowledge into an income – surely people will pay for what you’ve learned?
In this lively interview, Ken Burgin talks with Cindy Tonkin. She’s known as the Consultant’s Consultant, and has helped many professionals turn their skill and passion into a consulting careers. She shares some great insights on establishing credibility, the importance of marketing (all the time), client relationships, managing the paperwork and of course, how much to charge. Listen to the interview and check Cindy’s very useful website and books at ConsultantConsultant.
071: How to Start an Interesting Blog for your Restaurant or BarMay 19, 2014 51:20
Your online diary or blog is an opportunity to communicate directly with customers and online visitors – the latest news on menu changes, events, producers, the local area, staff and recipes. Plus information from ‘behind the scene’ – always of interest to a public obsessed with TV food shows! It will also give a boost to your search-engine rankings – Google gives preference to websites that are updated regularly. Your blog gives a human voice to your business and online presence - the casual conversations that people remember and value.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Clinton Power of Blog Success School – he teaches people how to set up a blog, and how to keep it regularly updated, interesting and widely read. We discussed why he prefers Wordpress as a blogging platform, how to use the right ‘keywords’ and posting format for maximum Google attention, content strategies, and where to find good photos to add interest to posts.
70: How to Improve the Gross Profit in a BarMay 15, 2014 28:43
In Podcast #64 we talked about stock control in bars - over-ordering, sloppy stock counts, storage problems, POS errors and stealing. In this second interview with Troy Kelly of Barmetrix, we bring the other elements of Gross Profit management into the equation: purchasing and sales. When you carefully manage all three, you’re well on the way to having industry-leading profit margins.
Troy runs a full-time stocktaking business for bars, pubs and restaurants, and there’s not much he hasn’t seen or fixed. Whether you run a restaurant, bar, pub or upmarket hotel, you’ll find very useful tips and techniques in this interview he recorded with Ken Burgin.
069: How to Manage a Restaurant’s Online ReputationMay 12, 2014 41:41
There’s no shortage of happy, sad or annoyed customers ready to speak up online. Yelp, Urbanspoon, TripAdvisor and Facebook make it easy for people to have an audience. It’s also easy for restaurant and bar operators to feel helpless and upset when they’re besieged by opinions, advice and putdowns. Help!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Ed Charles of Tomato Media and food blog Tomatom. Ed is a business journalist who moved onto writing about bars, restaurants, food and producers. He’s also one of Australia’s original food bloggers, and now helps cafes and restaurants manage their online presence and reputation. Ed is a strong believer in businesses pro-actively shaping the story they want customers to hear – not just on social media, but with an interesting blog and a modern website. When you have a regular flow of good news, it will soon drown out the occasional grumble about a service error.
068: How to Use an iPhone for Quality Restaurant & Bar PhotosMay 8, 2014 31:51
It’s the extra brain in your pocket – a device that handles email, messages, websites, phone calls and also takes great photos. Smartphones have replaced most small ‘point and shoot’ cameras, and by being so available, there are a lot more opportunities for spontaneous customer, location and product shots in the restaurant, cafe or bar.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with professional photographer Mark Burgin. Mark uses big, black DSLR cameras for his professional work, but also loves spontaneous shots with his phone. He sees lots of possibilities with phone pictures, and some important limitations that need to be managed. We discussed his 4 C’s for good photography – Content, Context, Composition and Colour, and all the ways you can use a smartphone to take great pictures of your busy, happy venue. Find Mark online at Mark Burgin Photography and on Instagram at @MarkBurgin.
067: How Restaurant Judging WorksMay 5, 2014 48:49
Before Yelp, Urbanspoon and Facebook there were newspaper reviews and annual restaurant awards – respected, sought after and still relevant. Reviews turn the spotlight on one venue; restaurant awards compares similar businesses against a range of factors, including food, beverage, service, atmosphere and value.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Cath Kerry, an experienced restaurateur who now trains judges for the annual Restaurant & Catering Australia awards. We discussed how the judging process works to ensure a fair comparison between venues, and how judges assess the quality of food, beverage, service, atmosphere and value. We also talked about international and ‘timeless’ standards, and how relevant they are for modern casual, formal and ‘fine dining’ restaurants. Winning an award or even being a finalist is a great boost for your reputation – here’s what the judges look for.
066: How to Deliver Great Coffee EducationMay 1, 2014 41:09
It’s much more than pushing buttons – good coffee making and barista skills involve technical ability and sensory awareness. Plus a welcoming smile and the ability to handle pressure.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Christine Cottrell from Perfect Espresso and the Coffee Education Network about the 8 key training areas for staff who make coffee. These include knowledge of beans and machines, managing workflow, grinding and dosing, plus extraction and brewing. A skilled barista will also know the four milk skills, understand an espresso menu, be able to maintain their machine and have solid customer service skills. It’s a big list, and can be complex work - Christine's excellent Barista Bible is a great resource for business owners and trainers.
065: Last-Minute Tax Deductions to End the Financial YearApr 24, 2014 28:23
Like to pay less tax? In this interview I’ve asked accountant Amanda Fisher from Connected Accountants in Sydney to give me the lowdown on how business operators can catch extra tax savings before the end of the financial year.
We know that wages, F&B and utilities are allowable costs, but what about the many ‘non-cash’ deductions like deprecation on the value of equipment, education, the cost of unsaleable wine, bad debts and retirement savings? Wherever you are, it’s worth spending time with your accountant to help find every possible legal deduction. This interview will get you started.
064: How to Cut Beverage Costs with Better Stock ControlApr 24, 2014 37:24
Alcohol is valuable, so ordering, delivery, storage and service must all be done with extra care. Errors can occur in valuation of the stock used, Point of Sale readings, and reconciling the two. And if they don’t balance, what’s the reason?
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Troy Kelly from Barmetrix. Troy runs a full-time stocktaking business for bars, pubs and restaurants, and there’s not much he hasn’t fixed: over-ordering, sloppy stock counts, storage problems, POS errors, below-average Gross Profit and good old fashioned stealing. When Troy puts quantities and figures under the microspope, the truth is there for all to see. Listen to this interview and you’ll have new ways to improve your profit margins – this week!
063: How a Smart Bar Operator uses Social Media to Drive SalesApr 20, 2014 40:49
Steve Vallas is the proprietor of Honey Bar in South Melbourne. Offering ‘a drink for every mood and a toast for every occasion’, he’s created a popular venue with a friendly, casual atmosphere, good food and a great space for functions.
In this interview with Ken Burgin, Steve describes how he uses Twitter and Facebook to make personal connections with current and future customers – to have conversations, answer questions, and to let them know about future events. He prefers to invest time into social media ahead of traditional advertising and the discounts most competitors rely on - the results have been excellent.
062: 10 More Great Tech Tools to Make Your Work EasierApr 17, 2014 21:49
Here’s another list of free or low-cost software and online services that I use and recommend. Everything from word-processing to video production, photo fixing and faxes. Suggestions and feedback welcome – what are your favourite productivity or creativity tools? This list follows the first set on Podcast 23: 10 Great Tech Tools to Make Your Work Easier and there will be more!LibreOffice – a free alternative to Microsoft Office, doing most of the same functions. Teamviewer – access your mother’s computer screen when she calls for help and you're in a different city :) Asana – online project management for teams, eliminating the confusion of email and keeping everyone on the same page. Slideshare – put Powerpoint presentations online so people can watch them on the web. FaxMate – customers still want to send faxes occasionally, so here’s a simple service that handles your fax number and emails you what’s sent. Animoto – turn photos into short compilation videos with a music track. Great souvenirs for a special event. Fotoflexer – edit photos online for free. Brighten, crop, resize, add text captions or combine into a collage. Chrome Apps – if you use the Chrome browser (Mac and PC), there are lots of useful apps and extensions to add functionality. Ones I use are for Evernote (save a web page to an Evernote file), Pinterest (add a photo on a web page to a Pinterest board), a URL shortener to generate a compact URL out of a long one, and even a quick Currency converter. Camera+ - an excellent iPhone app to brighten and adjust photos. Useful to add shine and light to a photo before you put it onto Instagram or Facebook. Jing – I use Jing to do a quick screen recording and explain what needs to be changed in a design, article or spreadsheet. Or use it for quick explanations for staff about how to fill out forms and use computer functions.
061: Managing Anger in the WorkplaceApr 13, 2014 47:50
Resentment, aggression, angry words and bullying – strong emotion show up in many ways at work, and the effects are felt by everyone – even customers. In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Duncan Morris, an experienced counsellor and social worker who has also worked as a manager in large organisations.
Duncan explains the nature of anger, what causes it, and how managers and supervisors can handle angry situations when they flare up. Our job as managers and business owners is to create a safe and respectful workplace, and when there are angry outbursts and negativity, the situation needs to be handled quickly. This is a challenge for many supervisors, especially if they are young or inexperienced. You can contact Duncan at Watersedge Counselling.
060: How to Help Staff Improve their PerformanceApr 10, 2014 26:47
Most staff want to do the right thing, but sometimes they don’t know how – they may need more information and training. And sometimes they don’t want to do the work correctly – that will need a different type of strategy. Changing staff behaviour is usually at the centre of business transformation, and that’s the work of Ken Burgin’s guest today, Kevin Dwyer of Change Factory.
In the interview we discussed how this change should be handled by supervisors and managers – the people responsible for ensuring staff perform at their best. We discussed the three pre-conditions for making change happen, and how ‘Skill, Will and Hill’ can get in the way. It’s a great discussion and of value for everyone in your leadership team.
059: Better Cost Control and Bookkeeping with Online ServicesApr 7, 2014 32:59
‘Cut costs’ are the magic words – they get most operators paying a lot of attention. But first you need to know what your costs are and how to access the figures. Not just a pile of invoices or POS print-outs, but detailed weekly and monthly totals, organised logically and connected to your bank account.
That’s where bookkeeping comes into the equation, and there’s a revolution underway with how this can be done online. Instead of locked away on a PC, new cloud-based accounting services like Xero put the power and information in your hands anywhere you are online - it’s no longer strange and mysterious.
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Amanda Fisher, CEO of Connected Accountants on the many advantages of ‘moving to the cloud’, and the ways that management services like rosters, invoice processing and POS can be connected to a central cloud system. More control, more information and many more ways to watch your costs and profit margins.
058: How to Sell More WineApr 2, 2014 49:36
What makes a wine list profitable and popular? Where there’s a good margin on wine sold by bottle or glass, and the list does a good job at ‘selling’ when there are no servers around to assist. Jennifer Anderson of IamWaitress.com is an experienced sommelier and restaurant server – you may remember her from Podcast 32 on How to Build a Strong Front-of-House Restaurant Team.
In this interview Jennifer talks with Ken Burgin about the elements of a successful wine list, the math of wine by the glass and bottle and why a ‘progressive’ list makes decisions easier for customers and staff. We also discussed the language of wine descriptions and how to give service staff more skills and confidence to recommend wine and make more sales. Lots of juicy content here to make your wine list a real profit driver!
057: Cost Control and Menu Development in a Large ClubMar 31, 2014 49:56
Paul Rifkin is one of Australia’s most experienced executive chefs. He’s been running Campbelltown Catholic Club, a large social and recreational club south of Sydney for more than 13 years. The club has a wide range of food outlets: casual cafe and gelato, a food court, grill and special dinner events, through to extensive function facilities.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Paul about how he manages cost-control, purchasing, food safety, choice of equipment, workflow, staff and innovation. The menu appeals to a wide range of people, as the area has a broad demographic. Traditional food is always popular, and modern choices influenced by media and food festivals are well received. This is an organisation that’s always developing! In the discussion we refer to Paul’s costing method using primary and secondary costs, wastage and wages. Download the worksheet from the podcast shownotes at Profitable Hospitality to see examples of how this is used.
056: New Ways to Save Money by Greening your RestaurantMar 27, 2014 43:29
Reducing water, gas and electricity consumption makes financial sense, as well as reducing your impact on the planet. Less packaging in the front door and less waste disposal is plain common sense. A well-planned program to green your restaurant, hotel or bar can also be motivating for staff and is very well received by customers – there are so many positive stories if we take time to share them!
In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Michael Oshman, founder of the US Green Restaurant Association. They’ve been working with foodservice operators, manufacturers, distributers and consumers for almost 25 years and are always finding plenty of new ways to reduce consumption and costs. Their website, and this recording, are packed with great information – share it with managers, chefs and suppliers.
055: Smart Mobile Marketing for Restaurants, Cafes and BarsMar 24, 2014 50:57
Almost every one of your customers has a mobile phone - they often use it while they visit your venue. Many restaurants and bars find that 60% and more of their web traffic now comes from smartphones or tablets – there are so many reasons to develop the mobile side of your marketing.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Greg Hickman of Mobile Mixed. They go through a wide range of steps that restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars should be taking to join the ‘mobile revolution’. Updating the website so it’s useful on the small screen, making sure you will be found on Google local search, SMS promotions to bring in customers, using keyword and short-code campaigns and deciding if you need a separate app (mobile application). There’s a ton of great information in this interview – Greg is one of the leading authorities in the field, and he’s recently released a great E-Book that’s also worth checking out.
054: How to Use Networking to Build Restaurant, Bar and Club SalesMar 20, 2014 47:47
We know the value of hospitality to make customers welcome and ensure they come back. And there’s another level to this – using strategic friendliness and networking to get a lot more people to visit our venue and bring colleagues. Or make your restaurant, bar or club a place that people make their first choice for regular meetings and networking events.
Robyn Henderson of Networking to Win has been teaching the skills of networking for many years – to people in every industry. She’s bursting with great ideas on how hospitality operators can take the lead and create networking events, and reach out more effectively to others in their area. She has also put together a very practical guide on How to Start a Quarterly Business After-Hours Networking Event – ready for you to download and take action. Her website is also packed with great information and networking guides – she’s definitely one of the best!
053: How to Be a Better Leader: for Supervisors, Managers and OwnersMar 17, 2014 29:31
As a leader, you need to be able to manage people effectively. To find out what motivates individuals, and provide them with the support and energy they need to do their job to the best of their ability.
In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Kevin Dwyer of Change Factory, a consulting company that specialises in change management and business transformation. Kevin has worked with hundreds of teams and thousands of team members, including many in the field of service and hospitality.
In particular we discussed how leaders have to be able to Coach people who have varying degrees of accountability, and get the best out of them. This could be managers or supervisors, or people working behind the bar. They also have to be able to Communicate clearly – usually with more listening and less preaching. Finally, they need Drive and Energy, plus an awareness of what they don’t know (and how to find out).
052: How to Open a Successful Wine Bar Restaurant – Tippler & CoMar 12, 2014 58:09
Gus McAllister opened his new bar after a lot of hard work and research. His experience as a hotel manager gave him a solid understanding of customers, wine lists and suppliers, plus the confidence to recruit a good chef and manage the kitchen. Gus also attended the Starting a Cafe or Restaurant Workshop in 2013.
We discussed location and site selection, the challenge of renovating a venue with a 'history', choosing equipment and creating a concept in tune with the local area in Melbourne. We also talked about administration, bookkeeping, marketing and menus. Gus has given us his ‘Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Opening a New Business’ – solid gold advice for anyone making plans for a cafe, restaurant or bar.
051: Restaurant Food Trends in 2014, with Phyllis Ann MarshallMar 10, 2014 37:50
Trend watching is a necessity for chefs and business operators. Not to be slaves to fashion, but to keep up with curious and knowledgeable customers… and competitors. There’s an excitement about new flavours and ingredients that leads to constant innovation and stories - on TV, the web and in magazines. Why not join the party?
In this interview with long-time trend watcher Phyllis Ann Marshall of FoodPower.com, we discussed 5 key trends she’s identified in US restaurants for 2014. They relate to the importance of carbs and sweet treats, the experimentation of innovative chefs, and the value of side dishes as a menu and profit booster. Plus the endless desire for healthy food with flavour, and a growing desire for locally sourced product – food with a pedigree. Phyllis is a sharp observer and has a great sense of humour – I know you will enjoy this interview. You can subscribe to her newsletter at Foodpower.com and connect up on Facebook.
At ProfitableHospitality.com, make sure to check the Menu Marketing Dept for great ways to use your menu to drive profits and popularity.
050: Smarter Pricing for Restaurants and EventsMar 7, 2014 53:16
Ken Burgin talks numbers and tactics with Jon Manning, the founder of PricingProphets.com – pricing is his business. It’s a wonderful moment when you finally have the courage to raise prices to reflect the real value of your product… and no one complains. It should have been done months ago! There are so many angles to pricing menus, wine lists and event packages, and in this interview Jon Manning shares lots of great ideas.
So much hospitality pricing seems to be based on cost-plus – either a formula or guess work. Like letting a bookkeeper write the menu, instead of using your marketing brain. It can also mean you leave money in the customer’s pocket. Or if prices are pitched to high, it will depress sales and create a negative impression. Jon outlines a wide range of ways to use ‘value based’ pricing, and has some great observations on how to make menus and event packages more profitable and popular.
049: How to Help Your Staff Give Up SmokingMar 3, 2014 44:17
It’s claimed that hospitality workers smoke at twice the rate of the general population! We all know the risks, but this industry seems to combine a set of working conditions and stresses which lead to a lot more smokers. However those looking to quit have a surprising rate of success when they are properly motivated and supported, and follow a set plan for quitting. Managers can definitely help!
In this interview counsellor and therapist Jacqueline Stone goes through the causes of nicotine addiction, and the best ways to quit. While the interview is targeted at managers and operators in the hospitality industry who would like to help staff members quit, anyone who is looking to give up cigarettes will find it useful.
048: How to Create a Successful Health-Food Cafe – Sadhana KitchenFeb 23, 2014 41:26
In this second interview, Maz Valcorsa, the owner of Sadhana Kitchen, tells us how she started a raw food cafe and built it into a main street success. She came from a corporate background, and worked hard on researching the concept and learning about the business side of cafes and catering. I first met Maz at the Starting a Cafe or Restaurant Workshop and was impressed that even before she opened, she had more than 1,000 Facebook fans panting for her to start!
We discussed issues familiar to every startup – landlords, leases, food costs, staff management, bookkeeping and administration. And how to have a balanced, healthy life when your business is growing fast. She’s also utilising online and cloud-based management systems, and has an excellent website designed to make everyone hungry. Plus great social media activity, especially on Facebook and Instagram.
In the first interview, Maz told us about raw food, the menu at Sadhana Kitchen and some of her clever marketing moves.
047: Raw Food – What is the Business Opportunity?Feb 23, 2014 33:11
So what is raw food – vegan, vegetarian, organic? Or just salad and juice? Actually, it’s a lot more sophisticated and interesting. Smart restaurant and cafe owners know there’s a huge number of people wanting fresh, healthier choices, and if they’re in Sydney, many flock to Sadhana Kitchen for the raw food and drinks.
In the first of two interviews, owner Maz Valcorsa tells us about the concept of raw food, menu development, how she’s developed a range of extremely popular desserts, and what’s involved in the ‘cooking’ and preparation. Technically, raw food has not been heated above 46 deg. Celsius (115 deg. F). Even if you don’t plan to go ‘all the way’, there are profitable opportunities for every foodservice business to add more raw, unprocessed meals and beverages. Maz will give you lots of inspiration.
In the second interview, she tells us about how the concept was developed, managing leases, landlords, staff, equipment and marketing.
046: How a Chef uses Blogging and Google+ to Build His Reputation and AudienceFeb 23, 2014 49:16
I love talking to chefs who take their skill with food and menus, and created an online presence and following. Sometimes this is B2B with their restaurant colleagues, or in many cases they reach out directly to the far-more-numerous consumers.
Chef Dennis Littley has grown his blog and website AskChefDennis.com into a very popular destination for food lovers, and he also supports bloggers to improve their skills. He does this through regular blog updates and recipes, and through the huge following he’s developed on Google+. This includes regular Google+ Hangouts on Air (an example is on the shownotes). How he’s developed this is great inspiration for chefs who want to develop a life beyond long shifts and busy kitchens.
045: Better Restaurant Cleaning at a Lower Cost – Pt 2, Kitchen & ToiletsFeb 17, 2014 28:09
In the second of two podcasts on efficient cleaning, Brent Williams of The Cleanest Image tells us about better cleaning of kitchen exhaust hoods, stoves, floors, walls, dishwashers, detergent use and getting rid of all that grease! Slippery kitchen floors are a major safety hazard, and food safety standards are demanding.
Moving into the bathroom, Brent explains why the toilet area is often not smelling clean and sweet (did you know bacteria actually fart?) and the cleaning mistakes often made in an area most staff want to wipe down and leave as quickly as possible! Employee training is essential, and the right equipment. In the first podcast with Brent, he told us about efficient cleaning for the restaurant front of house and the bar.
044: Better Restaurant Cleaning at a Lower Cost – Pt 1, Front of House & BarFeb 17, 2014 35:11
It’s more than just scrubbing harder and using more chemicals! In the first of two podcasts on efficient cleaning, Brent Williams of The Cleanest Image tells us about better ways to clean chairs, tables, counters, floors, carpets, walls and glass. We want to make a great impression, but do it without breaking the bank – a lot of cleaning products are wasted.
By understanding the chemistry involved (eg acid or alkaline levels), a better job can be done with fewer chemicals. Staff training is essential, plus the right equipment. In the second podcast with Brent, he will tell us about efficient cleaning for the kitchen and the toilets – both areas requiring thorough and careful maintenance.
043: Six Reasons Why You Should Never Become a Chef - Blunt Advice from a ChefFeb 14, 2014 36:57
Young chef Zane Heemi caused a social media storm when his blog article Never ever become a chef: advice from a chef went viral several weeks ago. Within ten days it had been read more than one million times and attracted almost 200 comments. It’s a no-holds barred look at the long hours and harsh conditions experienced by some restaurant chefs in Australia. Zane started with part-time kitchen work when he was at school, and ten years later still loves the industry and he’s a lot wiser.
In his article he lays it on the line: you will miss important life occasions, there’s no such thing as calling in sick, you’ll learn all about drugs and alcohol, relationships will be difficult, the hours are terrible and management often treat you like dirt (language modified for a family-friendly blog).
I caught up with Zane and asked him why he was so hard on the cooking profession, and is this really what we need when the industry is trying attract more workers? His answers were articulate, positive and amusing - he wants people to be very clear about kitchen work before they feel the heat.
One question I didn’t ask that you may have an answer for: why do these strong, opinionated chefs take put up with these bad conditions year in and year out? We’d love to have your comments on this important subject. NOTE: kitchen language NSFW.
042: How to Get the Best Results from Facebook in 2014Feb 13, 2014 58:44
One thing we know for sure: Facebook never stops changing. And the days of relying on it for ‘free marketing’ are almost over – very few of the posts on your business page are actually seen by fans – as few as one in twenty! The message is clear – ‘don’t build your house (the marketing campaign) on rented ground (you don’t own Facebook)’. A different strategy is needed.
In this interview, CJ Hudson of Stencil, a social research and strategy agency, looks at a number of hospitality businesses on Facebook – their strengths and options for better results. The key issue for him and his clients (and for you) is how to move people from a casual connection on Facebook (click Like) to engagement (like, share or comment on updates) to making a sale – book a table, attend an event or visit and pay. CJ has an enormous range of experience with Facebook promotions and advertising – you will find this podcast packed with useful information.
You can also view this as a video, where the audio matches up with all the Facebook pages we are discussing – it’s on the Profitable Hospitality page for members.
041: How to Choose & Maintain the Right Stainless Steel for a Restaurant Kitchen or BarFeb 9, 2014 27:17
What do you know about stainlesss steel? It’s expensive to buy and install, and gives a professional, hygienic finish to your kitchen and bar. But there are different types of stainless, and different thicknesses - some are more suitable than others. In this interview, stainless steel specialist Laurence Burgin of Franklin Marine offers an expert tradesman’s advice on what covers so many surfaces in a modern restaurant. And you get to meet another one of my brothers!
There’s also a very useful Tech Tip in the second part of the podcast, about a smart piece of equipment that can eliminate the bulky documents that fill up your shelves and filing cabinet.
040: How to Grow an Online Food Business – with JackieM of Truly MalaysianFeb 3, 2014 47:20
Many chefs and foodservice owners like the thought of selling online – no more customer or staff hassles, and a steady stream of income. But it takes more than just a good idea – production, hygiene standards, delivery and constant promotion have to be organised. You also need to stand out from a wide range of other packaged food, so the chef’s personality and presence can be an important part of the marketing.
JackieM of JackieM Truly Malaysian now sells food online, through markets and special events – she happily said goodbye to restaurant life. She’s built up a strong personal brand and an efficient distribution system that’s going from strength to strength. Her website is backed up by great use of social media – twitter, instagram and regular Google+ Hangouts where she demonstrates Malaysian cooking, food and flavour. It’s a great story that many chefs and restaurateurs can learn from.
039: How to Get the Best Google Results for your Restaurant or BarJan 31, 2014 44:00
Everyone wants their business to show up at the top of page 1 of a Google search – some do and a lot don’t. No-one knows the exact formula Google uses to work out the position, but there are a lot of steps you can take to improve your ranking. If you serve steak or pizza, where are you on the Google search if you do a search for those words, combined with your location? You also need to show up prominently if the seach is done on a mobile phone, and that requires some different tactics.
In this interview, technology and web expert Scott Thomas of AboutTheInn.com shares his insights and experience from working with a wide range of local hospitality businesses. In preparing for the interview, we both searched for businesses that had claimed their Google+ Local listing – it was a shock to have so much difficulty finding any! We discussed one good example, Le Kiosk Restaurant in Sydney, Australia, and let’s hope a lot more businesses take advantage of this service after listening to the interview.
Make sure to use the wide range of online marketing resources at the Profitable Hospitality Online Marketing Department.
038: How to Create a Succesful Small Cafe – TopHat CoffeeJan 24, 2014 41:08
It’s great to see a new business open with style and confidence, then build a strong local following. TopHat Coffee at Sydney’s beachside suburb of Clovelly is one of those cafes, and it was great to interview Angus Nichol, one of the partners, on how the concept was developed and is now being run.
We discussed location and site selection, the challenge of renovating an old shop, choosing equipment and creating an attractive concept. We also covered administration and bookkeeping, sales and cost percentages, marketing, menus and plans for expansion.
Make sure to check the TopHat website www.tophatcoffee.com.au, follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/TopHatCoffee and if you’re in the area… call in!
037: The 5 Laws of Restaurant Success, with Misty Young the @Restaurant_LadyJan 20, 2014 01:01:33
I love talking to restaurant owners about how they’ve built a business from a small start to a large, efficient and popular operation. Misty Young, the Restaurant Lady is a great example of how this has happened – she and her family now have four Squeeze In restaurants in Nevada and plans for more.
To ensure the businesses grow and prosper, she has developed ‘5 Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success’, focused on Leadership, Operations, Financials, Product & Service and finally Marketing.
In this interview Misty explains what’s involved with each of these Laws, and the STAR context they’re built on: Strategy, Tactics, Accountability and Results. This is solid gold information you can ‘take to the bank’ – listen to it all and take notes! You can find Misty at MistyYoung.com and buy her terrific book ‘From Rags to Restaurants’ on Amazon http://amzn.to/1fQuzTF
036: Managing Drug and Alcohol Issues in the WorkplaceJan 17, 2014 44:59
Our industry revolves around late nights, long hours and plenty of liquor, so it's no wonder we have some staff with drug and alcohol problems. We actively promote wine, beer and spirits, subject to strict rules on preventing intoxication. But handling the alcohol and drug-taking problems of our own people can be a big challenge for managers – and unavoidable if Workplace Health & Safety obligations are taken seriously. In most cases, you can’t just say ‘goodbye’!
Professional help is needed, and an understanding of the range of problems from alcohol and marijuana through to prescription drugs, amphetamines, cocaine and heroin. You mightn’t like it, but ignorance won’t help your business when this is part of the landscape for most of your young staff.
In this podcast interview, I’m talking with Colleen Morris, a very experienced Drug & Alcohol Counseller with her own practice at Watersedge Counselling http://watersedgecounselling.com There’s a lot to learn from the wisdom she shares, and it’s also worth reading her blog on a wide-range of issues encountered in modern workplaces.
035: Developing New Managers and Emerging LeadersJan 14, 2014 50:39
It was great to interview Jason Jelicich again, one of the driving forces behind international bar management company Barmetrix. Jason has been developing the skills of managers (and more than a few owners) for more than fifteen years. In that time he has watched expectations of managers grow, epecially expectations about their ability to manage staff and a growing range of compliance issues.
In this interview we discussed how to choose people with management potential, the importance of financial and negotiation skills, and developing accountability. Other topics included how to teach people problem solving, delegation, maintaining control and the ability to ‘coach and counsel’ when individual staff have problems.
You can contact Jason through www.Barmetrix.com
034: Better Food Cost Control using Point of Sale InformationJan 4, 2014 00
Joe Dunbar is the ‘Food Cost Wizard’, and it’s my pleasure to interview him for this podcast. Accurate data and ‘the numbers’ are essential to know what’s really happening with restaurant and bar sales, production costs and the strengths and weaknesses of a menu. Modern Point of Sale systems have massive amounts of the data and intelligence available for this analysis, but it’s often misunderstood or ignored.
Joe explains the POS reports he finds most useful when consulting with clients, and the numbers that should be watched closely by chefs and managers on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We also discussed integration of the POS with bookkeeping systems, inventory control and recipe management - expect a very high ROI (return on investment) from this 45 minute interview! You can also find Joe’s contact details and very informative blog at Food Cost Wiz – it’s well worth reading.
033: How to Successfully Manage Music and Entertainment at Your VenueDec 30, 2013 57:09
Music can create powerful emotions and loyalty, especially with guests who have come to hear a musician, a band or entertainer at your venue. But there’s much more to it than just turning on the mike and lowering the lights – a whole world of smart management and marketing that needs to be applied to finding, booking and promoting these events. Pubs, clubs and venues that do it well can be sure of a passionate and profitable following.
In this podcast, I’m talking about the music business with Joshua Liston of DIY Music Movement. Josh is not only an experienced musician, but has also been an entertainment manager for a number of successful hotels and venues - there's not much he hasn't seen or organised!
As well as his website www.diymusicmovement.com, you can also find him on Twitter @joshdiymusic and on iTunes with the DIY Music Movement podcast. I got a lot out of talking with Josh, and I hope you enjoy the conversation too!
032: How to Build a Strong Front-of-House Restaurant TeamDec 11, 2013 47:37
In today’s interview, I’m talking with Jennifer Anderson from IAmWaitress.com. Jennifer has a wide range of front-of-house experience developed from working in some great restaurants in Colorado and Kansas, and has developed a passion for team service and training. She says when she started in restaurants ‘I didn’t know if Cabernet was a grape or a region. So, I studied and became a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. I became the fine dining trainer. I became a kick ass server. I learned how to organize my thoughts. I learned about food, wine and drink.’
You’ll enjoy this conversation, and learn about all the ways she is creating ‘an insurance policy against ever looking or feeling stupid in front of a customer. The best policy against that is knowledge.’ You can find her website at IamWaitress.com and connect with her on Facebook.
031: How to Use Social Media to Create More Christmas SalesDec 3, 2013 32:25
Turning social media activity into sales is different to direct selling over the phone or at the table. First you need to Connect with people (Facebook fans, email addresses, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections), then Engage them with interesting and useful content, then Convert them into customers who visit or buy from you online.
In this podcast Ken Burgin outlines dozens of social media tactics you can use to turn online social activity into sales – they’re taken from the detailed Christmas Social Media Marketing Plan on www.ProfitableHospitality.com. Like all good plans, you need clear goals and an overall strategy to create measurable results.
030: Understanding and Managing Employee Personality TypesNov 28, 2013 48:33
For a long time I’ve been fascinated by ‘personalities’. What makes people do what they do – at work, when relaxed or under stress. As a restaurateur I had to tune into what different types of customers liked (or don't like), and all the different personalities that were working together in the front and back-of-house. In hospitality, we often ‘just do it’, getting by with the people we have and pushing through. But what if we could plan for good teamwork? What if we could identify the strengths we need for high-performance, and have tools to choose the right people, so the team has all the talent it needs to do a great job?
Carmel Murphy is an expert in this area, and not only has long experience in hospitality, but also wide-ranging experience with personality profiling and career coaching. In this podcast interview, Carmel explains the DISC personality profile system she uses and how it can be so useful for managers and staff to understand themselves, and work with other people more effectively. You can contact her at www.thecommunicationqueen.com.au
029: Success Interview with Somer Sivrioglu from Efendy Turkish RestaurantNov 11, 2013 50:31
In this Podcast, Ken Burgin interviews Somer Sivrioglu, the owner of Efendy Restaurant in Sydney. Efendy is one of the leading Turkish restaurants in Australia, and Somer explains how he has built the business using his experience in corporate hospitality, and uses a wide range of marketing tools to connect with new and existing customers.
Efendy frequently wins restaurant and business awards, and has a strong presence on social media. Somer also explains muslim food traditions and highlights the business opportunities available for restaurants and caterers who take the time to understand and offer ‘halal’ food.
028: 10 Ways to Build a Strong Restaurant Sales CultureOct 31, 2013 44:13
Ken Burgin talks with Brooks Briz, an entrepreneur and restaurant General Manager based in Charlotte, North Carolina. We discussed a wide range of systems and techniques he’s used for creating a team of staff with a strong commitment to sales and bottom line results.
There’s an old saying that ‘sales solves everything’ and it still applies – if you’re worried about costs, would the problem be solved by improving sales? Not just more people through the door, but every visitor spending a little more and coming back more often. In most restaurants and bars, that improvement will come from the personal interaction customers have with the person who serves them. Let’s find out how Brooks achieves such great results.
You can find Brooks at www.BrooksBriz.com and see his videos on YouTube.
027: How to Win Tenders and Catering ContractsOct 25, 2013 43:39
In this podcast, Ken Burgin interviews Jonn Close, principal consultant at CETN - business consultants and brokers based in Sydney. Their services includes Feasibility Studies, Business & Operational Reviews, Formulation of Tender Documents, and the Evaluation of Tender Submissions.
That makes Jonn well placed to help you check the numbers, be sure that you’ve found a real opportunity, and prepare a tender document that will beat the competition.
026: Wedding Venue Websites and the Wedding Sales ProcessOct 14, 2013 59:34
The wedding business is intensely competitive, with a host of services chasing the budget of the bride and groom. Perhaps their largest expense will be the reception (even if the dress is more important!). In this podcast we talk with JF (Jean-François) Célèrier of Nathania Springs Receptions in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges. The information he shares will be of value for wedding venues, restaurant, hotels and clubs.
The Nathania Springs website is one of the best in the business, and their Facebook Page is a great testimonial for the many delighted clients they’ve had – including more than 10,000 photos! JF walks us through the success factors for their online presence, and how this integrates with their sales process – this is a podcast not to be missed!
025: How to Create Positive Word of Mouth Marketing for a Restaurant or BarAug 27, 2013 40:33
Word-of-mouth has always been important for building a business and a following. But before online technology and social media, it occurred on a more intimate, face-to-face level - talking to neighbours or people at work, on the phone or in social situations. If you had a great experience at a restaurant or bar, it’s human nature to want to talk about it with others… and that business will benefit.
Now social media platforms have given word-of-mouth marketing a scale and reach it’s never had before. But you still need to know what’s most likely to generate word-of-mouth enthusiasm, why some people respond more than others, and the best channels to promote it with. Then you can actively generate the positive WOM that every business operator wants.
In this podcast interview, Ken Burgin is talking with James Burgin of the BrandWithin marketing group.
024: Success Interview with Steve Jeffares on the Business of Craft BeerAug 13, 2013 01:05:55
Meet Steve Jeffares, one of the founding partners of Australia's best craft beer venues: The Local Taphouse in Melbourne and The Local in Sydney. Their success has come from focusing closely on the elements that make a business successful - high-quality beer and food, a great atmosphere, building a tribe of loyal customers, and a strong commitment to educating people about their product. Plus closely watching the figures and finances.
Before the main interview, you'll hear this week's two-minute Tech Tip, about an excellent way to reduce the flood of paper on your desk and in the filing cabinet.
023: 10 Great Tech Tools to Make Your Work EasierAug 6, 2013 33:21
Let's make our work life and computers faster, easier and more effective - digital tools are meant to be the servant, not the master!
In this recording, Ken Burgin combines 10 of the best Tech Tips from recent podcasts into a quick tour of some great online services and software, designed to help you work smarter, not harder.
The links below are where you will find the tools and services mentioned in the podcast.Evernote for keeping track of websites & documents Lastpass - for storing and sharing passwords Dropbox - for storing and sharing documents TeamworkPM - for managing projects Eventbrite - to manage bookings and event payments Payal for Business - the easy way to take payments YouSendit (now called Hightail) - send documents too big to email Cyberbullying Policies - template for your workplace policy TextExpander and TypeIt4Me (Mac) or Texter and Breevy for PC.
022: Creating a Happier and More Productive WorkplaceAug 1, 2013 39:36
Stress and anxiety have a massive negative impact on many workplaces, despite our increasing prosperity.
In this podcast interview, Ken Burgin talks with Jason Jelicich, a business speaker and coach with long-time hospitality experience. They discuss how managers, owners and staff can reduce their mental clutter and become more peaceful, 'present'…and effective. As Jason says, 'when we are present, those around us are influenced and they are attracted by our positive state'. We are also more productive and less fearful.
021: Dealing with Conflict in the WorkplaceJul 26, 2013 31:41
With special guest Clinton Power, a relationship counsellor and therapist. In this podcast discussion, we talk about typical conflict situations in restaurants, hotels and bars - why they happen, and how they can be handled more effectively.
In many workplaces, there's an urgent need for managers to have 'courageous conversations' with staff in conflict. Without action, it won't take long before good staff leave and productivity falls.
020: Success Interview with Ben Higgs, chef/owner of Wild Oak RestaurantJul 9, 2013 47:30
Meet Ben Higgs, chef/owner of Wild Oak Restaurant in Olinda, Victoria, a picturesque small town near Melbourne in Australia. Ben has been running the restaurant for more than 10 years and has built a great reputation for the food, hospitality and his cooking school.
In this Success Interview, Ben tells us about starting the business, recruiting and managing staff, marketing, cooking classes and building customer loyalty.
019: How to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Restaurant, Bar or HotelJul 3, 2013 47:05
Pinterest is an online pinboard – a hugely popular social bookmarking service that lets you highlight photos on your own website or blog, or on other sites that you like. A hospitality business can share photos of their food, cocktails, parties, facilities and events, chefs at work and the produce you buy. Smart tactics will also have you sharing images from your local area and all the other reasons why people should visit your neighbourhood or town. And for some people there’s an extra bonus – you hardly have to write anything, just click the photo and share!
In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Cynthia Sanchez from the Oh So Pinteresting! website and blog. She has been following Pinterest from the beginning and knows everything there is to know about marketing tactics, setting up Pinterest for business and how to keep fans and customers coming back for more.
Don't forget there is also the Member Question of the Week (this time on recruitment) and a Tech Tip straight after the interview – more useful content not to be missed!
018: Less Bitching, More Listening: How to Improve Internal CommunicationApr 5, 2013 36:21
Some restaurants, cafes and bars assume staff will hear about everything, and others think that notices and emails are enough. But so many hospitality managers and owners complain that staff don’t listen, don’t care or don’t notice – communication with employees needs a shake up!
There are many ways to improve: with print, email, online, social media, meetings, noticeboards, financial reports and well-written memos. Written, spoken, signs and discussion. In this podcast, Ken Burgin shows you dozens of ways to improve internal communication at your business – so staff switch from ‘I don’t know’ to ‘I got it!’.
017: Success Interview with Leanne Kitchen, Chef and Cookbook AuthorMar 30, 2013 50:43
Leanne Kitchen is a professional chef, food stylist, food editor, recipe developer, cooking demonstrator, travel and food photographer. She is a also a cookbook author with numerous volumes under her belt.
In this interview with Ken Burgin, she talks about her career, changing trends in the publishing industry, and her recommendations for chefs and restaurants that want to publish their own cookbook. The industry is changing rapidly, but cookbooks are still very popular with food lovers, cooks and for gifts. Publishers and the public are always hungry for something fresh and original.
Leanne’s latest cookbook is ‘Turkey – Recipes and Tales from the Road’, and she is currently working on a new book about Chinese food. You can find her at www.smartmouthonline.com
016: Reducing Tension Between Kitchen & Front of HouseMar 13, 2013 30:41
Tired of the eternal drama of friction between floor staff and kitchen? It's boring, unproductive and expensive.
If you need to make changes, here's your action agenda: Ken Burgin discusses key areas such as improving the flow of information, revising Job Descriptions, better meetings, more training for floor staff, removing kitchen frustrations and creating a shared understanding of 'teamwork'.
015: Social Media Update - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and More, with Heather TurnerMar 5, 2013 54:32
Ken Burgin talks with hospitality marketing expert Heather Turner about the latest developments with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Plus updates on newer social media services Google+, Pinterest and Instagram, and the many ways to share photos and images online.
We also talk about how successful operators are integrating social media communication into their busy lives, whilst still running a business – there’s always a juggle!
014: Managing Email, Calendars, Contacts and Passwords More Efficiently - with Helen CrozierFeb 20, 2013 53:45
Ken Burgin talks with productivity expert Helen Crozier about how to handle business communication and online activity more efficiently.
The interview focuses on four key areas: bringing email under control, managing your calendar for events and meetings, keeping track of contacts, and finally passwords - important in so many areas of modern life, and so easy to forget or handle insecurely.
013: Creating Email Newsletters that will be Opened and Read!Feb 13, 2013 34:37
Email newsletters have many advantages for communicating with customers - they're personal and private, and can be full of details. You can target particular groups, and measure the effectiveness of different messages and topics. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may get the glamour vote, but email does the heavy lifting for regular communication about events, menu changes, special offers and community news.
In this podcast, Ken Burgin looks at a number of successful newsletters and describes what makes them so effective - features that are easy to incorporate in your newsletter.
012: How to Prepare your Restaurant or Cafe for SaleFeb 6, 2013 40:48
Ken Burgin looks at how to prepare your business for sale including quick profit improvements, plus how to put the best face on your business so it's immediately appealing to a buyer.
Areas covered include recording recipes, menu simplification, review of staff productivity and reducing utility and service costs. Plus short-term marketing improvements, and how to make your business 'easy to love' for a first-time buyer - a significant proportion of the market. They're looking for turn-key systems, manuals and documentation so they can hit the ground running and be confident of success.
011: How to Maximise the Resale Value of your Cafe or RestaurantJan 30, 2013 58:43
In the first of two podcasts, lawyer Peter Panagiotopoulos of PNA Legal (the 'cafe lawyer') talks with Ken Burgin about the important players in the sale process: landlords, lawyers, brokers, buyer and seller. He also explains what should be in the key documents: lease of the premises, and the contract for sale of the business.
Other topics covered include legal terminology, how to work out the value of your business, the best time to sell, the best way to use a broker and lawyer, lease problems that prevent an easy sale and negotiation tactics with a potential buyer.
In the second podcast in this series (#12), Ken Burgin looks in detail at how to prepare your business for sale including quick profit improvements and how to put the best face on your business so it's immediately appealing to a buyer.
Peter has been specialising in the buying and selling of foodservice businesses for more than 10 years.
IMPORTANT: this podcast contains information of a general nagture on point of interest to cafe, restaurant and foodservice operators. It is intended as a general overview only, and may not be appropriate to your particular circumstances. The content should not be relied upon as comprehensive and does not constitute legal or business advice.
010: Success Interview with Paul Smith, chef/owner of Green Zebra CafeJan 23, 2013 54:25
Meet Paul Smith, successful chef/owner of Green Zebra Cafe in Albury, NSW. Albury is a large inland town in Australia. Paul and his partner have had the cafe for more than 10 years and have built a great reputation for their food, coffee and the fresh pasta they make on the premises (also sold retail).
In this Success Interview, we cover setting up a business, managing staff, marketing, technology, business growth and the kitchen garden that supplies an increasing proportion of the cafe's produce. You'll also hear some of Paul's music - he says he's actually a musician disguised as a cafe owner!
009: New Year Profit and Efficiency Boosters for 2013Jan 16, 2013 45:17
January is a great time to look with new eyes at marketing, cost control, staff skills, bottlenecks and your own personal efficiency and satisfaction. Here are dozens of tips and resources to get the new year off to a great start - share these with your team!
008: Outsourcing 2: 10 Projects to Outsource - Restaurant Graphics, Admin, Marketing & RecipesJan 9, 2013 39:57
In the first of the Outsourcing podcasts, we looked at how to prepare a brief, find a contactor and manage the project. In this podcast, we look at 10 different restaurant, hotel, bar or cafe projects that you've probably had on the 'to do' (or 'too expensive') list that are perfect for outsourcing. They range from managing recipes, menu design, brochures, posters, market research and website updates to newsletters and video.
Now it's time to put ideas into action: start with a small project to build your confidence and very soon you'll have outsourcing as an important tool for efficient business operations and marketing.
007: Outsourcing 1: How to Outsource Restaurant Administration & Design WorkJan 5, 2013 33:15
Outsourcing services are great for getting design and admin. jobs done quickly and at low cost - people from around the world can bid on your job and usually have it done within a few days. Projects could involve writing, design, photo editing, data entry, website updates or other work that is tedious or needs skills you don't have. There are excellent online services that will post your job, rate the skills of applicants, monitor the job's progress and organise secure payment.
In this first of two podcasts, we will go through how outsourcing works, how to prepare a brief for a job, and how to find and hire a contract worker. The job could be as small as fixing the design of your menu, updating spreadsheets, or getting someone to write articles for your website. Or a regular project like an email newsletter. In the second podcast, we will go through 10 projects you could outsource for all areas of restaurant, cafe and hotel marketing and management - for both front and back of house.
006: Shock Tactics to Improve Customer ServiceDec 10, 2012 19:24
Do your staff understand what's involved in delivering high quality customer service? Here are two very effective ways to demonstrate the issues and train for better delivery.
005: How to Work with a Professional PhotographerDec 4, 2012 44:22
Professional images of your food, beverages & venue are essential for modern hospitality marketing. Here's how to get great photos to show the quality of your products, service, staff & atmosphere - ready to use for digital, online & print. We live in a very visual world!
004: Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed to DoNov 23, 2012 24:12
Sometimes poor performance is quite logical! Many of these 16 reasons are obvious, and so are the solutions once the cause is identified.
003: Increase your Christmas Marketing OpportunitiesNov 11, 2012 32:44
How to create more profitable business in November and December, and boost customer numbers in the new year. Plus a question on recipe costing and the Tech Tip of the week.
002: How to Leverage Sporting Events Like the Melbourne CupOct 23, 2012 26:28
Promotional ideas for the weeks before and after the actual day.
001: Etiquette & Manners for Hospitality StaffOct 23, 2012 32:45
How to ensure staff manners and presentation enhance your brand.