Profitable Hospitality Podcast

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, 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!

Direct download: 33_Joshua_Liston.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:19pm AEST

In today’s interview, I’m talking with Jennifer Anderson from 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 and connect with her on Facebook.

Direct download: 32_Jennifer_Team.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:01pm AEST

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 Like all good plans, you need clear goals and an overall strategy to create measurable results.

Direct download: Social_Media_Xmas_2013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:41am AEST

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

Direct download: CarmelMurphy.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:25pm AEST

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.

Direct download: 29_Somer2.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:14pm AEST

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 and see his videos on YouTube.

Direct download: BrooksBriz.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:36am AEST

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.

Direct download: JonnCloseTenders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:40pm AEST

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! 

Direct download: Podcast_26_Nathania.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm AEST

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.

Direct download: Word_of_MouthJB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44pm AEST

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.

Direct download: 24_Steve_Jeffares.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 8:06pm AEST