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

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.

Direct download: 21_10_Tech_TipsFinal2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm AEST

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. 

Direct download: Jason_Jelicich1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm AEST

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. 

Direct download: Clinton_Power.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm AEST

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. 

Direct download: Ben_Higgs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am AEST

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!

Direct download: Pinterest_Cynthia2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12pm AEST

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!’. 

Direct download: PHPodcast18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10pm AEST

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

Direct download: PH_Podcast_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:07am AEST

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'. 

Direct download: Podcast16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

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!

Direct download: Podcast_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am AEST

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.

Direct download: Podcast14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm AEST

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.

Direct download: Podcast13Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm AEST

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. 

Direct download: Podcast_12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am AEST

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. 

Direct download: Podcast11_Final2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am AEST

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!

Direct download: PaulSmithGreenZebra.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:03am AEST

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! 

Direct download: 09NewYearBoosterREVISED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am AEST

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.

Direct download: 08_Outsourcing2NR.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am AEST

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. 

Direct download: 07Outsourcing1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm AEST