Profitable Hospitality Podcast

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. 

Make sure to check the Sales & Marketing Dept and the Online Marketing Dept at Profitable Hospitality – lots there to help you be more competitive!


Direct download: Podcast2011220Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:48pm AEST

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.

Also make sure to check the Staff Management Dept and Downloads at Profitable Hospitality.


Direct download: Podcast_111_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:22pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast2011020Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:46am AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_109_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:21am AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast2010820Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:35am AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast2010720Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:06am AEST

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


Direct download: Podcast2010620Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:25am AEST

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!

You can also hear Sean on his popular SportsGeek Podcast and the regular Beers, Blokes & Business podcast – both part of my weekly routine!


Direct download: Podcast2010520Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 8:28pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast2010420Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:43pm AEST

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!

Direct download: Podcast103_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:29pm AEST

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