Profitable Hospitality Podcast

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.


Direct download: Podcast_65_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:12pm AEST

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!


Direct download: Podcast_64_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:43pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_63_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:14pm AEST

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. 
Direct download: Podcast_62_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:56pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_61_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:28pm AEST

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. 


Direct download: Podcast_60_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:14pm AEST

‘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.


Direct download: Podcast_59_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:48pm AEST

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 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!


Direct download: Podcast_58_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:21pm AEST