Profitable Hospitality Podcast

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


Direct download: Podcast_74_Replacement_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:34pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_73_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:32pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_72_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:49am AEST

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.


Direct download: Ken_Podcast_71_Update_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 7:27am AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_70_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:23pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_69_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:15pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_68_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:12pm AEST

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.


Direct download: Podcast_67_Edited_CathK.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:55pm AEST

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.



Direct download: Podcast_66_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 5:41pm AEST