Profitable Hospitality Podcast

We all value the convenience of online banking and ticket sales, and can buy just about anything from a website. However many restaurant and foodservice operators have been slow to embrace all the ways e-commerce can help customers book, visit, eat, drink, spend up and tell their friends.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Scott Kilmartin of the Online Store Guys, an e-commerce agency that creates online stores and advises on e-commerce growth and development. We talked about why e-commerce is more than just money-sales, security issues, the rise of mobile payments, modern customers, and integrating social media into the marketing mix. Plus options to start with Paypal and then grow with one of the online shopping cart systems. Scott is passionate about online sales – let’s embrace that enthusiasm and use his insights for our food & beverage success.

You can also hear Scott in Podcast 83 talking about Developing an Icecream & Gelato Business.


Direct download: Podcast_85_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:36pm AEST

Most people like to get out of the city and enjoy country hospitality, local food and a more relaxed way of life – we all need a holiday! But what’s not always guaranteed is that our very high TV-tuned expectations will be met – it's a big challenge for any small rural business.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Steven Cumper of the Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet, Tasmania – Australia’s southern-most state. This is a country cafe that really does offer all that you want and more – excellent food, attentive service, friendliness and hospitality. Steve took over the business seven years ago and the reputation has grown ever since. He also writes a regular blog The View from My Porch and is active on Twitter – well worth following online and when you’re in the area, make sure to visit!


Direct download: Podcast_84_Edited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:21pm AEST

Full dislosure: in my cafe days we made lots and lots of gelato every day, summer and winter. Two or three flavours, classics or experimental, and it was always very popular. There’s nothing like real house-made gelato, and the combination of milk + sugar + flavour + air gives a very profitable boost to the menu!

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with entrepreneur Scott Kilmartin. When he’s not involved with his ‘day job’ the OnlineStoreGuys, he’s developing the Shortbatch Icecream Co. As he describes it “Ice cream craver has idea, goes to gelato school in Italy. Travels the world, visits gelatarias in six countries. Opening ShortBatch initially in the form of an ice cream cart hitting Edinburgh Gardens in Melbourne's inner north...” We had a great discussion about production, distribution, sales, staff and social media – whether you sell icecream or not, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here for developing your own business.


Direct download: Podcast_83_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:03pm AEST

You’ve seen plenty of cocktail menus in bars, pubs and deluxe venues. With the familiar, the unknown, the overpriced and even the outrageous. So how are the profit margins – not just on individual cocktail recipes (they usually work out OK), but across the whole range? Is it a profitable list, or an ego trip? Does it reduce the sale of other easily-made, profitable drinks? Does it appeal to the majority of your customers, and the people you want to see more often? 

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jason Jelicich of Barmetrix about how to go beyond the cocktail list and create a profitable cocktail program. Designed for popularity and bottom line results, based on research and knowledge of customers and marketing objectives. Cocktails that can be produced quickly during busy times, and appealing to men as well as women – there’s a lot you can do to improve results.


Direct download: Podcast_82_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:13pm AEST

It’s 30 years since Lucio’s Restaurant opened in the inner suburb of Paddington in Sydney. Its reputation is stronger than ever for great food and wine, friendly, professional service and a magnificent collection of Australian art on almost every inch of the walls.


In this interview Ken Burgin sat down with Lucio and Sally Galletto, son Matteo and daughter Michaela to talk about the growth and development of the business. They discussed the roles played by each family member, staff, menu development, the kitchen and wine list, cost control, plus marketing and social media. Visit Lucio’s when you’re in Sydney next, and if that will be a while, you can buy also buy his books online – publishing and public appearances are an important part of maintaining the restaurant’s reputation.

Direct download: Podcast_81_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:49pm AEST

People in hospitality often don’t realise that they’re ‘the most interesting person in the room’ at local events. If you're bogged down with running a business, it’s easy to overlook the opportunities right there in your local area – with the media, local associations, schools, social clubs and wherever people gather.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with media and presentations coach Jaimie Abbott about how restaurateurs, managers and chefs can turn their experience and personality into a major marketing asset. It won’t always be TV or radio, but there are dozens of other ways you can become well known locally – and customers prefer to do business with people they recognise. You can contact Jaimie at 


Direct download: Podcast80Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:58pm AEST

It’s the world’s second most valuable trade commodity, and the word ‘coffee’ is always buzzing in the media and urban stories. Cafes are one of the fastest-growing segments of foodservice, and the latest serving options range from DIY espresso pods through to pour-overs and cold-drips. 

In this interview, Ken Burgin talk with Christine Cottrell from Perfect Espresso and the Coffee Education Network, about the international trends she’s observed at coffee shows, competitions and cafes in Europe, the US and Australia. She and her partner have used this research to develop the Barista Bible and a wide range of industry training modules that are used around the world.


Direct download: Podcast_79_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:18pm AEST

It’s quite an achievement to grow and prosper for twenty years,  especially in a highly-competitive beachside suburb in Sydney. That’s the record of Rodney Sen and his family with this very popular business. It’s open seven days and nights and much-loved by the locals and tourists.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Rodney about his role in the business, staff recruitment and loyalty, cost control, menu development and food production. They also discussed marketing, social media and their very active sponsorship of local and international non-profit groups. Plenty to inspire you here – check the Barzura website, connect on Facebook, and call in when you’re next in Coogee – the view is not bad!


Direct download: Podcast_78_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 5:32pm AEST

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with sommelier Rafael Delgado, who's based in Florida. For him, helping customers discover and share the unified story between the food and the beverage program is the secret to successful wine sales, happy guests and repeat visits.

“Every restaurant has its DNA and the wine list should match that DNA. Every wine list should capitalise on the story of each bottle of wine, whether it’s the variety, the region, the ideal pairing with a dish, the winery or winemaker story, or a special wine feature such as weight.”

You can find Rafael at his blog OinosLogo and on Twitter. You can also hear another speaker on wine in Podcast 58: How to Sell More Wine.


Direct download: Podcast_77_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:26pm AEST

“The interested public can handle more, not less, information about food safety. The best restaurants will not wait for government; they will go ahead and make their food safety practices available in a variety of media and brag about them – today”. That’s the opinion of Dr Douglas Powell, a former Professor of Food Safety at Kansas State University now living in Australia. He's the author of the popular (and graphic) Barfblog and you can also find him at Powell Food Safety

In this interview he talks with Ken Burgin about the gap between the industry’s commitment to food safety and the often careless, inadequate reality. They discussed staff training (much of it ineffective), temperature monitoring, raw food, verification of food origins, handwashing, cross-contamination and the illnesses that can result from careless handling. Illnesses that don’t just cause an upset stomach, but can also cause a long-term organ damage and even death. 

At Profitable Hospitality you can download more than 600 Food Safety and Work Safety Posters - ready to print and change around regularly for staff training and awareness. 

Direct download: Podcast_76_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:19pm AEST

The world of hospitality is built on the back of family businesses – parents who worked hard and established a restaurant, cafe or bar, then bringing some or all of their children into the operation. Or it may be brothers and sisters who work together, building a business with shared skills and a deeper level of trust than is usually found between regular ‘business partners’. 

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with business advisor Aristidis Semertzidis. Trained as an accountant, Ari has worked with family businesses of all sizes. He has helped them to understand the shared responsibilities of a ‘family constitution’ and establish proper financial systems. We also discussed managing business succession between generations, and protecting family assets that have been built up over the years. You can contact Ari at WorkingKapital and on Linkedin.


Direct download: Podcast_75_Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:37pm AEST