Profitable Hospitality Podcast

It’s been a great year for podcasting, both what we’ve produced for Profitable Hospitality, and for the spread of the podcast medium. More and more people know what podcasts are, how to find them, and how easy it is to tune in to your own 'personal radio station’. You no longer need to make an appointment with a regular station and hunt around for the episode if you missed it - what you want is there whenever you want it.

We presented a podcast for all 52 week of the year in 2015, and I learned so much from the people I interviewed and the subjects I researched. In this final episode of the year, I talk about particular lessons learned in the areas of Marketing, Personal Development, New Business, Productivity and Staff Management. You can see all the episodes mentioned here.

Thanks for all your comments, reviews and feedback - it means a lot to me. Here’s to a great year in 2016! Ken

Direct download: Podcast2016420Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 8:39am AEST

Happy, friendly, fun, cheerful – definitely words you want associated with your business. Sometimes you've chosen well with staff who smile and share their enjoyment of life. Other times we need to remind them – hopefully their efficiency makes up for the occasional gloomy look.

For many, it's been a challenging year, and your job has been to keep smiling, creating warmth and hospitality for customers. There are many ways to 'build in the happiness’ so it doesn't depend on having a comedian at the bar. Ken Burgin goes through his Top 20 list of how to make sure your business is a genuine place of hospitality, 365 days of the year.

Direct download: Podcast2016320Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:19pm AEST

Restaurant and cafe owners are often nervous about food bloggers, worried about what they will say and who will read it. But don’t we want more people hearing and talking about us – of course we do! It’s just taking some operators a while to get used to the huge diversity of blogs and social media activity, and the hunger for novelty and new flavours.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Lee Tran Lam, a food writer and editor, with her own food blog and podcast The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry. We discussed the changes she’s seen in food publishing, how to reach and engage with food bloggers, the role of PR agencies and the #1 factor that will catch the eye and interest of foodies and potential customers.

Direct download: Podcast2016220Edited2028229.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 8:12pm AEST

One minute I was interviewing Steve Cumper about his famous Red Velvet Lounge, and then a few months later it was gutted by fire! Every owner’s worst nightmare – a thriving business turned into a smoking ruin. You can hear the interview I did with Steve back in July 2014, and this time around, we talked about rebuilding and relaunching.

Steve has built up a big community of friends and fans in the small town of Cygnet in Tasmania. They rallied around in so many ways to help with the recovery, and he also had to work with his landlord, insurance companies, creditors, equipment suppliers, finance companies and staff to get things back on track. Plus the town’s expectatios that things would return to exactly how they were before. There are so many lessons here for how small operators handle ‘risk management’ – one of those terms we usually shrug off, but here it come to life in full, flaming colour. Steve is an interesting and articulate guest – enjoy the interview and please learn from his experience.

Direct download: Podcast2016120Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 7:41am AEST

Enjoy this great conversation between Ken Burgin and food writer Barbara Sweeney. We sat ‘at the kitchen table’ and talked about food trends, food writing, publishing, modern consumers and how restaurateurs can connect with this world of constant change.

Barbara is the curator of Food & Words food writers’ festival, the ‘Talking Cookbook’ at one of Sydney’s largest farmer’s markets, and a food writer with Good Food, The Sydney Morning Herald and Country Style. She is also a member of TEDxSydney Food Team and a honey judge at Sydney Royal National Honey Show. Find out more about her achievements and interests on her website Barbara Sweeney.

Direct download: Podcast2016020Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:52am AEST

It’s always a pleasure to watch a business grow from a dream, to the planning stage, through site selection, opening nerves and now popularity and profit. That’s how it’s been with the Little Green Corner in Geelong, Victoria, run by Hugh Whitehead. I met Hugh several years ago when he attended the Profitable Hospitality Starting a Cafe or Restaurant Workshop. The business is now open, popular and successful.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks to Hugh about choosing the location, why they keep the menu small, staff selection and scheduling, and working with customer expectations. We also discussed technology, social media and his approach to marketing. And as a bonus, Hugh is completely transparent about food, beverage and wage costs – which are excellent! Lots to learn here if you are starting a new business, or want to take a fresh look at your current operation.

Direct download: Podcast2015920Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:17am AEST

Diversity is a big issue in hospitality, and we employ a United Nations of workers. But when you look at management, it seems to be overwhelmingly ‘white guys’. We can’t keep complaining about lack of skilled staff, when we tolerate the many ways other good talent is excluded from higher-paid positions.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks to Deborah Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas State University in Austin. She and her colleague Patti Giuffre recently published Taking the Heat – Women Chefs & Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen. It’s a detailed and fascinating study of why this trade remains so male dominated, and how to make changes. This is a topic I’ve long wanted to discuss on the podcast, and I was delighted to find this new book and connect with the authors. There’s no shortage of short articles about diversity in foodservice, but it’s rare to have people research the issue so thoroughly and present their findings in such an approachable way.

I highly recommend you buy the book, and the authors have also put together an excellent Teaching Guide to help instructors use it in their courses. It will also be useful for managers and chefs who want to raise the issue in their workplace and work on making changes

Direct download: Podcast2015820Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:34am AEST

There’s always pressure to keep costs down, and we often look first to the vendors who supply us. Big ticket items like meat and seafood attract plenty of attention, and we should also be watching frozen and dry goods, paper and plastic, fruit and vegetables. Some prices are seasonal and others just seem to creep up over time.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Joe Dunbar, the Food Cost Wizard. We discussed negotiation tactics and what makes a ‘good deal’, including price, price stability, availability and delivery. The value of locking in a single supplier for long-term deals, the importance of product specifications, and using online ordering systems and portals. There’s not much Joe hasn’t seen in his many years working with restaurants, foodservice and vendors of all sizes – it was great to tap into his experience!

Direct download: Podcast2015720Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:22pm AEST

Is there a bad habit you want to kick, or a healthy habit you want to start and stick to? Maybe it’s smoking, overeating, too much alcohol or the way you react to friends and family. Perhaps you want to start walking and exercise regularly, and not quit like the last time. Sometimes there are bad business habits: disorganised, avoiding issues or reacting impulsively. It can be hard to maintain good habits and stop the bad ones.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with counsellor and therapist Jacqueline Stone of Wise Stress Mastery. She’s put together 10 tried and tested ways to make the changes you want, to stick with them, and succeed! After good habits are repeated often enough, they soon become regular and almost automatic – and that’s a great feeling!

Direct download: Podcast2015620Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:22pm AEST

‘Every work position, process, equipment piece and facility in a restaurant has a capacity that can be measured, and therefore, managed.’ This is the positive message from Brian Sill, of restaurant consulting group Deterministics. Since 1985 Brian has been evangelising the merits of an engineering perspective to restaurant executives.

In this interview. Ken Burgin talks with Brian Sill about the five key areas to improve operational excellence: reduce variability in work processes, improve the output of work positions, identify and fix bottlenecks, throughput modelling of menus and recipes, and finally developing ‘labor recipes’ for each food and beverage item to understand the true cost of production.

No matter what size restaurant, cafe, hotel or bar you operate, the insights and suggestions shared in this interview will help to boost your efficiency, cut costs and increase sales.

Direct download: Podcast2015520Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 5:30pm AEST