Profitable Hospitality Podcast

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