Profitable Hospitality Podcast

In this podcast we’re not talking about new furniture or equipment, but a management makeover that addresses profit levels, customer satisfaction, employee performance and growth. Many businesses limp along until they are either sold or close. The smarter ones call in the experts to help fix the problems.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with turnaround expert Jim Affeldt from Haley Kammerer. They’re the restaurant consulting arm of the Sodel Concepts group in Delaware (with more than 10 restaurants and foodservice operations). We discussed the primary importance of getting the business culture right, points of service, menu analysis, cash flow, inventory, marketing and systems – it’s a real A to Z of what’s needed for restaurant success.

Direct download: PH2021620Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:50am AEST

Let’s face it: most hospitality people are not big on numbers. They prefer to make the drinks, welcome guests, sell events or cook great food – doing and communicating, not counting and analysing. But without a close eye on the figures, profits can melt away in this highly competitive industry...

To prepare for the new year, Ken Burgin interviews accountant Chris Wheatley of Scope Accounting. We talked about many ways you can make business more profitable, and your life more enjoyable, by taking control of the numbers. We discussed record keeping, cloud-based bookkeeping systems, staff and food costs and all the ways to integrate control into a ‘dashboard’. The old demarcations between bookkeeper, accountant and business owner are disappearing fast – this podcast has information you can take to the bank!

Direct download: PH2021720Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:59pm AEST

Rose Johnstone, editor of Time Out Melbourne, is in a unique position to see how savvy hospitality operators are using social media. She’s also actively using the major channels to promote Time Out stories and events – they are busy people!

Ken Burgin talked with Rose about how smart operators are using Instagram and Snapchat, and the continuing value of Facebook. We discussed what content is best for each channel, the type of images that get the best response, the value of video and what makes a good ‘story’ on the new Story features. And of course how to turn cool social media content into real sales. You can follow Time Out on Instagram and Facebook – they do a great job!

Direct download: PH2021520Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:29am AEST

There’s no shortage of opinions on what makes a successful cafe. Looking at businesses that succeed (or not), it’s obvious that marketing and management are the major drivers, and within those two headings we can identify location and size, design and layout, the employee team, good service, menu and products, equipment, financial management and of course marketing in all its variations.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Andrew and Claire Bowen, authors of The Daily Grind - How to Open and Run a Coffee Shop That Makes Money. Having created three  thriving cafes, they’re in a unique position to talk about success, and what new operators need to consider. We also discussed how existing business owners can improve and grow - it was a very productive conversation. You can find Andrew & Claire's book here and also check their excellent website.

Direct download: PH2021420Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:16am AEST

There’s no avoiding social media, especially for restaurant, cafe and hotel marketing. And there’s much more to a digital marketing strategy than just ‘getting one of the young staff to handle it’. Hospitality managers, owners and leaders need to take social media seriously and develop comfort, skills and fluency for this modern digital world.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with leadership coach Des Walsh about how leaders can build confidence to guide social media strategy and interact online with colleagues and customers. We also talked about which social media channels are the most appropriate and effective for hospitality marketing, and building your own reputation. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram – you don’t have to use them all, but you can’t hide in the shadows and pretend this doesn’t apply to you!

Direct download: PH2021320Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:13pm AEST

Long hours, heat and stress – that’s the working life of many chefs and kitchen staff. And even though they’re surrounded by good food, many chefs rely on coffee, snacks and sugary drinks to get through the day. Another reason why hospitality finds it hard to keep good people!

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Pip Seldon of The Healthy Tradie Project. She usually works with trades men and women in the construction industry, helping them to improve their job performance, mental clarity, diet, mood and energy levels. Here we talk about the cooking trade, and how her 6 essentials apply for a better work and personal life: exercise, mindset, nutrition, play, sunshine and sleep. You will enjoy her practical approach to improving work, whether you’re a chef or a manager who needs to improve productivity in the kitchen.

Direct download: PH2021220Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:58pm AEST

Have you noticed how some bars and restaurants are constantly in the news, or a chef is being quoted and making a name for herself? Chances are a public relations person is helping to get their story into the media, and keep them top of mind with the public. PR people aren’t magicians, but their years of experience and contacts can be great way to cut through and have your message noticed.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with publicist and communications expert Prue Gillespie. She has worked with restaurants, bars, events and foodservice entrepreneurs over quite a few years, promoting their products, helping them build personal profiles and even putting out a few ‘fires’ when things don’t go to plan. A professional publicist can be a great asset for any size of business, and Prue gives us great insights into how to leverage public relations and become much more recognised.

Direct download: PH20Episode2021120Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:46pm AEST

It was great to catch up with Court Desautels, Group Leader & COO of Canada’s Neighbourhood Restaurant Group in Guelph, Ontario. The group has been on the expansion trail for some years, and recently embraced the process of B-Corp certification. We’ve talked about B-Corp before in the interview with Silver Chef founder Allan English (podcast 203).

Court and I discussed how their two Borealis Grille restaurants, Woolwich Arrow Pub and Miijidaa Cafe have built on existing commitments to local produce and sustainability, and taken on the additional B-Corp challenges of improved employee conditions, customer and community support, accountability and transparency. It’s an inspiring story and the net results have been double digit sales growth and reduced costs – items on every business owner’s wish list!

Direct download: PH20Episode2021020Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:18pm AEST

It’s great to revisit previous podcast guests and find out how their business has grown and prospered. There are usually plenty of lessons along the way, about managing money and costs, managing people, sales and marketing, plus time management. I first interviewed Gus McAllister of The Tippler & Co Bar & Eatery two and half years ago, and how things have changed!

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Gus about how he has built a strong local network of business customers and residents, effective use of his time and money for marketing, menu development and staff control. We also discussed how he has built a strong function & events side of his business and made everything more systematised.

Direct download: PH20Episode2020920Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 6:14pm AEST

How things have changed – instead of being a fringe request that’s ignored by most restaurants, vegan and vegetarian food is now a popular choice. A recent survey in Australia found 1 in 9 people (11.2%) said they are ‘vegetarian or almost vegetarian’. That’s a lot of customers looking for menu options beyond a salad or pasta with tomato!

To help us understand how chefs and restaurants can cater for this growing demand, Ken Burgin talked with chef and cafe owner Paul Smith of Green Zebra in rural NSW. He’s now a vegan, and tries to create vegetarian food that meat eaters will love! It has to be more imaginative than yet another serve of pumpkin risotto or vegetarian lasagne. We discussed the challenges of creating healthy food with flavour, presenting food on a plate so it’s not always ‘meat in the centre’, and all the angles to modern menu design. Paul is a thoughtful and creative chef – I know you will enjoy this interview. You can also find him on Twitter and his new website PlantYourMenu.com

Direct download: PH20Episode2020820Edited.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:19pm AEST