Profitable Hospitality Podcast

Breakfast gets your business and customers off to a strong start – there’s definitely money in the morning. Breakfast is easier to prepare, and you don’t need expensive chefs or high-cost ingredients. Great coffee, speedy service, and a combination of classic or new food items creates a very successful formula.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Graeme McCormack of Food Associates about how you can make the morning into a very profitable part of the day. They discussed beverage and menu options, how to innovate with traditional items, portion sizes, all-day brunches and packaging options for take-away.

Direct download: 258_Profitable_Breakfast_Business.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

We all look for good food and hospitality in a country town or tourist destination – sometimes we find it, and sometimes we don’t. This week’s guest Deborah Culhane is a lawyer working in the large rural town of Albury-Wodonga and she closely watches the success of local restaurants, cafes and wineries. Why do some succeed and others fade away?

Ken Burgin talked with Deborah about the reasons for rural businesses success, and the value of Chamber of Commerce membership for networking and discovery. We also discussed how small operators can compete with the large chains, take advantage of tourism promotions, and the value of ‘anchoring’ a business to a tourist activity.

Businesses mentioned in the podcast include The Black Sheep in Coryong, Boynton’s Feathertop Winery and Riverdeck at Albury. Also check the videos from Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaigns.

Direct download: 257_Cafe_and_Restaurant_Success_in_Rural_Areas.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

The B Corp movement says that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders - it also has a responsibility to the community and to the planet. B Corps meet high standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. They ‘aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems’.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with business advisor Tim O’Brien of Hatched.io about the value of B Corp accreditation, and how to achieve it. This involves assessing your performance in the areas of environmental impact, the workforce, customers, community and corporate governance. Start with the free B Impact Assessment – you may be surprised at how well you do, and B Corp advisers will help with the process. You can also hear the story of how Pablo & Rusty Coffee Roasters became certified, and the value that has added to their business.

Direct download: 256_How_a_Restaurant_or_Cafe_Can_Become_a_B_Corp.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

It’s hard not to be fascinated by the food, presentation and service when travelling overseas – there can be a lot of inspiration. But what can be applied back home – will it appeal to local customers and give us a competitive edge? Every food business needs to be developing new products, and updating existing one – better flavour, production methods and service. 

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Graeme McCormack of Food Associates, about his recent trends tour to New York and London. He and his team were looking closely at new products, display, merchandising, packaging, new flavours and changing attitudes to healthy food claims. There is lots of inspiration for your next menu!

Businesses mentioned in the podcast include Gail’s Bakery, Ottolenghi, Marks & Spencer, Greencore and Pret a Manger in the UK. Plus Eataly, Shake Shake and Katz Deli in the USA.

Direct download: 255_Casual_Food_Trends_from_New_York_and_London.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

Sustainability sounds like one of those worthy topics that is too serious for the happy world of cafes. But our guest today, Kim Elena Ionesco says it’s one of the most interesting and exciting jobs in the coffee industry! Kim is the Chief Sustainability Officer of the Speciality Coffee Association and has developed this role and watched the industry advance for the last 10 years.

Ken Burgin interviewed Kim about the wide range of sustainability projects underway, from plantations, to transport, roasting, retail, right through to disposal of the cup. The type of work done on farms is changing, and climate change is having an impact. Roasters have new options for processing beans with less energy, and there are many ways for cafes to work more consciously and use fewer resources. SCA have published some excellent Green Guides to help you with the process.

Direct download: 254_Sustainability_for_Cafes_and_the_Coffee_Industry.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

The shortage of chefs is on the mind of every restaurant operator, and each year it seems to get worse. But chefs have a choice of where they work, and even with shortages, smart operators will have more success attracting talent if they tune into the wants and needs of the people they’re after – chefs are no different to other professionals.

It’s inspiring to talk with executive chefs and managers who are successfully finding and keeping the right staff - they see it as a challenge that can be overcome. One such person is  Gary Johnson, National Food Manager of the Spirit Hotels Group. Ken Burgin talked with Gary about how he has dramatically reduced the turnover of chefs, created a development program for younger chefs to move into responsible positions, and runs a continual training program to improve their management and leadership skills. It’s a great story!

Direct download: 253_Successful_Chef_Recruitment_and_Retention.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

Hospitality is a fast-paced and often stressful industry, and doesn’t have a great track record for looking after its people. It’s no wonder that we have high turnover and difficulty keeping good staff – chefs, managers and front of house. We need to improve our support for employees at all levels, so they can handle the pressure, feel valued and look after themselves. The annual RU OK? Program has special relevance for an industry with so many casualties.

In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with psychologist Annette Koy about how to help employees become stronger and more resilient, and the value of listening. We discussed strategies for business owners, senior staff, chefs, new managers, men and women. You can contact Annette Koy through Linkedin.

Direct download: 252_How_to_create_a_more_resilient_workforce.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:49am AEDT

It’s never too early to start planning for the biggest profit season of the year – Christmas! And as the saying goes, the more you plan, the more you earn, so let’s get started.

In this podcast, Ken Burgin shares dozens of ways to make November and December more popular and profitable, starting with the Christmas Menus. It’s also important to communicate early with previous Christmas party customers and be more effective with how you reach out to potential new business. Booking systems need to be smooth and efficient, and event agreements should leave no room for cancellation or disagreements. There are also great options for selling hampers, Gift Vouchers and all the merchandise at your counter.  

Now wrap this up with smart marketing and a great atmosphere (music, decorations and service) – it’s not just a profitable season but also a solid boost to a great new year!

Direct download: 251_Create_a_More_Profitable_Christmas_at_your_Restaurant.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

It’s good to know there’s a serious side to cooking competitions - very different to the fireworks and drama of Masterchef and other TV food shows. Every year there are dozens of culinary competitions across the country, where chefs compete against their peers to create the best flavours, textures and appearance, using a high level of skill and technical proficiency. They work against the clock, and sometimes don’t know what they’ll be cooking until the last minute – it’s a nerve-racking business!

To explain the competitive world of professional chefs, Ken Burgin talked with John McFadden, Executive Chef at the Pan Pacific Hotels Group. He’s passionate about the industry, and dedicated to training the next generation of chefs and cooks. We discussed the competition scoring process, what judges look for in cooking techniques, the attitude of a winning chef and the value of these events to attract people to the industry. Connect with John on Linkedin, and see his food at the Parkroyal Hotel.

Direct download: 250_Talking_About_Chefs_and_Food_Competitions.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

Ken Burgin recently met coffee roaster Saxon Wright, to hear about Pablo & Rusty’s recent certification as a B-Corp. Speciality coffee seems to lead the way in the beverage industry with its focus on sustainability from grower through to consumer. B-Corps ‘aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems’, and the Silver Chef group is a proud member of the worldwide B-Corp community.

We discussed the growth of the business, their commitment to sustainably sourced produce, and the additional B-Corp priorities of environmental action, improved employee conditions, customer and community support, accountability and transparency. Even coffee waste is being imaginatively re-used with their Huskee Cup project. The company is growing fast, and Saxon sees the focus provided by B-Corp standards as an important part of their success.

Direct download: 249_How_a_Coffee_Group_Became_a_B-Corp_Business.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:22pm AEDT