Profitable Hospitality Podcast (business)

Corporate Culture Specialist Greg Hawks talks to a lot of employees and business leaders, and they all believe in the importance of a strong, positive workplace culture. But what does that really mean, and how can it be developed?

In this lively interview, Greg talks with Ken Burgin about the four pillars he sees supporting a great culture – honour, excellence, identity and significance. Words that by themselves may not mean so much, but his explanation and examples brings them together into a clear and achievable roadmap for every restaurant, cafe or foodservice business.

Direct download: 274_How_to_Build_a_Culture_of_Greatness.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:52pm AEST

Craig Macindoe looks surprisingly calm for someone who has opened so many restaurants, and right now he has 10 under his control at the Kensington Street restaurant precinct. Maybe it’s because he can now work on strategy and marketing, instead of being caught up in the kitchen. As a chef, he brings valuable insights to management – cost control, menu development, purchasing and product quality.

Craig talked with Ken Burgin about modern restaurant trends, equipment, partnerships, customer expectations, recruiting staff, social media marketing and the many management skills he has learned over the last 20 years. It was a fascinating interview.

Direct download: 273_Talking_to_a_Chef_Who_s_Opened__Run_42_Restaurants.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:32pm AEST

Simpler is usually better in business – restaurant processes can be done more quickly, there are fewer costs, less need for highly-skilled staff, and fewer mistakes. This is not about ‘dumbing down’, but removing the complexity that can often develop in menus, customer service, management and financial reporting.

Ken Burgin gives you a quick hit list of more than a dozen ways to bring back flexibility and speed to your operation, in the front of house, kitchen, marketing and administration. Your staff, customers and accountant will thank you!

Direct download: 272_How_to_Simplify_Your_Business_for_More_Profitable_Results.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:18am AEST

It was fascinating to talk with WeChat marketing expert Matthew Brennan about online marketing and e-commerce in China. In many ways the country is leading the world with innovations in social media and cashless payments, particularly through the communication and payment channels of Tencent (owner of WeChat) and Alipay.

We also discussed the integration of menus into apps, ordering and food delivery systems, and how tourists from China will be researching and preparing for their trip to another country. This is the future!

Direct download: 271_Using_WeChat__Chinese_Social_Media_for_Restaurant_Marketing.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

With the growth of mobile phones, calls to your restaurant are more important than ever – a quick Google search finds your number, and if a call is made, it’s likely to be about an important issue or sales opportunity, rather than just a booking request.

In this lively interview, Ken Burgin talks with Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor about phone answering, sharing information, and handling complaints. We also discussed how to handle staff training, impatient customers, and combining sales with good customer service. And don’t miss her great advice on eliminating 5 Frustrating Voicemail Phrases – we’ve all used them!

Direct download: 270_Smarter_Phone_Management_in_Restaurants_and_Bars.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:44am AEST

Word of mouth marketing doesn’t work automatically, and it’s not always positive. It can develop slowly and accidentally, or you can take the lead and give people lots of positive experiences to share with their friends, week after week.

In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks about the many different ways customers experience your business, and the five key areas that drive word of mouth – design, speed, generosity, flavour and inside information. You may be surprised that there are so many positive things happening – let’s get the good news out there!

Direct download: 269_How_to_Drive_Word_of_Mouth_Marketing.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

Join us to learn how an experienced chef plans a menu makeover, taking a good product and making it even better. Ken Burgin talks with Executive Chef John McFadden and hears about the process of menu simplification and cost control he is using for the new menu at Abode Bistro, the restaurant at Sydney’s ParkRoyal Hotel.   

We also discussed flavour improvement, food trends, staff training and the changing popularity of lunch and dinner menu items in a busy city location.

Direct download: 268_Menu_Simplification_Flavours_and_Profitability.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

What makes food taste wonderful, or bland, or maybe it’s sour, hot or bitter? There are so many things to understand with food flavours, so we asked Adam Yee, a food scientist for assistance. He talks with Ken Burgin about the chemistry of flavours, how we experience them, and how a chef can use this knowledge to create memorable tastes and popular recipes.

We also discussed potato chips, smoky flavours, , snacks, desserts and what makes ethnic food so popular. The food scientist sees the essential elements of taste coming from flavour, texture, depth, time, heat and moisture – everyone in the kitchen is a scientist in one way or another!

Direct download: 267_Understanding_Food_Flavour.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:36am AEST

Ken Burgin interviews Steve Sidd, a chef and experienced restaurateur. He now runs Indulge Brasserie at Moorebank Sports Club, recently named Best Family Restaurant in the Restaurant & Catering Assoc. National Awards for Excellence.

Serving 5,500 customers per week, this is a high-volume operation in an area of young families and a large army base. We talked about how he develops a  menu, meat, seafood and vegetable options, purchasing and negotiation with suppliers. We also discussed healthy food options, kids’ menus and popular desserts – Steve has developed a winning formula that we can all learn from!

Direct download: 266_Menu_Development_for_a_Family_Restaurant.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:47am AEST

Ken Burgin caught up with Julia Campbell, founder of the recently-formed Women in Hospitality group, and Clare van Vuuren, a board member and owner of Sydney’s popular Bloodwood restaurant. The mission of the organisation is to “inspire, recruit and retain more females in the hospitality industry and to give them the confidence to back themselves in their professional development.” There has been an enthusiastic response to their events and mentoring program.

We discussed male and female leadership, the value of networking events, sharing business information, and building the confidence of women to take on management roles. We also talked about the industry competitions that end up with all-male winners, and handling sexual harassment in the workplace.

Direct download: 265_Talking_about_Women_in_Hospitality.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:56am AEST