Profitable Hospitality Podcast (business)

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

It was great to meet up again with Executive Chef John McFadden to learn about his culinary career, and what it takes to become a kitchen leader.

We discussed his early learning, the leadership qualities of chefs who’ve inspired him, and how he has developed skills in planning, menu development, people management and finance. We also talked about the importance of bringing on the next generation of cooks and the value of having clear standards and accountability. We need more chefs with his passion and commitment!

Direct download: 264_How_to_Become_an_Executive_Chef.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

For this podcast, Ken Burgin headed out early to Sydney Markets to talk all about vegetables with Chef Julio Azzarello from Gourmand Providore. Julio is surrounded by fresh ingredients at the largest markets in the southern hemisphere, so there was plenty of inspiration for our conversation.

We discussed the most economical vegetables for daily use, cooking methods, how the seasons work, using Grade 2 or ‘ugly’ vegetables to save costs, and building a positive relationship with your supplier. It was great to get back to the source!

Direct download: 263_Using_Popular_and_Profitable_Vegetables.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

Ken Burgin talks restaurant and food photography with professional photographer Brandee Meier. These days, everyone eats with their eyes, so great images are more important than ever… and there’s a big difference between what’s done with a phone and the work of a real professional.

We discussed how to choose a good photographer, preparing for a photo shoot, and organising lifestyle, food and bar photos. Plus the technicalities of copyright, file formats and the many ways that photos can be used.

Direct download: 262_How_to_Organise_a_Great_Photo_Shoot_at_your_Restaurant.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT

Steve Hui is the points whisperer – his business I Fly Flat works with business owners to get the best travel deals from credit card points, and increase the number of points you earn. Everyone in business uses a credit card, but most people don’t know hot to maximise their points, or choose a card that gives the most flexibility for points redemption.

Steve’s conversation with Ken Burgin will definitely have you thinking differently about how you pay bills, and taking a fresh look at the cards you accept from customers.

Direct download: 261_How_to_Use_Your_Credit_Card_for_More_Points_and_Travel.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:00am AEDT