Podcast 117: Success Strategies from the Organic Market & Cafe

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Grahame Murray of the Organic Market & Cafe – they’ve been open for 26 years! It’s in the beautiful hills above Adelaide, Australia. The business has expanded and modernised in that time, taking over more space and adding an online shop. They’re also using modern technology to manage staff, bookkeeping and even tablet ordering for ‘queue-busting’ when they’re busy – another way to keep customers happy and ready to spend.

speakers_green80_2We also discussed design and retail display, menu development, working with local fruit and vegetable suppliers and how much true organic produce can be included on an affordable menu. Plus building a stable team of staff and the value of an active presence on social media – make sure to check them on Instagram and Facebook.

LISTEN to more free podcasts from Profitable Hospitality at the iTunes Store.

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Podcast 116: Updating 8 Neglected Areas of Your Business

podcast80It’s January 2015, and while you’ve still got the ‘new year feeling’, it’s time to check on a few business and personal issues that might be putting the brakes on you and the team.

Buckle up and let’s give our attention to people, money, tech and equipment. Build up the things that work and reduce those that hold you back. The appearance of the business and how well it responds to customers. Let’s look at your website from all angles, your local profile, and how much feedback staff are receiving on their good and not-so-good performance. And a quick check on your own business skills and efficiency for the demanding, competitive year ahead. There are lots of resources and how-to articles on all these topics at Profitable Hospitality.

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Podcast 115: My Best Apps and Online Tools for 2015

speakers_green80_2Here’s my annual list – about half are new this year, and the rest are well-tested and help make my business efficient, responsive and available wherever I am. I have chosen tools that will also be useful in your cafe, restaurant, hotel, club or bar – whatever size of operation you have. Let me know in the comments (link above) which services and apps you use, or if you have another favourite we should know about.

Apps and online services mentioned:

* ToDoIst – to-do list that syncs across devices
* Teamwork and Trello – project management
* Evernote – note-taking, web bookmarks and documents – syncs across devices
* NutshellMail – daily notification of social media mentions
* Dropbox and Google Drive – store documents in the cloud and access anywhere
* Jotform and Wufoo – create forms online, to use with customers and staff
* Jing – take screenshots and screen-recordings to share explanations
* Hootsuite – post to Twitter, Linkedin and Google+, plus advanced scheduling
* Canva – become your own designer with this online service

LISTEN to more free podcasts from Profitable Hospitality at the iTunes Store.

Android and Windows phone users, add our RSS Link to your podcast app of choice or find us on the Stitcher app or on SoundCloud.

Modern Customer Trends for 2015, in 2 Minutes

Not food trends, more about modern life. Ad agency JWT show how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing presence in our lives. This video is predicting 2014, but is it much different 12 months later? Their 2015 predictions are in an interesting (and rather numbing) 100 Trends Slideshow below the video, with a special section on food.

The Future 100: developments across sectors including technology, retail, food and beverage, travel, sustainability and luxury. New types of goods or businesses, new behaviors and ideas with the potential to ladder up to bigger trends.

Podcast 114: How to Find and Select the Right Service Staff

It’s a constant frustration for restaurant and bar operators – plenty of people looking for work, but most who apply don’t have the skills, attitude or knowledge that’s needed. Customers are sick of it too – slow service, staff who don’t notice and a shortage of smiles. But there are good people looking for service positions. If the recruitment you’re doing now is not working, it’s time to take a fresh look at your advertising and selection process.

headphonesRed80In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Roger Simpson, an experienced retail trainer and consultant who works with businesses to increase service levels and grow sales. He’s worked in all sectors of hospitality, and one of his famous (and ongoing) clients is Beechworth Bakery, a business that’s transformed an entire rural town and the face of modern bakeries in Australia. We discussed how to identify staff with potential, developing an ideal ‘person description’ for the staff you want, and his 6 Essential Steps for Recruiting the Right People. It’s a great interview, and you may also want to listen to his previous Podcast on Effective Training for Service Staff & Their Managers. You can find Roger at The Retail Solution – he’s an excellent resource!

Roger’s suggested Interview Questions are available at Profitable Hospitality.

LISTEN to more free podcasts from Profitable Hospitality at the iTunes Store.

Android and Windows phone users, add our RSS Link to your podcast app of choice or find us on the Stitcher app or on SoundCloud.

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Why It’s Worth Focusing on the 3 Star Reviews (out of 5)

Especially when you’re looking at cafes and restaurants in ‘research mode’, not just taking pleasure in negativity! When a business gets 3 out of 5, it usually shows that the reviewer saw some positive qualities, and also experienced things that should be improved. These are not the raving fans I usually ignore, or the haters who want to inflict pain.

A couple of examples: the first one loves the atmosphere and dessert, but not the flavour and value of the main meal.

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This person loved the food, but the coffee gets a big thumbs down – a deal breaker!

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Both give useful feedback if the management is watching and listening…

Podcast 113: Employee Termination and Dismissal – How to Avoid Problems

Ending the employment of a staff member is never easy, especially if they’ve worked at the business for a while. Many managers find it hard to give ‘bad news’, even when they recognise that a person is not capable of doing the work required. The law varies in different countries, but there are over-riding principles of fairness and ‘due process’ that need to be followed in almost all jurisdictions.

headphonesRed80In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Dru Gillan, a lawyer specialising in employment law. We discussed the principle reasons for dismissal: poor performance, misconduct, dangerous behaviour, refusing to follow instructions and retrenchment. We also discussed how to hold a proper performance interview and whether ‘3 warnings’ are always necessary. And if an employee comes back with a claim of ‘unfair dismissal’, when are they justified? Find Dru Gillan at Service Industry Legal Services – the man to talk to in Australia for industrial relations and employment law assistance. Download 24 Job Descriptions for key hospitality positions from Profitable Hospitality, and back it up with a properly-written Staff Manual. This gives everyone a fair go.

LISTEN to more free podcasts from Profitable Hospitality at the iTunes Store. Android and Windows phone users, add our RSS Link to your podcast app of choice or find us on the Stitcher app or on SoundCloud.

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Podcast 112: What Can Be Learned From Spying on Competitors?

Every restaurant manager, owner and chef worth their salt makes sure to watch and visit the latest hot places and clever competitors. Many of your customers got there first – they’re after newer and better – the pressure is unrelenting!

podcast80In this podcast, Ken Burgin looks at how you can take an organised and strategic approach to learning from competitors. The focus of your observation will be on three main areas: the visitor experience, productivity, and sales & marketing. It’s much more than just looking around and snapping photos. Consider the staff, the furnishings, how the atmosphere is created and how management orchestrates the experience. Is the place productive, and how can you work out their running costs? You’ll also be looking at the menu, the marketing and social media activity – that’s where you see customer reactions.

Make sure to check the Sales & Marketing Dept and the Online Marketing Dept at Profitable Hospitality – lots there to help you be more competitive!

LISTEN to more free podcasts from Profitable Hospitality at the iTunes Store. Android and Windows phone users, add our RSS Link to your podcast app of choice or find us on the Stitcher app or on SoundCloud.

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Podcast 111: How to Manage Harassment & Bullying in the Workplace

Work can be a bit rough in some restaurants and bars – high pressure, long hours, impatient managers, heat, late nights and alcohol. No wonder staff sometimes say and do things that they shouldn’t – insults, sex talk, swearing, pushing and yelling. For a long time the attitude was that you put up with it or got out. But modern workplaces now have a much greater focus on safety and management’s ‘duty of care’ – protecting staff is not optional. And employees are much more aware of their rights and legal protection.

headphonesRed80In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with HR expert Natasha Hawker of Employee Matters. We discussed definitions of sexual harassment and bullying, plus the idea of ‘Duty of Care’ and how it applies to managers and supervisors. Also covered were grievance procedures, investigation methods, and the responsibility of staff who witness harassment or bullying – there’s a lot to consider.

Also make sure to check the Staff Management Dept and Staff Downloads at Profitable Hospitality.

LISTEN to more free podcasts from Profitable Hospitality at the iTunes Store.

Android and Windows phone users, add our RSS Link to your podcast app of choice or find us on the Stitcher app or on SoundCloud.

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Never let a crisis go to waste…

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

A quote from Rahm Emmanuel in 2008, Obama’s Chief of Staff when the new president took over. The Global Financial Crisis had hit, and America was in the middle of the cyclone. The immediate drama had to be dealt with, but while everything’s up in the air, are there other urgent reforms and changes that could be pushed through as well?

How could you use an unexpected drama?

  • Head Chef resigns? Now’s the time to implement the kitchen software and ordering process she refused to agree to. Put in place a properly-worded Job Description, and replace the ‘loyal’ suppliers who have been overcharging.
  • Fire in the kitchen? Bring forward the refit plans – you have to be closed for a few weeks, so let’s do all the changes to make the place more efficient and hygienic.
  • Street works disrupting business? Local government knows you and others are hurting – if there are changes to zoning permissions you’ve wanted for a long time, now’s the time to go in strongly with your list.
  • Bad online review? You know it’s true – time for a shake-up with the manager and unreliable staff. Use agency people for the short term while you do a cleanout and rehire.
  • A theft? Time to put in the new cash-handling systems that will take longer but are essential. Change how people sign on and off and insist on lockers for bags.
  • A relationship ends. Is it time to connect with people who give you more respect?

We love stability, and staff prefer nothing to change. Be ready for an opportunity if it comes up unexpectedly…

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