Podcast 129: Understanding and Using Mystery Shopper Surveys

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Social media gives feedback in a random way, but how much better if you could find out in detail what customers experience – the food and beverage, the welcome, the service and departure. Even the toilets! Customers compare your place with others they visit – an objective view is so valuable.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jen Walls of Above Benchmark. Her company runs mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys in all areas of hospitality. You may have tried your own feedback forms – what’s clear from this interview is how much is involved in getting useful, measurable information, that can be compared from one month to the next. Information that gives constructive feedback to managers and staff, leading to improvements that bring customers back more often and telling their friends. Listen in and learn how professionals design surveys and gather the most useful feedback.

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Podcast 128: Successful Kitchen Recruitment

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The #1 issue for most hospitality operators is finding and keeping good kitchen staff – it’s a big challenge. There’s worldwide competition for good cooks, and a declining number of people who want to work the long and unsociable hours. But many operators could do a much better job of promoting the jobs available and choosing the right candidate, not the wrong one!

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Geremy Glew of Placed Recruitment, a specialty recruitment company focusing on chefs. Geremy is a chef and knows how kitchens work in large and small venues – he’s the ideal person to give us advice. We discussed job advertisements, responding to inquiries, personalities, matching staff with a position, reference checking, the conditions staff want and the role of recruiters. If you want to find better kitchen staff, with more hits and fewer ‘misses’, make sure you listen to this podcast – it’s packed with useful information. You will also find the job descriptions, job advertisement formats and management documents you need for chefs at Profitable Hospitality.

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Podcast 127: How I Organise Management Training for Restaurants

speakers_green80_2It’s very satisfying to organise inhouse training for a restaurant, hotel or club – we can dig deep into the particular needs of an organisation and work on their issues. In this podcast I pull back the curtain on some of the Profitable Hospitality workshops I have run in the last two years – topics and techniques.

Whatever the training agenda, there is usually a common core of issues to be covered – financial management, efficient training of staff, staff supervision and ‘leadership’. It’s easy for sessions to focus on cost-control, and forget that increasing the number of visitors and sales per customer will also make a big difference to the bottom line. Using social media to drive sales has become another popular subject, and guidance on managing online feedback and reputation issues.

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Podcast 126: How Restaurant & Bar Operators Can Develop Multiple Sources of Income

People work very hard in this industry, and the risks are high. The economy is a challenge, trends change, and there are new competitors arriving all the time. Developing an income that doesn’t just depend on customers ‘turning up’ makes a lot of sense.

podcast80In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Diane Kennedy, a CPA based in Reno Nevada. Her company USTaxAid helps you to ‘Make More and Keep More’, through expanded income opportunities and the wise use of tax minimisation. I’ve known Diane for quite a few years, and have always been impressed by her enthusiasm for helping people get better financial results from their hard work.

We discuss five types of income and how to develop them:

  • Active income
  • Leveraged active income
  • Recurring income
  • Residual income
  • Passive income
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Podcast 125: How Restaurants & Chefs Can Develop Retail Food Products

Retail products can be a new income stream for your restaurant, add some marketing flair, or create an independent business that doesn’t depend on lots of staff and expensive premises. Jams, pickles, sauces, dry products, pre-cooked meals, baked goods, savoury and sweet items – there are many options.

headphonesRed80In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Jane del Rosso of My Other Kitchen – a ‘business incubator’ focused on helping people to research and develop new food products and make them a commercial success. Whether it’s in her large kitchen, through classes or consultation, Jane has helped hundreds of people bring new products to market. Production methods, packaging, labelling, health regulations, marketing, profit margins, pricing, online sales and retail options – there’s a lot to consider!

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Podcast 124: Managing Rosters and Staff Schedules

It’s the job that most managers dislike, and one of the most important: the staff roster and schedule. Putting strong staff on the busy shifts, having just enough people to match customer numbers, juggling time off, and controlling the wage costs. There’s got to be an easier way!

podcast80In this interview Ken Burgin interviews Kristin Harris from Deputy.com – one of the leading online rostering and staff management systems. We look at the advantages of online vs traditional systems, how labour and administrative costs can be saved, and the ‘convenience factor’ for management and staff. Plus a range of tasks that can now be done more efficiently – alignment of sales to roster hours, reporting, journal entries and task assignment. It’s time to take this tedious job online and enjoy the advantages!

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Podcast 123: 10 Essentials for a Winning Restaurant Website

There’s so much to consider with website design, but let’s keep the focus on customers – how do we make their life easy, and give them the information they want? The website has to be mobile friendly and include information to inform and delight – good images, menus, contact details and basic information about the management and owners.

podcastlogoblue80In this interview. Ken Burgin talks with Ben Jones from Growth Studios on how to create a winning website without breaking the bank, or forgetting what’s essential in 2015. As well as the elements mentioned above, you may also want to include e-commerce facilities, employment information, booking links and a gallery showing all about the business, front and back-of-house. Plus all the elements needed to (hopefully) outrank our competitors in a Google search.

Don’t forget to check all the new additions to the Best Restaurant Websites list. Ben Jones was also interviewed in Podcast 118 on How to Work with a Restaurant Web Designer – here we put that information into action.

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Podcast 122: Online Branding & Reputation for Hospitality Professionals

Good brands are memorable – and stand out from the crowd. The same applies for professional people working in hospitality: it’s important to present yourself online with clarity and focus. You already have a brand, whether it is associated with your personal name or your business name – just try Googling your own name and see what comes up!

podcast80In this discussion, Ken Burgin talks with marketing consultant James Burgin about the opportunities to build your online presence, reputation and network. It’s not just about social media channels, although they are important, but also about creating an online profile, sharing good content, protecting your reputation and using the right online tools and resources.

As the saying goes, you can ‘not, not create an impression’ – let’s make sure it’s the one you want!

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Podcast 121: How to Profit With Senior Customers

We’re not just talking about the frail and very old, but everyone 55 and over. Many have another 40-50 years of life ahead of them – that’s a lot of eating out, coffee, snacks and beverages! Understanding the segments within the broad group of ‘senior diners’ was one of the first distinctions raised by today’s guest Aaron Fish, a foodservice executive working in the retirement living sector in Texas. He has extensive experience in restaurants, and brings that understanding to this conversation with Ken Burgin.

speakers_green80_2Topics discussed include menu options, handling dietary needs, choosing the right staff, service expectations and the role of food in the lives of people who don’t go to work every day. Lunch and dinner can be important for entertainment as well as nourishment, and that gives more possibilities for creating a popular and profitable business. Baby-boomers and seniors are a massive proportion of the population – often overlooked and under-serviced, and that means opportunity!

You can connect with Aaron on Linkedin and also on Twitter

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Podcast 120: Values, Vision and Mission Statements – Cutting through the BS

Vision, Mission, Values, Culture, Empowerment and Engagement… So many big words, often used carelessly by people who think just repeating them will magically improve productivity, reduce staff turnover and boost profits. It takes much more than fancy signs on the wall to do that!

headphonesRed80In this week’s interview, Ken Burgin talks with Kevin Dwyer of Change Factory. He’s worked for many years with companies large and small that want to make real improvements in their workplace culture and management effectiveness. That’s why he gets impatient with people using these terms without genuine commitment. He gives us real, understandable definitions that everyone can grasp, and we also discuss the important issue of having the company’s vision match with the personal vision and ambitions of the staff. You’ll enjoy this interview and have lots to think about for your own business, no matter what the size or style.

Previous interviews with Kevin Dwyer were popular – listen to:

Podcast 53: 3 Leadership Essentials for Supervisors, Managers & Owners
Podcast 60: How to Help Staff Improve their Performance

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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