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

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Podcast 119: How a Large Caterer Manages Staff and Culture

Staff shortages, costs and challenges are often on the mind of hospitality people, and they love to complain. So it was great to talk with a business operator who employs more than 100 people and finds his employees a source of strength and opportunity, rather than a drama.

podcast80In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Miccal Cummins, director of award-winning catering group Gastronomy. They’ve established a great reputation in Sydney for corporate catering, creative events, venue management and the quality of their food. They’ve also developed a ‘second line’ called Packed Lunch, for online ordering of food for conferences and meetings. We discussed the growth of the business, management of recruitment and induction, the type of staff they look for and how they maintain a strong, positive culture. This was an interview that left me inspired and positive about the future of the industry!

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

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Podcast 118: How to Work with a Restaurant Web Designer

A new website or an upgrade? It always feels like hard work and uncertainty when restaurants, bars and clubs decide to make a change. There are so many things to consider: all the technical details (usually confusing and unknown), briefing a designer, the budget, design and branding, plus adding new features like social media integration, photo galleries, a booking service, email subscriptions, and a ‘shop’.

headphonesRed80In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Ben Jones of Growth Studios*, an experienced web designer with a background in graphic design, direct marketing and web design – it’s a strong combination. As well as the topics above, we discussed choosing the right platform (is WordPress the right one?), what restaurants and bars usually have on their ‘shopping list’, how to add e-commerce facilities, the importance of making the site Google-friendly, and keeping the project on track. If you’ve got plans for a new website or an upgrade, this podcast contains important content!

More at Profitable Hospitality – make sure you check all the great content in our Online Marketing Department!

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

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* Click the link for an excellent free download for updating your website and gaining more traffic…

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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…