Podcast 147: How to Crowdfund a new Hospitality Business

Lots of people dream about having their own business, but are stopped by a lack of funds. It takes money to buy equipment, renovate premises, legal fees, builders, electricians, marketing and the stock to get started. Maybe the bank will help, or a rich admirer – we wish!
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Another option is Crowdfunding – where you put an investment proposition together and raise money from a lot of small investors. In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with icecream entrepreneur Scott Kilmartin of VintageIceCreamTruck.com. He’s currently funding the renovations of his icecream truck Grace – the campaign starts on 8 September 2015. Scott has spent several months building interest using social media, particularly with the Vintage Icecream Truck on Instagram. We also discussed the first plans for this in Podcast 130 on Social Media, Food Trucks and Icecream – now it’s really happening!

Crowdfunding is a great idea and it can be successful IF you prepare properly and understand how the process works. That’s what Scott explains to us in detail – how he’s going through the funding process and how it could work for your new restaurant, cafe or bar. Just recently a country town in Australia raised $600,000 through this process to rebuild their beloved pub that burnt down – anything is possible! Other small projects include the Wild Timor Coffee Flagship Cafe and the Red Robin Supper Truck.

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Podcast 146: Better Negotiation with Staff, Suppliers and Customers

We usually go all out to ‘win’ – nail down tough conditions and low prices from a supplier, and not give an inch to customers who ask for a better deal. And as for more pay, forget it! Sometimes we win, but sometimes our negotiation ‘foe’ takes their business elsewhere. Then it becomes Win-Lose, not the Win-Win that will put both sides ahead.

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In this interview Ken Burgin talks with business development consultant Diana Tapp of Real Changes . She has helped hundreds of business owners and managers to develop their negotiation skills and become much more effective with business communication. We discussed negotiation tactics with staff asking for a pay rise, and with organisers who want your ‘very best’ price for an event package (when you’ve already at rock-bottom). We also talked about how to set up an agreement with a new supplier so both parties can move ahead with confidence.

It’s easy to just focus on price, price, price – and that usually shows lack of experience. Diana Tapp gives us four winning ways to make negotiations more effective, and ultimately more profitable for all concerned. This interview has great content for managers, chefs and business owners – it’s a skill everyone needs to improve!

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Podcast 145: We Need to Talk – Handling Difficult Conversations

The words we’re often so nervous about saying, or hearing: We Need To Talk. It may be an honest conversation with an employee whose performance has slumped, with a business partner about sharing the workload, a supplier about prices, or even with someone in your family. Most people aren’t good at these conversations, and we don’t learn it at home or at school.

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In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Andrea J Lee, a business coach and writer who’s helped hundreds of people to handle interpersonal communication much more effectively. Her new book We Need to Talk sets out a simple and powerful model to help ‘untangle the stuckness’ with the conversations we fear. It can help with money conversations, employee interviews, time-wasting meetings, handling apologies to customers and even just saying No to requests you’re not excited about. We all need to be more assertive and ask better questions – I’m sure you’ll find this interview extremely helpful in all areas of your business and personal life.

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Podcast 144: How to Manage Partnerships in the Restaurant Business

Partnerships sound like a great idea – share the resources, the work and the brain-power. More inputs mean more profit, so 1 + 1 = 3, right? But most partnerships don’t work out as hoped – the expectations were unrealistic, the profits weren’t there, or the division of time and responsibilities led to disagreement.

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In this interview Ken Burgin talks with lawyer Richard Edwards of Whites Legal. He’s helped many business partners set up a cafe or restaurant, helped others to fine-tune their agreement, and assisted others to end their partnership. Hopefully the termination will be amicable, sometimes it’s not. We discussed essential elements of a partnership agreement, the division of work and profits, buy-sell agreements, and how family members can come into the equation. If you’re planning a partnership for a cafe, restaurant or bar, or you’re in one and have questions, this is an excellent source of information.

Richard was also interviewed in Podcast 93 on Legal Essentials for a New Cafe, Restaurant or Bar

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Podcast 143: Better Leadership – There’s an I in Team

Effective teams need good leaders, and that’s the topic of a new book by Gihan Perera – ‘There’s an I in Team’. It upends the cliché that ‘there’s no I in team’, and examines the leadership needed for a modern organisation – effective teams need good leaders, they don’t just wait for the right course of action to emerge.

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In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Gihan about the three essentials for an effective leader in the digital age: Be a Leader People Want to Follow, Build a Team They Want to Be a Part Of, and Reach Out to a World that Wants to Help. Gihan Perera has a unique ability to make management concepts clear and achievable – you will enjoy the many insights he has for all of us in hospitality. You can buy the book in paper or digital format at There’s an I in Team, and follow Gihan on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Flickr: Kurman Communications, Inc.
Flickr: Kurman Communications, Inc.

Podcast 142: How to Develop a Strategy for Social Media Marketing

So much social media activity done by business is random and inconsistent, with little thought as to how it will lead to sales. Hospitality venues miss so many photo opportunities, and use the same sales pitches that they use everywhere else. But social media is about connections and conversation, not just being talked at!

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In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks with Holly Galbraith of Go Future Media. Holly is an experienced tourism marketer with a hospitality background, and a strong desire for businesses to put a social media strategy together before they go firing off Facebook updates and tweeting in all directions! Amongst the many topics covered, we discussed the content ‘pillars’ that can support your social media, how to choose the right platforms, how to maintain consistency and how to measure results. You can also hear Holly on her own Tourism Tweetup podcast and find her on Twitter.

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Podcast 141: How to Create Popular and Exciting Wine Events

Let’s face it – a lot of wine dinners, tastings and events are dull and a bit disappointing. Too much talk, too many frowns, and not enough of the enjoyment and pleasure that wine is all about. They don’t help to grow the audience for wine, or they’re not events that people rush back to.

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In this interview Ken Burgin talks to Dan Sims – he’s committed to ‘producing large scale events for wine drinkers that are informative, interactive and not in the slightest bit scary.’ His company Bottleshop Concepts produces the wildly popular wine events Pinot Palooza, the new Game of Rhones and many more. They’re full of fun, passion and attract a younger (and more female) demographic – wine with enthusiasm, not snoozing. If you want to bring your restaurant wine list, staff training and wine events to life, you’ll find this podcast full of inspiration.

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Podcast 140: A Better Life and Career for Chefs Over 30

The high turnover and shortage of kitchen staff is a worldwide problem – it’s not a career that attracts or holds enough good people. The work is physically hard, the hours can be long and unsociable, and the career opportunities limited. Many chefs leave hospitality completely, instead of finding other ways to use their experience within the industry.

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In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Geremy Glew of Placed Recruitment, a specialty recruitment company focusing on chefs and hospitality staff. Geremy is a chef and knows how kitchens work in large and small venues – he has many insights into this situation, and shares practical advice for chefs and the business operators who employ them.

You can also listen to the previous interview with Geremy in Podcast 128 on Successful Kitchen Recruitment, and watch a video recording of the webinar we did on Kitchen Recruitment.

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Podcast 139: How to Reduce Employee Theft in Restaurants

It’s a big problem in hospitality – and it’s probably happening at your business. Independent restaurants and cafes are especially vulnerable, as they often lack rigorous systems for hiring, training and supervising employees. Once a thief starts working for you and finds your weaknesses, they’ll just keep going.

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In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with the ‘Crime Doctor’ Chris McGoey about the wide range of employee fraud and theft in restaurants. With food, liquor and cash in daily use, and often with inadequate security and controls, it’s easy for things to go wrong. Chris shares some excellent suggestions on how to tighten up your systems and keep profits in the business instead of in the pockets of dishonest staff. You can find him at CrimeDoctor.com and also listen to his podcast Crime School.

AND check the wide range of articles under Fraud & Theft Control at Profitable Hospitality.

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Podcast 138: A Month in Italy: What I Learned About the Restaurant Business

When you travel, there’s a lot you can learn about your own industry – customers, service, menus and marketing. Make sure to keep your camera busy! Even if it’s just to another city, but in this case I went to Italy for a month – travelling in the area around Rome and to the south in the ‘boot’, then another week in the north visiting the big cities of Genoa and Milano.

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I’ve recorded my observations here, particularly food, service and restaurant operations – I was also interested to see how well I could operate my own business, Profitable Hospitality, from on the road. It’s fairly different to your venue, in that I’m not serving guests with food and drinks. But operating remotely with the aid of modern digital tools went very well, and I’ve explained how in the last section of the podcast. I’d love to hear your observations about travelling in Italy – the food, the service and ‘the business’. Click on the Comments link and add your thoughts…

I’ve put a wide selection of photos from the trip into several albums on Flickr – you can see them here.

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