Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity

Increase Your Sales

How to ask your Member of Parliament for financial help or to change a policy…

Tourism and hospitality are reeling from fires, drought and the COVID-19 crisis – the effects on small business are catastrophic. That means a lot less employment, no-one investing in new equipment, and a lot less money in the economy. A recession is already here. It’s time for much more government financial support for small business operators in Australia – on the scale of what was done after the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) in 2007-9. Through

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Be careful with fundraising – protect your reputation…

The bushfire catastrophe in Australia has gripped the nation, and the world! It’s truly horrifying with the loss of life, buildings, businesses, forests and native animals. It’s natural that there’s an outpouring of generosity and fundraising – many cafes are raising money by collecting tips, donating money from every drink sold or even a day of profits. And… where there is money in large quantities, there are risks. Transparency and squeaky-clean care are essential when

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How to do retail properly if you sell speciality coffee…

Highly recommend you follow Dublin café owner Colin Harmon on Instagram, and in this short video he shows off all the Christmas gifts you can buy at his cafe. I heard him speak a couple of years ago in Sydney, and he was fierce on the value of adding good retail to your mix if you sell specialty coffee – he said up to 25% (!) of their total sales come from this. The man

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Short video honours the hard work of Kitchen Hands…

This Canadian documentary spends time with the kitchen hands at several Montreal restaurants, highlighting the fast, heavy and relentless pace of their work. Without them there are no clean plates, no pans for chefs to cook with, no clean floors or cutlery for the table. It’s a job often done by people of colour and the marginalised, showing how the hierarchy still works in manual labour. We say we ‘couldn’t live without them’, but they’re

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Free Recipe Software

Free Recipe Software – plus other recipe costing options

Accurate and up-to-date recipe costing is the sign of a professional chef and kitchen – your profits are built one recipe at a time. Easy-to-use recipe software and costing calculators are essential tools in a modern kitchen. I found CookKeepBook through a social media mention, and it seems to have all the functions for recipe costing software that an independent operator needs. There are other excellent high-end recipe costing apps and food cost calculators such

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The Restaurant Management Blogs I’m Finding Most Useful…

Have to admit I’m an information glutton, and part of my job as Community Manager at Silver Chef is to keep employees updated on what’s happening in the wider hospitality community. Generally I prefer to follow blogs and twitter, instead of receiving email newsletters – here are the ones I find most useful at the minute. And I’m very open to suggestions… Aaron Allen, Quantified Marketing Group – blogging on restaurant marketing internationally Jim Sullivan of

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Simple Ways to be a ‘Hospitality Thought Leader’ and Build a Reputation

A recent comment on LinkedIn got me thinking: “LinkedIn is an amazing B2B lead generating tool, but if you are not actively reaching out to prospects and showcasing your thought leadership through regular posting it’s unlikely that you will generate any quality leads…” ‘Thought Leader’ – can’t say I love the term, but I realised there are many ways to share ideas and observations, so people become interested in your experience and opinions. You will

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LinkedIn for Restaurants

Make LinkedIn More Effective: for Chefs, Restaurant Managers & Owners

Want to be taken seriously as a professional? A good LinkedIn profile is essential, and this means more than just dumping your CV into a new location. LinkedIn for Restaurants, Cafes and Foodservice can be a powerful marketing channel. People who want to know more about you for a job, as a referee or even for a presenting opportunity will always Google your name. Your LinkedIn profile will appear high up on the first search

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Time to Tighten Up Your Facebook Privacy – How Long Since You Checked It?

I like Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and family, but worry about the privacy side – who else knows what I say and like? The latest news about political use of Facebook data shouldn’t come as a surprise – it’s just a sophisticated extension of what you can do to target local customers with Facebook ads. It’s important to review your privacy settings – the options keep changing and you might be surprised

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Watching the Decline of a Cafe Under New Owners

It’s painful to watch the decline of a favourite cafe – it’s been under new management for the last 2 months. It was probably not an easy business to sell, as the menu is complex and standards high – that would make it intimidating for many potential purchasers. The previous owners set it up ten years ago, and it has a passionate following – for the product and for them as people. But new owners

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