Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity

Design & Equipment

Customer Experience for Restaurants

What’s the Net Easy Score (NES) for your Restaurant or Cafe?

You’re probably heard of NPS or Net Promoter Score, a simple measurement of how likely people are to do business with you again. Another way to measure your business is with the Net Easy Score or NES. Based on work by Sue Barrett, it looks at the restaurant customer experience – all the ways your business is easy, or difficult, to deal with. Here are ten ways NES could measure this in restaurants, cafes and

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10 Ways to Reduce Noise in your Cafe or Restaurant – and Bring Customers Back!

Why don’t people come back, after they enjoyed your food and the service? It could be the noise – too loud to talk with friends and feel relaxed. Here’s a bunch of ideas for noise reduction, if you have to do it after your venue opens. The fact is, most architects and designers give little thought to effective noise reduction, creating hard-surface boxes with all 6 sides reflective so the noise bounces like bullets to

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5 Ways to Drive Word of Mouth Marketing for a Cafe or Restaurant

Many people assume ‘word of mouth’ works automatically, and it’s always positive. As if people will say the nicest things without you making any effort. Sorry, that’s not going to  happen! And word of mouth can also be negative – ‘OMG did you hear that place got a food poisoning fine, and they’ve been underpaying their chefs!’. However there are ways to guarantee that people have a lot to talk about, and you rise above

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Sharing ideas about how to make Webinars more interesting

It was great to share my thoughts with the Facilitation Queen Leanne Hughes, about how to make webinars more engaging and interesting. With looming restrictions on live gatherings, they have to be in the toolkit of every trainer and meeting facilitator. The SilverChef webinars I’ve started have had a great response, and this method of teaching and learning is becoming much more familiar and popular. Here’s Leanne sharing her experience, and drawing on the ideas

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Show the Sparkling Cleanliness of Your Business to Reassure Anxious Customers

News about the spread of Coronavirus is not good, and people are starting to panic – we need to stand as islands of calm and true hospitality, while taking important precautions. It’s also time to take urgent management action to protect your profitability. You can stand out from the crowd by being spotlessly CLEAN and HYGIENIC. Here are some quick ways to make this obvious to customers. There also need to be special precautions with

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McDonalds is retraining our customers, and it’s a good thing…

Here’s the revamped McDonalds in Sydney’s inner suburb of Kingsford. 24 (twenty four) kiosks have replaced the queuing area, and the pickup counter is now just a small area on the side. The McCafe remains (on the right). You can order at the counter, but there are no visible registers or signage to indicate this. Cooking is now out of sight. Trays are gone, and if you choose to dine in instead of takeaway, you

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Dealing With Copycats…

Tell the truth – most restaurant and foodservice ideas are some version of what you’ve seen or eaten before. You could call it ‘creative swiping’ instead of copying or plagiarism, but it’s rare for any chef or restaurateur to create a full set of completely original ideas for a new menu or cocktail list. Remember that trip to Chicago, Bali or Barcelona – tasting, taking photos and dreaming up how you could do an Aussie

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When You Take Over a Cafe or Restaurant – How to Do It Right

A while back I wrote about the decline of a favourite cafe now under new ownership. I was challenged to give suggestions for how this could be done well, so here’s my To-Do list for the new business owner: New Faces: own it, and let people know who’s who. Now’s the time for name tags (yes!) and the owner or manager could even add a cheeky label to say ‘Proud New Owner’.  Could you get

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Invisible? How to Stop Customers Forgetting Your Restaurant

Unless you’re a major industry icon, or they’ve visited 5 times, most people don’t remember your business name… True story: 2 people in café, one on the phone. She looks at her friend and asks ‘what’s the name of this place?’…and the friend doesn’t know! Worse, there was nothing inside the café to tell them – no signs, nothing on the table or staff uniforms. Future business lost for sure. Before you go spending big

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The ‘Stage 2’ Error That Can Fatally Weaken a Cafe or Restaurant

A conversation with a new operator during the week got me thinking about a classic and potentially lethal startup mistake: Stage 1 and Stage 2 thinking. This approach basically says “let’s get this new place open as quickly as we can, even though we don’t have enough money to do it properly. After a few months when we are profitable, we can afford Stage 2 and get the job finished.” Stage 2 items include things

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