Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity

Productivity & Cost Control

Nat shares his dislike of crap food, and millions agree…

What is it about Nat the muso cook that people love? [warning: lots of swearing]. He’s raw and real (his dad was a chef), he hates fake food, and he’s getting media attention. What can we translate from this into restaurant & cafe land? Enthusiasm ✅, energy ✅, love of real food ✅, potty mouth 🤔. … I asked a bunch of restaurant mates if Nat actually helps the industry: Absolutely yes I love him.

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Suddenly, Everything Needs to be Negotiated!

Restaurant & cafe operatiors now have to do a lot more negotiation, and it’s not just the small stuff. Three months ago you were arguing over a 20c increase in chicken prices, or the chef wanting a $30 wage rise. Now you’re dealing with a stubborn landlord, an unknown bank manager, impatient suppliers and a cranky partner. Most of what you did before was haggling, now it’s time to work like a grown-up! Negotiating with

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Why The E-Myth is Still So Relevant for Cafe & Restaurant Owners

It was published 24 years ago in 1986, and reverberated like a thunderclap in the world of business. You’ve heard that saying ‘work on your business, not in your business‘ so many times you could scream. That’s from the The E-Myth!, and author Michael Gerber’s message is still electrifying, even in a world run by digital systems… and facing virus restrictions and dislocation. Years ago I ran one-day management events for restaurant owners and would

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How Restaurant & Cafe Owners Can Learn from Sport Teams and Violin Players

What can sporting clubs and a classical violinist teach us about staying in touch with our customers? And not just ‘don’t forget me’ messages, but spending this time of enforced separation to build their love, enthusiasm and loyalty? Two widely contrasting social media posts landed in my feed recently – one from ‘sports fan engagement specialist’ Blair Hughes, and the other from young violinist rock star Ray Chen. Blair is a lifelong sports nut, and

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Talking about the ‘new normal’ on the Hospitality Mavericks podcast

I enjoyed talking with Hospitality Maverick Michael Tingsager from Brighton in the UK, about what we think is coming in the hospitality industry ‘post Covid-19’. Much speculation of course, as things change on a weekly basis, but it’s useful to think about the fundamentals of business that don’t change, and how they will be relevant in a new business environment with much less money. Hope you enjoy this, and let me know your feedback via

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My interview on hospitality and the Coronavirus crisis – Sky News Australia, March 21, 2020

I had a short interview on Sky News today about the state of the hospitality industry. I was given four questions to consider, and prepared some bullet point reminders. In the event, only the first three were asked… and I was relaxed! 1. You’ve been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years. What we’re seeing right now is unprecedented – what should restaurant & cafes owners be doing? Communicate like never before with

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How Hospitality & Restaurant Trainers can Work Remotely: a Survival Guide…

Hospitality training has usually been done in person – we hospo people like to ‘stand up and do it’. With the restrictions and closing of many restaurants and cafes, there’s an urgent need to present training in new ways. We need very different tools and completely new methods – traditional workbooks with pen & paper don’t translate very well. Here’s a bunch of tools, resources and ideas to use and experiment with… Understand the world

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Working Remotely – resources for cafe & restaurant owners

There are a lot of new habits and skills to develop – by nature we hospo people just ‘walk around and do it’. Working from home or away from a venue doesn’t come naturally or easily, and if we have to keep a ‘social distance’, we need very different tools and ways of working. We need to sit down more… Here’s a bunch of resources to help make your remote work almost as good as

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Planning for a 50% loss of restaurant sales – what will you do?

We must plan for the worst. Now’s the time to be like swans – floating calmly on the surface, and paddling very quickly under the water. This is real folks – take a lesson from what Chinese restaurants have gone through in the last 3 months, with customers almost completely disappearing. What if half your business disappeared in two weeks? You need to plan for a specific scenario. This is not like ‘sales are down

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Tips for Video Meetings – Setup and Etiquette

Video conferences and meetings are becoming a part of daily work life, allowing remote staff to share and interact more fully. There are many opportunities to use it in restaurant, cafe and event management – any opportunity to work from home is a good one! Skype has been around for a long time, and Zoom is very popular. Other conference systems include GoToMeeting, Join.me, BlueJeans and Google Hangouts Meet. Conference Etiquette: Integrate meetings into work

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