56. Profitable Hospitality With Ken Burgin

56. Profitable Hospitality With Ken Burgin

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TRANSCRIPTION: THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SHOW PODCAST
with Mel Telecican (Customer-Centric Coach)

Episode 56. Profitable Hospitality With Ken Burgin
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Hello, thanks for tuning into episode number 56. Today we are talking with Ken Burgin profitable hospitality and even if you may not be a hospitality business owner there is still some valuable gems in here for you. We are going to be talking about what we can do with our staff to make sure that we have got them on board and communicate with them with some really clever ideas and what can we do to save money and how can we spend our time better by working on our business. There is some valuable topics in there and I am sure you are going to enjoy it. Let’s get stuck into episode 56.

*MUSIC*

You are listening to the customer centric show with Mel Telecican where we talk with successful business owners and experts to share smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom by thinking about customers first. Now, here is your host Mel Telecican.

Mel: Ken Burgin is a former restaurant and café owner in Sydney. He now works with food services worldwide to make their businesses more popular and profitable. He is founder of the leading industry website profitablehospitality.com resource for the latest information on food and beverage marketing, management and cost control. He likes finding out why business success and why not a business problems. With more than 25 years’ experience in all area of hospitality he is the expert on how to optimize hospitality businesses. So I am pleased to have him on the show thanks for joining me.

Ken: My pleasure. I love talking about this business and talking to someone who has run restaurants and everything on the inside as well as the customers.

Mel: Absolutely now great to have you. Now you see lots of different restaurants and café. What is your perception of what is an example of customer centric business Ken?

Ken: So I guess one of the things is I wanted to be predictable in the good way. I wanted every time I go back, I don’t want to see same people there because I know people change around. It is kind of like going to see maybe musical and you know the act is going to be difficult but the sound is going to be the same. It is just going to be good. So I wanted to be predictable in a good way if I wanted to be really loved by their. I want quickly and I don’t mean fast food but I just don’t un-necessary delay and I just want to cut off the warm smile. I want sort of genuine and think it is interested with that. I am well into my 50s now and you know most of the people in this industry willing to be into their 20s. it is a bit of generation thing there because a lot of young just not that comfortable with dealing with people other than their own group and they get better at it but actually not good at it and that’s a trainable thing too so yeah predictable I really like.

Mel: Yeah and I think when you have this signature dish you want to know that there is that consistency and that efficiency is important too and if you can’t be efficient for whatever reason then communication needs to be there right to be able to make sure that you are not left wondering what is going on and rewarding eye contact that sort of thing.

Ken: And we all remember those times you know the early days when there was the real sale off and you try to avoid eye contact with hah customers doesn’t work.

Mel: It really doesn’t and something else you mentioned there warm smile. I got to say last week I went to restaurant in South Bank next door and there was a women who served me young lady and I got the warmest smile and I cannot remember the last time I got a really warm genuine smile like that and that just stood out for me. The food was great but that just really talked it off.

Ken: Yeah so do you think that is that training or is it that just someone who is always smiling?

Mel: I don’t know because it is not someone I consistently go to. It just show off the road but it just seemed natural and I guess that’s interesting isn't because it is not something that you can always teach maybe if it is a gradual thing people feel comfortable as you say but some people are just very natural like that and it is hard to get people like that sometimes right.

Ken: Yes and that’s an skill and operator whether that is hospitality or any industry actually being able to find and you see them as they walk in the door for the interview too, there is a crispness about the way they step and sit down and smile.

Mel: Yeah absolutely. So who is your example though? Do you have an actual business where you live in Sydney or in Brisbane that you would say is consistent or is efficient?

Ken: Well over in Brisbane your town couple of days ago and went back to a place I really like called Gun shop café in West in and I have been going there on and off for years and years and it is always great. The food is always good. Like I was up very early and I bet they were not open the quarter and there is so many places that are almost like dance there hah and then I guess because I have been industry too. As some of those customers we can actually create a good experience by just going to initiate a conversation and I say oh I love coming to this place. So that the young women that came straight back said oh wait where you from? Which is a very easy thing to do I said I am from Sydney and she said oh I grew up in Sydney and then we had brief chit chat and that’s thinking about those conversations that’s trainable stuff I think. That’s something we can get our staff to do you know and look some people just stick their head in the paper and don’t want to talk to anyone.

Mel: Yeah I tend to agree and I think that if staff realize if that comes to leadership down to that and this is what we want to encourage and have a chat and enjoy your work, you are probably going to have more time if you do more of a good time if you do actually interact and you do get to know people who are just occasionally visiting.

Ken: And that’s where there is going to be some monitoring too you know to see that people you got nice smiles and you know they are efficient but you got to check they are actually having a conversation or another thing that I always laugh about and I do a startup workshop for people in café so I talk about when is the last time you went to the place and they cleared your coffee cart and they said would you like another one? And maybe one hand goes up in 20 people. No one ever does it and that’s trainable too. That’s a system. Once staff just get into it and remind you didn’t ask them or whatever. Oh okay next time and then you just almost they didn’t realize they were doing it. They always just doubled your coffee sales.

Mel: Yeah absolutely. In my experience Ken sometimes when we would do things like that, it was actually having to solve to communicate but that’s actually a helpful thing to do, because have the choice they can say no you are being pushy. It is just offering and offering it just that. It is very open and people can make that decision.

Ken: Yeah and look some people have kind of sales gene that might come from family or culture where you just always need to hustle to survive almost. Aussies well we are born with sales gene and we need to learn this and a lot of your staff you actually need to teach them. Then they will get it and it will just become part of their DNA hah.

Mel: Yeah and I think also if you look at your own personal experience that we got good service and if we really broke that down, those are things they are doing. If you are wanting that, they are including that sales conversation with ease.

Ken: And then you can have little talk about okay you got 4 business guys and you all have why and they all just being little bit kind of smart and how do you get a coffee and interact and something like that. Let’s practice how it work.

Mel: Yeah roleplaying is good absolutely. Now you have been in this industry Ken for a long time. You had your own café 20 odd years ago. Couple of café is that right?

Ken: Café and restaurant and a takeaway food bar in dourly.

Mel: Yeah tell us about that and what led you to building profitable hospitality and you have been doing for such a long time now. It is a wealth of information there that you have created.

Ken: Yeah well I love the café business and restaurants. My café was my main business which is build up for 10 years from a very tiny business that I bought and then put my foot on the accelerator and just made it bigger and bigger and it is always I like efficiency and I always looking at better ways to turn table. Out of efficiency we actually create good customer experience as well. Because someone says oh you never seen someone eat so slowly but suddenly say oh my god is that the time? I need the bill and they kind of suddenly it is a panic. If you got a good system to get the bill really fast and swap the credit card in there off, fantastic. But so many places that fluff and cannot find documents and all that. I mean investing huge amount of money at that time putting a real point of sale system with table tracking and that sort of things are now pretty much part of the scenery but different sort of things are made. So that was a stuff that I was always trying to bring into my business and then making it easy for the kitchen to get food out fast because boy there is a lot of and those guys work so hard and often times really difficult situations and I remember going to 2-3 group coffee machine oh what a revolution that was. We can get everything out so much quicker. So that was optimizing. They create good service just by getting more efficient. So there was the café the which has usual stall of things and light meals and I had partner with Italian restaurant too which was formal and licensed, very different and customers wanted to be treated quite differently and different types of staff too. We actually used to hire some staff that worked on ships often Italian with right accent and I was fascinated to watch there. My partner was Italian and he was very comfortable managing that but I was fascinated to watch the skill of these people.

Mel: That was my experience too yeah. I had Spanish restaurant but we did have Italian guy in and he was just took in stride and brilliant and completely efficient and great at generating ideas and he was universally student too and only worked in restaurant and didn’t have a family business like that but wow customers loved him but it was the efficiency that was definitely on top for sure.

Ken: Yeah and that job as a business owner to support those people and look give them the environment. They can do just fantastic work. Actually if they don’t, they won’t stay either. If your make their life hard or difficult or bit pointless, they will be gone.

Mel: Yeah and great to be able to say for instance you know like sharing ideas what is working in the place and they can actually contribute to staff meeting to be able to say well this is what I am doing. This works for me.

Ken: Interesting around tipping too because it is related to service and I always believe in people who staff keeping their own tips. So I used to divide up. We had 2 section on week days and 3 sections on busier nights and people would keep their own tips and that’s not very common in Australia. But boy you noticed who is getting the good tips and if people would tip really badly I have to look closely whether that would be the right as well.

Mel: Absolutely. So that was you.

Ken: So that was me doing the business and then there came a point in 9 and half years that my partner wanted to sell the Italian restaurant and I was like hang on maybe I needed to change too because I really loved the business but very time consuming you know 7 day business. So I sold that business and I always had this idea of going into consulting work but also a bit of training and then I find out that the training side of stuff work was what I really enjoyed the most. So the training side of things I really enjoyed with group of 15 people that sort of thing and done quite a bit of that ever since and then having writing stuff and showing people how to do things. I wanted to get online and develop a website. Started doing newsletter every week which is done for email number 575.

Mel: Yeah you put lots of valuable information like it is not fluff content. It is a lot in there.

Ken: Yeah and I guess that’s how you approach. I heard someone say about content and give away 80 percent. But a lot of people I feel just give you 20 percent but those you have to pay for. The purpose of my newsletter to sell memberships is not just to be a nice guy but yes developing the whole online platform and it was the early days for me and I had to learn bit about the text side but even then you know it was to find the right people who can help you with all of that. Get them to do the work for you. Having to learn how to be an I.T. guy if that’s not really.

Mel: Well it is a slow task if we are taking all of those things. Well now let’s talk about that then. So your advice I do love to know for business owners and management that are in the hospitality industry, what would you say they should be spending majority of their time on so they shouldn’t be doing those sort of I guess low value activities.

Ken: Yeah they shouldn’t be cleaning dirty tables and occasionally been seen as the presence you always know who owns the business and people really like that but it is organizing the team and it like making the life therein kitchen more efficient having that weekly sit down meeting Tuesday morning or whenever it is with the managers or chef or whatever. I think that the keeping things efficient and organize and focusing on the marketing and promotions and being clever. But even then trying to delegate as much as possible of the routine work. Then get bought down in if you are not good at say you want to do monthly email newsletter which I really recommend for any hospitality operators. If you are not really writing that, there is a lot of people who can put that together really easy. But you have a look at you know a dozen newsletters you like and workout what the format is. Don’t just say the sell thing newsletter. Your job is to set the format and I think one of thing to the really successful operator does is always watching the numbers whether that is the steady sales, email open rate. Facebook insights. That’s where you should be spending your time and that is bit of challenge for some operators. It is a muscle we need to develop to be successful in business.

Mel: Oh absolutely and these sort of businesses then money can be going out very quickly.

Ken: If you are watching those wage costs and food costs of weekly basis it is just going to blow up hah.

Mel: Yeah maybe looking at it weekly and making sure you are tapping back in same time every week. That sort of thing you thinking?

Ken: And also delegating helpers. Now I met a woman at restaurant meeting a few months ago and she has a restaurant in Greece and she works her tail off half the year and then they close which is the usual stall over there but she has done got the VA virtual assistance in the Philippines that is doing the bookkeeping, the wages, doing all the Facebook monitoring and getting images ready for that. A lot of very routine stuff. I love that.

Mel: Really just making sure that you allocate that time to be able to create that process and then hand it over and you can monitor that for a period of time right.

Ken: Keep an eye on it and find some you can afford because often specially in Australia people say I like to do that but do you know how much bookkeeper cost? That’s where it is so great if you can look offshore to places that where the skills are there but it is affordable and that’s definitely something that is very early days for a lot of hospitality operators to look at. But I love it when I hear that’s happening. It means they are getting a lot of that routine work which takes up your time.

Mel: Okay well let’s talk about what we should be spending our money on in terms of marketing’s. Are you suggesting social media is the great to be place to be spending our money because I know that ads cost are extremely high earlier. No clear return on investment. We can track things a little bit more now. But what are your thoughts?

Ken: Well I think the monthly newsletter, email marketing is the diesel engine of marketing. I love that description because it is strong and just keeps on. So we are list building. We are getting e-mails, we getting people mobile phone number so we can text them appropriately. Just when there is something good happening. The targeted marketing is possible with Facebook ads now is so fantastic. You are targeted interested groups. Like you can target country music people for country music entertainment and that’s where I think if you can be building your Facebook following and likes, the more you do that you can then be targeting people within 5k who aren’t even into. So I think that social media ads and there specialist, like we are talking about before you want to learn the territory as much as you can but don’t get bulked down the rabbit hole because it is time consuming.

Mel: Yeah and look there is plenty of information out there just on Facebook right.

Ken: Yeah just do Google search or YouTube search you can find all sorts of stuff there.

Mel: Excellent. Okay so let’s talk about retention marketing. So if were to break the two down and we need customers as well as the ones we got. Would you give a bit of break down on how we should be spending our money in terms of one way or the other?

Ken: Yeah so I guess we list build the list of customers as well. That’s where email and the mobile number is so important so appropriately we send out. We know someone really loves those jazz afternoons with cocktails. Just send them a text when that’s coming up but if they like that and they said about your little information. Don’t text about them about the footy thing. I personally don’t like gambling and I kept getting stuff like that. That is like spamming me not sending me what I am interested in. So just on the retention thing I think just keep close to people. Polite interesting way and don’t just like blast them with how great we are, and in a sense it is demanding that we keep doing interesting things too you know if it is fair the business or it is genuinely a chocolate festival or thing like that but if you never have gone to a food festival, make it out. We want to try to bring people more little more often and remind them. People forget that you exist because there is so much promotion bombarding us all the time isn't it?

Mel: Yeah and you want to be able to if emails are coming in and as they do, there is so many maybe not getting open. We have got that cut through that means we are not having that value.

Ken: Learn more about email marketing. You know how to do a subject line that is actually going to get opened.

Mel: Absolutely and not push some valuable stuff in there. Considered to be on.

Ken: One thing we small people would do is just talk about what is happening in the community because most café are actually quite community focused. But why don’t you tell us about that?

Mel: Yeah it is just so many opportunities right that perhaps people just not thinking about and them really just out within arm’s reach.

Ken: Yeah I think that you and I cause we do this sort of podcasting. We could have sharpen our journalist skills and that’s I get frustrated when I see people missing these journalistic kind of opportunities. I don’t see the stories and all these things but it is okay I have been developing these skills for you know quite a while and if you haven’t got it but track down someone who does because boy there is lots of journalist who need work hah. They might be the one who are just doing couple of Facebook short stories each week and keeping that newsletter along.

Mel: And it is has to be consistent too right. Now let’s talk about what you do for your clients. The businesses that you worked with. You do social media training. You do cost cutting training. What else do you do?

Ken: So I find it is interesting. I like to help people grow business. I am never happy when I am talking about sales improvement and this and new strategies for getting people back more often. But you know most of the biggest click through of my e-mail and the biggest clicks on my Facebook post is all about bad staff and had to fix that problem and that’s just nature of the industry. People they suddenly freak out. They costed some recipe and they like oh my God. So that’s where they reach for and the whole thing about staff and recruitment and the right staff and keeping people, it is a massive industry. So that’s the stuff I know and I love to keep, I love helping people grow business and this stuff is what most people want.

Mel: Yeah excellent. Do you have any stories that you can share with us that tells what people have done that have allowed them to save themselves money and to know it is like that.

Ken: One thing that I have done quite a few times with people is help them put together. I called it dashboard. Just a one page of the figures from last week. Nice and simple. In the business a lot of people who listen to your podcast and hospitality people, it is kind of getting into the detail of how people spend, what the cost and wages are and just maybe there is about six or eight key figures on what is happening with staff and now we got the basis to sit down with management people and they might be your partner and one other person. We got the truth in front of us and I have done that over and over again help them drag those figures off the point of sale or out of the bookkeeping because they are usually all over place. People haven’t got that in simple way. So that’s something I really like doing and I have seen that plus just getting people to cost recipe. Just dramatic improvements when people. The figure in there, you cannot walk away from this because I have just shown you that you cannot UNsee that hah.

Mel: That’s right so nice snapshots to know where you stand and what time you can then tweak things for the weeks going.

Ken: This week with last week and this month with same last year.

Mel: Excellent. We have talked about being able to contact your customers through email or SMS. What else do you suggest in terms of how we can be more centric to our customers so that we can ensure that they come back and they refer other people to us as well.

Ken: So I think if we can build in some more touches in the experience. Like sitting having breakfast for half an hour café but not in 2 hours at the restaurant at some point but just build in staff to getting closed to them. One of them that are so easy to do is topping up the water glass and that’s where I don’t really like these bottle water pumped on the table. They got those when they were last washed out. But put the glasses there, fill them up and then go back and fill them. Because these nearby you say oh I need a knife or can I have another coffee or some people ask. So I think that and just little bit of conversation openers like we are talking to people before. She always say to people apparently if you come fast hah, it is an easy way isn't it? I have this on shops. Whatever it is, it is your first time here and if it is not, that doesn’t matter. You still start off the conversation you know. Just I think that is if you can just have a few little script and few little movement that people have to see, there is a great café in Newcastle but I know and their owner has lots of very nice school guys and girls who work there. Young kids but he trains them you know. If taken the order then you remove the napkin. Everyone else knows that the order is been taken because that’s the annoying thing isn't it? No we haven’t because we haven’t got a menu yet.

Mel: All those non-verbal are great yeah. That’s their process.

Ken: Yeah he set up a few ones right there. So just I mean I know now because he has told me but it is invisible to the customer but the experience to them is well just efficient, nice and happy place and of course flyover is great too. That’s pretty important.

Mel: Yes it is definitely. So that’s actually mean sitting down with your people and actually having a conversation around okay how can we have this much more streamlines. How can we avoid doubling up? How can we avoid these things that might not seem like a big deal to many people and never voice any problems with someone coming up and asking again? Because it is used to so it is a non-issue. But it is really about streamlining it and making and separating yourself from the competition isn't it? By these multiple settled things.

Ken: Yes absolutely and just your staff know that every single one of them know something that could be more efficient or someway you can cut your cost or make some savings. It is just where listening and you are making an opening for them to tell you. My doors always open for DYDs.

Mel: Yeah that’s right and sometimes I think as an owner you can try to be collaborative but it doesn’t always work in certain situations. You got to really change the way you are operating so that they do feel comfortable to do that and I think the buy-ins are much higher.

Ken: I think the internal communication in café and restaurants, lots of businesses do it. When they are to create more channels and that’s where I love it when a business has a private Facebook group just for their staff. People can chit chat and talk about things and communication channel you know. Most people will watch it then only a minority say things but everyone watches what is going on. That plus texting to your staff I think is very important you know routine texting.

Mel: Okay that’s really interesting. So even small business creating your own Facebook groups so you can back and forth.

Ken: And set up an account with group texting provider. Like one that’s another operator I work with and he is a guy that’s always funny with his management quotes. Just inspirational things. Every Monday you know Dan quote goes out. Text to the staff okay and they will sort of and it is funny I have been there when they all go out suddenly everyone phone goes ding hah. Plus there is shift change or there is a communication that way because somehow in that conversation you just got to remember that mobile phones that little thing in the pocket is got to be the basis of so much management and communication that we do. Talk about with the customers but also with our staff you know that’s most of them don’t have a PC or laptop hah.

Mel: Yeah and that’s how we are going to reach each other easily through that social media channels because not everyone is tapping into their e-mail as regularly at least as they are into those platforms. That’s great little tip Ken.

Ken: Absolutely you know you need to be texting staff with updates and all those sort of things and more with when I run longer term customer service training with groups sold and I got to go in and do the quiz and know it is no optional. Everyone has to answer the quizzes just like 5 simple questions based on the lesson we did today which was about maybe bankrupt servicing or something like that and but you know you are getting them. There is an app called Survey Monkey. Just put question up and their name in and then press and you can check down it and this sort of thing.

Mel: Yeah that’s great. Good opportunities to get that insight there where you don’t have to call staff meeting either. You gotta have it done by this day or whatever. I like that. Can I talk to you about online reputation because I know for a lot of businesses with those platforms like tripadvisor and bemata it is called now, what is your thoughts on those platforms and what can we do to protect ourselves.

Ken: Everyone who says anything, you need to respond to and I look at the Facebook pages and you look down the left hand side which is where the comments and the reviews are and most times, the comments are positive. People 5 stars and Facebook puts the good ones at the top but they say nice things and you know no one ever says thank you. We got to go on and first of all thank those people. Hey thanks Mel that’s really awesome I will pass it onto the team and sometimes it’s like oh my god they are complaining about that, thanks for letting us know Mel, really wasn’t a great night. Appreciate to get you back to us if you want to talk in more. We actually want to get some of that conversation offline so maybe there is a phone number. I think first off we got respond and monitor and that’s something that someone else might be doing the monitoring for you but I like watching social media but it is very easy to be too busy to do that but your assistant might be doing it and yeah I was looking at personal meal provider the other day and I just did google search hand I found that business and there was google listing and I clicked on that and there was a google star rating and I clicked on it and you know there is about 10 five star reviews “love the product” and there is one review one star “oh this place is a ripper arha” and the women who is the owner of the business, you can do she was claiming the listing went to there and said this is a real mystery to me your name is not on our database and I understand if this is a false review or if you got a genuine problem please contact me whatever. I mean that is a textbook reader respond to it. But you know tell the truth and say please contact me here is my name, here is my phone number because I don’t know the situation but I will look over oh these people they are watching and keeping the eye on this.

Mel: Yes absolutely tapping in and making sure.

Ken: You know tripadvisor is such a massive thing for food service I mean we all use it for when we travel and look at hotel reviews but restaurants and things especially in Australia people don’t seem to click. There is massive number of reviews there and again you got to go on and respond.

Mel: Yeah absolutely and I think you said something right at the beginning around replying and saying thank you and I think about let’s say you got a five reviews and excellent one that are not I mean just by replying and saying and make sure I will pass it on having different response to each one of those positive ones. But that already amps up your ten positive comments to your one negative and as long as you are still responding to the negative. It is just still you know it is definitely positioning.

Ken: And devastated by those negative ones and look we all give a fix to this industry. We only have good resignations of good for some reasons and you pick yourself up okay tough it up. We all and the whole online space is whole lot new hard difficulty there.

Mel: I got to tell you I remember getting our first negative online and I just couldn’t believe it because genuinely devastated because that’s just not what we are trying to deliver and so then I did realize you know get yourself together, get use to this. This is what happens and you need to manage it and I mean the best thing I ever did start doing was replying just like anything. I think that book is called eat the frog and did the stuff you don’t like and on top of it sort it out, investigate and sort it out because it is just going to be so much better on the other side.

Ken: Social media is just so much fuller now.

Mel: Yeah now before we finish up I want to know what can we doing in the space to increase our recommendations and referrals, do you have any tip because this is more cost effective way of reaching.

Ken: So would you mind going onto Facebook.

Mel: Yeah.

Ken: Well I think first up we should ask is it another good things happening in Queensland up down in the gold coast at Italian restaurant up there Also, they do a great job and young guy there sitting and I say you liked us on Facebook and I said yeah and then said you know how to do it don’t you? I said yeah anyway. It was just exactly the amount of pressure. But he wanted me to connect because when you do that, then it is saying you want to review and so I think ask and I see a little bit of places that put the sticker on or they put on the menu cover up that on the other day and please go onto trip advisor and leave us a review. Now what people too scared to do that but most times probably going to leave nice reviews hah so I think definitely reach out also here is one I wish more people would do. I am in Instagram fan. I like twitter as well and both of them use hashtags now. What is your hash tag? Now my business used to be all troop out so if I go to there it is hashtag #cafetropout and I would be having that on the wall and on the menu whatever because some people say what is a hashtag but a lot of people know what it is. They text in and their Instagram or whatever. They use it and this way you can get back to those people and say oh hi Mel thanks for coming in I love your picture and could also check location in Instagram of people who checked in and say hi to them as well that is just around those social media channels but I think it is just ask and speak up.

Mel: Yeah fantastic. Now I am just thinking about that too. I have seen in some instances people on Facebook businesses who are very keen to up their presence on social media actually incentivizing people to put a photograph up or use a particular hashtag.

Ken: Yeah you got to like freebee next time you get into that stuff. I think it is a bit of an expensive way to get a like I mean if you want to do that, and build I mean there is campaigns in Facebook just to increase number of likes. You can do that and that’s going to cost maybe 50 cents a like or something or maybe even less. But yeah I think sometimes those things are bit lackey. I mean I am not person who kept the bar in say oh where is my mobile I told you about the freebee. That’s not me.

Mel: And I think that’s about knowing your market and whether that’s something that you think is going to be valuable for you and something that they think is miring your image.

Ken: Yeah.

Mel: Alright now Ken we could talk for hours, you got so much things to share more. We will definitely look at having you back on the show again because I do love to talk about cost cutting a little bit more. I love to talk about the new concepts and new ways we could be optimizing but there is so much information on your website. Can you tell us where people can follow you and find you?

Ken: Sure. So my main website is profitablehospitality.com and you can jump on weekly newsletter that is free there. There is a good cost control guide that you can download for free and Facebook.com/profitable hospitality and we post a lot of information and a lot of our articles go there twice a day and Instagram profitable hospitality. I probably do like a day or two. That’s down for me hah.

Mel: Yeah that’s good. When is the best time for Instagram for you?

Ken: Well I am not sure. I know Facebook is 9 O'Clock in the morning and in night and so I think Instagram will be similar, have you got steps on that?

Mel: No I am just playing around with Instagram myself and I am finding 9 PM is a good time in terms of engagement.

Ken: We talked about developing journalists. I think that’s just a great way people develop your photography skills too. That’s another conversation.

Mel: It is too absolutely. Great to have you on Ken. Thanks so much for giving us your time. It has been fantastic. Really appreciate it.

That’s a wrap with Ken Burgin. Fantastic ideas and now I really like the Facebook group page being able to interact with staff, send some inspirational motivational things. Allow to be collaborative I think is really valuable amongst other fantastic tips there that can provide it. If you haven’t already please head onto the iTunes page and leave us a review or rating for our show. If you found our show interesting and valuable then we do love you to give us a rating. So we can be able to reach more people like yourself. Drop us a review, a quick 5 star rating or you can leave a full detailed review.

Further to that we would love to hear from you. I would love to hear from you. I am not kidding. It is one person here behind the mic not the whole crew and I would like to know what it is that you want answered. What are the big problems in your business that you need solved so that we can go about finding the right people, the experts who would be able to get those answers for you so you can make that extra change on your business. You can do that by sending me an e-mail. Mel@customercentriccoach.com. I would love to hear from you, that’s Mel@customercentirccoach.com. Thanks for tuning in and we will see you next week.

*MUSIC*

Thanks for listening to the customer centric show. For additional smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom head on over to the website www.customercentricshow.com.


Ken Burgin

Profitable Hospitality

Ken Burgin is a former restaurant and cafe owner in Sydney who now works with food service operators worldwide to make their businesses more popular and profitable. He is the founder of the the leading industry website ProfitableHospitality.com, a resource for the latest information on food & beverage marketing, management and cost-control. Ken likes finding out the ‘why’ of business success, and the ‘why not’ of business problems. With more than 25 years experience in all areas of hospitality, Ken is the expert in how to optimise your hospitality business.

 

During my conversation with Ken he shares:

  • What makes for a customer-centric food business
  • What (other than the great food) staff can do to provide a great experience
  • How role-playing can help in increasing sales figures
  • How efficiency for us can mean a fantastic experience for our customers
  • How business owners should be spending their time to become more profitable
  • Why we should be sending monthly emails to our customers
  • What we need to be outsourcing to get on with important growth tasks
  • How we should be spending our marketing dollars
  • What we should and shouldn’t be doing in our marketing communications
  • How can we ensure we are not forgotten in a crowded market
  • The top 6 facts we need to know every week about our business
  • What we can build into our service to increase sales
  • An example of a business that has built in subtle cues to streamline service
  • How private facebook pages can be used for powerful staff communication
  • How SMS can be used in customer and staff interactions
  • How to manage reviews about our business
  • How to handle negative reviews online; and
  • Opportunities to connect with our customers & get testimonials via social media platforms

 

Ken’s Example Of A Customer-Centric Business

 

Selected Links For This Episode

 

On developing solid customer-relationships “Thinking about those conversations we can have with customers. That’s trainable stuff and that’s something that we can get our staff to do” Ken Burgin

 

“Out of efficiency we actually create good customer experiences as well…if you have a good system to help your customer, what a difference it can make” Ken Burgin

 

“If you can be building your facebook following, you can then target your followers who like you and even those who are within 5kms that aren’t yet fans of yours” Ken Burgin

 

On building relationships with customers: “I wish more people would talk about what’s happening in your community. Tell us about it.” Ken Burgin

 

“When we get a good review, we’ve got to go in and thank those people” Ken Burgin

 

“Your staff know what could be more efficient or some way you could cut costs. Are you listening? Are you making an opening for them to tell you?” Ken Burgin

Read Full Transcript

TRANSCRIPTION: THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SHOW PODCAST
with Mel Telecican (Customer-Centric Coach)

Episode 56. Profitable Hospitality With Ken Burgin
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hello, thanks for tuning into episode number 56. Today we are talking with Ken Burgin profitable hospitality and even if you may not be a hospitality business owner there is still some valuable gems in here for you. We are going to be talking about what we can do with our staff to make sure that we have got them on board and communicate with them with some really clever ideas and what can we do to save money and how can we spend our time better by working on our business. There is some valuable topics in there and I am sure you are going to enjoy it. Let’s get stuck into episode 56.

*MUSIC*

You are listening to the customer centric show with Mel Telecican where we talk with successful business owners and experts to share smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom by thinking about customers first. Now, here is your host Mel Telecican.

Mel: Ken Burgin is a former restaurant and café owner in Sydney. He now works with food services worldwide to make their businesses more popular and profitable. He is founder of the leading industry website profitablehospitality.com resource for the latest information on food and beverage marketing, management and cost control. He likes finding out why business success and why not a business problems. With more than 25 years’ experience in all area of hospitality he is the expert on how to optimize hospitality businesses. So I am pleased to have him on the show thanks for joining me.

Ken: My pleasure. I love talking about this business and talking to someone who has run restaurants and everything on the inside as well as the customers.

Mel: Absolutely now great to have you. Now you see lots of different restaurants and café. What is your perception of what is an example of customer centric business Ken?

Ken: So I guess one of the things is I wanted to be predictable in the good way. I wanted every time I go back, I don’t want to see same people there because I know people change around. It is kind of like going to see maybe musical and you know the act is going to be difficult but the sound is going to be the same. It is just going to be good. So I wanted to be predictable in a good way if I wanted to be really loved by their. I want quickly and I don’t mean fast food but I just don’t un-necessary delay and I just want to cut off the warm smile. I want sort of genuine and think it is interested with that. I am well into my 50s now and you know most of the people in this industry willing to be into their 20s. it is a bit of generation thing there because a lot of young just not that comfortable with dealing with people other than their own group and they get better at it but actually not good at it and that’s a trainable thing too so yeah predictable I really like.

Mel: Yeah and I think when you have this signature dish you want to know that there is that consistency and that efficiency is important too and if you can’t be efficient for whatever reason then communication needs to be there right to be able to make sure that you are not left wondering what is going on and rewarding eye contact that sort of thing.

Ken: And we all remember those times you know the early days when there was the real sale off and you try to avoid eye contact with hah customers doesn’t work.

Mel: It really doesn’t and something else you mentioned there warm smile. I got to say last week I went to restaurant in South Bank next door and there was a women who served me young lady and I got the warmest smile and I cannot remember the last time I got a really warm genuine smile like that and that just stood out for me. The food was great but that just really talked it off.

Ken: Yeah so do you think that is that training or is it that just someone who is always smiling?

Mel: I don’t know because it is not someone I consistently go to. It just show off the road but it just seemed natural and I guess that’s interesting isn't because it is not something that you can always teach maybe if it is a gradual thing people feel comfortable as you say but some people are just very natural like that and it is hard to get people like that sometimes right.

Ken: Yes and that’s an skill and operator whether that is hospitality or any industry actually being able to find and you see them as they walk in the door for the interview too, there is a crispness about the way they step and sit down and smile.

Mel: Yeah absolutely. So who is your example though? Do you have an actual business where you live in Sydney or in Brisbane that you would say is consistent or is efficient?

Ken: Well over in Brisbane your town couple of days ago and went back to a place I really like called Gun shop café in West in and I have been going there on and off for years and years and it is always great. The food is always good. Like I was up very early and I bet they were not open the quarter and there is so many places that are almost like dance there hah and then I guess because I have been industry too. As some of those customers we can actually create a good experience by just going to initiate a conversation and I say oh I love coming to this place. So that the young women that came straight back said oh wait where you from? Which is a very easy thing to do I said I am from Sydney and she said oh I grew up in Sydney and then we had brief chit chat and that’s thinking about those conversations that’s trainable stuff I think. That’s something we can get our staff to do you know and look some people just stick their head in the paper and don’t want to talk to anyone.

Mel: Yeah I tend to agree and I think that if staff realize if that comes to leadership down to that and this is what we want to encourage and have a chat and enjoy your work, you are probably going to have more time if you do more of a good time if you do actually interact and you do get to know people who are just occasionally visiting.

Ken: And that’s where there is going to be some monitoring too you know to see that people you got nice smiles and you know they are efficient but you got to check they are actually having a conversation or another thing that I always laugh about and I do a startup workshop for people in café so I talk about when is the last time you went to the place and they cleared your coffee cart and they said would you like another one? And maybe one hand goes up in 20 people. No one ever does it and that’s trainable too. That’s a system. Once staff just get into it and remind you didn’t ask them or whatever. Oh okay next time and then you just almost they didn’t realize they were doing it. They always just doubled your coffee sales.

Mel: Yeah absolutely. In my experience Ken sometimes when we would do things like that, it was actually having to solve to communicate but that’s actually a helpful thing to do, because have the choice they can say no you are being pushy. It is just offering and offering it just that. It is very open and people can make that decision.

Ken: Yeah and look some people have kind of sales gene that might come from family or culture where you just always need to hustle to survive almost. Aussies well we are born with sales gene and we need to learn this and a lot of your staff you actually need to teach them. Then they will get it and it will just become part of their DNA hah.

Mel: Yeah and I think also if you look at your own personal experience that we got good service and if we really broke that down, those are things they are doing. If you are wanting that, they are including that sales conversation with ease.

Ken: And then you can have little talk about okay you got 4 business guys and you all have why and they all just being little bit kind of smart and how do you get a coffee and interact and something like that. Let’s practice how it work.

Mel: Yeah roleplaying is good absolutely. Now you have been in this industry Ken for a long time. You had your own café 20 odd years ago. Couple of café is that right?

Ken: Café and restaurant and a takeaway food bar in dourly.

Mel: Yeah tell us about that and what led you to building profitable hospitality and you have been doing for such a long time now. It is a wealth of information there that you have created.

Ken: Yeah well I love the café business and restaurants. My café was my main business which is build up for 10 years from a very tiny business that I bought and then put my foot on the accelerator and just made it bigger and bigger and it is always I like efficiency and I always looking at better ways to turn table. Out of efficiency we actually create good customer experience as well. Because someone says oh you never seen someone eat so slowly but suddenly say oh my god is that the time? I need the bill and they kind of suddenly it is a panic. If you got a good system to get the bill really fast and swap the credit card in there off, fantastic. But so many places that fluff and cannot find documents and all that. I mean investing huge amount of money at that time putting a real point of sale system with table tracking and that sort of things are now pretty much part of the scenery but different sort of things are made. So that was a stuff that I was always trying to bring into my business and then making it easy for the kitchen to get food out fast because boy there is a lot of and those guys work so hard and often times really difficult situations and I remember going to 2-3 group coffee machine oh what a revolution that was. We can get everything out so much quicker. So that was optimizing. They create good service just by getting more efficient. So there was the café the which has usual stall of things and light meals and I had partner with Italian restaurant too which was formal and licensed, very different and customers wanted to be treated quite differently and different types of staff too. We actually used to hire some staff that worked on ships often Italian with right accent and I was fascinated to watch there. My partner was Italian and he was very comfortable managing that but I was fascinated to watch the skill of these people.

Mel: That was my experience too yeah. I had Spanish restaurant but we did have Italian guy in and he was just took in stride and brilliant and completely efficient and great at generating ideas and he was universally student too and only worked in restaurant and didn’t have a family business like that but wow customers loved him but it was the efficiency that was definitely on top for sure.

Ken: Yeah and that job as a business owner to support those people and look give them the environment. They can do just fantastic work. Actually if they don’t, they won’t stay either. If your make their life hard or difficult or bit pointless, they will be gone.

Mel: Yeah and great to be able to say for instance you know like sharing ideas what is working in the place and they can actually contribute to staff meeting to be able to say well this is what I am doing. This works for me.

Ken: Interesting around tipping too because it is related to service and I always believe in people who staff keeping their own tips. So I used to divide up. We had 2 section on week days and 3 sections on busier nights and people would keep their own tips and that’s not very common in Australia. But boy you noticed who is getting the good tips and if people would tip really badly I have to look closely whether that would be the right as well.

Mel: Absolutely. So that was you.

Ken: So that was me doing the business and then there came a point in 9 and half years that my partner wanted to sell the Italian restaurant and I was like hang on maybe I needed to change too because I really loved the business but very time consuming you know 7 day business. So I sold that business and I always had this idea of going into consulting work but also a bit of training and then I find out that the training side of stuff work was what I really enjoyed the most. So the training side of things I really enjoyed with group of 15 people that sort of thing and done quite a bit of that ever since and then having writing stuff and showing people how to do things. I wanted to get online and develop a website. Started doing newsletter every week which is done for email number 575.

Mel: Yeah you put lots of valuable information like it is not fluff content. It is a lot in there.

Ken: Yeah and I guess that’s how you approach. I heard someone say about content and give away 80 percent. But a lot of people I feel just give you 20 percent but those you have to pay for. The purpose of my newsletter to sell memberships is not just to be a nice guy but yes developing the whole online platform and it was the early days for me and I had to learn bit about the text side but even then you know it was to find the right people who can help you with all of that. Get them to do the work for you. Having to learn how to be an I.T. guy if that’s not really.

Mel: Well it is a slow task if we are taking all of those things. Well now let’s talk about that then. So your advice I do love to know for business owners and management that are in the hospitality industry, what would you say they should be spending majority of their time on so they shouldn’t be doing those sort of I guess low value activities.

Ken: Yeah they shouldn’t be cleaning dirty tables and occasionally been seen as the presence you always know who owns the business and people really like that but it is organizing the team and it like making the life therein kitchen more efficient having that weekly sit down meeting Tuesday morning or whenever it is with the managers or chef or whatever. I think that the keeping things efficient and organize and focusing on the marketing and promotions and being clever. But even then trying to delegate as much as possible of the routine work. Then get bought down in if you are not good at say you want to do monthly email newsletter which I really recommend for any hospitality operators. If you are not really writing that, there is a lot of people who can put that together really easy. But you have a look at you know a dozen newsletters you like and workout what the format is. Don’t just say the sell thing newsletter. Your job is to set the format and I think one of thing to the really successful operator does is always watching the numbers whether that is the steady sales, email open rate. Facebook insights. That’s where you should be spending your time and that is bit of challenge for some operators. It is a muscle we need to develop to be successful in business.

Mel: Oh absolutely and these sort of businesses then money can be going out very quickly.

Ken: If you are watching those wage costs and food costs of weekly basis it is just going to blow up hah.

Mel: Yeah maybe looking at it weekly and making sure you are tapping back in same time every week. That sort of thing you thinking?

Ken: And also delegating helpers. Now I met a woman at restaurant meeting a few months ago and she has a restaurant in Greece and she works her tail off half the year and then they close which is the usual stall over there but she has done got the VA virtual assistance in the Philippines that is doing the bookkeeping, the wages, doing all the Facebook monitoring and getting images ready for that. A lot of very routine stuff. I love that.

Mel: Really just making sure that you allocate that time to be able to create that process and then hand it over and you can monitor that for a period of time right.

Ken: Keep an eye on it and find some you can afford because often specially in Australia people say I like to do that but do you know how much bookkeeper cost? That’s where it is so great if you can look offshore to places that where the skills are there but it is affordable and that’s definitely something that is very early days for a lot of hospitality operators to look at. But I love it when I hear that’s happening. It means they are getting a lot of that routine work which takes up your time.

Mel: Okay well let’s talk about what we should be spending our money on in terms of marketing’s. Are you suggesting social media is the great to be place to be spending our money because I know that ads cost are extremely high earlier. No clear return on investment. We can track things a little bit more now. But what are your thoughts?

Ken: Well I think the monthly newsletter, email marketing is the diesel engine of marketing. I love that description because it is strong and just keeps on. So we are list building. We are getting e-mails, we getting people mobile phone number so we can text them appropriately. Just when there is something good happening. The targeted marketing is possible with Facebook ads now is so fantastic. You are targeted interested groups. Like you can target country music people for country music entertainment and that’s where I think if you can be building your Facebook following and likes, the more you do that you can then be targeting people within 5k who aren’t even into. So I think that social media ads and there specialist, like we are talking about before you want to learn the territory as much as you can but don’t get bulked down the rabbit hole because it is time consuming.

Mel: Yeah and look there is plenty of information out there just on Facebook right.

Ken: Yeah just do Google search or YouTube search you can find all sorts of stuff there.

Mel: Excellent. Okay so let’s talk about retention marketing. So if were to break the two down and we need customers as well as the ones we got. Would you give a bit of break down on how we should be spending our money in terms of one way or the other?

Ken: Yeah so I guess we list build the list of customers as well. That’s where email and the mobile number is so important so appropriately we send out. We know someone really loves those jazz afternoons with cocktails. Just send them a text when that’s coming up but if they like that and they said about your little information. Don’t text about them about the footy thing. I personally don’t like gambling and I kept getting stuff like that. That is like spamming me not sending me what I am interested in. So just on the retention thing I think just keep close to people. Polite interesting way and don’t just like blast them with how great we are, and in a sense it is demanding that we keep doing interesting things too you know if it is fair the business or it is genuinely a chocolate festival or thing like that but if you never have gone to a food festival, make it out. We want to try to bring people more little more often and remind them. People forget that you exist because there is so much promotion bombarding us all the time isn't it?

Mel: Yeah and you want to be able to if emails are coming in and as they do, there is so many maybe not getting open. We have got that cut through that means we are not having that value.

Ken: Learn more about email marketing. You know how to do a subject line that is actually going to get opened.

Mel: Absolutely and not push some valuable stuff in there. Considered to be on.

Ken: One thing we small people would do is just talk about what is happening in the community because most café are actually quite community focused. But why don’t you tell us about that?

Mel: Yeah it is just so many opportunities right that perhaps people just not thinking about and them really just out within arm’s reach.

Ken: Yeah I think that you and I cause we do this sort of podcasting. We could have sharpen our journalist skills and that’s I get frustrated when I see people missing these journalistic kind of opportunities. I don’t see the stories and all these things but it is okay I have been developing these skills for you know quite a while and if you haven’t got it but track down someone who does because boy there is lots of journalist who need work hah. They might be the one who are just doing couple of Facebook short stories each week and keeping that newsletter along.

Mel: And it is has to be consistent too right. Now let’s talk about what you do for your clients. The businesses that you worked with. You do social media training. You do cost cutting training. What else do you do?

Ken: So I find it is interesting. I like to help people grow business. I am never happy when I am talking about sales improvement and this and new strategies for getting people back more often. But you know most of the biggest click through of my e-mail and the biggest clicks on my Facebook post is all about bad staff and had to fix that problem and that’s just nature of the industry. People they suddenly freak out. They costed some recipe and they like oh my God. So that’s where they reach for and the whole thing about staff and recruitment and the right staff and keeping people, it is a massive industry. So that’s the stuff I know and I love to keep, I love helping people grow business and this stuff is what most people want.

Mel: Yeah excellent. Do you have any stories that you can share with us that tells what people have done that have allowed them to save themselves money and to know it is like that.

Ken: One thing that I have done quite a few times with people is help them put together. I called it dashboard. Just a one page of the figures from last week. Nice and simple. In the business a lot of people who listen to your podcast and hospitality people, it is kind of getting into the detail of how people spend, what the cost and wages are and just maybe there is about six or eight key figures on what is happening with staff and now we got the basis to sit down with management people and they might be your partner and one other person. We got the truth in front of us and I have done that over and over again help them drag those figures off the point of sale or out of the bookkeeping because they are usually all over place. People haven’t got that in simple way. So that’s something I really like doing and I have seen that plus just getting people to cost recipe. Just dramatic improvements when people. The figure in there, you cannot walk away from this because I have just shown you that you cannot UNsee that hah.

Mel: That’s right so nice snapshots to know where you stand and what time you can then tweak things for the weeks going.

Ken: This week with last week and this month with same last year.

Mel: Excellent. We have talked about being able to contact your customers through email or SMS. What else do you suggest in terms of how we can be more centric to our customers so that we can ensure that they come back and they refer other people to us as well.

Ken: So I think if we can build in some more touches in the experience. Like sitting having breakfast for half an hour café but not in 2 hours at the restaurant at some point but just build in staff to getting closed to them. One of them that are so easy to do is topping up the water glass and that’s where I don’t really like these bottle water pumped on the table. They got those when they were last washed out. But put the glasses there, fill them up and then go back and fill them. Because these nearby you say oh I need a knife or can I have another coffee or some people ask. So I think that and just little bit of conversation openers like we are talking to people before. She always say to people apparently if you come fast hah, it is an easy way isn't it? I have this on shops. Whatever it is, it is your first time here and if it is not, that doesn’t matter. You still start off the conversation you know. Just I think that is if you can just have a few little script and few little movement that people have to see, there is a great café in Newcastle but I know and their owner has lots of very nice school guys and girls who work there. Young kids but he trains them you know. If taken the order then you remove the napkin. Everyone else knows that the order is been taken because that’s the annoying thing isn't it? No we haven’t because we haven’t got a menu yet.

Mel: All those non-verbal are great yeah. That’s their process.

Ken: Yeah he set up a few ones right there. So just I mean I know now because he has told me but it is invisible to the customer but the experience to them is well just efficient, nice and happy place and of course flyover is great too. That’s pretty important.

Mel: Yes it is definitely. So that’s actually mean sitting down with your people and actually having a conversation around okay how can we have this much more streamlines. How can we avoid doubling up? How can we avoid these things that might not seem like a big deal to many people and never voice any problems with someone coming up and asking again? Because it is used to so it is a non-issue. But it is really about streamlining it and making and separating yourself from the competition isn't it? By these multiple settled things.

Ken: Yes absolutely and just your staff know that every single one of them know something that could be more efficient or someway you can cut your cost or make some savings. It is just where listening and you are making an opening for them to tell you. My doors always open for DYDs.

Mel: Yeah that’s right and sometimes I think as an owner you can try to be collaborative but it doesn’t always work in certain situations. You got to really change the way you are operating so that they do feel comfortable to do that and I think the buy-ins are much higher.

Ken: I think the internal communication in café and restaurants, lots of businesses do it. When they are to create more channels and that’s where I love it when a business has a private Facebook group just for their staff. People can chit chat and talk about things and communication channel you know. Most people will watch it then only a minority say things but everyone watches what is going on. That plus texting to your staff I think is very important you know routine texting.

Mel: Okay that’s really interesting. So even small business creating your own Facebook groups so you can back and forth.

Ken: And set up an account with group texting provider. Like one that’s another operator I work with and he is a guy that’s always funny with his management quotes. Just inspirational things. Every Monday you know Dan quote goes out. Text to the staff okay and they will sort of and it is funny I have been there when they all go out suddenly everyone phone goes ding hah. Plus there is shift change or there is a communication that way because somehow in that conversation you just got to remember that mobile phones that little thing in the pocket is got to be the basis of so much management and communication that we do. Talk about with the customers but also with our staff you know that’s most of them don’t have a PC or laptop hah.

Mel: Yeah and that’s how we are going to reach each other easily through that social media channels because not everyone is tapping into their e-mail as regularly at least as they are into those platforms. That’s great little tip Ken.

Ken: Absolutely you know you need to be texting staff with updates and all those sort of things and more with when I run longer term customer service training with groups sold and I got to go in and do the quiz and know it is no optional. Everyone has to answer the quizzes just like 5 simple questions based on the lesson we did today which was about maybe bankrupt servicing or something like that and but you know you are getting them. There is an app called Survey Monkey. Just put question up and their name in and then press and you can check down it and this sort of thing.

Mel: Yeah that’s great. Good opportunities to get that insight there where you don’t have to call staff meeting either. You gotta have it done by this day or whatever. I like that. Can I talk to you about online reputation because I know for a lot of businesses with those platforms like tripadvisor and bemata it is called now, what is your thoughts on those platforms and what can we do to protect ourselves.

Ken: Everyone who says anything, you need to respond to and I look at the Facebook pages and you look down the left hand side which is where the comments and the reviews are and most times, the comments are positive. People 5 stars and Facebook puts the good ones at the top but they say nice things and you know no one ever says thank you. We got to go on and first of all thank those people. Hey thanks Mel that’s really awesome I will pass it onto the team and sometimes it’s like oh my god they are complaining about that, thanks for letting us know Mel, really wasn’t a great night. Appreciate to get you back to us if you want to talk in more. We actually want to get some of that conversation offline so maybe there is a phone number. I think first off we got respond and monitor and that’s something that someone else might be doing the monitoring for you but I like watching social media but it is very easy to be too busy to do that but your assistant might be doing it and yeah I was looking at personal meal provider the other day and I just did google search hand I found that business and there was google listing and I clicked on that and there was a google star rating and I clicked on it and you know there is about 10 five star reviews “love the product” and there is one review one star “oh this place is a ripper arha” and the women who is the owner of the business, you can do she was claiming the listing went to there and said this is a real mystery to me your name is not on our database and I understand if this is a false review or if you got a genuine problem please contact me whatever. I mean that is a textbook reader respond to it. But you know tell the truth and say please contact me here is my name, here is my phone number because I don’t know the situation but I will look over oh these people they are watching and keeping the eye on this.

Mel: Yes absolutely tapping in and making sure.

Ken: You know tripadvisor is such a massive thing for food service I mean we all use it for when we travel and look at hotel reviews but restaurants and things especially in Australia people don’t seem to click. There is massive number of reviews there and again you got to go on and respond.

Mel: Yeah absolutely and I think you said something right at the beginning around replying and saying thank you and I think about let’s say you got a five reviews and excellent one that are not I mean just by replying and saying and make sure I will pass it on having different response to each one of those positive ones. But that already amps up your ten positive comments to your one negative and as long as you are still responding to the negative. It is just still you know it is definitely positioning.

Ken: And devastated by those negative ones and look we all give a fix to this industry. We only have good resignations of good for some reasons and you pick yourself up okay tough it up. We all and the whole online space is whole lot new hard difficulty there.

Mel: I got to tell you I remember getting our first negative online and I just couldn’t believe it because genuinely devastated because that’s just not what we are trying to deliver and so then I did realize you know get yourself together, get use to this. This is what happens and you need to manage it and I mean the best thing I ever did start doing was replying just like anything. I think that book is called eat the frog and did the stuff you don’t like and on top of it sort it out, investigate and sort it out because it is just going to be so much better on the other side.

Ken: Social media is just so much fuller now.

Mel: Yeah now before we finish up I want to know what can we doing in the space to increase our recommendations and referrals, do you have any tip because this is more cost effective way of reaching.

Ken: So would you mind going onto Facebook.

Mel: Yeah.

Ken: Well I think first up we should ask is it another good things happening in Queensland up down in the gold coast at Italian restaurant up there Also, they do a great job and young guy there sitting and I say you liked us on Facebook and I said yeah and then said you know how to do it don’t you? I said yeah anyway. It was just exactly the amount of pressure. But he wanted me to connect because when you do that, then it is saying you want to review and so I think ask and I see a little bit of places that put the sticker on or they put on the menu cover up that on the other day and please go onto trip advisor and leave us a review. Now what people too scared to do that but most times probably going to leave nice reviews hah so I think definitely reach out also here is one I wish more people would do. I am in Instagram fan. I like twitter as well and both of them use hashtags now. What is your hash tag? Now my business used to be all troop out so if I go to there it is hashtag #cafetropout and I would be having that on the wall and on the menu whatever because some people say what is a hashtag but a lot of people know what it is. They text in and their Instagram or whatever. They use it and this way you can get back to those people and say oh hi Mel thanks for coming in I love your picture and could also check location in Instagram of people who checked in and say hi to them as well that is just around those social media channels but I think it is just ask and speak up.

Mel: Yeah fantastic. Now I am just thinking about that too. I have seen in some instances people on Facebook businesses who are very keen to up their presence on social media actually incentivizing people to put a photograph up or use a particular hashtag.

Ken: Yeah you got to like freebee next time you get into that stuff. I think it is a bit of an expensive way to get a like I mean if you want to do that, and build I mean there is campaigns in Facebook just to increase number of likes. You can do that and that’s going to cost maybe 50 cents a like or something or maybe even less. But yeah I think sometimes those things are bit lackey. I mean I am not person who kept the bar in say oh where is my mobile I told you about the freebee. That’s not me.

Mel: And I think that’s about knowing your market and whether that’s something that you think is going to be valuable for you and something that they think is miring your image.

Ken: Yeah.

Mel: Alright now Ken we could talk for hours, you got so much things to share more. We will definitely look at having you back on the show again because I do love to talk about cost cutting a little bit more. I love to talk about the new concepts and new ways we could be optimizing but there is so much information on your website. Can you tell us where people can follow you and find you?

Ken: Sure. So my main website is profitablehospitality.com and you can jump on weekly newsletter that is free there. There is a good cost control guide that you can download for free and Facebook.com/profitable hospitality and we post a lot of information and a lot of our articles go there twice a day and Instagram profitable hospitality. I probably do like a day or two. That’s down for me hah.

Mel: Yeah that’s good. When is the best time for Instagram for you?

Ken: Well I am not sure. I know Facebook is 9 O'Clock in the morning and in night and so I think Instagram will be similar, have you got steps on that?

Mel: No I am just playing around with Instagram myself and I am finding 9 PM is a good time in terms of engagement.

Ken: We talked about developing journalists. I think that’s just a great way people develop your photography skills too. That’s another conversation.

Mel: It is too absolutely. Great to have you on Ken. Thanks so much for giving us your time. It has been fantastic. Really appreciate it.

That’s a wrap with Ken Burgin. Fantastic ideas and now I really like the Facebook group page being able to interact with staff, send some inspirational motivational things. Allow to be collaborative I think is really valuable amongst other fantastic tips there that can provide it. If you haven’t already please head onto the iTunes page and leave us a review or rating for our show. If you found our show interesting and valuable then we do love you to give us a rating. So we can be able to reach more people like yourself. Drop us a review, a quick 5 star rating or you can leave a full detailed review.

Further to that we would love to hear from you. I would love to hear from you. I am not kidding. It is one person here behind the mic not the whole crew and I would like to know what it is that you want answered. What are the big problems in your business that you need solved so that we can go about finding the right people, the experts who would be able to get those answers for you so you can make that extra change on your business. You can do that by sending me an e-mail. Mel@customercentriccoach.com. I would love to hear from you, that’s Mel@customercentirccoach.com. Thanks for tuning in and we will see you next week.

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Thanks for listening to the customer centric show. For additional smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom head on over to the website www.customercentricshow.com.

 


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