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Ken Burgin

11 Podcast Episodes

Latest 28 Jan 2023 | Updated Daily

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Shake the Crate podcast with food Industry Evangelist Ken Burgin

Shake the Crate podcast

Ken Burgin works with foodservice operators to assist them to be more popular & successful. He is a former cafe and restaurant owner in Sydney, and started the online management platform Profitable Hospitality. He now works for hospitality finance company SilverChef, focused on educational content and events for business owners. Ken has many years of experience providing training and content to help transform the hospitality industry. He likes finding out the 'why' of business success, and the 'why not' of business problems, keeping track of the latest technology and updating his photography techniques.


25 Aug 2020

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Using virtual events to supercharge your business growth with Ken Burgin (Episode 135)

First Time Facilitator

Have you been running webinars but finding it difficult to get people through the door? This week’s guest is great at tuning in to topics that people actually want, and he’s figured out a pretty neat system to do this! Ken Burgin works with foodservice operators to assist them to be more popular & successful. He is a former cafe and restaurant owner in Sydney, and started the online management platform Profitable Hospitality. He now works for hospitality finance company SilverChef, focused on educational content and events for business owners. In this conversation, we flip between talking about the virtual facilitation side of things, and providing value to our people; then we hear how Ken really grew his business and sold out his workshops on weekends; how he connects with people, how he adds value. Ken has many years of experience providing training and content to help transform the hospitality industry. He likes finding out the 'why' of business success, and the 'why not' of business problems, keeping track of the latest technology & presentation techniques, and updating his photography skills. Click here for show notes Continue the conversation on our free Facebook group, The FlipchartSupport the show


23 Aug 2020

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108: Profitable Hospitality and SilverChef with Ken Burgin

The Hospopreneurs Podcast

Helping food service operators to become more popular and profitable, Ken Burgin comes from a background as a cafe and restaurant owner in Sydney before starting the online management platform Profitable Hospitality. This led him to work for hospitality finance company, SilverChef, where he now focuses on educational content and events.  With many years of experience, Ken has seen all kinds of changes sweep the industry - from fickle fads to future foundations. 


18 Aug 2020

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Ken Burgin (Hospitality Consultant) - reset and refocus

Dirty Linen - A Food Podcast with Dani Valent

Ken Burgin is a hospitality consultant who reckons he's stopped hundreds of hospo wannabes from sacrificing their own homes and futures for a starry-eyed food dream. He's a realist and a numbers guy who loves helping people see the beauty - and the necessity - of a nice set of numbers. He sees the pandemic as an opportunity to reset and refocus.


30 Jun 2020

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#51 The new now for independent operators with Ken Burgin, Strategic Partner at Silver Chef

Hospitality Mavericks Podcast

In this episode, we have a very special guest Ken Burgin. Ken has a wealth of experience in the industry from operating his own businesses and been an adviser and consultant for smaller independent restaurants. He is now part of Silver Chef as Strategic Partner and Event Manager. He also runs a number of workshops online to better inform operators on how to navigate the ever-changing markets.We talked about the current storm in the industry - how to survive and thrive in it. How to manage your state in these difficult times, the role of delivery, the power of leading through purpose and values, and much more.This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacyChartable - https://chartable.com/privacy


23 Apr 2020

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How to survive a crisis ft. Ken Burgin

Talking Pork and all things Foodservice

Venessa Barnes, Australian Pork, and host of Talking Pork and All Things Foodservice is joined by guest Ken Burgin, Strategic Partner & Events Manager of Silver Chef. In this episode the discussion focuses on suggestions on how to survive the current global crisis as a restaurant and café owner.  Ken gives practical tips on what restaurant and cafes owners could be doing now, how to handle difficult conversations with staff during this time, and advice on how owners could be communicating with their customers right now. Inspired by Australian Pork has created a platform dedicated to the Foodservice market where Industry leaders are invited to discuss the rapidly changing landscape and what these changes mean. For the most up to date information impacting the industry visit Restaurant & Catering Industry Association's Coronavirus Hub http://rca.asn.au/rca/ To get in contact with Ken: Email http://www.kenburgin.com.au/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kenburginhospitality/ Inspired by Australian Pork: To get in contact email inspired@australianpork.com.au Visit https://inspiredbyaustralianpork.com.au/ 


1 Apr 2020

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Interview: Ken Burgin - Previous Restaurateur, Podcast Host, Hospitality Expert

My Restaurant Life

In this episode I speak with Ken Burgin who previously owned and ran his own restaurant before founding Profitable Hospitality, a business designed to help Restaurateurs run more profitable businesses. Ken hosted his own podcast for seven years and now works with Silver Chef as their Community Manager helping educate Restaurant Owners on industry trends and best business practice.

1hr 6mins

23 Sep 2019

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Ep. 106 [Bonus] - On Building an Online Platform with Ken Burgin, Community Manager at Silver Chef

My Food Job Rocks!

During my chat with Ken Burgin, we went on a lot of tangents, and they all crossed a common theme, which is building an online platform. In random spots of Ken’s interview, we end up talking about different areas of internet marketing and content generation and I thought it would make more sense to snip and stitch this content to a bonus episode. And I did this for a couple of reasons. One being that this podcast episode would make a lot more sense as a separate episode because if you follow what we said, it might actually inspire you to write more, or start a blog, or start a podcast! Another reason is a bit… well, I’ll let you judge this. During my satisfaction survey, I got a comment saying that Adam shouldn’t talk about podcasting so much. This was probably in regaurds to episodes like Alex Osterle and Don and Ben’s food safety podcast. I wanted to honor this suggestion so we’re trying this now. No ads this time, this one is a freebie So we begin with a topic about podcasting, something which originally linked Ken and I’s interest. Here you’ll learn a lot about how we got started, and more importantly, the community we’ve joined. Community is very important when it comes to starting something new. Ken and I had different communities, but it helped us all the same. Next we talk about blogging. A big part are novice questions I am always too embarrassed to ask. Overall, we talk a lot about linkedin and how it’s been doing awesome recently. Also, Ken mentions the value of consistency and he’s been doing this for years. What I haven’t been doing, however, is doing workshops. You’ll find out how that’s beneficial here.   So now we talk about email lists, the ultimate tool to build a following. We go in to a complex marketing term called funnels which starts with a email list. I find that an email list is the most useful tool for a marketer, but it’s really hard to grow. It’s actually very inconvenient to sign your email up on a list. Because of this, many people off free things to put on their list. Ken thought of almost 500 solutions for his clients and gave it for free. Giving out freebies that are so good you’ll pay for them is the best way to get email subscribers. Now about podcasts. This is a small extension of my convo with Ken on episode 106. We talk about our favorite podcast, but listen toward the end. We tell you a lot about what makes good podcaster great. And we finish off this bonus episode with a quote, “The confused mind says no”. Make your message clear. That is the thing that will sell. Also we talk about the restaurant, In and out Thanks for enjoying is bonus episode. If you like this format, I’d love your opinion on it. Let me know by either emailing me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com or message me on linkedin.


21 Feb 2018

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Ep. 106 - Managing, Selling, and Advising Restaurant Management with Ken Burgin, Community Manager at Silver Chef

My Food Job Rocks!

I met Ken when he commented on an article I posted. I think it was the one on how podcasting changed my life. Ken mentioned his experience podcasting in the food industry so we got to talking and decided to swap interviews. You can listen to my interview on Ken’s podcast on the show notes. Ken is what I like to call, an authority in the restaurant management industry. He’s had a restaurant for years,a nd then after selling it, he decided to take a more, teacher role. Ken doesn’t like the word consultant, but he has helped so many restaurant owners lower their cost and manage their dream. So in this interview, we learn some tips on how to become an authority in your space, but this is also a nice interview for people who are in the restaurant industry. You’ll learn the biggest problem with managing the restaurant industry, and even steps on how to sell a restaurants, and so much more. During our interview, Ken and I talk a lot about podcasting and blogging and I separated a good chunk of our interview and we’ll be turning it into a bonus episode later in the week. *NEW* Sponsor - Bakerpedia This episode is brought to you by BAKERpedia – your one-stop, resource that answers all your questions on industry trends, ingredient information, food safety and more. It’s shared knowledge, freely available, always. BAKERpedia.com – we do all the thinking so you can focus on your business. Sponsor – FoodGrads If you are even just a little bit interested in a career in food & beverage, you should join FoodGrads.  It’s an interactive platform where you can hear about different careers, hear from your peers, have a voice and share your story as well as ask specific questions and get feedback from industry experts across the sector. You can create a profile, add your resume and search for co-op, internships and full time opportunities just for Food Grads. Employers can find you too, they can recruit you for jobs and projects they need help with to give you the relevant industry experience you need. Join FoodGrads today! Just go to Foodgrads.com Sponsor – ICON Foods So let me pose this question to you food developers and R and D colleagues out there in Podcast land. Have you even run into a situation where you have marketing breathing down your neck to accomplish the impossible? I’ll bet. This is where my friends at Icon Foods can play a roll. Their ReformulateU initiative is in place and ready to help you reformulate with Clean Label Sugar Reduction in mind. Icon’s CEO Thom King was on one of my podcasts a while back and he literally wrote the book on cutting out sugar. His book Guy Gone Keto comes out in late March. If you are looking to cut down on your added sugars in your formulas and want a reliable supply chain partner in clean label sweeteners and ingredients look no further than Icon Foods. www.iconfoods.com or give them a call at 310-455-9876 What do you tell someone in a sentence or less?: I work with restaurants to get more business Barbeque Stopper – A word that makes everyone go silent, consultant, psycologist…. Food science I developed profitablehospitaility.com and posted blogs and podcasts onto the website Restaurant Owners are great at food, but they lack marketing and accounting skills. Ken has all of this as downloads How do you get people to find you?: Linkedin! I post frequently and people like it. It’s only been recently that I’ve used linkedin. I’ve been here quite a while. I’m available as a speaker and do workshops, which adds on. SEO is great too. Can you describe your ideal clinet/patients: I came from a  restaurant and a café background as an independent workshop. I ran workshops to gently tell people to get out of the restaurant business. You have to build a business with people who want to get going. How do you vet them: Money is a great filter. $40 dollar membership, $400 dollar call. Find a pain point, give value Steps it took to get to where you are today: I’ve always wanted to have a  café so I bought one in Sydney and grew it over 10 years. Bought another with a partner. Didn’t work out too well. Sold the café business. I sold the training side to the restaurant and hotels association. Then I consulted and was approached by Silver Chef and they bought the business. Why did you start a podcast?: I liked a podcast and I liked listening to them. I thought it would distinguish myself compared to the rest. Do you recommend any other podcasts?: History podcasts, business podcasts, BBC food program, Russian History podcasts, Hardcore History, Paul Barron Food Service authority in the US, Food Marketing Nerds (Wendy’s, Jersey Mikes) What are the common questions you get in the restaurant business?: Where do I find a chef? Why are my food costs so high why are my wages so high? Why is social media not working? You will get more engagement on articles trying to cut cost than to increase sale What advice can you give about cost?: Cloud based scheduling is cheap and easy to implement. And Cloud based point of sale system. Adopting technology is not about cost, but the struggle to understand it How do you teach people about technology?: Well it’s about stories. Great stories will convince people to adapt to technology. Especially if you mention if you save money. “If you want to get more people to listen, they need to hear cash register ring more” How do you sell a restaurant?: You need to control a lease and get it right. You will usually get a lease for 10-15 years. You have the right to do almost whatever you want with that lease. You also have to have it be easily ran. It has to be simple and people who want to buy businesses need to get it right away. What should someone do when they want to start a restaurant?: Get into the restaurant industry. Your college experience probably doesn’t cover it. Learn the ins and outs of a restaurant. There’s a very steep learning curve. Be there in the business 6 to 12 months Favorite Restaurant Concept: Grounds of Alexandria right next to the Sydney Airport Eataly World – FICO. A Theme park in Eataly What flavors are hot in Australia: Hot, big, spicy flavors such as Asian food. They also like to know more about where the food comes from Gelato Shops Hokey Poke – New Zealand flavors Unicorn Frappachino – worker complaints Tyler Cowan – Overrated or Underrated? Reid Hoffman – Masters of Scale GMO – good or bad? Bad Vegetarians good or bad. Good Social Media in marketing. Good or Bad? Good Robots/Automation? Good or Bad: Good Favorite Book: There’s a new three volume biography about Joseph Stalin. The Life of Stalin. What is the best food you’ve ever eaten?: An Indian restaurant called Malabar Any advice for anyone who wants to be a consultant: I talked to someone who consulted consultants. You gotta sell the benefit and pitch that you’ll make someone more money. “I’m going to cut your power cost and refrigeration” everyone wants it but must pay him to know the brand. Most consultants are too busy talking about themselves rather than tell them the benefits. Simple numbers work better, focus on dollar amounts rather than arbitrary percentages. Where can we find you?: I have a blog at kenburgin.au, profitablehospitality.com.au, Ken Burgin on Linkedin


19 Feb 2018

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Episode 7: Getting the (Work) Family Together: Ken Burgin’s Advice on Recruitment

Slammed Hospitality Talk

 Episode 7: Getting the (Work) Family Together: Ken Burgin’s Advice on Recruitment The staff of a café or restaurant is kind of like a big family. Unlike a family, however, you’re able to choose who you think is a best fit to join in. Ken Burgin spoke with me about how to take advantage of this ability to choose, especially since restaurants and cafes are very people-focused businesses. If your own staff doesn’t get on, customers will take note. Ken’s been in the business since the 1980s, starting out as a café owner, so he shared with me a lot of advice about recruitment and staffing. From running Café Troppo in the ‘80s and ‘90s to his work today with Silver Chef and Profitable Hospitality, Ken has amassed great success and valuable experience in the hospitality industry, and has a lot of advice to share. Putting together a happy family that gets on well is easier said than done. Staff are not only the most expensive resource, but the most variable. One can reasonably expect frozen chicken filets to not answer back and bottles of wine to remain in place until they’re needed. The same can’t be said of human resources. Lots of people are looking for jobs, but most of them, in all likelihood, are not a good fit for your business. At the same time, there are people looking for the right job – and that could be your workplace. The first challenge, then, is finding the right applicants. Rather than list off the clichéd attributes of ideal employees, mention what’s great about your workplace in job ads. Is your place of business close to public transport? Have flexible or daytime hours? Is it a modern kitchen? Be sure to promote what your business has to offer them. Once you’ve got applications pouring in, efficient management of the inquiry and interview process is key. When getting in touch for the interview, keep the conversation direct and to the point, with all the relevant information for getting there and the meeting time clearly communicated. But the interview itself should not be rushed through. Ken says to keep in mind that it’s more of a two-way interview. Both of you will be considering whether you will want to work with the other. The third tip Ken had to share was keep your promises. When people hear something like $20 an hour, they expect to be paid that much after taxes, and if they finish at 10:00, they’ll be clocking out, not cleaning up, at that time. Being clear and straightforward about such things as wages and hours will get the best people coming to you. Managing recruits’ expectations so that they will be met or even surpassed, just as with customers, will ensure that only the best will join your family, and maybe even stick around for the long haul. With new staff coming on, some level of training is necessary. However, Ken says, there’s no need to have a half-day or full-day staff training workshops, which can be costly and tricky to manage, time-wise. He prefers what he calls ten-minute trainings. If some staff need to be taught about one item on the new menu, he’ll ask them to come in a bit early the next day and show them how it’s made, have a tasting, and so on. You don’t even have to do the training yourself. If possible, designate a staff person as the lead trainer. While they may need their own training on how to train other staff, having a staff member fill the role of keeping track of who has to learn what can free up your time to manage and run other aspects of the café. Often, Ken says, people don’t like delegating things – especially owners attached to their baby of a business – but as a business grows, delegating tasks can help you be a better business owner. When training, Ken keeps in mind that “what we learn with pleasure we never forget.” Training does not have to be serious or dull. If you communicate the necessary information in a light and even fun way, it will make a hell of a first impression on new employees. They should go home at the end of their first day at work feeling great about their new workplace, boss, and co-workers, and it’s up to you to make that happen. Even if you find the best people around, employees won’t always work out perfectly – they may be a bit slow, or prone to certain errors, or perhaps they’ve stopped greeting customers with a smile. Addressing such issues early on is essential to maintain good employee relationships. Emphasize that you’re here to support them, and employee morale may improve. Even when things go sour and they must be let go, managing staff with grace and care can go a long way. The hospitality business is all about people, and it starts with the staff as well as the owner. Finding the right people for the job is a difficult task, but in the long run you’ll have a happy, healthy family working together to make the business a success. You can find Ken Burgin on LinkedIn and Twitter @kenburgin. You can also find out more about his business, and seek out more hospitality advice, at his website profitablehospitality.com.au, and the Profitable Hospitality Facebook page. Ken ‘s Key Takeaways When placing job ads, mention all the qualities about your business that make it an attractive place to work – you’ll attract more of the recruits you want. In the interview phase, keep in mind that it’s a two-way conversation, with the both of you asking questions of the other. A small skills test may not hurt, either. While interviews should not be rushed, communicate scheduled interview times and follow-up calls in the most efficient way possible, such as text message. Be honest about the parameters of the job, such as wages and hours, so that employees’ expectations are met or even exceeded. Train a little and often. Ten-minute trainings every now and then will likely improve employees’ ability to absorb the information, and not take up too much of your own time. On the first day, keep it light and maybe even a bit fun so employees have a good first impression. Create a welcome pack to help make a good first impression on new employees as you welcome them into your restaurant family. Read Ken’s advice on what to include in this package at http://profitablehospitality.com.au/how-to-create-a-welcome-pack-for-new-employees/ YouTube videos can be a good resource for ten-minute trainings. If your time is tight, it’s okay to delegate training tasks to another experienced staff person. If employees are having problems, identify the problem and work with them to correct it. There’s no need for an iron fist.


7 Sep 2016