Bar Convent Berlin 2019 – The NoSpoilers Experience

 

Bar Convent Berlin a three-day event surpassed 15,000 visitors this year. A new record-breaking number indeed. 446 exhibitors from 48 countries presented some 1,200 brands, including spirits, sparkling wines, beers and fillers. Gin ruled the top position in the list of products followed by liqueurs, rum, vodka & tequila. However, the centre of attraction was Kühlhaus transformed into the “House of Rum”. A platform for rum makers and lover, visitors were able to discover the diversity of rum and expand their knowledge through a series of seminars. The topics of conscious consumption and sustainability were of prime focus throughout the event. Bar Convent Berlin once again proved to be the most essential business gathering for the spirit industry. 

For the NoSpoilers team, it was business and pleasure at the same time. Be it mindboggling cocktails or the overwhelming craft of bartenders from different parts of the world we enjoyed it all. Here is what our team had to say about their experience at BCB 2019:

michal no spoilers

Michal (CEO)

It was my first time attending Bar Convent Berlin. I was immensely impressed with the size of the event, and the amount of money and effort exhibitors have put into preparing for it. Most of the stands were designed to match the brand’s unique persona. The one that I remember most vividly was Kraken’s. Although small, it had plenty of character combining steampunk with mad scientist vibe.

The most innovative product I encountered was Hayman’s Small Gin. I had a chance to try gin and tonic, made with about 5 ml of it, and I could not make a difference between this low alcohol drink and the real thing.

The favourite cocktail I had during this year BCB was Old Fashioned, made with Santa Teresa 1796 rum. For me, lower sugar content and a bit of bitterness made it extremely enjoyable to drink, compared to other rums.

Bartek (COO)luke no spoilers

In my opinion, it’s one of the best, if not the best, event focused on bartending craft & trade. It was a great occasion to taste many new products from the European market or products that are not available on the European market yet. Here is a list of my favourite booths and products:

Cocchi Americano. As a great fan of Cocchi Americano Bianco, I had to be there. And I don’t regret it at all. Fabulous people at the booth and another love found out – Cocchi Barolo Chinato.

One of the biggest surprises during BCB 2019 for me, was a tasting of overproof rum from Autentico Nativo Rums. I couldn’t imagine that overproof rum could be such a pleasant liqueur to drink. If you get an opportunity to try it – do it! You won’t regret it, I promise.

Concentrated cold brew coffee. Yes, it’s coming from me – great coffee lover with high coffee requirements. Cafeahouse AG lured me with a cup of their cold brew made from concentrate. After I fed my curiosity and afternoon coffee hunger, I could tell two things about concentrated cold brew coffee. First insight – it’s a good alternative for cocktail bars without a professional coffee machine. Second insight – it has good quality to price ratio. It’s cheaper than cold brew made from ground coffee. I wouldn’t be so positive about described cold brew if it were with preservatives or unhealthy additions. It’s not! Plain coffee in a box. Chapeau bas.

mateusz no spoilers Mateusz (CTO)

Striding among the booths has undoubtedly taught me, that there’s so much more to learn when it comes to spirits. The gins have become the leader of the “I need to try that” enthusiasm. Being able to enjoy them back-to-back has evolved my awareness of botanicals. Next stop – home experiments with the beloved evergreen Negroni. Same cocktail, different taste.

Though, if I were to name one drink that I will certainly remember, the Belgian GIMBER would be the answer. Loving ginger myself, the intense taste it brings with just moderate tint of spiciness, made me go “oh, wow!”. A fun experience, indeed.

Christopherchris no spoilers

Being a part of Bar Convent Berlin, I truly felt like I was a kid in a theme park. Every day was filled with something exciting, educational and unexpected. I made some new friends along the way, especially from the ‘House of Angostura‘. It was a thrilling 3 days and something that I will never forget. Hopefully, I will be able to attend Bar Convent Brooklyn as well as visit Berlin on again next year. 

janek no spoilers

Jan

The way the event was organized was spot on. Despite the venue as large as a football field, I never felt lost at any point during my time in BCB. Connecting with folks at the stands, I received great insights into what’s coming up in the Bar industry, which has me very excited. The products that I really liked at the convention were Remy Cointreau, Haymans Small Gin, and Angostura Rum.  

Joannaasia no spoilers

Bar Convent Berlin trip was a perfect opportunity to get to know the team better. Moreover; thanks to many networking sessions, I presented No Spoilers to other brands. Also, I learned about many different businesses based on a similar field like ours. Finally, I visited Berlin for the first time, and it was monumental, but my stomach missed polish food.

Przemekprzemek no spoilers

BCB was an extraordinary experience for me. I had the opportunity to meet people/companies that could use our solutions in everyday work. The most significant benefit I gained from participating in BCB was checking myself in a new role – the marketer. In every conversation with a potential customer, I had to present our product in the most interesting way possible. Also, I had the opportunity to try many delicious drinks from all over the world. I hope that in the future, I will have a chance to participate in more such events.


Bar Convent Berlin 2020 is going to be held on the grounds of the exhibition centre Messe Berlin.  Each exhibition hall is expected to reflect the “trends of big city life” and our team is already excited for it. We at NoSpoilers are looking forward to BCB 2020 and we hope it’s just as outstanding as it was this year.

Bar Convent Berlin 2019

For three days, STATION-Berlin became the biggest platform for mixologists, sommeliers, and many other hospitality professionals. As a result, the No Spoilers team hit the road to visit Bar Convent Berlin this year. The aim was to receive insights on industry trends, network with industry professionals for collaboration and partnerships and fully enjoy Berlin. 

Learn, Build, Succeed. 

Throughout the three day event, there were several classes focused on all aspects of running a bar. The most exciting ones for us were on sustainable ways of developing cocktails as well as different practices behind the bar to reduce waste. Many businesses and hospitality groups are thinking outside the box to provide a great customer experience. Here are a few classes we attended: 

Fermentation by Lars Williams from Noma: 

One of the worlds most highly acclaimed restaurant Noma described how they conduct R&D to create their dishes and cocktails sustainably. Throughout the course, Mr Williams displays a layout of what you can do as an expert or an amateur bartender to begin the process of fermentation. It also included what different directions you can use this practice towards your cocktails. 

Click here to learn more about Fermentation by Lars Williams. 

Pepper Exploration:

Presenters Alex Kratena and Erwan De Kerros from Monin introduced their audience to the intriguing world of different peppers. And how they can be utilized towards many varieties of cocktails that we use today. There are a thousand different types of peppers in the market today.

Did you know? Chilli Peppers’ spice is a defence mechanism against poachers.

The challenges of making authentic, environmentally friendly rum in the Carribean:

The challenges of making an authentic, environmentally responsible run in the Caribbean by Roberto Serralles of Don Q rum in Puerto Rico. It details how most rum distilleries all over the world produce an extreme amount of wastewater to produce any kind of rum. For every bottle of rum, there are five bottles of wastewater behind it. He later details the initiatives taken by Don Q to reduce waste while producing high-quality rum for their brand. 

Taste Like A Pro by Liam Scandrett: 

Liam brings us behind a figurative cocktail bar to teach us how to taste different spirits and liqueurs professionally. How to sip your cocktails to determine how it should feel and the consistency of the drink. Finally, how we as bartenders can teach our clients and co-workers to upgrade their craft through taste.

Global Shift, Climate Change & The Bar World: 

Industries across the spectrum are assessing their futures and gauging responses to the threats posed by global climate change. The beverage world is no different. This session explored the ways that distillers, bar owners and beverage media are each confronting the challenge. From production and operating processes to public engagement and active involvement in changing public policy

Alcohol & Cannabis Stack Up by Warren Bobrow:

The audience explores how CBD is becoming a new trend in the bartending world. The seminar also focused on how to utilize CBD in cocktails and garnishes. 

Finally, The Gin Journey by Jan Kreutz:

It brings the bartenders into the world of Gin, different styles, different distillations and the history of the spirit. It was the proper ending for this three-day event where most vendors at BCB were promoting some kind of Gin. Mostly in different flavours. If I had to take a good guess, people are promoting Gin to become the next flavoured Vodka. Although I don’t know if that will stick or not. 

Overall, Bar Convent Berlin checked all boxes in terms of education, entertainment and engagement with hospitality professionals from all parts of the world. 

Health and Wellness for Bartenders

Mixologists across the world are glorified for their dedication to develop and market beautifully crafted and deliciously mixed drinks consistently. This is a trend that is growing in the past couple of years. Instagram and Youtube are highlighting craft cocktails and the people behind the drink. Bartending has become more of a lifestyle than an actual job. There are many opportunities to grow within the industry. From starting behind the bar to becoming brand ambassadors, bar consultants, bartender-for-hire, and even marketers for their brands.

However, accustomed to all bartenders is a practice usually unforeseen to the general public. Cleaning, restocking and dealing with unpleasant customers are all parts of the job, which are inevitable. Lack of preparation and extended working hours can lead you down a path of unhealthy habits. This will affect your mental and physical health later down the line. High levels of stress and anxiety are often attributed to unhealthy eating and irregular sleeping patterns. Moreover, these changes are often overlooked due to the many responsibilities expected from most bartenders, managers, and even brand ambassadors.

What is the solution? How can bartenders change their habits to embrace a healthier lifestyle? There are three things you can establish today to get on the right track to a more healthier and fulfilling career in the bar industry:

Learn the Art of Prepping

One of the challenging aspects of having a night time job is prepping a healthy meal for late-night snacks. You should be able to prep a proper late-night meal the same way you can adequately prep your bar station for efficient usage. Look into prepping take-out bowls with a mix of yoghurt, grains, and fruits that provide you energy. A recommended combination would be bananas, strawberries, quinoa. A bowl like this will give you the right amount of antioxidants, performance enhancers, and pain relief. Other options would be to have a bowl of peanuts along with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, according to research conducted at Archives of the Turkish Society of Cardiology, may have a beneficial impact on your cardiovascular system by pumping more blood into your body. In return, you feel more alert and responsive in your busy environment.

Find a workout that works for YOU

Whether it be jogging, early morning gym sessions, or casual trips to the pool. Proper time management between workout regiments and your bartending career is crucial towards your longevity. A short 30-minute workout can provide you with much-needed energy to prepare for a long night. Yoga practices, along with colleagues, have been a common practice as of late. It provides bartenders and other restaurant staff a team bonding session that does not revolve around drinking and eating unhealthy food. Social media outlets, like Facebook and Meetup events, as well as platforms like yoganect.com, are providing several options for yoga sessions throughout Europe and the United States. This increases social skills amongst your team and develops authentic relationships.

Learn to “JUST SAY NO”

It can be tempting when surrounded by a substantial amount of alcohol options. Moreover, several opportunities to drink with your colleagues, guests, or even taking shots with your manager will pop up. You will inevitably confront an offer to consume an alcoholic substance, every single time you are behind the bar,. It will ultimately hinder your performance and your judgment. Bartenders in San Francisco are wearing abstinence pins to signal other bartenders and guests that they will not be partaking in any drinking during the night. Some meetings also focus on mental health and addiction, which comes with working in the hospitality industry.

In some parts of the world, particularly in Eastern Europe, refusing a shot can be a sign of disrespect. So, have the courage and proper communication skills to inform your colleagues that you not drinking is a sign of respect for yourself and your colleagues all around. Having the appropriate energy required to perform your best behind the bar is a win-win scenario for both the business and yourself.

All suggestions in the article are easy to establish to improve your craft and efficiency. It is easy to participate in unhealthy practices and activities for a sense of social gain or just sheer laziness. However, this will only layout a path towards the ‘B’ word…BURNOUT.

How Vertical Farming Reinvents Agriculture

The threat of providing food for everyone in a cost-efficient and sustainable manner is gaining importance. The global population will exceed 10 billion by 2050. Modern tools and techniques have enabled to augment production rates. However, crop production still employs 11% of the total land worldwide. It creates a scarcity of resources and adds to the ever-growing problem of global warming. Defying the odds of seasonal weather patterns, transportation challenges, and indigent yields are the method of vertical farming. So, what exactly is vertical farming?

Vertical farming is a concept that sees the sprawling crop farms condensed into small size factory-like sites. The conditions are optimized, and yields get significantly enhanced. Facilities like Aero Farms in New Jersey is a prime example of vertical farming. Crops get cultivated in a contained environment. Everything from temperature and lighting to soil conditions and nutrients is controlled. Vertical racking of crops enables organisations to optimise space and establish such facilities in urban areas. It also allows to deliver it to the end consumers abruptly and efficiently.

What are the benefits of vertical farming?

Vertical farming enables organisations to optimise the usage of space. This, in turn, allows them to decrease transportation cost & time. The lower time of transport helps to cut down the CO2 emission caused due to long hours of transportation. Furthermore, the high degree of control of various aspects like temperature, humidity, lighting, nutrients, etc. neutralises the risk of waste due to changing weather conditions and enhance production rates. It also eliminates losses from birds and insects. There is no need of using harmful pesticides too, improving the quality of the yields. The use of energy-efficient lighting leads to lower power consumption lowering the cost of production.

Moreover, many vertical farms are served by the rainwater harvesting system. It reduces the amount of water used to produce those crops. Some organisations even recycle the water lowering the consumption of water even more. Additionally, plants grow faster in such controlled environments when compared to traditional farming. This approach of having a controlled environment prevents nutrients and fertilisers from damaging the land or getting washed into rivers lowering the impact on the environment.

A drawback to vertical farming is the availability of land in urban areas. But companies are tackling this issue by building such facilities in repurposed shipping containers, abandoned warehouses and old factories in proximity to the urban areas. Another set down, as believed by many experts, is a large amount of energy used to grow crops in such a controlled environment. So, companies are recycling resources and using energy-efficient technologies to grow plants.

Lead by example!

Vertical farming is a growing concept. Several companies have sprung up over the past decade using different models to cultivate crops. There are a few models which companies use. Firstly, hydroponics in which crops grow in a nutrient-rich basin of water. Secondly, aeroponics wherein crop roots are sprayed with a mist containing water and nutrients periodically. And lastly, aquaponics where organisations breed fish to cultivate bacteria used as nutrients for plants.

Plenty, a San-Francisco based startup is one of the most talked-about company in vertical farming. The company received funding of $200 million in investor funding. It is the highest agricultural technology funding in history. The company doesn’t use any pesticides to grow its products. It adopts towers made of recycled plastic that’s fuelled with water and nutrients through the top using gravity to feed plants. It enables the company to reduce power consumption and recycle water easily.

Aero Farms, a New York-based company has one of the most extensive facilities for vertical farming, occupying a space of 70,000 sq ft. The company claims to use 95% less water than traditional farming. Aero Farms use the aeroponic method of vertical farming. Their in-house scientists monitor more than 130,000 data points for every harvest.

Another such company is Jones Food Company in the UK. They have Europe’s largest vertical farms occupying a space of approx. 54,000 sq ft. and over 17 stories high. Crops at Jones Food Company grow hydroponically. The company claims that it will be able to deliver 420 tonnes of plants per year once the farm reaches full capacity.

What’s in it for the Hospitality Industry?

The hospitality industry trends keep changing rapidly. With sustainability being the primary goal, vertical farming can prove to be a blessing in disguise. Many restaurants like Weilands-Wellfood, based in Berlin and Good Bank have their in-house vertical farming setup. The customers can see the whole process of farm to plate. Moreover, there are companies like Farm.One catering specifically to chefs around the world. The company currently caters to 14 Michelin star restaurants providing high-quality ingredients from herbs to edible flowers & microgreens. Vertical farming can help provide restaurants & bars with high-quality ingredients throughout the year consistently. It means no more waiting for those seasonal garnishes or ingredients.

Additionally, restaurants can provide their customers with better quality food due to no pesticides involved. Locally sourced items are much healthier, fresher and in high demand amongst the consumers. Bars & Restaurants will be able to diversify their menu through the easy access of ingredients from around the world.

Vertical farming still represents a small portion of global food production. However, the benefit it offers to the ever-growing population can shift the paradigm of farming to 90 degrees!

What is the future of Casual Dining

Bill and T.J. Palmer had a vision of creating a unique casual dining experience for the community they were residing during their time in Atlanta. In 1980, they ventured off to make this vision a reality. The concept was simple during that time, high-top tables with a sports-like environment. The menu ranged from finger foods to more substantial dishes like ribs and steak. It didn’t take long for their restaurant to find success. Three years after the launch of their first restaurant, the concept was sold to a hospitality group in 1983. Once called T.J.’s Applebees has now changed to Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill.

From 1986 to 1993, more than 1,000 Applebee’s restaurants opened all over the United States. What was great for consumers dining in a sports bar, was detrimental for small casual dining restaurants around the area. This set a precedent for new concepts to spring up throughout the country for the next 20 years. Now the tables seem to be turning. Applebee’s traditional concept does not seem to be attractive anymore. Last year, Applebees announced that they would be closing 60 – 80 locations throughout the USA. Other restaurants like IHOP, Ruby Tuesday’s and Buffalo Wild Wings are also experiencing closures. It is sending a message that casual dining is no longer relevant for most people. New concepts like fast-casual dining as well as a Grab and Go have better catered to a demographic of Millennials and GenZ.

What is Fast Casual?

Fast Casual combines the beneficial elements of having the consumers order at the counter. It’s similar to fast-food restaurants but with the amenities of a full-service restaurant. Consumers still have access to cutlery and plates. The atmosphere is a bit more upscale in comparison to McDonald’s. What makes fast casual so attractive is the access to different ethnic cuisines that consumers are drawn to nowadays. The price for a fast-casual dish is generally higher than a meal at a fast-food restaurant. However, consumers are tired of the traditional concept of burger and fries. So they are opting for Vietnamese, Indian and Latin American dishes that are readily available at Fast Casual stands.

Who is Fast Casual Attracting?

The entire concept of fast-casual is providing food options to a demographic that is always busy. They are more likely to eat at work or at home than their previous generations. More importantly; they are open to discovering new concepts. Millennials and Gen Z have dominated the fast-casual market for the past 20 years. Future sales projections determine that Millennials will be the biggest spenders in the food and beverage industry.

With more spending power than any other generation, millennials are venturing into uncharted territories with regards to dining experiences. Something that casual dining restaurant does not provide.

Not Just Convenience, It’s Curiosity.

Another trend to take into consideration is the power of a niche audience. 3 in 4 millennials admit that experience is a priority when dining out. Millennials are choosing restaurants with innovative concepts and attractive offers. It has influenced many restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Burger King to think outside the box with their different kinds of offers. Many restaurants are focusing on creating limited-time offers which get incredibly successful.

The Pumpkin Spiced latte from Starbucks or the McRib sandwiches at McDonald’s is providing the footprints necessary for other franchises to experiment on their niche items. Burger King made headlines by presenting the Impossible Whopper. Starbucks continues the trend of creating offers for its niche audience. Introducing their Unicorn Frappuccino for a limited time it generated buzz towards millennials and Gen Z who are willing to invest their money into a unique experience.

The business of pleasing everyone

The younger audience is benefitting from new concepts introduced by the restaurants. Yet, there is still the older generation that still prefers tradition over a new concept. Many of Gen X’er still prefer the traditional casual dining style. They are willing to visit restaurants that didn’t deviate towards the younger audience while leaving the old behind.

Applebees has taken this into consideration. They are now offering half-price appetizers along with their low price drinks served during happy hour. This checks off boxes for many people who still prefer dining in places that do not offer crazy and unique menu items. Also taking into account that people still want to have a delightful experience eating out without spending an excessive amount of money. Many of Applebee’s restaurants seem to be closing. But those that are still open have to adapt to the spending power that Millennials have without neglecting the early fans of the restaurant.

Conclusion

Restaurants who have managed to keep the concept of Casual Dining for many years need to change their perspective on what is defined as casual dining.

Tackling Food Waste In Supermarkets

As an individual living abroad, those huge outlets of supermarkets always fascinated me. However, a few trips to these supermarkets made me realise, they are designed in a way that customers spend maximum time in there and end up buying a lot more than what’s needed! If it all comes down to maximising profit, then what are supermarkets doing to tackle the issue of food waste. Turns out it is less than what you would expect. According to a report by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Ugly Fruit & Veg Campaign, nine out of the ten largest grocery companies in the US fail to report their total volume of food waste publicly.

However, some companies are setting high standards and leading by example for others. The most popular one is TESCO, claiming that less than 1% of food gets wasted across their 6,553 stores serving 50 million shoppers every week. This, in turn, helped to remove 46,000 tonnes of food waste from circulation. TESCO also claims that no food from their supermarkets has found its way to landfill since 2009. They have donated 14.5 million meals by partnering with local food banks across Europe. The company launched a ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ campaign where they buy those not so perfect looking products from suppliers and sell them to consumers at highly competitive prices.

Co-Op food is another such retailer in the UK, which started selling food that was up to a month past its best-before date. In September 2015, Co-Op donated 50,000 tonnes of food to FareShare, which helped the organisation to provide 120,000 meals to those in need.

The question that arises now is, will it be enough? Let’s check out a few ways how small and big supermarkets can minimise food waste in their outlets.

Prevention

Labelling:

Majority of the food consumers purchase gets thrown away due to confusion with the dates. Most consumers don’t understand the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. Use by date usually states that the product would be dangerous to use after the date mentioned. Whereas ‘best before date’ just says that before the specified period, the food will be at its best. It doesn’t mean the food won’t be fit for consumption after the best before date. Supermarkets need to take measures to educate consumers regarding the difference between both. Many retailers like Walmart & TESCO are removing best before dates from their products to minimise wastage.

Use of Technology:

There are several startups providing food waste management software. It can help curb the amount of waste produced by supermarkets. For, eg. Spoiler Alert a US-based startup analyses waste and suggest tactics to reduce food waste. On the other hand, Walmart has launched its food waste program named Eden to save $2billion in five years. Supermarkets also need to use the latest technologies for their storage and refrigerators to avoid premature spoilage of food due to irregularities in temperature.

Recovery

Working with food banks worldwide:

Following the footpath of TESCO, supermarkets can work alongside local food banks to donate food. As products have a limited shelf life, it is vital to ensure they are stored and preserved correctly. For, e.g., Supermarkets can partner with organisations like ‘Last Minute Market’ which recovers and reuses unsold goods from retailers.

Recycle

Packaging:

It’s high time that supermarkets and retailers switch to eco-friendly options for packing foodstuffs. Organisations need to ban the use of plastic entirely in all their outlets. They must encourage consumers to bring their own bags for grocery shopping. They can also provide consumers with alternative options like jute or cloth bags which are biodegradable.

Compost:

There is enough information online providing the benefits of compost. Supermarkets should create their compost to avoid wastage and reduce the damage done to the environment. If it’s not possible to create their compost retailers and supermarkets can work along with farmers or suppliers to develop compost for them. It can be utilized as a fertiliser to grow the better quality of fruits and vegetables.

Fighting food waste is a perplexing issue, and even though many companies are taking the initiative to tackle it, more can be done to create a significant impact and bring in change faster. Technology isn’t the only way to reduce food waste, but it provides retailers and supermarkets with better techniques and opportunities to tackle this problem.

The Pareto Priniciple In Hospitality: Staff Evaluation

“It is everyone’s responsibility to greet and seat all of our guests that walk into our establishment.” – Vivian Howard, Owner of Sweet Potatoes Winston Salem, NC.

Many examples can be attributed when applying the 80/20 rule in regards to staff management. 20% of your staff will produce 80% of your results at your business. The same way 20% of your staff will also contribute to 80% of your aches and pains in your establishment. It’s up to you, to make smart decisions in regards to staff management and how this theory can help you.

Communication is Key

Let us go further with the last statement, 80% of your sales at the bar/restaurant comes from 20% of your staff. These people are the ones that you should prioritize. Reward them for their skills and efforts in customer service. However, as a manager, you should not completely disregard the lesser end of your staff. Communication is vital in this matter. There is a convenient route of giving the boot to individual members of your team that is lagging behind. However, now you will have to invest your time trying to find a proper replacement. A recommended way of getting your staff on the right page is holding daily staff meetings, usually before opening the restaurant and make clear of all obstacles that will be coming on today’s agenda.

For instance, how many reservations does the restaurant have today? what is the dish special or cocktail special of the day? what is everyone’s role for the day? Deliver your message with a purpose. Make it clear that everyone is responsible for delivering the best customer experience. From management to all the way down to the cleaners of the establishment.

Schedule Accordingly

When making a schedule for your staff, it would be standard practice to schedule your best employees to work on your busiest days of the week (Friday-Saturday-Sunday). 80% of your top-rated staff should be scheduled for 20% of your most active working hours. Placing your best employees on idle days like Monday or Tuesday wouldn’t work just the same as scheduling a new bartender to work your Saturday night. Plan accordingly, see what holidays or special events are happening in your neighbourhood and around town. Anticipate what would be coming your way and who would best fit in your kitchen and behind the bar on busy days.

There is an essential element to keep in mind here, your employees are not robots. They will eventually burn out if they are scheduled on multiple consecutive days. Give them a day or two off, so they can regain their energy. If you believe they are lagging behind, offer them a break and something to eat so they can regain their strength.

So what would you do for the staff that is on your lower end of the scale, your mediocre staff? If your staff is motivated to become better at their level of service and craft, schedule this person with someone more experienced. This opens an opportunity for your employees to build rapport amongst one another, develop a strategy to be efficient during their shift, have a chance to learn and mentor each to hone their craft. Most importantly, it will relieve the 80% of your time focused on your employees.

Listen, Learn, Decide

In the process of becoming a great leader and managing your staff wisely, stay committed to the following. 80% of your time should be spent listening to your staff as well as allowing them to make 80% of the decisions going on in your establishment. Nobody likes an authoritarian that watches from the background, dictating your every move. On the other end, people are not attracted to a leader who has no clue what is going on in their establishment. Establish an open-door policy with your employees. It is vital as a leader to take the time out of your busy schedule to chat with your employees. Get their input on what can be improved. Learn about how people in management treat your employees whenever you are not around. What innovative ideas can be implemented to the bar/kitchen that can propel your restaurant into a highly successful one.

Conclusion

The obstacles presented to you as a manager can become overwhelming at times. This is when you open the door to allow your workers to shine potentially. Relieve your stress and concerns by having open conversations with your employees. Be updated with what’s going on whenever you are not around. Schedule employees wisely to avoid burnout and delegate tasks that would be suited to their strengths. For the people who are on the mediocre side, schedule them with someone more experienced. It will enable them to learn the proper ways of conducting themselves professionally. Finally, learn to listen and decide accordingly to what is best for your staff and for your business.

NoSpoilers: Software Update

We are happy to announce that next month No Spoilers application will get an upgrade. We are adding the Recipes tab to our web app.

Why POS systems get it wrong?

Working with different POS systems used by our clients, we realized not all of them are perfect. It’s essential you know which items get used from your inventory when you sell an item.

For instance, if you serve an Old Fashioned, you expect the system to take 1 1/2 oz of Maker’s Mark, two dashes Angostura bitters and a sugar cube. However, not all POS systems will see it that way. Due to their types of products and modifiers, the recipe might get recorded as 1 1/2 oz Bourbon, two dashes bitters and a sugar cube. Additionally, in some cases, the Old Fashioned you sold will be registered as a product instead of individual ingredients making things worse.

Accurate stock control with recipes

When we create our software, it’s always with accuracy in mind. Hence, we decided to introduce our recipe system. It will complement what some of the POS systems lack.

We designed our Recipes similar to our SKU system. They share the same properties you are already familiar with. In regards to product search, you can find your recipes the same way you would look for your SKUs.

Ingredients Tab

The main difference is the ingredients tab. Here you can add other SKUs to be a part of your recipe. Thanks to this solution, we will always know the products that should be used when you sell an item. Same as with other types of records. You can customize how ingredients are counted: per item, by mass or volume.

Can we make it better?

We are excited to roll out this new feature, but we also want to hear your feedback. Do you struggle with recipes in your POS system? Let us know if you think this functionality will help your business.

Oh I’m sorry. Did I break your concentration?

Presenting to you today is our very own Jan Wyrwiński. A Full-time coder and part-time bartender. Ready to kill you with his charms and super slick jawline. Watch out for the punchy flavours and smooth lines 😉

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Gdańsk, but I spend some time living in Sopot before moving to Warsaw. Since finishing high school, I started to work in the hospitality industry, was bartending in the Atelier Club, located next to a beach. Had attempt with studies on Gdańsks Polytechnics – Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications, and Informatics but I guess that wasn’t for me.

About two years ago, my friend Bartek, who I was working in Sopot with, invited me to work for No Spoilers, so I moved to Warsaw. A year ago, I returned to hospitality, starting the second job in Backroom Cocktail Bar.

What is your hidden talent?

I know how to keep a straight face when people want to make me laugh. To look serious when I want to. People call it… My poker face.

Any favourite line from a movie?

It would have the be the speech that Samuel Jackson gave in Pulp Fiction. Ezekiel 25:17, this part of the movie solidified my opinion that this is one of the best films of all time.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

I’ve heard a few times that I look a bit like Cole Sprouse, had to google this guy and don’t really agree with that. I’d go for Andy Samberg or Michael Palin, I wish my character were that funny. But if I could be a director of this movie, I’d cast myself as me and make it as The Dave Chapelle Story skit from Chapelle’s Show.

What is one thing you cannot live without?

My friends are so important in my life, I really cannot live without them. I try my best to go back to my hometown from time to time to catch up with them. Everything I have experienced and learned in Gdansk has helped me become successful not only for the company I work for but overall with life in Warsaw.

Restaurant Communication Simplified

The global hotel industry revenue was $570 billion in 2017; yet when we look at the employee turnover rate, it stands high at 73.8%. So, what’s the issue? Apart from problems like long working hours and lack of employee benefits, communication is still one of those factors restaurant owners fail to deal with. And many times, lack of effective communication proves to be a deciding factor between the success and failure of restaurants. Your employees are the first line of contact with your customers which is why they must communicate well!

So what can you do to avoid losses due to ineffective communication of employees?

Multiple Channels of Communication:

Before we dive into the channels of communication you should be using, it’s essential to understand that employees won’t remember something you said once in the busy hours of work. Just like advertisements, it takes a few repetitions for a message to stick in your head. So remember to communicate your message through multiple channels. If you discuss something in staff meetings like ‘Friday Special’, communicate it again through writing it on menu boards and sending short reminders through digital applications.

Embrace Digitization:

Communication using digital apps can be quick and effective. Restaurant owners and managers can use such platforms to communicate quick updates like changes in the menu or a reminder about an upcoming event. While WhatsApp and Messenger is the most preferred platform for communication and updates, we suggest using other social apps like 7shifts, Crew or any other free app of your choice. This will establish a clear line of communication. Your message won’t get lost between hundreds of text your employees receive on WhatsApp.

Furthermore, investing in a reliable inventory management system that can integrate with your POS system will help you keep your stock in check. It will also keep your employees informed if an item cannot be prepared due to lack of ingredients.

Meeting 2.0:

Staff Meetings:

Its a familiar ritual in every restaurant to conduct staff meetings before the shift. But often these meetings are skipped due to the fast-paced nature of the restaurants, late attendees or irregular staffing. It’s vital to conduct staff meetings daily for efficiency and proper flow of operations. Also, ensure you have ample time for your staff meetings to answer any concerns or queries your employees may have at the end of the session. Lastly, treat all your employees equally during the meeting.

Personal Meetings:

Neglected by a lot of owners, personal meetings are one of the easiest ways to keep your employees happy. It’s the best way to communicate with individual employees to help them grow and learn about the problems they are facing if any. While discussing employee performance, remember to always start with positive things. Keep the communication friendly to boost the morale of your employees.

Tweaks:

Small changes can make significant differences. Changes like having an open-door policy can facilitate transparency and a better line of communication in your establishment. It will encourage your employees to talk with you without hesitation. Make sure your actions match your words so your employees know they can rely on you. Also, have an employee blueprint or guidebook they can refer to. When in doubt, it will help your employees work efficiently even if you are unavailable.

Personal Feedback:

Here we are finally giving feedback! Providing feedback is an excellent start to building relationships with your employees. But its more important to listen. You can learn more about your restaurant culture, the problems which occur and areas of improvement by just listening to your staff. Be open to the idea of listening to your own feedback. It will enhance how you communicate with your employees while learning what they expect from you.

Do you do things differently at your restaurant? Share your success story and empower others to do the same.