The Art of Tasting

Creating a Flavor Symphony

Whether eating, cooking, or creating a cocktail, the art of learning how to methodically taste all the elements of a dish can be something that lasts a lifetime and can be used daily.  Try following this outline taught to me by a renowned Hungarian Chef.

Let me explain.  First, you must learn how to interpret what you are tasting and then you can enhance and perfect the taste.  This same procedure can be used when creating a dish or a cocktail to make sure that it is well-balanced, full-bodied, and has flair.

Think about it as an artist would create a painting: The background of the picture is the depth or the base of dish, the middle ground is the storyline, or flavor accents, and around the edge (and sprinkled throughout) are the highlights.  The highlights give style and personality to the dish while dancing around and giving sizzle to the finished piece.  Then lastly, think about tying this all together as an exciting work of art.

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Why Boutique Hotels Need Amazing Restaurants

Your hotel can be super cool, well-decorated, in a great location, and have lots of interesting amenities, but it will always come down to the personality and charm of your food and beverage operations that will develop loyal and passionate followers.


Let’s look at what a boutique hotel is, who stays there, and why?  A boutique hotel is typically smaller--under 200 rooms.  It is often in an urban environment, although not always [there are many wonderful boutique resorts], with each hotel having individual personality, including chic, eclectic, and interesting décor and features that make the experience different.  The service tends to be individualized and more connected, where small differentiators and points of service make it stand out.



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How Can The Craft Cocktail Culture can increase revenues?

We hear a lot of craft cocktail questions. What are they exactly? What does that mean? Is it a fad that will go away? I actually see it becoming even bigger as more and more locations understand the impact they have on their overall operation. People got bored with the old stand-by cocktails like a Cosmopolitan, Lemon Drop, or Margarita. These drinks generally have lots of vodka, are sweet and colorful with fancy names, but light on flavor! Educated and adventurous guests are seeking out more depth and refinement in their glass.


Bars that are passionate about real crafted cocktails can show a dramatic increase in traffic, both in food and beverage areas. Having a strong Craft Cocktail Culture demonstrates your passion for the authentic and for flavor. It shows to the world that you take your business seriously. This is how restaurants develop a solid reputation; people do talk and will recommend your establishment based on the level of skill and sophistication. Generally speaking, this will attract more traffic to the bar, which will in turn, bring more traffic to the restaurant. 

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What to demand from a property audit

Three results you should demand


Some hotels and restaurants spend thousands of dollars every year on property evaluations. Some are required by the brand, the ownership, or other third party. Some are better than others, and many bring little to no value to the property. You are paying a lot for these visits - you should expect more from them.


What are you getting for you money?  Passing you audit is often the only real goal.  What should you really expect from a good property audit? A lot of money is invested in you and your establishment, and a lot is expected. What would be the outcome if you could increase revenues by 3%? If you can save 5% on the bottom line? If you can increase the level of satisfaction, you can double those numbers. How would that effect your life, your ownership, your staff, and most importantly, guests?



You should expect to find out answers to these 3 questions:


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10 Reasons Why Your Hotel Needs An Awesome Restaurant!

10 reasons why you want to have a great restaurant in your great hotel!


Many folks spend many hours discussing the virtues of having a great restaurant in your hotel. Here are my top ten reasons to support having great Food and Beverage venues:



1.         Charisma - It gives your hotel personality, it is the face of your hotel, and is brings life to your hotel, it makes it more than just a square box with rooms!


2.         Revenue -  Food and Beverage can add substantial revenue to your operation. Many successful hotel restaurants produce more F&B revenue than Rooms revenue. I understand it is not as profitable; however, if you go into it with the right mindset, it can definitely deliver great results.



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What happened to Sunday Brunch?

Why has Sunday brunch disappeared in many of our great hotels and resorts?

The answer must be the profitability. Too often we are focused on trying to make sure that each event that we do contributes and is a profit center for the hotel while we should be looking at the big picture of what the food and beverage venues bring to the hotel.

F&B should be the face (the personality) of the hotel: one that makes each visit a memorable one, not a dull and uninspired meal where the guests eat out of necessity!  Dining out in your restaurant should be an experience, not a necessity. If we have pride and excitement about what we do, this will reflect on their experience and will result in having busy, lively, and memorable places for our guests to eat, drink, and be merry!

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It's all about the Sizzle!

Why do patrons go back to restaurants? Why do they recommend to their friends and post on social media? What does it really take to make a restaurant great? Sometimes it can be the food, often the service, and usually the atmosphere. More often than not, it is a combination of all of the above, sprinkled with a little extra SIZZLE!

Sizzle is what helps a restaurant stand apart from others and be successful! Let’s try to define Sizzle. If you review the trendy and popular restaurants, you will find that they all have something in common - that little special something, magic, or Sizzle, that makes all the difference.

Take the art world, for example. You can look at a painting, one that has lots of good qualities, is accurately painted, has a great background, has good color, depth, and even nice highlights, but it can be missing that magic that makes it pop! It can even be missing some of those qualities. But, if it has the Sizzle, it can make up for some shortcomings because it has something that sets it apart from the crowd.

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Who would you like to fire today?

Would do you like to fire someone today?


“It’s not the person you fail to hire that destroys your restaurant; it’s the person you fail to fire”. I read this last week and thought that it was all too true in many cases! We knew better but failed to act! The renowned Osmond’s song above implies one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch, but we know from experience, it’s quite the contrary.


In this world where we endeavor to be supportive and understanding, living in an environment where we never want to upset anyone, we sometimes miss the boat on what our staff really needs from us as leaders, and that is making those tough decisions. Believe me, the rest of the team usually knows what needs to be done and wonder why you are not addressing it.



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