By Doug Radkey & David Klemt
Bar HacksFeb 08, 2022
Episode 104 with Simone Caporale
Simone Caporale, an internationally renowned bartender and operator, swings by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk spirits, branding, the guest experience, and operations.
Noticing a gap in the industry and seeing a way to lend his expertise to help grow spirits brands, Simone and Luca Missagli founded Cocktail Concierge, a brand-building agency focusing on craft spirits brands. One of the most recent brands Cocktail Concierge has helped introduce to the world is Amaro Santoni.
Of course, Simone is also one of forces behind SIPS Drinkery House, number three on the World's 50 Best Bars list, and the World's Best Bar according to Tales of the Cocktail. Simone shares his thoughts on what he thinks makes SIPS so successful, why he views service as a privilege, three tips operators can implement today to plant the seeds for long-term success, and more!
Amaro Santoni: https://www.amarosantoni.com/
Cocktail Concierge: https://www.cocktail-concierge.co.uk/
SIPS Drinkery House: https://www.instagram.com/sips.barcelona/
Simone Caporale: https://www.instagram.com/simonecaporale_/
Bar Hacks podcast: https://www.instagram.com/barhacks/
Episode 103 with Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, Part 2
Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr. Lyan, returns to the Bar Hacks podcast! Ten years ago, Ryan opened the first bar in what would become the Mr. Lyan empire, White Lyan. This innovative venue set the tone for Ryan and the team's approach to creating bars.
On this episode of the Bar Hacks podcast, Ryan shares details of the ten-year celebrations; what it means to him to have reached the ten-year operator milestone; lessons learned over the course of more than ten years running bars; what people can expect from the re-release of his book Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends, now with brand-new content and a new title, Mr Lyan’s Cocktails at Home: Good Things to Drink with Friends; and more! Cheers!
Be sure to visit the links below to keep up to date on the Mr. Lyan celebrations, pick up his new book, and connect with Bar Hacks and KRG Hospitality.
Mr. Lyan website: https://mrlyan.com/
Mr. Lyan Instagram: https://instagram.com/mrlyan/
Seed Library website: https://www.seedlibraryshoreditch.com/
Silver Lyan website: http://silverlyan.com/
Super Lyan website: http://superlyan.com/
Lyaness website: http://lyaness.com/
Mr Lyan’s Cocktails at Home: Good Things to Drink with Friends: https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Lyans-Cocktails-Home-Friends/dp/0711287635/
Bar Hacks Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/barhacks/
KRG Hospitality website: https://krghospitality.com/
Episode 102 with Jordan Bushell
Thank you for being patient during our summer hiatus. We're back with a great conversation with an awesome guest.
Global Hennessy brand ambassador Jordan Bushell returns to the Bar Hacks podcast. While Jordan may know people with more Cognac knowledge, we don't know anyone who knows more about this spirit category. More importantly, he's as generous with his time as he is knowledgeable about Cognac. If you have a question about the spirit of Hennessy you can reach out to him and he'll answer you.
On this episode of Bar Hacks, Jordan talks about special Hennessy releases, initiatives, collaborations, and what sets the maison apart from others in the Cognac region of France. He also talks about how operators can introduce guests to Cognac and Hennessy, including paying attention how they price their menus. Cheers!
Connect with Jordan on Instagram, along with Hennessy and Hennessy US. Learn more about Hennessy and their releases on their website. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and X, and with host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 101 with Ryan Chetiyawardana a.k.a. Mr. Lyan
Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr. Lyan, is one of the bar world's true visionaries. He opened his first bar, White Lyan, in 2013 and the venue immediately achieved its intended purpose. Beyond being an award-winning bar and one of London's best places to grab a drink, White Lyan started a much-needed conversation about sustainability in the industry.
Dandelyan, Lyaness, Super Lyan, Cub, and Silver Lyan would follow shortly after, making an even bigger splash not only in London but also Amsterdam and Washington, DC. All Mr. Lyan venues, while showcasing incredible innovation, accomplish something just as important: each bar is a place people to want to spend their time and money, and where professionals want to work.
During this fantastic conversation, Ryan shares insights into the menu programming processes at each venue; discusses seasonality; provides a look into hiring and engaging each team; the reissue of his book and his foray into the RTD cocktail space; and much more. Cheers!
Episode 100 with Tako Chang
We can hardly believe that we've reached 100 main episodes! Thank you so much for listening, supporting, spreading the word, and helping us reach this milestone. We're honored and humbled to be able to celebrate 100 episodes with you. To really mark this occasion, we're thrilled to bring you an amazing guest representing an incredible venue.
Tako Chang is the manager of brand marketing & PR communication for the award-winning Double Chicken Please in New York City. DCP has gone from a wandering pop-up concept touring the US in a VW bus to one of the hottest reservations to score in NYC, and has won several awards. For example, DCP achieved the number one spot on World's 50 Best Bars, North America list. And just days ago, DCP won the Spirited Award for World's Best Cocktail Menu.
During this chat, Tako shares her approach to building the DCP brand, going from zero hospitality industry experience to overseeing the front of house, how the guest experience and marketing relate to one another, ongoing team training, building an incredible team, and more.
Learn more about Double Chicken Please by visiting their website and following them on Instagram and Facebook. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 99 with Michele Mariotti
Bartender Michele Mariotti leads an illustrious career. He has worked behind the bars at some of the best hotels around the world, including the Savoy in London and Mandarin Oriental in Singapore.
As of 2020, Michele has held the title head of bars at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. In this role, he heads the programs at 11 F&B venues on the property, overseeing dozens of bar professionals.
On this episode, Michele and Bar Hacks podcast host David Klemt talk about mentorship, interviewing potential bartenders, menu development, using a flavor map when assigning new cocktail builds to bar team members, finding inspiration, interesting hotel guests, bespoke glassware, investing in platforms and programs that boost staff retention, and more.
Follow Michele on Instagram, and check out his podcast Unjiggered. Learn more about the Gleneagles on their website and Instagram. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 98 with Brooks Quinn
A few months back, Datassential released a report indicating that static photography is no longer the preference for social media consumers. Rather, video content appears to be king for engagement, sharing, and the potential to go viral.
That got us thinking: Who do we know who can help our audience produce video content? The answer: videographer Brooks Quinn!
On this episode of the Bar Hacks podcast, Brooks shares his insight into succeeding with video content, from devices to experimentation. Providing a real-world example all of us can understand, Brooks discusses the videos he shoots with industry icon Bob Peters. And for those of us who would rather outsource this task, he provides insight into finding someone to shoot your video content.
Episode 97 with Dragos Axinte
Dragos Axinte, the founder of Novo Fogo Organic Cachaça, returns to the Bar Hacks podcast. Axinte and Novo Fogo have been very busy since episode 60, his first appearance on the pod.
On this episode, Axinte shares the details and stories behind three important Novo Fogo initiatives and partnerships: Tree-keeper, with Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, the Un-endangered Forest, and the brand's new Chief Alegria Officers (ChAOs), Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, also known as SOFI TUKKER.
The two also discuss Axinte's approach to partnerships—a philosophy that will serve operators and entrepreneurs very well—as well as distiller's "discovering" amburana wood finishing. And, of course, Axinte shares product news and insights. If you're headed to Tales of the Cocktail this year, you're in for some incredible news. This conversation spans several topics and Axinte always imparts wisdom when he speaks in approachable and helpful ways.
To connect with Novo Fogo, please follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. While you're connecting with Novo Fogo on Instagram, be sure to follow Dragos Axinte, Stefan Frei and the Seattle Sounders, and SOFI TUKKER as well. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 96 with Lynnette Marrero
You know about RTDs, but what about RTEs? Lynnette Marrero returns to the Bar Hacks podcast, dialing in from a very cool hybrid restaurant-work concept in Cincinnati to talk about Delola, the recently launched premium ready-to-enjoy cocktail brand.
The House of Delola was founded by Jennifer Lopez with the mission of launching premium, sophisticated RTE cocktails. The core lineup consists of three spritzes crafted in collaboration with bartending, mixology, and hospitality icon Lynnette Marrero. A truly collaborative effort, Lynnette created bold yet refreshing spritzes that resonate with JLo's party personality, Lola.
Delola L'Orange Spritz is unique in the RTD space as it's crafted with amaro. Lynnette's Delola "baby," Bella Berry Spritz, is made with vodka. And Paloma Rosa Spritz uses premium tequila as its base. Not just another celebrity spirits brand, Delola is as hardworking as JLo and Lynnette. Consider the labor issues facing operators and then consider what three RTEs can do to save time while generating revenue and elevating the guest experience.
To learn more about Delola, visit the website and connect on Instagram. To keep up with Lynnette Marrero, visit her website and be sure to give her a follow. She always has something (or several somethings) going on and you don't to miss out. For example, as Lynnette mentions on this episode, there's also her collaboration on a non-alcohol brand, Aplós.
Episode 95 with Bob Peters
We know it's been a few weeks. Between client projects and trade shows we had to take a little break. But we're back!
And to make our absence up to you, our loyal listeners, we're bringing you a great chat with an awesome guest. Bob Peters returns to the Bar Hacks podcast for episode 95!
Bob has big news to share, and you can hear in his voice how excited he is to share it with everyone. He's taking on the perfect role. In fact, he calls it his dream job during this episode. Cocktails and cuisine are about to get even better in North Carolina and South Carolina...
But it doesn't stop there! Bob also shares his approach to bar training to make sure everyone is engaged; his assessment of the Charlotte dining and drinking scene; a simple step all restaurants and bars can take today to improve operations, team engagement, and the guest experience; a very cool project he's taking on; and more.
Be sure to follow Bob on Instagram. And while you're there, please follow the Goodyear House, Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails, and American Cocktail Club. Trust us—just do it. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 94 with Austen Asadorian and Brian Harper
Austen Asadorian, senior vice president of sales at SevenRooms, and Brian Harper, partner and senior vice president of sales and marketing at Competitive Social Ventures, drop by the Bar Hacks podcast. Hospitality industry heavyweight SevenRooms entered into a partnership with growing hospitality group CSV at the end of 2022.
During this conversation the trio discuss what motivates SevenRooms to pursue partnerships with people, groups, and brands; why the reservation, waitlist, and guest retention platform is valuable for all operations, from single-unit independents to regional, national, and global restaurant and hotel groups; and why the company's marketing tools should appear to operators; and much more.
On the CSV side of this conversation, Brian Harper discusses what attracted the group to SevenRooms; the three brands—Fairway Social, Roaring Social, and Pickle and Social—underneath the CSV umbrella; plans for growth and expansion; and more.
To learn more about SevenRooms, check out the platform's website and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out Competitive Social Venues on their website, and connect with them on LinkedIn and Facebook. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 93 with Adrián Michalčík
In September 2022, Adrián Michalčík earned the title of Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year. Colloquially, this achievement is known as the Best Bartender in the World. That's a bold and weighty mantle but as you'll learn during this conversation, Adrián is humble and focused on his team and guests.
Adrián is the director of mixology at the award-winning Pier 42 inside the Amerikalinjen hotel in Oslo, Norway. The bar has been recognized by the World's 50 Best and has won Best Bar of Norway twice. In addition to taking home the title of 2022 Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Adrián has won several bartending competitions throughout the years.
He popped by the Bar Hacks podcast to chat with host David Klemt about his bartender journey. Adrián has worked in several types of bars and each helped him develop the skills that allowed him to elevate his skills behind the bar. Mentors, his endless quest for knowledge, his passion for hosting others, and his focus on empathy have informed his approach to team building, delivering top-level hospitality, and tapping into his creativity to develop Pier 42's cocktail menus.
Adrián shares the three pillars he believes great bars are built upon, what he looks for in bar team members, transforming people from guests to friends, the importance of storytelling, and much more.
To connect with Adrián and learn more, follow him on Instagram and visit his website. To check out Pier 42, click here. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 92 with Anand Virmani
We had the honor of sitting down with Anand Virmani, CEO of NAO Spirits and master distiller for Hapusa Gin, the world's first Dry Himalayan Gin. NAO also produces Greater Than, the distillery's first spirit and a traditional London Dry Gin.
Anand shares his path through the beverage alcohol world and running a coffee, wine, and cocktail bar of his own. He also explains how he learned about distillation, who his mentor is, and how he approaches educating bar teams on both Greater Than and Hapusa. These are two incredible spirits that embody a real sense of culture: Greater Than is India's first craft gin, and NAO introduced the world the first-ever Himalayan Dry Gin with Hapusa, a gin designed to be "garnished with time."
To learn more, please check out the NAO Spirits website, and be sure to hit Instagram to follow Greater Than Gin and Hapusa Gin. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 91 with Charles Joly
Industry icon, bar educator, entrepreneur, and bartender Charles Joly drops by the Bar Hacks podcast to chat with host David Klemt. The two discuss Charles' start and his journey from the trenches to opening Chicago's Drawing Room, and also his role at the city's legendary Aviary. Charles also talks about Crafthouse Cocktails, the premium ready-to-serve brand, and his barware label Crafthouse by Fortessa. Interestingly, his love of bar history and vintage barware design not only informs his own designs, it manifests in Telltail Vintage, his Instagram shop. Not one to sit still for long, Charles is also involved in craft ice startup Abstract Ice.
The conversation also touches on spirits categories that appear to be dominating or otherwise seeing a big lift; advice for aspiring career bartenders; and advice for operators who want to succeed in today's restaurant and bar world.
Episode 90 with Mark Sansom
Mark Sansom, content director for the World's 50 Best Bars, drops by the Bar Hacks podcast to share some big news. After years of dialing in the process and waiting out the pandemic, the World's 50 Best Hotels will be revealed at a ceremony in September 2023! If you haven't watched or attended a World's 50 Best Bars ceremony, they truly take great pains to ensure they're the Oscars of bar awards. So, we expect the World's 50 Best Hotel awards ceremony to blow us out of the water.
This list and its accompanying specialty awards completes the hospitality and travel puzzle. Restaurants and bars, after all, are inextricably intertwined with hotels and resorts. Mark shares the details of the World's 50 Best Hotels Academy Chairs, voting panel, and voting process in this episode. As a bonus, you'll also get to hear host David Klemt try and fail to say "inaugural awards" without any issue!
Visit the World's 50 Best Hotels to learn more, and be sure to connect on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. To listen to Mark Sansom's first Bar Hacks appearance, click here. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with host David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 89 with Doug Radkey
Doug Radkey, co-founder and president of KRG Hospitality, stops by the Bar Hacks. Not only is Doug the co-founder and president of KRG, he's also the author of the book Bar Hacks and its followup Hacking the New Normal, and the creator of the Bar Hacks podcast.
During his visit, Doug and David talk about their expectations for 2023, what KRG is working on in the new year so far, the importance of technology in hospitality, and dynamic pricing versus dynamic menus. Doug also shares his thoughts on what operators can work on starting today to position themselves for success in 2023 and beyond.
Follow Doug and KRG on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Learn more about KRG Hospitality here, and connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 88 with Ronnen Goren & John Wilson
Bar Hacks podcast host David Klemt speaks with Ronnen Goren, co-founder and director, and John Wilson, design director, from Studio Ongarato. This international design firm with offices in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Toronto specializes in concept branding, placemaking, and wayfinding. There are several valuable takeaways from this conversation. One standout takeaway comes from Goren, who asks, "What's the souvenir?" of a particular concept. Another comes from Wilson, who says, "Everything is an opportunity to create an impression." Oh, and did you know that Australia is currently embroiled in a gelato war?
As the experiential becomes increasingly crucial to the hospitality industry, operators need to look at their concepts through the lens of creativity and opportunity. In doing that, operators can see where they can impress their guests, leave them with a "souvenir" or two from their experience, and keep them coming back to discover more.
Learn more about Studio Ongarato via their website and Instagram. To check out the bistro Goren and Wilson mention during this episode, click here for the Loulou Bistro Instagram. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 87 with Marbet Lewis
Attorney Marbet Lewis, a founding partner and team manager of the alcohol industry group of Spiritus Law, calls into the Bar Hacks podcast to speak with co-host David Klemt. Since 2004, Marbet has focused on serving the alcohol and hospitality industries. So, she had a front row seat to the rise and eventual proliferation of the experiential hospitality or "eatertainment" trend.
Marbet and David talk about how she got her start in law, challenges inherent to opening an eatertainment venue, and which sports and activities are proving most popular with guests. For example, Topgolf, Puttshack, and Puttery are performing quite well in Southern Florida. That makes sense when one considers the popularity of golf in general throughout Florida.
To learn more, visit Spiritus Law and connect with the firm on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 86 with Rob Lewis
After everything our industry has been through the past few years and the current struggles operators and hospitality professionals continue to face today, it's wise to look for different business models. One model operators should consider (particularly new, independent, and small chain operators) is the food hall.
Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt sits down with Rob Lewis, founder of Spiritus Law, to discuss the opportunities that food halls can provide. Because Spiritus Law focuses on the hospitality industry, Rob Lewis and his fellow attorneys (and team of paralegals, clerks, and administrators) are well acquainted with the challenges and benefits of each type of restaurant, bar, and entertainment venue. And when we set aside preconceived notions—like food halls being the same as outdated mall food courts or school cafeterias—we can really see how entering the industry in different ways can help drive down costs while leveraging traffic to boost revenue and longevity.
To learn more, visit the Spiritus Law website. Connect with Spiritus on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 85 with Richard Patrick
We sat down with Richard Patrick, the co-founder of Mississippi's oldest legal distillery. There are two facts you may find surprising about Mississippi. One, the state didn't repeal prohibition fully until 1966. And two, Mississippi didn't get their first legal distillery until 2010. That's the year Richard Patrick and Austin Evans opened the doors of Cathead Distillery and introduced people to their first spirit: the flagship Cathead Vodka.
On this episode we dive into Mississippians' reactions to finally having a legal distillery in the state, how Cathead approaches growth and philanthropy, and some of the spirits the distillery produces. One of those spirits is 2022 Old Soul Bourbon Single Barrel, characterized by cherry, vanilla and maple syrup on the nose; vanilla, hazelnut, and leather on the palate; and a finish of dark chocolate and toffee. You'll also learn more about Cathead Vodka, Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Bristow Gin, and more.
Be sure to check out the Cathead Distillery website and connect with the brand on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Click here to learn more about the restaurant Richard mentions on this episode, The Manship in Jackson, Mississippi. And connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 84 with Roberta Mariani
Bar Hacks host David Klemt sits down with Roberta Mariani, Global Brand Ambassador for MARTINI. The two discuss a range of topics, including Roberta's journey through hospitality, lessons learned working at some of the best hotels in London and opening Bar Tremini in Soho, the guest experience, aperitivo culture, and more. Roberta and David also discuss why now might be the best time to introduce guests to Aperitivo Hour as an alternative to Happy Hour, the Negroni Sbagliato "controversy," MARTINI's Non-Alcoholic range, and the cocktails need to put on their menus to bring aperitivo culture into their restaurants, bars, and hotels.
Make sure to keep up with everything aperitivo and MARTINI by following Roberta on Instagram and connecting with MARTINI. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 83: National Bourbon Heritage Month Roundup
Ah, the wonders of technology. We had planned a different episode for today now that Bar Hacks podcast co-host David Klemt is back from a trip to Colorado and Oktoberfest at Vail. However, we finally experienced the dreaded unsalvageable recording for the first time since the podcast's inception.
However, all is not lost! After all, it's still September and that means it's still National Bourbon Heritage Month in the US. That got us thinking: We've had the honor of speaking with some of the most dynamic and informative personalities in the bourbon and hospitality worlds. So, we've rounded up some of our favorite entertaining and educational moments from five bourbon-focused Bar Hacks episodes.
In this roundup you'll hear from Megan Breier, Michael Toscano, Anthony "Terry" Bohlinger, Lynn House (the 2022 Best US Brand Ambassador Spirited Award winner!), and Theo Rutherford. Connect with Doug Radkey, KRG Hospitality, Bar Hacks, and host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 82 with Mark Sansom
Ahead of the big ceremony on October 4, Mark Sansom stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to speak with co-host David Klemt about the World's 50 Best Bars. As the content director for the World's 50 Best Bars, Sansom is uniquely qualified to speak about several aspects of arguably the most influential ranking of bars in the world. Sansom speaks about the impressive voting process, moving the World's 50 Best Bars ceremony to a new host city for the first time ever, the Michter's Art of Hospitality award, the Blend Scholarship, and much more.
Numbers 100 to 51 of the World's 50 Best Bars will be announced on September 27, which people can watch free on Instagram Live. On October 4, the World's 50 Best Bars presents bars 50 to number one. Before these two big announcements, make sure to check out the World's 50 Best Discovery bar and restaurant tool.
To learn more, vist the World's 50 Best Bars website and connect on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Also, follow Mark Sansom on Instagram and Twitter. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 81 with Paul Mathew
Paul Mathew, bartender, bar owner, and founder of Everleaf, sits down with Bar Hacks podcast co-host David Klemt. In this fun and informative episode, Paul shares his journey through bartending and bar ownership, and his entry into the drinks business. Non-alcoholic aperitif brand Everleaf is the culmination of Paul's many years as a conservationist botanist, knowledge of plants, and nearly 30 years in the bar business.
The Everleaf portfolio consists of three unique expressions and a new RTD line. Within the next few weeks, Everleaf will begin distribution throughout the United States, and there are plans for Canada and Australia in the future. To learn more, vist the Everleaf website and follow Everleaf on Instagram and Facebook. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 80 with Chef Kayla Robison
It's the 100th episode of Bar Hacks! We thrilled to bring you our 80th regular episode, which joins 20 bonus episodes. Obviously, we had to bring you an awesome guest to celebrate this milestone and thank all of you for helping make this possible.
We sit down and have a great chat with Chef Kayla Robison, the executive chef at Arnold's Bar and Grill in Cincinnati, Ohio. Arnold's is the city's longest-running restaurant with over 160 years of operation under its belt. In addition, Chef Kayla is a Chopped champion and Guy's Grocery Games champ.
Chef Kayla shares her journey through the culinary world, talks about culinary school, shares tips for nurturing a positive work culture, mentoring members of the back-of-house team, reveals the secrets to making the perfect burger, identifies the culinary trends she's excited about and which ones she wishes would disappear, and so much more. You absolutely do not want to miss this episode!
Connect with Chef Kayla Robison on Instagram via her amazing handle @commandernbeef and check out the Arnold's Bar and Grill website. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 79 with Chris Parker
Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt chats with Chris Parker about Barfly by Mercer, an independent bar tool manufacturer passionate about providing bar professionals with high quality, long-lasting products priced fairly. Parker is the national sales manager at Barfly which means he travels, visits trade shows and bars, and gets feedback directly from bartenders. Like chefs, bartenders, as we know, aren't shy about sharing their true opinions on how a tool feels and performs.
On this episode, Chis goes over the impressive Barfly portfolio in depth; reveals the brand's best-selling tools and finishes; shares his thoughts on what tools operators need per bar station as well as what to budget; what sets Barfly apart from other manufacturers; and more.
To learn more and connect with Barfly by Mercer, check them out on their website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 78 with Nico Romano
Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt sits down with Nico Romano, a partner at Spiritus Law, to discuss inflation and recession, negotiating with landlords, contract clauses, and more. Nico the firm’s real estate practice, focusing on the laws governing business and transactional matters, including real estate, financial services, infrastructure and development, hospitality, and public/private partnerships. He also handles alcohol beverage matters.
Importantly, Nico has also worked in the hospitality space, invested in this business, and been a landlord in the past. In fact, one of the leases he negotiated was for a restaurant owned by his family. In other words, Nico is one of us and Spiritus is the firm to go for if an owner or operator has legal questions or needs an attorney.
Connect with Nico on LinkedIn and learn more by visiting Spiritus Law. To connect with Spiritus, follow the firm on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 77 with Guy Lawrence
Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt sits down with Guy Lawrence, CEO of Brockmans Gin. Guy brings over three decades of drinks industry experience to the table, so he was the obvious choice when Brockmans co-founder Neil Everitt was ready to step back from being CEO. This year, Lawrence and the small but dedicated and talented team he leads achieved one million bottles sold worldwide over the span of twelve months. That feat is all the more stunning given the past two-plus years, the fact that Brockmans consists of just ten people, and the brand is truly independent.
During this conversation, Guy and David discuss what sets Brockmans apart from other gins, the important role operators and bartenders play in Brockmans growth, the best ways to enjoy this super-premium gin, analyzing need states, and more.
To learn more, visit Brockmans.com. To connect with Brockmans, follow the brand on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Connect with the Bar Hacks podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and with David @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 76 with Jim Taylor
Jim Taylor, the founder and CEO of BenchmarkSixty, speaks with Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt to talk about the employee experience. As we're all well aware, the hospitality industry is facing a severe labor shortage. Moreover, we're also in the midst of the Great Resignation, inflation, the threat of a recession... In other words, how people view work is changing. Operators must change their leadership styles to fit with the times or perish.
Taylor addresses the need for operators to review their team's workload, innovative ways to improve the employee experience, and more! Click here to learn more about BenchmarkSixty, and click here to connect with BenchmarkSixty on Instagram. To connect with the Bar Hacks podcast, visit @barhacks, and connect with David at @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 75 with Andres Faustinelli
Bar Hacks host David Klemt sits down with Master Blender Andres Faustinelli to learn about new, bold, and innovative Canadian craft whisky brand BEARFACE. Faustinelli shares his journey into distillation and blending, delving into what drew him to Canadian whisky production. Along the way, the BEARFACE master blender shares the details of Triple Oak, One Eleven, and Wilderness Series 01 expressions.
Throughout this conversation you'll learn why the BEARFACE Whisky approach is about experimentation and innovation, terroir and bold flavor profiles, removing snobbery from the whisky world, and crafting whisky with transparency as a core value. Faustinelli also blends with bartenders and cuisine in mind, to great effect. This is a newer and exciting brand you and your guests definitely need to try!
Visit BEARFACE to learn more, and make sure to connect with the brand on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To connect with the Bar Hacks podcast, visit @barhacks, and connect with David at @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 74 with David Vitale, Part 2
David Vitale, founder of Starward Whisky, returns from Australia and returns to the Bar Hacks podcast! The Australian whisky producer took home an incredible amount of medals from the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. David tells host David Klemt what it was like to see the final award tally, how the Starward team reacted, and dove into the mission and vision of Starward Whisky.
The two also discuss the award-winning expressions that are either already available in the US or on their way to American shores. David shares the details of the Fortis, Octave Barrels, Unexpeated, and Dolce expressions. And for the single-barrel lovers out there, David also dives into the magic behind single barrel bottlings Nos. 684, 3278, and 4539. It's exciting to learn about the expressions joining Two-Fold, Nova, Solera, and Ginger Beer Cask #6.
Learn more about Starward Whisky on their website, and be sure to sign up for the newsletter. Follow Starward on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. To connect with the Bar Hacks podcast, visit @barhacks, and connect with David at @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 73 with The Tipple Tourist
Susie O. is back! She has a new brand, The Tipple Tourist, and Susie also pops by for an open discussion about an array of topics. Host David Klemt and Susie O. discuss what she's seeing in bars, restaurants and hotels during her recent travels. The two also talk about the importance of reservations for guests and operators, along with operators owning their business profiles on platforms such as Yelp and Google. Other topics in this far-reaching conversation include an interesting trend Susie O. has noticed among bars in Dallas, Texas; seating and other elements that influence restaurant and bar psychology; things for operators to consider during their soft openings, and more!
Make sure to follow Susie O.'s new Instagram page, The Tipple Tourist, and check out her website, too. To connect with the Bar Hacks podcast, visit @barhacks, and connect with David at @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 72 with Kellie Thorn & Lola Thomas
Kellie Thorn, beverage consultant and spirits educator, and Lola Thomas, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation program director, hop onto the Bar Hacks podcast to discuss a newly announced Tales committee. The TOTCF Grants Committee has undergone significant changes, evolving in its vision, mission, and scope. Thorn, co-chair of the new committee, and Thomas share the new name and crucial details.
Additionally, the duo provide some awesome details about the Tales of the Cocktail 2022, the 20th anniversary of this global spirits and hospitality industry event that takes place in New Orleans. Set a reminder to check the Tales of the Cocktail website on Monday, May 9, the day the schedule will be released and tickets will go on sale. You'll also want to seriously consider coming into NOLA on Sunday, July 24 for this year's event for Day of Service and Pig & Punch.
Learn more about the new TOTCF committee here, and be sure to visit the Tales website to stay up to date. Head to Instagram to connect with Kellie Thorn and Lola Thomas, Bar Hacks, and host David Klemt. Cheers!
Episode 71 with Donal O'Gallachoir
Glendalough Distillery co-founder, national brand ambassador, and bottlewasher Donal O'Gallachoir stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to explain what makes the distillery's whiskey and gin "remarkably different." Irish whiskey's history and heritage spans centuries and was once a global export enjoyed by royalty. Donal shares a few of the circumstances that led to roughly 2,000 registered distilleries (and nearly as many illicit producers) disappearing.
When Glendalough was founded in 2011, it became the fourth of fifth registered distillery in Ireland. Ever since they opened their doors, Glendalough has been on a mission to honor Irish distilling heritage and return Irish whiskey and gin to the top of their respective spirits categories.
Donal also shares the details of Glendalough's newest release, available just in time for St. Patrick's Day: batch number one of 7 Years Mizunara Finish. To learn more, visit the Glendalough Distillery website, and follow on Instagram and Facebook. Connect with Donal on LinkedIn and Instagram, and with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram. Sláinte!
Episode 70: Bar Hacks Bonus Roundup: Leadership & Operations
Doug Radkey, founder of KRG Hospitality, is speaking at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. To celebrate the return of in-person industry trade shows, we've gathered five Bar Hacks bonus episodes in which Doug discusses operations, branding, leadership qualities, and more.
For even more inspiration, insights and advice, pick up Doug's books Bar Hacks and Hacking the New Normal. And make sure to head over to KRG Hospitality to sign up for our newsletter for four articles, one podcast episode, and two book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
Episode 69: Revisiting Episode 27 with Armon Noori
We're nearing Tax Day, which takes place Monday, April 18 this year. In light of that and the unique tax preparation needs of hospitality professionals, we're revisiting episode 27 of the Bar Hacks podcast:
Host David Klemt speaks with Armon Noori, an incredible Las Vegas bartender who also has a finance degree and an entrepreneurial spirit. Armon opened a tax preparation and financial services company called Industry Financial Services this with the mission of helping his fellow industry peers.
Go to www.IFSLV.com today and start your tax return. Connect with Industry Financial Solutions on Instagram and Facebook. To connect with with the Bar Hacks podcast, visit @barhacks, and connect with David at @david.ex.machina. Cheers!
Episode 68 with Jordan Bem and Hanna Bem
David Klemt sits down with Jordan and Hanna Bem, the sibling co-founders of Moliving. This unique brand is seeking to democratize the ultra-luxury hotel space through technology, mobility, and a truly unique approach. And in doing so, Moliving is also changing the hospitality real estate space. In this episode you'll hear from the founders as they explain the inspiration that ultimately led to the creation of Moliving, what the brand brings to the table in partnerships, the impact of their sustainable construction and transportation practices, how they deliver an ultra-luxury hotel and resort experience, and much more.
Episode 67 with David Allison, Pt. 2
David Allison, founder of The Valuegraphics Project, returns to the podcast to discuss how restaurant operators can target their guests' values to become a more magnetic brand. We're all—every one of us around the world—driven by our values. Operators who identify and speak to their target audience's values significantly increase guest loyalty. In turn, they increase traffic and revenue, positioning themselves and their brands for long-term success. Understanding values also helps us to understand that we all have a lot more in common than we may think. While David isn't suggesting that we reject demographics and psychographics, he does believe we need to eschew demographic stereotypes. Instead, we need to become more engaging and magnetic through a combination of values, demographics, and psychographics, with values at the apex.
Episode 66 w/ Camila Soriano & Chris Wirth
Dynamic entrepreneurial duo Camila Soriano and Chris Wirth, founders of Volley Tequila Seltzer, drop by the Bar Hacks podcast to share the brand's story and innovations. As you'll hear in this informative episode, Volley isn't just any tequila seltzer—this brand crafts the world's first clean tequila seltzer. Volley is made with 100-percent blue agave tequila, sparkling water, and organic juice—that's it. And along with giving back to the planet, Soriano and Wirth are attempting to change the beverage alcohol industry through more transparent labeling. In this episode you'll find that being more transparent on a label is more challenging than you'd think. Soriano and Wirth give insights into the Volley brand, natural and artificial flavors, nutrition information and labels, new packaging, and more.
Episode 65 with Eileen Wayner
Eileen Wayner, CEO of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, returns to the Bar Hacks podcast! Eileen shares details of the 20th anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail—taking place this year in New Orleans from July 25 through July 29—including: the Cocktail Apprentice Program (a.k.a. the Red Coats), the return of the Spirited Awards, the Dame Hall of Fame, TOTC's new host hotel, why people who haven't attended a Tales should plan to come this year, and more. We hope to see you in New Orleans in July for the 20th anniversary of Tales, y'all!
Learn more on the Tales of the Cocktail website and follow Tales on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to date on dates and developments. Connect with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 64 with Neil Grosscup
Neil Grosscup, CEO and Master Blender of Tanteo Tequila, stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to tell the story of the only tequila distillery owned by its co-op of agave farmers. Neil shares the Tanteo mission, the six rules he asks team members to adhere to, and the importance the brand places on economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
For example, the second annual National Spicy Margarita Day takes place Wednesday, January 26. Not only does this holiday honor Tanteo founder Jonathan Rojewski, the day is also a way for the brand to give back. Around 150 venues are participating in 2022 and $1 from every Tanteo cocktail will go to initiatives like waterway cleanup. In addition, Tanteo will donate $1 for every social media post tagged #NationalSpicyMargDay.
Episode 63 with David Vitale
David Vitale, founder of Starward Whisky, pops by the Bar Hacks podcast to chat with co-host David Klemt. He shares his journey into whisky distillation and how craft beer brewing plays a significant role. The two also discuss Australian whisky, making inroads throughout North America, and why Starward expressions work so well with food and food programs. In this episode you'll also find out which Starward whisky David Vitale calls the "Swiss Army knife of whiskies," which makes the perfect Manhattan, Starward Solera, and more.
You can connect with David Vitale on Instagram. Be sure to swing by the Starward website and follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Connect with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Bar Hacks Bonus Roundup: Goals
We're kicking off 2022 and season three of the Bar Hacks podcast with a roundup of five Bar Hacks Bonus episodes from Doug Radkey. These five early bonus episodes will give you the inspiration to change your mindset and improve your leadership skills to set and attain effective, measurable goals this year. For even more inspiration, insights and advice, pick up Doug's books Bar Hacks and Hacking the New Normal. And make sure to head over to KRG Hospitality to sign up for our newsletter for four articles, one podcast episode, and two book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
Episode 61 with Elise Cordell, Pt. 2
We're excited to have Elise Cordell back for our first-ever in-person podcast recording, with all-new equipment. This episode is probably the closest thing you'll get to a Master Class in luxury wines considering the amount of information Elise is able to share in such a short period of time. Elise and David discuss still and sparkling wines within the Pernod Ricard portfolio, an actual definition for luxury wines, why luxury doesn't need to be expensive or exclusive, converting people into loyal repeat guests, and overcoming wine intimidation. As Elise says, even industry professionals can be intimidated by wine.
Connect with Elise via Instagram, and learn more about the brands discussed in this episode: Kenwood Vineyards, Campo Viejo, Mumm Napa, GH Mumm, and Perrier-Jouët. Connect with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 60 with Dragos Axinte
Dragos grew up in Romania idolizing the legendary Pelé, moved to America at the age of 18 and attended the University of Washington, and finally visited Pelé's home country of Brazil. He fell in love with the country, its people, and the culture. Eventually, the entrepreneurial Dragos would found Novo Fogo Cachaça, becoming a part of the local community of producers and an advocate for Brazil, organic production, sustainability, and ethical operations. This year, Novo Fogo released the world's first carbon neutral spirit. Dragos stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to share the Novo Fogo story, demystify sustainability and carbon offsets, share the news of new products, and more.
To learn more about carbon offsets and the projects Dragos mentions during this episode, visit Native.eco. Learn more about the trees Dragos talks about (an integral part of the Novo Fogo process and our planet's health), click here.
Visit the Novo Fogo website and connect on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also connect with Dragos on Instagram, and connect with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram. Cheers!
Episode 59 with Theo Rutherford
Whiskey expert, spirits judge, and sommelier Theo Rutherford stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk about Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon, a prominent addition to the Deutsch Family of wine and spirits. Theo shares the Bib & Tucker brand story, what sets the brand apart from other bourbons, and why the 6 Year expression appeals to all categories of whiskey drinkers. He also shares tips for tasting bourbon, including how easily Bib & Tucker wins over non-whiskey drinkers. Listen now to learn why Theo wants you to smell everything and stop swirling your whiskey at tastings.
Check out Bib & Tucker to learn more, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Connect with Theo on Instagram, including his page Bob Ross Bar Hunt. Be sure to connect with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram as well. Cheers!
Episode 58 with Ivy Mix and Conor McKee
Ivy Mix returns to the Bar Hacks podcast with Conor McKee, a partner in her off-premise endeavor FIASCO Wine and Spirits. Mix, McKee and third partner Piper Kristensen signed FIASCO's lease a month before the pandemic halted life as we knew it in its tracks. So, they spent the next several months doing demolition and renovation. This conversation highlights the importance of partnering with the right people, even if that means having different partners for different projects; setting aside ego to ask partners who may know more about your new business than you; and leveraging your shared experience to deliver the best service possible to your clientele. If you've wondered about taking your on-premise experience to the off-premise space, this is a can't-miss episode!
Note: The following links will take you to the bottles mentioned by Mix and McKee: Haarmeyer Wine Cellars Calaveras Chenin Blanc. Watershed Distillery Nocino. Ben Haines Marsanne Flowers Flor 2011. Condessa Gin. Neversink Spirits Select Cask Finished Bourbon Whiskey.
Episode 57 with Collin De Laval
Código 1530 not only has an intriguing story, the brand values authenticity and heritage. Company mixologist Collin De Laval stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to share the Código 1530 story with co-host David Klemt. The two discuss Código's notable past, handmade approach to their entire production process, innovative products, unique foray into mezcal, shooting high-end spirits, and more.
Episode 56 with Maxime Lecocq
Maxime Lecocq, Pernod-Ricard USA Prestige sales manager for Las Vegas, comes by the Bar Hacks podcast to discuss the explosion in popularity of luxury spirits. Luxury, premium and ultra-premium spirits and wines have been growing in demand steadily for the past several years. Maxime shares tips for working with brand and portfolio reps, which categories are seeing the most consumer interest, notable bottles in each category, Champagne, preparing for New Year's Eve (hint: finalize your plans ASAP!), and more!
Follow Maxime and Pernod-Ricard USA on Instagram, along with Martell, The Glenlivet, Avión, GH Mumm, and Perrier-Jouët. Check out and connect with Bar Hacks and host David Klemt on Instagram as well. Cheers!
Episode 55 with Jennifer Romas
Hospitality and entertainment don't just have parallels, they're inextricably connected. Co-host David Klemt chats with Jennifer Romas, founder, producer, and choreographer of—and performer in—Las Vegas revue Sexxy the Show. Performers and hospitality professionals have a lot in comon, not least of which is the passion that drives them to do what they do. Jennifer is deepening her connection to hospitality by adding to her brand and launching her own vodka. Follow Jennifer Romas on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Connect with Sexxy the Show on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to connect with host David Klemt on Instagram, and follow the Bar Hacks IG as well. Cheers!