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Welcome to the Hospitality Industry Blog
I blog ideas and facts relating to bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and anything hospitality related. I'll publish the latest industry news and loads of ideas to make you venue run smoothly for profit.

Personal Licence Course Exam Venues Added

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

MJR Morgan Ltd and National Hospitality Academy are pleased to be adding several more exam venues to it's ever growing portfolio. We already have more exams in more towns than any other single Personal Licence Training company in the UK and our list of clients is growing.

We have new Personal Licence Exams in Barking London, Oceana Leeds, Bessie Surtees House Newcastle, Oceana Kingston-Upon-Thames and The Brewhouse Cardiff

The Personal Licence Course remains completely FREE to access directly form our website and we have now added a mock exam, exactly as you would take the real one. Click the banner on our website to open.

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Professional Bartending (Cocktails)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Here at MJR Morgan we own and run the National Hospitality Academy and are fast becoming the go to place for training within the licensed retail industry.

Our latest course come in the form 3 day intensive training for budding mixologist's who want to take a qualification in the art.

It's the City Guilds level 2 Professional Bartending (Cocktails)course and will give trainees all they need to know to set them on the path t becoming our future fantastic bar tenders.

The course will be available UK wide from May 2014 and over 190 people are booked in across West Wales alone.

Foe information on the course and dates for your town call 02035442211
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Valentines day is nearly here

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Love is in the air! A bit of a after party following Christmas and New Years Eve, but hey, its the first real celebration of 2014 so embrace it. Valentine's Day can be one of the most profitable days in the bar and restaurant industry especially in the city. Customers are already looking to make bookings, so now is the perfect time to promote your bar or restaurant in a romantic way. How will you different? Here are a few suggestions to entice your customers with more than just chocolate, wine and flowers.

Decorate!!

Dress up your restaurant and your staff for a fancy evening. Change the mood with lighting, decorations, live music (jazz musicians or a swing singer. Gourmet meal options will offer a spin on your traditional day-to-day atmosphere. Turning off the television and providing a lounge area with plush, throw pillows is another way to promote an intimate ambiance.

Think about families.

Some couples don't have the luxury of spending the night alone and would if catered for prefer to celebrate the occasion as a family unit. You can appeal to this particular audience by offering a kid-friendly themed evening. Table games can be provided or you can host a trivia game throughout the evening that offers prizes to the family that wins. A prize option could include a returning gift certificate to your restaurant to for a future "date night" to encourage future visits.

Make a Night of It

If space is available, you can provide an area where couples can dance after a meal. Why not team up with a cinema, theatre or bowling ally to create a package.
You could even team up with a whole host of businesses. Team up with a hair dressers, nail designers etc and create a full day inclusive of a meal and drinks at your venue


Chemistry

For singles, Valentine's Day can be a dismal reminder of being alone. However, your restaurant or bar can capitalize on this by staging a singles night package deal that includes dinner, wine, dessert and an appetizer. This creates a sense of unity among a group. An open bar is also a great way to market yourself to this particular crowd. Get singles to register on your Facebook promo page for the night.

Whatever you do make it fun and get them tills ringing
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New Years Eve 2014

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

With Christmas still to come, New Year's Eve might seem far away. But in terms of party planning, it's right around the corner. If you want your bar or restaurant to have the most popular party in town, you'll need to start planning! Check out these tips on how to plan an amazing New Year's Eve party at your bar or restaurant.
1. Start planning yesterday.

People tend to make their New Year's Eve plans well in advance, so you need to have everything figured out early. Make your plans well ahead of New Year's Eve so that you'll have time to book everything you need. If you need a DJ or entertainer, make sure you grab them fast!
2. Promote it.

You want to make sure everyone knows that you're planning the best party in town, so be sure to promote it everywhere you can. Your social media accounts, inside your bar or restaurant, your website, radio ads, and even old-school fliers are all great ways to get the word out. Start your promotions early and be sure to mention what makes your party unique.
3. Make it special.

Remember, this isn't just another night out on the town. New Year's Eve only comes once a year, and your customers have big expectations. Make sure you give them a special night by doing something out of the ordinary. We're not saying you need to drop a giant ball at midnight like they do in Times Square, but think big.
4. Get your staff ready.

Be sure you have enough staff on hand to handle New Year's Eve. You may need to hire more people ahead of the holiday rush. Once you know that you have enough staff, make sure that everyone knows what they need to do on New Year's Eve. Explain everything to your staff ahead of time and then go over everything again on the day of the party. Everyone should know what their role is.
5. Have a schedule.

A lot of planning goes into a New Year's Eve party, so it's good to know exactly what will be happening. What time is your entertainment showing up? What about any deliveries? Do you need to have food ready or prepped ahead of time? When will your doors open? Make sure you know the answers to all of these questions.
6. Be ready early.

New Year's Eve is different than a typical night out. Since the party quickly winds down after the big moment at midnight, people tend to arrive earlier. In your preparations, make sure that you're ready for an early crowd.
7. Plan how you'll get guests to stay late.

Guests don't just show up earlier...they tend to leave earlier, too! If you don't want your guests to rush out right after the stroke of midnight, think of what you can do to entice them to stay later. Will your entertainment keep going post-midnight? Do you have any drink specials to offer?

Don't put off planning your New Year's Eve party. By following these tips, you can be sure to plan a great party that will keep your guests coming back in 2014.

Courtesy of the bar blogger… view more »

When you think of Christmas you think of the words like warm, comforting, and inviting? Well that's exactly what customers will expect from your customers at Christmastime.

So how do you make your venue attractive to customers for the Christmas? Your Christmas décor is one of the most important elements of your venues success in December. The atmosphere you create will be the difference between your customers seeing you as a party venue and a venue that will provide the words above. Are you a haven or just another run of the mill venue.

Holiday decorations do more than just create an atmosphere, however. They also encourage customers to book Christmas parties. Your Christmas decorations might seem like a small aspect of your business, but they can bring in big money!

But you probably don't have an endless amount of money to spend on Christmas decorations. In fact, you might be on a pretty tight budget! So how can you create the Christmas spirit without going bankrupt? Read on for some cheap ways to decorate your pub or restaurant this Christmas.

First, focus on changing up little things that have a big impact. Seasonal table cloths, napkins, and centerpieces don't have to be expensive, but they can make a huge difference in your dining room. Even better, you can buy ones that can be reused year after year.

You can also try switching out curtains, chair cushions, or any throw pillows you might keep in your waiting areas. Using Christmas colours (red and green, of course, or whatever fits with your holiday décor) will instantly make your venue look like it's ready for the holidays. Although these fixes might be a little more expensive than table cloths and napkins, they'll likely be reusable, meaning you can pull them out again next year at no cost.

Dressing up what you have is also an important tactic to save money. You probably already have some plants or pictures at your bar or restaurant, so there's no need to get rid of them for the holiday season. Simply add some Christmas flair. Place twinkle lights around your plants or on any surfaces and throw a garland or tinsel around your other decorations for a quick but festive fix.

And, speaking of twinkle lights, they're one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make everything look like Christmas. Lighting is essential when it comes to creating that warm, cozy Christmas feeling, and for most people that means twinkle lights.

I once stapled a whole hallway with twinkle white lights and covered it with thin net curtain material, to create the most amazing ice cave. Simple cheap and effective.

And remember for next year that you should buy decorations in January and February when they are at their cheapest.You can use these decorations over and over, which will save you a ton of money.

Remember: your decorations don't have to be fancy. Many people find simple decorations to be even more charming! Inexpensive decorations are often the most classic, and that's what many people want around the holidays. Keep these Christmas tips in mind as you decorate your bar or restaurant on a budget.… view more »

Wine Basics

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

With Christmas quickly approaching, there is no better time to start planning your Christmas dinner menu and selecting wines to complement the feast. Historically, the week before Christmas is a great time to buy wine as many wine merchants run specials on preferred wines.

The big question - which wines to go with the variety of tastes, textures and aromas that uniquely present themselves at Christmas. Should you choose one wine to carry you through appetizers to desserts - a tough request, but doable. Or should you choose several wines to accent different components of the meal and cater to a variety of guests' palates? The choice is entirely up to you, but here are some options to get you started.

Christmas Wine Pairings

From appetizers, to white and dark turkey meat, mashed potatoes, herb-filled stuffing, cranberry relish, pickled this and peppered that, is there truly a single wine that can take you seamlessly from start to finish? Enter, sparkling wines - an increasingly popular pairing partner, and not just for the holidays. Sparkling wines bring both elegance and phenomenal food-pairing versatility to virtually any meal, but with Christmas these wines really shine. The art of pairing wines with food is largely a matter of personal preference; however, some safe bets for Christmas wines are Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel for red wine lovers and Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier for those who prefer white wines. With white wines the pairing priority is finding a wine with well-balanced acidity, with reds you are shooting for fairly tame tannins that will yield to and support the flavors of the food.

Best Christmas White Wines

Riesling: A white wine that may either be bone dry or fairly sweet, excellent with any dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet. Whether from Alsace, Germany or Washington - Riesling wines are a top pick white wine for pairing with Christmas dinner. Riesling's innate flavors of apple, apricot, honey and its clarifying acidity give it a significant pairing edge with the likes of sweet potatoes, turkey meat and spice-laden or herb-filled stuffing.

Gewurztraminer: This white wine tends to have the aromatic gusto and spicy palate appeal that give it a solid standing with turkey and gravy, bringing out the best in both. Gewurztraminer offers a delicious white wine option for Christmas Day.

Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine is known for its citrus-based flavors that can be surrounded by herb or mineral undertones, making it a prime pairing candidate for turkey and mashed potatoes.

Pinot Grigio: Capable of handling garlic and onions, herbs and rich, flavorful, high-fat dishes, this white wine is a natural for the demands of Christmas Day.

Albarino and Viognier, while they may not boast the initial name recognition of say...Chardonnay, these white wine varietals, offer the perfect opportunity to shake up the Christmas table and take your guests on a little wine adventure, while still maintaining perfect pairing power.

Top Red Wine Christmas Options

Pinot Noir: This red wine is a traditional favorite for Christmas. Pinot Noir's subtle earthy undertones and often mushroom inspired flavors surround the fruit features of the wine and tend to show well with the traditional flavors of turkey and stuffing.

Zinfandel: A fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity from a Pinot Noir, but still maintains a balancing effect on many traditional Christmas side dishes. This would be a great wine pick for those looking for a heartier red wine with the capacity to accommodate spice, bitter and sweet flavor profiles.

Syrah/Shiraz: The Syrah grape can bring a spicy edge or a meaty character to the table often increasing the complexity, while graciously handling the cornucopia of flavors in a traditional Christmas meal. The prevalent peppery notes of Syrah will partner well with the herb-infused stuffing and both the white and dark turkey meat.

Beaujolais Nouveau: A light, fruity red wine, from the Gamay grape, that goes quite well with turkey and all of the fixings. This wine is released from France on the third Thursday of November, just in time to highlight your Thanksgiving feast!

Rosé and Sherry wines, along with the aforementioned sparkling wine category are also worthy of consideration for Christmas wine pairing potential. They all provide a capable go between for those that are not firmly camped in either the red or white wine trenches. If you are considering a sparkling wine you may choose one labeled as "extra dry" - which will offer a touch more fruit flavor than a "brut." As for rosé wines, a drier selection will be the most versatile for pairing with virtually any part of the Christmas feast. Keep in mind that if you are hosting 5 or 50 guests this Christmas that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to offer a lovely selection of wines. There are many well-received, well-rated value wines that you can obtain for £8 or less.… view more »

Managing Your Bar

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Managing a bar is tough work. You're in charge of making sure that everything's running smoothly, and it can be a lot to handle! But by keeping these tips in mind, you can make managing more manageable.
1. Train your staff.

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many managers simply throw their staff behind the bar and assume they'll know what to do. Even if your bar staff and servers have tons of experience and come highly recommended, you still need to train them in the particular ways you do things at your bar. If your customers expect a certain kind and quality of service, you want to make sure your staff can give it to them.
2. Watch for theft.

Of course, you don't like to think about any of your employees stealing from you, but it can and does happen occasionally. That's why you need to be vigilant. You don't want to be suspicious of every employee, but keep an eye out for common tactics that thieves use. Regular shortages, a high number of "no sales" rings on the register, and a lot of comp-ed drinks can be signals that a bartender may be stealing from you.
3. Know what's going on behind the bar.

Just because you're the manager doesn't mean you shouldn't spend any time behind the bar. It can be worth your while to pick up a shift or two a week. You can make sure everything's in order, keep an eye on your employees, and get your customers' opinions on how things are going.
4. Keep things organized.

As a manager, you likely delegate your cleaning and organizing tasks to your employees. But, it's still ultimately your responsibility to make sure everything's organized as well as it can be to keep your restaurant running smoothly. Check out the stock behind your bar, the kitchen, and even the supply rooms.
5. Keep your equipment up-to-date.

When you have a limited budget, it can be tempting not to splurge on new equipment. But you're only hurting your bar if you make employees rely on outdated, barely-working machines. Try looking at used equipment stores or waiting for sales to get what you need.
6. Keep it clean.

It costs nothing to be clean and filthiness is unacceptable. Watch your bar staff and make sure that every glass they use is spotless and every countertop is wiped down routinely. There is nothing worse for a customer than being served a drink in dirty glass.
7. Establish a relationship with your suppliers.

You depend on your suppliers, so develop a relationship with them early on. They're the ones who can cut you deals and specials. Beer and liquor suppliers can also get you branded merchandise like napkins, coasters, etc., which means that you don't have to pay for them.
8. Change it up.

Change out your beer and drink offerings every few months to make room for seasonal beers and new cocktails. This will keep your bar from becoming stale.
9. Know when to cut someone off.

Managing a bar is a big job, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Start by keeping these tips in mind!

Tips courtesy of the bar blogger....… view more »

Largest Hospitality Training Giveaway in the UK

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Tomorrow we will be launching the largest hospitality training Giveaway in the UK.

Launched at the Licensing Association Conference in Birmingham, attended by licensing specialists from all over the UK on November 21st 2013, we will be giving away 5000 free Responsible Alcohol Retail Courses to any venues across England and Wales that what to take them for their staff.

Licensing police and councils are welcome to encourage venues in their towns to take up the offer and train their staff Responsible Alcohol Retail.

The Level 1 Responsible Alcohol Retail Course is an absolute must for any member of staff who intends to serve alcohol.
Failing to train your staff adequately leaves you vulnerable to prosecution, a fine of up to £20000 and the possible loss of your licence. "Due diligence is your only defence in law"
The course comes with a level 1 certificate in Responsible Alcohol Retail and is a great foundation for the Level 2 Personal Licence Course
Modules
The dangers of alcohol & its effects
Units of alcohol, ABV's & what units various drinks contain.
The licensing Act, fines & how the law affects you
Children, underage, proxy sales & selling to drunks

Contact us for free access for your staff

mark@mjrmorgan.co.uk
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Personal Licence Statistics

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Just over 34000 new Personal Licences were issued in the year ending 31st March 2013. The government are currently looking at plans to abandon the system but the industry fights back.

Statistics are presented here on the numbers of personal licences issued by the licensing authorities in England and Wales that were in force on 31 March 2012, and comparisons with 31 March 2010, the last date for which data were collected. These figures combine the data received from 336 of the 350 licensing authorities (96%) plus estimates for the remaining authorities.

Key facts

There were 502,400 personal licences in force in England and Wales on 31st March 2012, 16 per cent more than the 434,200 on 31 March 2010 (includes estimates for non-response).

So if you haven't got a Personal Licence and you want to take the course, it's available FREE of charge right here on the MJR Morgan site by clicking hereview more »

Engage Your Customers

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

It's not a luxury to have social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and the like anymore. It's absolutely essential!

Almost half the population have a social media profile and many use this in some capacity every day. It's important to establish your brand and business on social media to engage with customers and make positive impressions. Here are a few ideas.

Video
Content is King and the better and more out there the content is, the more likely it has to be shared. Social media isn't just about preaching your sermon to your own friends and followers. It's about reaching out to a wider market through re-posting and re-tweeting ect.. So, dynamic and elaborate posting are a must if you want to achieve this. With Instagram, create 15 second videos and use them to create fun simple clips your customers will enjoy. Try surprising a customer, capturing a special moment, or pranking an employee for some quick clips! Be creative. A positive link going viral will do wonders for you.

Pictures
Don't try to sell your brand too often and bore your fellow social media users. You're more likely to make an impression with your brand or business with photographs of decorations, food, beverages, and customer experiences.
Anything else your venue does well should be captured and shared. Snap pictures of your guest having fun, drinking a new cocktail or beer, or even a new dish.

Questions
Surveys are great for creating online content, but it is more important that you follow up with your fans. Social media is for talking with customers, not at them. Ask what customers like from your business or ask for feedback on a recent promotion and use it to create a true dialog. Make sure your provide feedback and keep the discussion going.

8Competitions*
Why not giveaway some branded point of sale stuff that normally gets left gathering dust in some locked away cupboard. Have a competition, the winner getting the most likes or re-tweets. People love the quirky bottle openers etc.

8Employee's*
Reward your employees for doing something special. They are sure to mention it on social media and be liked for it. Reward them for promoting positive news on there social media sites. They are sure to assist your messages to get out there in the cyber world.

8Immediate interaction*
Give the change for customers to like a page, tweet, share on instagram or anything else positive whist at your venue. If they rave about a meal, cocktail or anything else, get them to take a picture and share there and then.

Social Media Guidelines
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