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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

USBG Announces First-ever Book

Serving Up History: USBG Announces First-ever Book

by David Klemt

Open book resting on its spine

Coming out in May, the United States Bartenders’ Guild has written a book that shares the story of the first 50 years of this crucial advocacy organization.

It’s not often that I publish a press release on its own. However, I find this announcement so important and interesting that I’m going to let the release do the talking.

I’ll be including this book in an upcoming monthly roundup. For now, please read the release below for more information.

Cheers!

LIQUID LEGACY: A TIMELESS TRIBUTE TO THE FOUNDERS OF THE UNITED STATES BARTENDERS’ GUILD TO DEBUT MAY 2024

War, Peace, James Dean, and the First 50 Years of the USBG…Through the Eyes of the Bartenders Who Started It All

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, MARCH 14, 2024 – The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) today announces the release of its first book Liquid Legacy: A Timeless Tribute to the Founders of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. The book will initially be available at the shop at usbg.org.

While plenty has been written about yesterday’s and today’s hospitality scene and the operations behind it, few have undertaken a deep dive into the role bartenders play in society and their communities. From neighborhood organizing, labor movements, and equal rights, to late nights, spirits history, and the story of the bar that served James Dean his last drink – a glass of milk, Liquid Legacy is sure to join the canon of must-have volumes for anyone interested in the hospitality industry.

Jose Acona, Co-founder, former President, and Lifetime Member of the United States Bartenders Guild, opens this historic look at the nation’s only guild for bartenders with the admission that “while the rich history of our Guild cannot be traced back in its entirety, this collection is an amazing celebration of what was accomplished in the first 50 years. If you are a bartender, you need to read this book.”

The Guild traces its roots across the Atlantic to early 20th century Europe as the hospitality industry up-ticked with new taverns and places to drink opening at a rapid pace and requiring plenty of employees to staff them. Bar staff gathered regularly to discuss professional matters, leading to the formation of the International Barkeepers Union, in Cologne, Germany, by 3 Germans and 2 Americans. After a sharp downturn over the following 35 years owing to two world wars, a drought in the US, and Prohibition, bartenders got back to legally plying their trade around 1933.

Over the next fifty years, bartenders created and rode drink trends, striving to deliver the very best experience for their guests.

After bartenders in California formed the first American offshoot chapter of the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild in 1948, competitions became a proving ground that hatched the next wave of cocktail trends. The book highlights the winners of the USBG’s National Competition, from Charles Berner’s 1950 win with the Bernice, a combination of vodka, Galliano, Pernod, lime and simple syrup, all the way through the 1998 winner, Conga Line, from Jose Rusieco.

The winners, and other competitors, were passionate bartenders, like Egidio “Angus” Angerosa who was a founder of the UKBG and a founding member of the California chapter.  This chapter eventually spawned the USBG and is the first US-based stepping stone that brings us to modern bartending legends like Tony Abou-Ganim, Dale DeGroff, Charles Joly, Bridget Albert, Tiffanie Barriere, Martin Cate, Jen Ackrill, Julio Cabrera, and more.

These trailblazers have their own take on historic cocktails, all of which can be found in the pages of Liquid Legacy along with the recipes of the USBG’s National Competition winners from the first 50 years of the Guild.

Follow the USBG through multiple social media channels: IG/FB/TWITTER: @usbg/@TheUSBG/@TheUSBG.

About the United States Bartenders’ Guild

Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders’ Guild® is the national, member-led not-for-profit association of bartenders and other hospitality professionals that unites and elevates the bar industry through education, community, and advocacy. Through its network, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, service projects, and skills-based competition, all while fostering a fun and healthy environment and reinforcing the importance of the ‘third place’ in neighborhoods across the country.

Image: Brandi Redd on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Bar Consultant. Nightclub. Lounge. Mixology. Cocktails.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: March 2024

5 Books to Read this Month: March 2024

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative March book selections will help you improve operations, refresh F&B programming, and consider a design update.

This month, we look at books covering an array of topics: overcoming dysfunctions within teams; stepping outside of comfort zones; cocktail and Irish dish recipes; and repurposing existing buildings.

To review the book recommendations from February 2024, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

In a departure from most business books, the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team presents useful lessons in the style of a fictional tale. This approach makes this bookwhich has more than 13,000 reviews on Amazona compelling read.

From Amazon: “Equal parts leadership fable and business handbook, this definitive source on teamwork by Patrick Lencioni reveals the five behavioral tendencies that go to the heart of why even the best teams struggle. He offers a powerful model and step-by-step guide for overcoming those dysfunctions and getting every one rowing in the same direction.”

Pick up your copy today.

The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook

I doubt you need a reminder but just in case, St. Patrick’s is just two weeks away. So, what better time to pick up this best-selling cookbook featuring Irish classic and modern fare? Flip through this book, check out some interesting recipes, and put your own spin on them so they fit with your concept.

From Amazon: “Pubs in Ireland are the cornerstone of their communities, relaxed places where locals and visitors can experience the best of traditional Irish hospitality. Many pubs have also become the place to go for a great meal, with a choice of both traditional and contemporary dishes. In recent years Irish cooking has been transformed, with skillful cooks making the most of wonderful fresh local produce to create delicious new dishes and giving a twist to many classics. This tasty cookbook includes the best of both worlds – with best-loved favorites s Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Split Pea and Ham Soup and newer recipes, like Scallop Chowder or Oatmeal and Raspberry Cream to set your taste buds tingling.”

Order The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook now!

Drink: Featuring Over 1,100 Cocktail, Wine, and Spirits Recipes

This is a seriously big book. After all, it really does contain more than 1,100 recipes. KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey recently picked up this book and flipped through its many, many pages.

Along with well over a thousand recipes organized by spirit, Drink looks at bar tools, housemade ingredients, and ice. Further, it includes interviews with bartenders. If you’re looking for a recipe book that will inspire a drink menu refresh, this is the one you want.

Grab this tome today.

Cool is Everywhere: New and Adaptive Design Across America

Last month, we dove into the biophilic design methodology. This book, Cool is Everywhere, is a photo-driven look into the adaptive reuse design movement. Very briefly summarized, this is a design movement that focuses on repurposing existing architecture rather than knocking down buildings and putting up new construction. This approach tends to be eco-friendly, and as you’ll see from the photos in this book, it also creates cool buildings.

From Amazon: “Cool Is Everywhere highlights remarkable designs that have transformed ordinary buildings into works of art. From North Adams, Massachusetts, to Oakland, California, join Michel as he explores the skyscrapers and quaint neighborhoods that led him to believe that cool is, in fact, everywhere.”

Pick up this book now.

The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self

This book from author Michael Easter asks a fairly simple question: What if the modern world’s conveniences are making our lives more difficult? When we look deeper into our lives, we may find that our health is being impacted negatively by building and remaining in our comfort zones. Certainly, entrepreneurs can find that refusing to step outside of their comfort is hurting the business side of their lives.

From Amazon: “In many ways, we’re more comfortable than ever before. But could our sheltered, temperature-controlled, overfed, underchallenged lives actually be the leading cause of many our most urgent physical and mental health issues? In this gripping investigation, award-winning journalist Michael Easter seeks out off-the-grid visionaries, disruptive genius researchers, and mind-body conditioning trailblazers who are unlocking the life-enhancing secrets of a counterintuitive solution: discomfort.”

Order it today!

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Start-Up Restaurant Bar Hotel Consulting Consultant Solutions Plans Services

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: January 2024

5 Books to Read this Month: January 2024

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative January book selections will help you and your team transform your operations and F&B programming.

This month, we look at books covering an array of topics: becoming a great boss; gaining perspective when analyzing your business; and more.

To review the book recommendations from December 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Single AF Cocktails: Drinks for Bad B*tches

You may roll your eyes at the title of this cocktail book but there’s no denying it has your attention. In that way, it’s much like a well-curated, themed cocktail menu split into cleverly named sections. In fact, this book is separated into sections that match its overall theme. For example, Honeymoon Phase, Betrayal, Devastation, and Resilience. If you have reality show fans among your guests, they’ll likely know author Ariana Madix from Vanderpump Rules and Dancing with the Stars. So, they’ll probably dig these drinks.

From Amazon: “The newly solo Ariana serves up her own recipes and perspective in a unique exploration of the stages of a doomed relationship. In her own words, Ariana takes back the narrative of her very public breakup while inspiring others to find inner strength in their own troubles. Each drink tells part of the story from her point of view, from when she first met her ex, through the insidious affair and its painful aftermath, and to her present state, coming out the other side, stronger than before.”

Grab it today!

How to Be a Great Boss

Entrepreneurs, when working with a team, need to be leaders. That means being a great boss. However, that doesn’t mean being a tyrant. If you want to earn buy-in from your team, if you want to get the most out of each person, you need to get them excited and engaged.

From Amazon: “Studies have repeatedly shown that the majority of employees are disengaged at work. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Often, the difference between a group of indifferent employees and a fully engaged team comes down to one simple thing: —a great boss.

“In How to Be a Great Boss, Gino Wickman and René Boer present a straightforward, practical approach to help bosses at all levels of an organization get the most from their people. They share time-tested tools that have worked for more than 30,000 bosses in every industry. You can learn to be a great boss—and dramatically improve both your organization’s performance and your team’s excitement about their work.”

Pick up the hardcover today.

Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes

As a business owner, it’s smart to see what’s changing. However, it’s also crucial to identify what’s not changing to gain perspective and understand the whole picture.

From Amazon: “With his usual elan, Morgan Housel presents a master class on optimizing risk, seizing opportunity, and living your best life. Through a sequence of engaging stories and pithy examples, he shows how we can use our newfound grasp of the unchanging to see around corners, not by squinting harder through the uncertain landscape of the future, but by looking backwards, being more broad-sighted, and focusing instead on what is permanently true.

“By doing so, we may better anticipate the big stuff, and achieve the greatest success, not merely financial comforts, but most importantly, a life well lived.”

Click here for the hardcover, or here for the paperback.

Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar

This informative and conversational book written by KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey is the perfect read for aspiring or seasoned bar, pub, lounge, or even restaurant owners, operators, and managers looking for that competitive edge in operations! If you’re looking for both fundamental and in-depth planning methods, strategies, and industry focused insight to either start or grow a scalable, sustainable, memorable, profitable, and consistent venue in today’s cut-throat industry, Bar Hacks is written just for you.

Pick up the paperback from Amazon today!

Hacking the New Normal: Hitting the Reset Button on the Hospitality Industry

Doug’s followup book to Bar Hacks! The world around us has changed. The food and beverage industry has changed. The hospitality industry has changed. But will some ways of life change for the better? Will perhaps the restaurant, bar, and hospitality industry come out even stronger? With the right changes to the previous status quo, it is possible. There’s no question, resets are major undertakings, but a major reset will provide us with a clean start and that’s what this industry needs.

Pick up KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey’s second book today! Click here.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

Business Plan for Boutique Hotel Motel Resort Property

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: December 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: December 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative December book selections will help you and your team transform your operations and F&B programming.

This month, we look at books covering an array of topics. There’s an alcohol-free cocktail recipe book, an exploration of some of America’s most unique hotels, and more.

To review the book recommendations from November 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Mocktail Club: Classic Recipes (and New Favorites) Without the Booze

Some people find the word “mocktail” is one of the best to label their alcohol-free drinks. Others find the word condescending. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, The Mocktail Club should help you expand your zero-proof menu.

From Amazon:The Art of Mixology meets mocktails in this beautiful collection of 75 alcohol-free recipes for classic drinks, new flavor concoctions, and twists on old favorites, so you can experience the joy of cocktail creation without the booze!

Pre-order it today. This book is available on January 2, 2024.

Hotel Kitsch: A Pretty Cool Tour of America’s Fantasy Getaways

We love a creative independent hotel brand, unique resort, or one-of-a-kind motel. Any place with endless details to discover and appreciate that places value on offering unforgettable experiences during a guest’s stay. This book captures such hotels and motels in a series of photographs that should inspire operators to follow through with their incredible visions.

From Amazon: “From the photographers and inveterate travelers behind the social media sensation A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour, Hotel Kitsch celebrates dozens of creative, nostalgic, one-of-a-kind hotels that span the heart of the Poconos and across the United States to Mexico, Spain, and the UK. Discover, in the middle of Iowa, a jungle room with fake trees and foliage surrounding the bed as if it had taken its cue from Where the Wild Things Are. Or Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo where the rooms are reached by scuba diving. An Arctic Cave room at a hotel in Kentucky with its carved blue walls and not a window to be found. And on the California coast, the iconic Madonna Inn featuring 110 rooms, each themed and no two alike.”

Grab it today.

The Hospitality Mentality: Create Raving Fans Through Your Guest Experience

This book is so new it isn’t available until tomorrow, December 5. New book, fresh ideas to lead you into the new year.

The Hospitality Mentality is all about empowering your team to deliver impeccable service and unforgettable memories, keeping guests coming back to your venue for more.

From Amazon: “Business leaders will gain inspiration to take their service standard to the next level, knowing that this is an area that cannot plateau. Readers will be motivated to go above and beyond guests’ expectations through creating hyper-personalized experiences, amplifying enthusiasm, anticipating needs, and crafting superior ‘wow’ moments that solidify memories that take satisfaction to the next level. By maximizing the benefit of guest feedback and directly addressing complaints, service providers can strengthen their relationship with their guests, ultimately leading to business/brand loyalty.”

Get the paperback today!

Reinvent: Navigating Business Transformation in a Hyperdigital Era

This business book has earned a number of accolades since its publication earlier this year:

  • Wall Street Journal bestseller
  • Silver for Best Business Book in the 2023 Globee® Awards for Business, The 21st Annual American Business Awards®
  • 2023 Best Business Book of The Year, Silver Stevie Winner

The hospitality industry, as operators are all too aware, has been making massive strides when it comes to technology the past few years. However, as Reinvent also says, you can’t just plug in a tech solution, expect it to work, and say your brand and business are transformed.

From Amazon: “From top to bottom, organizations will be compelled to change entire mindsets, attitudes, and assumptions about how they operate, how they can grow, and even the very reason for their existence. This book introduces readers to ideas, concepts, and a comprehensive framework (LIFTS) that they can use to better position themselves and their organizations to reap the greatest number of benefits that business and digital transformation can afford. It’s a journey rich with promise that explains complex concepts in an understandable common language.”

Order the hardcover today.

Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar

This informative and conversational book is the perfect read for aspiring or seasoned bar, pub, lounge, or even restaurant owners, operators, and managers looking for that competitive edge in operations! If you’re looking for both fundamental and in-depth planning methods, strategies, and industry focused insight to either start or grow a scalable, sustainable, memorable, profitable, and consistent venue in today’s cut-throat industry, Bar Hacks is written just for you.

Pick up the paperback from Amazon today!

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: November 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: November 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative November book selections will help you and your team transform your operations and F&B programming.

This month, we look at a new branding and marketing book. We also dive into agave spirits and cuisine from the Canadian Prairies.

There’s an eye-opening exploration into the topic of technology, culture, and the “alignment problem,” as well.

To review the book recommendations from October 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Restaurant Marketing Mindset: A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing Your Restaurant’s Brand, from Concept to Launch and Beyond

If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Chip Klose speak, look into his books. His latest The Restaurant Marketing Mindset, came out in early October. As the title suggests, this book is for anyone who’s struggling with branding and marketing, or who simply wants a fresh perspective on this crucial element of operations.

From Amazon: “Restaurants boast some of the highest failure rates of any industry, yet even worse is the sheer number of concepts that struggle just to break even. In The Restaurant Marketing Mindset, Chip Klose introduces a series of mindset shifts and actionable frameworks to help owners and operators finally take control of their marketing.

With more than twenty years of operational experience—plus an MBA in food marketing—Klose has the authority, experience, and track record needed to speak confidently on the subject. Each lesson stacks one on top of the other, giving the reader a step-by-step plan to attract more diners, retain those diners, and spark word of mouth with the ones who matter most.

This book is for any chef, owner, or operator who’s ever felt overwhelmed when it comes to marketing their restaurant. Each chapter is filled with powerful insights to help you build a more profitable (and sustainable) business.”

Pick it up today!

Prairie: Seasonal, Farm-Fresh Recipes Celebrating the Canadian Prairies

This engaging cookbook features 1oo traditional and creative recipes highlighting Canadian Prairie cuisine. These seasonal, farm-to-table recipes are sure to impress your guests.

From Amazon: “No matter the season, the Prairies are all about preserving every ounce of food, so of course there’s also tons of helpful tips and tricks on reducing food waste. There’s even a Staples chapter with recipes for stocking your pantry to keep you cooking all year long. Both a love letter to Canada’s grandest provinces and an indispensable collection of recipes, Prairie is as inviting and bountiful as the region it celebrates.”

Agave Spirits: The Past, Present, and Future of Mezcals

The authors of this informative book visited eight Mexican states to learn all they could about mezcal. By extension, they learned not only about traditional production but also where this hugely popular spirits category is headed for the future.

From Amazon: “The result of the authors’ fieldwork and on-the-ground interviews with mezcaleros in eight Mexican states, Agave Spirits shows how traditional methods of mezcal production are inspiring a new generation of individuals, including women, both in and beyond the industry. And as they reach back into a rich, centuries-long history, Nabhan and Suro Pinera make clear that understanding the story behind a bottle of mezcal, more than any other drink, will not only reveal what lies ahead for the tradition―including its ability to adapt in the face of the climate crisis―but will also enrich the drinking experience for readers.”

The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values

When we build automated systems, we’re placing a lot of trust in our expertise. And because humans are fallible, the systems we build are far from perfect.

From Amazon: “Today’s ‘machine-learning’ systems, trained by data, are so effective that we’ve invited them to see and hear for us—and to make decisions on our behalf. But alarm bells are ringing. Recent years have seen an eruption of concern as the field of machine learning advances. When the systems we attempt to teach will not, in the end, do what we want or what we expect, ethical and potentially existential risks emerge. Researchers call this the alignment problem.”

Hacking the New Normal: Hitting the Reset Button on the Hospitality Industry

The world around us has changed. The food and beverage industry has changed. The hospitality industry has changed. But will some ways of life change for the better? Will perhaps the restaurant, bar, and hospitality industry come out even stronger? With the right changes to the previous status quo, it is possible. There’s no question, resets are major undertakings, but a major reset will provide us with a clean start and that’s what this industry needs.

Pick up KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey’s second book today! Click here.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Business Coach. Restaurant Coach. Hotel Coach. Hospitality Coach. Mindset Coach.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: October 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: October 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative October book selections will help you and your team transform your vision for your business into a successful story.

This month, we’re taking a good look at independent hotel operations, including checking out the wonderful guest experience a rustic lodge can deliver. We also dive into operations and brand strategy.

Oh, and we get inspiration from a company founder who turned $50 into a $30 billion-per-year, globally recognized brand.

To review the book recommendations from September 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

INDIE HOTEL: Why Hoteliers Are Breaking Free from Chains and Choosing Independence

I picked up INDIE HOTEL just a day or two after it was released. Written by Jeremy Wells, one of the brilliant minds behind the recently opened Ozarker Lodge, this book examines the shifting hospitality landscape.

From Amazon: “The hospitality industry is exciting and always evolving. One of the most exciting shifts in recent years is the growing popularity of independent, boutique hotels. While chains are here to stay, I believe the days of franchise domination are numbered. Traveler preferences are changing, and technology, once available only to chains, is becoming more accessible. As a result, more and more hoteliers will continue to make the leap into independence—breaking free from chains and enjoying a newfound freedom.”

Order your copy today!

Lodge: An Indoorsy Tour of America’s National Parks

We’re firm believers of looking everywhere for inspiration. Lodge may not be a how-to book for hoteliers but it speaks to the importance of the guest experience. Moreover, it shows that while midscale and luxury hotels and resorts seem to popping up all over, a rustic lodge that encourages disconnecting and recharging definitely still has its place in hospitality.

From Amazon: “Max Humphrey shines a light on 10 rustic National Park lodges in all their airy, timeworn splendor. No historic photos here; the images of the architecture and interiors are as they look today, highlighting these storied places in a fresh, alluring way. Sure, the lobbies are the main stage, but Humphrey touches on grand dining rooms, guest rooms, and rustic canteens alike. He writes about the buildings themselves in terms of the historical goings-on at the time, why they were built, and the players involved, highlighting notable architectural moments and period-specific furnishings. A smattering of pop culture history adds extra bursts of levity throughout.”

Grab it today.

Future Hospitality: Impactful Brand Experiences that Drive Sustainable Growth, Happier Guests, and Inspired Staff

Since the latest Jeremy Wells book kicks off this list, let’s take a look at his first book.

Future Hospitality drives home a simple but powerful principle that KRG shares. Put simply, hospitality is a mindset. This book also explains how an operator’s brand strategy plays a significant role in embodying that important principle.

From Amazon: “The purpose of this book is to help you understand the significance of making people feel good, and how the principles of strategic brand development can dramatically influence how you go about doing it.

“Without the core foundational component of a brand strategy in place at your business, I believe that you’ll be fighting an uphill battle that you don’t need to fight. If your business means anything to you, then you need to make it mean something to others.”

Order your copy here.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Again, we don’t always have to look at the hospitality industry for inspiration or lessons. We can learn from businesses that appear to have nothing to do with our own.

There are several lessons we can learn from Phil Knight and his leadership of Nike. For example, the following quotes are attributed to Knight:

  • “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
  • “Let everyone else call your idea crazy; just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”

From Amazon: “In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.”

Pick up your copy.

Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar

If you have yet to read Bar Hacks, written by KRG Hospitality president and Bar Hacks podcast creator Doug Radkey, you need to pick your copy up today.

Without an understanding and appreciation of the fundamentals, long-term success is essentially an impossibility.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Boutique Hotels. Resorts. Properties. Consultant. Feasibility Study. Business Plan

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: September ’23

5 Books to Read this Month: September 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative September book selections will help you and your bar team take your front of house and bar program to the next level.

For this month’s list we’re showcasing the 17th annual Spirited Awards finalists in the Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits category. So, below you’ll find the top-four nominees in that particular category, plus an additional self-improvement book.

To review the book recommendations from August 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Modern Caribbean Rum: A Contemporary Reference to the Region’s Essential Spirit

Join me in congratulating authors Matt Pietrek and Carrie Smith for earning the 2023 Spirited Award for Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits!

This 825-page tome is a deep dive into modern Caribbean rum—as the title clearly states—split into four distinct sections:

  • An overview of this spirits category, including common misconceptions;
  • The process of producing rum, including flavor science;
  • A look at the business of rum, including brands and trade organizations; and
  • The stories of 20 modern Caribbean rum-producing regions, including profiles of more than 70 producers.

Whether you’re a rum aficionado, rum-curious, or someone looking to learn as much as possible about the rum category, this book is a must-read. Purchase here.

A SENSE OF PLACE: A Journey Around Scotland’s Whisky

Author Dave Broom was born in Glasgow. As he says, “I am a Glaswegian who gets paid to drink spirits and then write about them. I’ve been getting away with this for over 20 years and have somehow won various awards along the way, but being Scottish I don’t go on about it.”

This book, A SENSE OF PLACE, is more than an analysis of Scotch whisky. Rather, this is a personal story, delivering on its title—this book gives the reader a sense of place.

From Amazon: “In this beautifully crafted narrative, award-winning writer Dave Broom examines Scotch whisky from the point of view of its terroir—the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feed and enhance the whisky itself. Travelling around his native Scotland and visiting distilleries from Islay and Harris to Orkney and Speyside, Dave explores the whiskies made there and the elements in their distilling, and locality, which make them what they are. Along the way he tells the story of whisky’s history and considers what whisky is now, and where it is going.”

Pick up the hardcover today.

Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails

As the historians in our industry have known for a while, cocktails were once considered medicinal. Of course, in some ways that’s still the case.

Industry author, speaker, and educator Camper English shows us how medicine and alcohol have long been connected throughout human history in Doctors and Distillers. Have you head of using wine as a dewormer? How about treating wounds with beer? Would you ever consider using spirits to heal a snakebite? Well, humans have done those things and more with booze.

Order the paperback today!

Unreasonable Hospitality

Absolutely no disrespect or offense to the authors of Modern Caribbean Rum, this is the title that I thought would take home the Spirited Award. When Will Guidara took over the famous Eleven Madison Park, the restaurant had just two stars and he was only in his mid-twenties. Before his 40th birthday, the changes and strategies he implemented helped the restaurant earn the title of the Best Restaurant in the World.

One of cornerstone’s of Guidara’s was “bespoke hospitality.” He and his team truly went above and beyond. Examples of the Eleven Madison Park team’s approach to hospitality illustrate just how over the top they went to deliver memorable guest experiences. If you’re looking for inspiration to step up your hospitality, pick up or download Unreasonable Hospitality today.

The Power of Habit

This New York Times Bestseller is another book that the KRG Hospitality team has discussed during our company meetings. Developing and understanding of operations and building a world-class team that you lead with empathy and empowerment are important. However, so is developing positive habits in business and in life.

From Amazon: “In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.”

Order the paperback today!

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Bar Consultant. Nightclub. Lounge. Mixology. Cocktails.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: August 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: August 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative August book selections will help you and your bar team take your front of house and bar program to the next level.

For this month’s list we’re showcasing the 17th annual Spirited Awards finalists in the Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book category. So, below you’ll find the top-four nominees in that particular category, plus an additional self-improvement book.

To review the book recommendations from July 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Bartender’s Manifesto: How to Think, Drink, and Create Cocktails Like a Pro

First up, this book from June 2022 by Toby Maloney with Emma Janzen. Not only has this book won a James Beard Award, it took home this year’s Spirited Award for Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book.

From Amazon: “Take a raucous romp through the essential stages of fashioning cocktails and learn the hows and whys of bartending with acclaimed mixologist Toby Maloney and the team from The Violet Hour. When the pioneering cocktail bar opened in Chicago in 2007, it set a high standard with an innovative training program that teaches not just how to replicate classic cocktail recipes flawlessly, but how to embrace ingenuity, make smart decisions, and create original, inspired recipes from rote.”

Pick up the hardcover here.

Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails with 60 Recipes

Next, Mindful Mixology by Derek Brown, with a foreword by Julia Bainbridge. As all operators should know by now, low- and no-ABV cocktails are here to stay. From aperitivo hour and zero-alcohol to simply drinking less but better, consumers are changing their relationships with cocktails. This book will help operators and their teams navigate the moderation movement.

From Amazon: “Creating these drinks isn’t as simple as removing the alcohol. No- and low-proof cocktails still have to be balanced and still have to be delicious, but they don’t operate exactly like cocktails with alcohol. The drinks Brown presents in this book are meticulously choreographed around taste, texture, body, and piquancy to result in surprisingly complex ‘adult beverages’ minus the booze.”

Grab the hardcover today.

Modern Classic Cocktails: 60+ Stories and Recipes from the New Golden Age in Drinks

Robert Simonson is also a James Beard Award-winning author up for a 2023 Spirited Award. Not only are there more than 60 cocktail recipes in Simonson’s book, he explores what it means for someone to create a modern classic cocktail. No, your bar team can’t simply “invent” a new drink and declare it a modern classicthere are actual considerations, like public opinion, that make it so.

From Amazon: “What elevates a modern cocktail into the echelon of a modern classic? A host of reasons, all delineated by Simonson in these pages. But, above all, a modern classic cocktail must be popular. People have to order it, not just during its initial heyday, but for years afterward. Tommy’s Margarita, invented in the 1990s, is still beloved, and the Porn Star Martini is the most popular cocktail in the United Kingdom, twenty years after its creation.”

Make sure to get your hardcover copy today.

The New York Times Essential Book of Cocktails (Second Edition): Over 400 Classic Drink Recipes With Great Writing from The New York Times

If you want hundreds of cocktail recipes and amazing writing, this is the book for you. There are more than 400 recipes in this book, from classics to modern craft drinks. Oh, and there are essays from an array of fantastic writers, including Rebekah Peppler, David Wondrich, Robert Simonson, and Jim Meehan. There are also interviews with icons like Ivy Mix and Sother Teague.

Truly, this is one of the most comprehensive cocktail books every printed.

Pick up this book in hardcover format now.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

A couple of weeks back, we had a KRG Hospitality team meeting about habits. Habits we’re proud to have developed, habits we’d like to focus on developing, and habits we’d like to work on losing. This book, from James Clear, is one of the resources we talked about.

From Amazon: “Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, listeners will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.”

Order the paperback today.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Mindset Coaching

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: July 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: July 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative June book selections will take your front and back of house to the next level, and help develop your leadership skills.

To review the book recommendations from June 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Sugar Shack Au Pied de Cochon (Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon)

This is the English-language edition of the 2012 World Gourmand Book of the Year. You can pick it up at Amazon via this link, but it will cost you over $150 to do so. So, here’s the link to the book from the Au Pied de Cochon online store.

Those who have read this book describe it as one part recipe book, one part art piece. It’s difficult to categorize this book at all, really. It’s a journal, a recipe book, a culinary masterpiece, and a collection of scientific knowledge. In less than 400 pages, Martin Picard chronicles a year in the life of his restaurant, and shares 100 recipes and 2000 photographs, along a depth of culinary information, the value of which can’t be overstated. Pick it up today or find it at a library if you can.

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

If you look at your role in foodservice as more than just a paycheck, you already view cooking as important. It has real value and inspires you, stoking your passion for this business. But what if the importance of cooking is beyond just “important”? What if it’s directly responsible for human evolution? This book by anthropologist and primatologist Richard Wrangham puts forth and defends this evolutionary theory.

From Amazon: “In a groundbreaking theory of our origins, Wrangham shows that the shift from raw to cooked foods was the key factor in human evolution. When our ancestors adapted to using fire, humanity began. Once our hominid ancestors began cooking their food, the human digestive tract shrank and the brain grew. Time once spent chewing tough raw food could be used instead to hunt and to tend camp. Cooking became the basis for pair bonding and marriage, created the household, and even led to a sexual division of labor.

“Tracing the contemporary implications of our ancestors diets, Catching Fire sheds new light on how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. A pathbreaking new theory of human evolution, Catching Fire will provoke controversy and fascinate anyone interested in our ancient origins – or in our modern eating habits.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

If you prefer your self-improvement and leadership books coated in gobs of sugar and wrapped in sheets of positivity, prepare for a shock. Author Mark Manson isn’t a sunshine, daisies, unicorns, and lemons-to-lemonade type of person. Instead, Manson thinks people need to toughen up and learn how to simply deal with being handed lemons. However, this isn’t a nonstop punch to the gut or blast to the chops. Rather, Manson wants people to change their mindset and focus on what should matter.

From Amazon: “Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited – “not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault”. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

“There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.”

Pick this book up here!

Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech

During a recent team meeting, KRG Hospitality executive chef and culinary expert Nathen Dubé recommended this book. And while it’s the story of a massive corporation, it doesn’t read like a collection of boring essays. Rather, Samsung Rising is the true story of a family-run business that has grown from 40 employees to more than 300,000. After taking big risks and committing to building a technology empire, Samsung has nearly doubled in size in comparison to rivals Apple and Google. However, the road to creating a dynasty has been anything but smooth.

From Amazon: “Forty years ago, Samsung was a rickety Korean agricultural conglomerate that produced sugar, paper, and fertilizer, located in a backward country with a third-world economy. With the rise of the PC revolution, though, Chairman Lee Byung-chul began a bold experiment: to make Samsung a major supplier of computer chips. The multimillion- dollar plan was incredibly risky. But Lee, wowed by a young Steve Jobs, who sat down with the chairman to offer his advice, became obsessed with creating a tech empire. And in Samsung Rising, we follow Samsung behind the scenes as the company fights its way to the top of tech. It is one of Apple’s chief suppliers of technology critical to the iPhone, and its own Galaxy phone outsells the iPhone.”

Grab Samsung Rising today.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook

Recently, we had the opportunity to attend a pre-opening event for the first Las Vegas location of Salt & Straw. Those who have visited a Salt & Straw ice cream shop know how creative the brand is when it comes to flavors. We also found their team’s service to be impeccable.

The Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook, as you may imagine, shares the brand’s recipes. Impressively, these all spring from a “base” recipe that takes just five minutes to make. This recipe book should help to inspire your own desserts.

From Amazon: “Based out of Portland, Oregon, Salt & Straw is the brainchild of two cousins, Tyler and Kim Malek, who had a vision but no recipes. They turned to their friends for advice—chefs, chocolatiers, brewers, and food experts of all kinds—and what came out is a super-simple base that takes five minutes to make, and an ice cream company that sees new flavors and inspiration everywhere they look.

“Using that base recipe, you can make dozens of Salt & Straw’s most beloved, unique (and a little controversial) flavors, including Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, Roasted Strawberry and Toasted White Chocolate, and Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

“But more importantly, this book reveals what they’ve learned, how to tap your own creativity, and how to invent flavors of your own, based on whatever you see around you. Because ice cream isn’t just a thing you eat, it’s a way to live.”

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Business Coach. Restaurant Coach. Hotel Coach. Hospitality Coach. Mindset Coach.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: June 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: June 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our engaging and informative June book selections will take your front and back of house to the next level, and help develop your leadership skills.

To review the book recommendations from May 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

This book written by Simon Sinek is considered one of the best books ever written about leadership. “Start with Why” isn’t just a clever title, it’s an important beginning point for all entrepreneurs and leaders.

Further, this book introduces the reader to what Sinek calls the Golden Circle. True leaders don’t micromanage. They don’t just delegate. Effective leaders inspire their teams, providing more motivation than, “Do what I say.” Grab this best seller today: click here.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen

We saw this book while we were walking the floor in Chicago at the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show. I snapped a photo, looked up the book, and not only has it been named the Best Cookbook of 2017 by several publications, it’s also the 2018 James Beard Award winner for Best American Cookbook.

From Amazon: “Here is real food—our indigenous American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game and fish. Locally sourced, seasonal, “clean” ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new to Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. In his breakout book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy.”

The Maison Premiere Almanac

If you’ve been the Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, you know it’s a unique experience. That’s saying a lot given the level of the bars, restaurants, and hotels in that iconic borough. One of the standout features is an “absinthe drip” that was inspired by the legendary New Orleans saloon Old Absinthe House.

From Amazon: “As captivating as the bar itself, The Maison Premiere Almanac is both a visual delight—drawing on photography, illustration, and graphic design—and a detailed guide to the rarefied subjects that make Maison Premiere unique, including deep explorations into the art of the cocktail and cutting-edge bartending techniques and equipment.

“There are also primers on absinthe (a Maison specialty) and recipes for highly refined cocktails, including martinis, toddys, punches, and mint juleps. Tutorials on oysters include how to confidently select and prepare them at home and how to eat them with style. And while packed with curious information and useful knowledge on cocktails and bartending for both enthusiastic beginner bartenders and seasoned cocktail lovers, the Almanac is also a visually arresting objet d’art that will make a perfect addition to any bookshelf.” For all of this and 90 recipes, click here.

Tropical Standard: Cocktail Techniques & Reinvented Recipes

This book is the result of a collaboration between bartender Garret Richard and writer Ben Schaffer. As every great bartender knows, producing great drinks comes down to technique and understanding ratios.

From Amazon: “Crucial techniques are clearly detailed, including how to balance syrups, flash blend, handle carbonation, tackle tinctures, cordialize citrus, and power up juice with acid adjusting. Over the course of 84 recipes, vintage cocktails like the Rum Barrel, Mai Tai, and Ray’s Mistake are reimagined just as future classics are revealed, including the Beachcomber Negroni, Winter in L.A., and Field of Mars. These drinks honor founding legends such as Donn Beach, Trader Vic, and Harry Yee as well as modern icons, including Dale DeGroff, Audrey Saunders, Julie Reiner, and Dave Arnold.”

Grab this book today!

The Seasonal Cocktail

All the data support the statement that today’s guests are choosing to drink better. Better spirits, better ingredients, better drinks.

The Seasonal Cocktail is the perfect cocktail book for addressing this change in consumer behavior. Author Jason Hedges is the mastermind behind several of the world’s best cocktail programs, such as L’Ecole and Gotham. F. Paul Pacult has been called “the J.D. Power of liquor,” which is an incredible endorsement.

Together, these two beverage powerhouses share what it takes to build sophisticated yet simple seasonal drinks. Timely, given that we’re now hitting the summer months. Click here to grab this book now.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality business plan. Restaurant. Bar. Cafe. Lounge. Hotel. Resort.

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