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HOSPITALITY

UNITED A look at how Tripleseat customers and the industry have used creativity and resilience to find success in 2020 VOLUME 05 | THE FALL 2020 ISSUE | THE HOSPITALITY EVENTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE


Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue 4


Welcome

TO THE FALL 2020 ISSUE OF SEATED! There’s no doubt that every one of you reading this letter has gone through a lot of change this year, us included. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our personal lives and our jobs, keeping us out of the workplace during lockdown, increasing the responsibilities of taking care of our families, and separating us from friends and loved ones. We at Tripleseat have experienced the same struggles, and are doing everything we can to help our customers and the hospitality industry adjust to this new normal and make a successful comeback. 2020 has been a wild year for us. In February we were acquired by Vista Equity Partners and we merged Gather Technologies with Tripleseat. With the merger, Tripleseat is the largest event management company with over 13,000 restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. In the last five months alone 1,300 Gather venues have migrated to the Tripleseat platform. We are also excited to announce the launch of DirectBook, a new feature that facilitates contact-free event planning. Tripleseat’s DirectBook offers restaurants, hotels, and unique venues the ability for their customers to complete the entire event or catering booking process, from choosing the perfect space or room to selecting their menu to making payments in just a few clicks. DirectBook streamlines the booking and planning process for both the customer and the venue. In addition to these features, we’ve created this digital issue of Seated that includes articles and tips to help your restaurant, hotel, or unique venue get back to business during the pandemic. Our articles share how customers like Jester King Brewery, Sands Hotel & Spa, and Etch restaurant used some creativity and flexibility to adapt and drive business after reopening. We also have pieces on how the FAB in-person conference moved to a virtual setting, COVID-safe event trends you should know about, and tips on marketing to help you drive business during this unusual time. Enjoy this issue of Seated as we look forward to bigger and better things in 2021.

JONATHAN MORSE CEO, TRIPLESEAT


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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

EDITORIAL TEAM LATHA YOUNGREN AZURE COLLIER MARK ABAIR

PUBLISHER EDITOR IN CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR

COLLABORATORS RACHEL CALKINS NICOLE CATATAO JENNA GABRIEL MITCH GREEN KATE KENNEDY RACHEL MAZZOLA KATARINA SU

SPECIAL THANKS The Entire Tripleseat Family

CONTACTS Tripleseat HQ 300 Baker Ave, Suite 205 Concord, MA 01742 978.614.0490 info@tripleseat.com tripleseat.com venues.tripleseat.com eventup.com


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contents

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VOL. 05 | THE FALL 2020 ISSUE

10 TRIPLESEAT IN THE NEWS

BRIEFINGS

12 TREND REPORT EVENT TRENDS DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

16 WHAT'S IN YOUR COVID BAG? WITH WHITNEY ECCHER

20 FIVE QUESTIONS WITH ETCH

26 LET'S TOAST 2020 THE BLACK MANHATTAN

28 FALL APPETIZERS ROASTED MAPLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PECANS

30 THE KING OF PIVOTING HOW AUSTIN BREWERY JESTER KING REINVENTED ITSELF DURING THE PANDEMIC AND CAME BACK BETTER THAN EVER

38 DO IT FOR THE ‘GRAM HOW TO CREATE AN INSTAGRAMMABLE VENUE

42 WORK HARD AND BE NICE HOW TO BE A CO-WORKER THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO WORK WITH

46 GET LISTED

F E AT U R E S

contents

seated magazine

WHY THE TRIPLESEAT BOOKING NETWORK WILL HELP YOU INCREASE EVENT BOOKINGS AND REVENUE

50 CUSTOMER APPRECIATION HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF USER-GENERATED CONTENT IN HOSPITALITY

52 THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS HOW YOUR VENUE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HYBRID EVENT TREND

56 VIRTUAL INSANITY HOW THE FAB CONFERENCE CREATED A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE EVENT DURING THE PANDEMIC

62 A GUIDE FOR MARKETING IN 2020 AND BEYOND ADVICE ON USING EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO DRIVE BUSINESS AFTER REOPENING

68 MAKING A COVID COMEBACK HOW THE SANDS HOTEL & SPA IMPLEMENTED SAFETY GUIDELINES AND CHANGED THEIR MARKETING FOCUS TO WIN BACK GUESTS

76 HOW TO GET FOUND ONLINE 6 TIPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR RESTAURANT’S SEO


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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Tripleseat in the News Introducing the BBJ's Fast 50, the region's fastest-growing private companies

Tripleseat Wins 2020 Gold Stevie Award

Boston Business Journal, April 9, 2020

Stevie Award for Company of the Year - Hospitality &

The American Business Awards, May 18, 2020 Tripleseat was named the winner of the 2020 Gold

Tripleseat was named as one of the Boston Business

Leisure. The winners of the 2020 awards were determined

Journal’s 2020 Fast 50 honorees, which honors the 50

by the average scores of more than 230 professionals

fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts.

worldwide in the three-month judging process.

The companies that made the list have headquarters

All organizations operating in the United States, of any

based in Massachusetts and reported revenue of at least

size, public or private, and for-profit or non-profit are

$500,000 in 2016 and $1 million in 2019.

eligible to apply for the Stevie Awards in a wide range of categories, honoring achievement in every aspect of work life, from customer service and management

Introducing Inc.’s Best Workplaces of 2020 Inc., May 6, 2020

to public relations and product development. More than 3,600 nominations were reviewed in the judging process this year by 230 professionals worldwide, whose average scores determined the winners.

For the second year in a row, Tripleseat was named one of Inc. magazine’s best workplaces of 2020 based on the company’s application and employee survey results. Inc. surveyed 370,000 employees of companies that applied for the award. The typical engagement score was

How to Plan a Fabulous Virtual Bachelorette Party Brides, Aug. 7, 2020

90 percent. These companies create an ideal workplace

Tripleseat’s National Accounts Manager, Whitney Edwards,

for their employees; 100 percent provide health insurance,

was interviewed by Brides magazine for tips on how brides

and 62 percent take workers to offsite retreats.

can plan a successful virtual bachelorette party in 2020. From the article: Center your virtual party in a place you wish you could be celebrating together. Having everyone bar-hop around using the same backgrounds can give the illusion that you’re all in the same place according to hospitality veteran Whitney Edwards of Tripleseat. “You can dress up for the occasion and tie some of the snacks and cocktails for the night to a destination,” she says.


IN THE NEWS

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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

Positioning Hotels to Drive Business in the Second Half of 2020

10 Skills Every Event Planner Needs in a COVID-19 World

Lodging, Aug. 19, 2020

BizBash, Aug. 25, 2020

Tripleseat Founder and CEO Jonathan Morse wrote a post

The events news site blog shared tips from Tripleseat’s

for Lodging’s blog on strategies that hoteliers can use to

Corporate Event Manager, Rachel Mazzola, on the skills

position their properties to attract new business during the

and traits that event professionals need to adapt to the

second half of the year.

industry’s new normal during the COVID pandemic.

Morse included tips on how to be transparent about

According to the article: Make sure the plan is continuously

health and safety measures, implementing contactless

updated according to new developments, and that your

technology, promoting special offers and packages,

entire team has access to it. One way to expand your

preparing for direct and easy booking, and reaching out to

skills in this area is through online education courses,

corporate customers.

webinars, and networking, points out Rachel Mazzola, corporate event manager of Tripleseat, an event management platform that offers educational resources

The Future of Booze: Can Bars Use Instagram to Survive?

for planners. “Topics that every event planner should be exploring now are event crisis communication,

The Daily Dot, Aug. 15, 2020

emergency preparedness, contract negotiations, event

The news site included tips from an interview with

event management.”

design, inclusive event strategies, and virtual meeting and

Tripleseat’s Content Marketing Director, Azure Collier, about how bars and restaurants can use social media to generate business during the pandemic. From the article: Collier is a content marketing director for

Tripleseat Launches DirectBook to Take Private Event Catering Off-Premises

Tripleseat and specializes in social media strategy for the

The Spoon, Oct. 29, 2020

hospitality industry. She said bars should still be regularly

Industry publication The Spoon shared the news of

posting on social media despite being closed.

Tripleseat's newest feature, DirectBook, in this article.

“Even if your customers see that in passing, it’s still putting

"Over a phone call this week, Tripleseat founder and CEO

your bar in their head. They’re remembering you,” Collier

Jonathan Morse said his company has been working on

said. “When the time does come to go out again, when

DirectBook for nearly a year. Historically, booking an event

things open, you’re going to be at the top of their (mind),

— think corporate events, weddings, birthdays, and bar

because they’ve been thinking about you this whole time.”

mitzvahs — meant calling the restaurant and interacting with one or more staff members to choose a menu, reserve the space, and pay for the event, among other tasks. DirectBook bundles all of these together and puts them on the restaurant’s website so that a user interfaces with that rather than a bunch of different people."


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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TREND REPORT EVENT TRENDS DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT The events and hospitality industry in our current COVID-19 world looks a lot different than what we’re all used to. And, let's be real here, it may take until there is a viable, widespread vaccine before it goes back to any kind of complete normalcy. With that said, there are certainly still some interesting trends that have appeared out of a lot of creativity and some urgency. Let’s take a closer look at four trends that have gained momentum in 2020.

KATE KENNEDY


TREND REPORT

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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

1. MICROPARTIES

2. SEQUEL WEDDINGS

Microparty? What the heck is a microparty? Well, if you’re

This trend began a while back with overstated and

not already in the know, it’s time to get familiar. Microparties

overpriced

are the newest way people are celebrating life’s milestones

event wouldn’t do. But these days, normal run-of-the-mill

while adapting to our new normal.

couples are saying “I do” to sequel weddings.

By made-up definition, a microparty is an event that is

By name, sequel weddings are ones that take place

attended by a maximum of 25 guests. In most situations,

twice: once in the company of a very limited number

microparties are held in a host’s backyard or communal

of VIPs — think immediate family and one or two friends

open space, but your restaurant or venue can invite

­— while the sequel is planned for a later date and is more

customers to take their microparty to the next level by

suited to the traditional wedding vibe of 100 or more

offering up your venue’s pimped out, Instagram-ready

guests. Offering a sequel wedding package is a smart and

patio or roofdeck.

super-easy way for your venue to make money twice.

Create unique packages to go along with these microevents and promote them like crazy on social media. Don’t miss out on the chance to make money off of this trendy yet fun event fad.

celebrity

weddings

where

one

single


BRIEFINGS

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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

3. THE POP-UP The families who held drive-by birthday parties at the start of the pandemic are the inspiration behind this fun event trend. Event professionals and venues across the country have begun to offer sociallydistanced outdoor celebrations that come to you. Think an all-in-one event service that brings everything you need to host a safe and memorable event in the comfort of your backyard. From the simple to the extravagant, we think pop-up events are here to stay.

4. GOING VIRTUAL Whether it be a hybrid virtual gathering or a fully remote

GROW YOUR REVENUE BY EMBRACING TRENDS

all online event, adding a virtual aspect to your venue’s

Event trends are fickle by nature, and every smart business

list of services is a smart business move. This trend isn’t

operator wants to get ahead of them. Everyone wants to

going anywhere for the foreseeable future, and fine

be the first to figure out the next big thing, or at least to

tuning a well-working virtual event machine is in your

figure it out before their biggest competitor does.

best interest — well-working being the key to virtual. But COVID event trends are different. They weren’t Just throwing together a projector screen you bought off

curated out of a need to predict the future; instead

of Amazon and adding public wifi really isn’t fine tuning.

they were created out of necessity. Implementing these

You need to either hire an A/V expert to be your virtual

trends will not only help to keep your business afloat

consultant or hire an entire staff that will execute

during these uncertain times, but they also have the

these events. Taking it seriously will ensure your venue

ability to bring your venue and its events into the future.

is making money off of virtual well past the walls of this pandemic.


TREND REPORT

Increase your event sales + streamline the planning process.

Capture every event lead

Check event space availability

Create documents that get results

Capture leads from your website, Facebook, VENUES by Tripleseat directory, and even the phone.

See events from one venue or hundreds. View by status, room, or venue to know what spaces are available.

Quickly build banquet event orders, contracts, proposals, invoices, and more with our SmartDocs tool.

Get paid faster

Manage relationships

Intelligence reporting

Online payments have never been easier. Customers can pay with any credit card knowing their information is secure.

Our CRM system organizes and manages all of your contacts in one central database — accessible to everyone online.

Report on every aspect of your event business. View reports for upcoming events, financials, leads, payments, and more.

“I love and embrace Tripleseat and have learned how to use it to work smarter and not harder. It really translates into my sales exponentially increasing. And that’s the bottom line of everybody’s day in this event world.”

Marisa Colangelo | Director of Private Events, Zuma NYC


Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue 16

BRIEFINGS


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What’s in your COVID bag? KATE KENNEDY

In this issue of Seated, we’ve switched up our What’s In Your Bag? feature to focus on what event professionals are carrying in their bag of tricks while running a business during the pandemic. We tapped the brain of one of our favorite event professionals and Tripleseat customer, Whitney Eccher, who is the Senior Sales Manager for 4Top Hospitality in Nashville. Let’s begin by taking a quick dive into Eccher’s background, and what led her to the hospitality industry and ultimately to private events. Eccher has been in the hospitality industry for more than 16 years. She worked her way up from hostess to server, and eventually moved to private events. Eccher’s passion for hospitality makes her one of the most sought-after event planners in Nashville. She always puts her clients first and works hard to ensure their booking and planning process is as easy and stress-free as possible. She often hears clients say, “Wow, that was so easy!” To which she responds, “That’s the only way it should be.” Her job is to make her clients’ visions come to life. Eccher was born and raised in Carmel, Calif., along with five other generations of her family. She started working at a young age for a local resort and golf club. She was their event manager for member events. After several years in this position, she moved on to become the operations manager for an offsite catering company where she planned weddings and large corporate events. In 2008 Eccher moved to Nashville, just in time for the recession. After about six months off, she took a job at the Hutton Hotel where she worked as a conference and wedding planner. She also undertook the organization of guest room blocks, entertainment service management for traveling bands, as well as the booking and execution of private events in their two private dining rooms. She worked at the Hutton Hotel for seven years before accepting a position at 4Top Hospitality.

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

Event Pros Tell Seated:


Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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4Top has 16 restaurants throughout the South, in the cities of Jackson, Miss.; Huntsville, Ala.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Nashville. Eccher represents three of the six concepts in Nashville, which include Etch, etc., and Char restaurants. She sells and coordinates private dining rooms, restaurant buyouts, off-site catering, and delivery. Eccher also oversees the entire Nashville market while also collaborating with their Huntsville and Memphis sales teams. When Eccher isn’t working, which isn’t often, you can find her hanging out with her four welsh corgis or her cats, riding her horses, or hanging with her family outside city limits. THE BAG Currently Eccher is carrying a laptop crossbody bag, more for function than fashion. The parking lot where she parks every day is more than a block away from the restaurants, so ease and comfort is a must. Here is what she is currently carrying in her bag during the pandemic. Hand sanitizer: Before the pandemic, I was also the same way: trying to keep the germs at bay. Working in the hospitality industry, and especially a restaurant, you touch so many surfaces. I always wash my hands like crazy, but having the mini hand sanitizer bottle is always a plus for times when you need it. Custom-branded 4Top Hospitality jersey material face mask: So comfortable. No one likes masks, but we have to wear them. Our company purchased custom-branded masks. They are made from a jersey knit material. They’re super-comfortable and don't make you feel like you are suffocating.


WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG?

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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

Two pairs of shoes: These are my walking from the

A 32-ounce water bottle: My goal each day is

parking garage/lot shoes and my business attire

to drink at least two 32 ounce servings of water.

shoes. When I was younger I would wear 4 inch

I have my coffee at home, but usually drink a can

high heels and didn't realize the damage I was

of raspberry Bubly sparkling water on my drive

doing to my feet. Flash forward several years and

in. As soon as I walk into the restaurant, I go fill

now I wear comfy tennis shoes from the parking

up my 32-ounce water bottle. It’s easy to sip on

area to the restaurant, where I then change into

throughout the day and it helps to justify that

my wedges or business flats.

cocktail or glass of wine at night.

Healthy snacks:. I always have some reduced salt roasted almonds from Trader Joe's and a bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn. It is so easy to fall off the diet wagon when working in a restaurant. Especially when you have an amazing pastry chef and chef de cuisine that are always putting out yummy snacks. Pretty soon you are completely full and don’t need lunch! A few years back I learned to keep a bag of almonds with me and a bag of regular Skinny Pop popcorn. These are lifesavers! A snack every few hours helps to reduce temptation.


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with

Etch

RACHEL CALKINS

Five questions Etch, a 4Top Hospitality Group restaurant located in downtown Nashville, has welcomed guests for dinner dates, group gatherings, and private events since opening in 2012. By taking a quick glance at Etch’s Facebook reviews page, you will find five-star ratings from countless customers impressed by the delicious cuisine, incredible service, and proper sanitation procedures; a nonnegotiable trait for restaurants in a COVID-19 world. We spoke with Ali Gensert, Marketing Director for 4Top Hospitality, about what the guest experience looks like at Etch under normal circumstances and how Etch has adapted to the challenges COVID-19 has presented across the hospitality and events industry.


FIVE QUESTIONS

1

Tell us about the history, menu, and ambiance a guest would experience while dining at Etch? What makes it unique compared to other restaurants in the Nashville area? Etch opened in 2012 in the ground floor of the Encore Tower in downtown Nashville. Featuring an eclectic menu from renowned Chef Deb Paquette, the cuisine at Etch boasts bold, global dishes inspired by Deb’s favorite spices and flavors from around the world. The dining room is equipped with two private dining rooms, a full bar, and open kitchen with bar-style seating, allowing guests to interact with the culinary team throughout the meal. The warm, inviting atmosphere and prime downtown location provide the perfect landscape for enjoying business lunches, intimate dinners, group celebrations, and drinks before the concert or hockey game. Our team is dedicated to providing a five-star experience to each and every guest, and look forward to remaining a staple of the Nashville scene for years to come!

2

Can you tell us how COVID-19 has impacted Etch? What strategies and initiatives have you used to bounce back throughout the pandemic? Given our downtown location, we are seeing much less foot traffic and tourism than we typically do. Additionally, many nearby businesses have closed during this time. After closing for a short period of time, we reopened our dining rooms and added a variety of options to make it easy and accessible for guests to enjoy our cuisine at home: free delivery to nearby hotels, packaged dessert and wine kits to bring home, family-style meals to go, and an online ordering option for curbside pickup and delivery. We enhanced our existing cleaning measures and implemented social distancing in our dining room to safely serve guests that still want the true Etch experience. We’ve remained flexible and creative to pivot from a full-service, fine dining restaurant to meet the needs of our loyal guests.

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BRIEFINGS

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3

Under normal circumstances, what does the private event scene look like at Etch? What has it looked like during COVID-19? We offer two private dining spaces for business meetings, cocktail receptions, and seated dinners. Both rooms are adorned with warm, ambient lighting, semi-formal place settings and frosted doors, separating the rooms from the main dining rooms. The Intermezzo Room seats up to 12 guests and is best suited for smaller, intimate meetings and events. The Encore Room, located towards the back of the restaurant, accommodates up to 44 seated or 50 standing guests with a private bar and optional A/V setups. During the COVID-19 restrictions, seating is far more limited to comply with local guidelines on seating capacity, and tables are set without glassware and silverware setups. Guests are brought rolled silverware and beverages upon ordering so as to not have items on the table that could be touched by multiple people. Receptions are not allowed at this time due to restrictions on mingling. We are currently only able to accommodate groups of 25 or less with a maximum of six guests per table, spaced 6 feet apart from one another.

4

How has Tripleseat helped you accomplish your goals during the pandemic? Did certain Tripleseat features specifically help even more now than before? We actually made the switch from Gather to Tripleseat in May of this year. It was perfectly timed because we were on the slower side (unfortunately), but that gave us the opportunity to master a new system. The Tripleseat Social Hours (Tripleseat’s ongoing virtual roundtable series) were very helpful! Our team loved hearing the tips and tricks of what other states and restaurants have been doing so we could implement something similar at our sister restaurants in Nashville, Huntsville, and Memphis. We have also enjoyed the advanced reporting features. The ability to easily forecast and set attainable sales goals during this time has been fantastic!


FIVE QUESTIONS

5

As we head into the upcoming holiday season, we understand that it may not look as it usually does across the hospitality industry due to the pandemic’s safety restrictions. Looking ahead, what are Etch’s plans and strategies for driving revenue this holiday season? While we still look forward to hosting groups on a smaller scale, we are brainstorming other ways to reach our guests during this unprecedented season. We will welcome private dining groups based on the guidance of local authorities with proper party size capacities and social distancing measures in place. Additionally, we are offering customized virtual chef experiences and tailoring packaged meal and beverage kits based on the needs and wants of our guests. This will allow us to still be a part of celebrations in whatever way that suits our guests’ needs best.

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BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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Let's toast 2020 with a Manhattan, because Champagne isn't strong enough this year KATE KENNEDY

This delicious twist on one of my favorite classic cocktails adds a bit of fall flavor and warmth by switching out the sweet vermouth for the Italian cordial, Averna amaro. If there was ever a cocktail made to sip fireside under a cozy blanket, this is it.


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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

THE BLACK MANHATTAN INGREDIENTS: 2 ounces bourbon 1 ounce Averna amaro Dash of Angostura bitters Dash of orange bitters Luxardo cherry for garnish PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in your mixing glass with ice. Stir for 30-60 seconds to ensure it’s properly mixed. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with one Luxardo cherry. Enjoy!


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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Fall appetizers: Roasted maple butternut squash and Brussels sprouts with pecans KATARINA SU

Fall is one of my favorite seasons throughout the year. There is a warmth around it that comes from the spices and dishes associated with it. Think cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and all the roasted squash vegetables. Eating seasonal at this time of year is perfect because it makes the most delicious and easy dishes — and they can be healthy! One of my favorite appetizers or side dishes to serve is roasted maple butternut squash and brussels sprouts with pecans. The great thing about this dish is that you can customize to your liking — use sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash, any kind of nut in place of pecans (or even add cranberries!), and even adjust the maple syrup quantity depending on how sweet you’d like it to be. The colors of these veggies make for a beautiful dish and are sure to wow your guests!


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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS

Butternut squash and Brussels sprouts

Butternut squash and Brussels sprouts

4 cups butternut squash 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey) 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare 2 large baking trays. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, toss together the Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Salt and pepper to taste

Pour the butternut squash mixture onto one baking tray and the Brussels sprouts mixture onto the other.

Candied Pecans

Bake both for 40-45 minutes, tossing halfway between.

2 cups candied pecans 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)

Candied pecans While the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash are baking, heat a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add in the 2 cups of pecans and toast for a couple of minutes. Make sure to toss and keep an eye on the pecans — you don’t want them to burn! Add in 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup until coated evenly. Remove from heat and set aside. Once Brussels sprouts and butternut squash are done, combine all ingredients together with the candied pecans in a large bowl and serve. Enjoy!


Features

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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The King OF PIVOTING

HOW AUSTIN BREWERY JESTER KING REINVENTED ITSELF DURING THE PANDEMIC AND CAME BACK BETTER THAN EVER AZURE COLLIER


31 Customer Spotlight

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue


Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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Features

The history of Austin-based Jester King brewery is not the typical one of most breweries or restaurants.

Yes, its founders got their start with homebrewing, but the brewery’s building and grounds have gone through some unusual changes. The building is an old machine shop from southern Texas that was taken apart and put back together as a brewery. The site itself opened in 2010. Five years later, the brewery purchased 58 acres that surrounded the brewery, and then an additional 107 acres in 2018. Then, they purchased the Tipping T Inn property in 2019. Who could have guessed that the purchase of that land would play a major part in Jester King’s business during the 2020 pandemic? Like most hospitality venues, Jester King went under lockdown in March 2020, but their employees didn’t spend the pause in business just binging “Tiger King.” They evaluated their assets and strengths and used them to reinvent themselves to fit our new normal. By May, the team reopened Jester King from a brewery to a park with a brewery, picnic grounds, and hiking trails across their 165 acres.


Customer Spotlight

33

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

It was a natural transition, according to Taylor Gardner, Private Events Manager at Jester King. “Part of what makes Jester King special as a destination is our grounds and the beauty of the surrounding Hill Country. We've always been a place to gather with friends and family, to celebrate, to enjoy great beer and food,” she said. “With restaurants and breweries having to shut down due to COVID, we had to rethink our service style and layout. We have 165 acres at our disposal — a great opportunity to share our grounds and trails with guests while still providing a safe space to gather in (smaller) groups.” Jester King created six outdoor green spaces for guests — The Beer Garden, The Hop Yard, The Goat Pen (yes, there are goats!), The Vineyard picnic space, The Pasture, and The Canopy, The Grotto, and The Pole Barn. All of these spaces have picnic tables with umbrellas and tree shade.. There’s more to come; the brewery is developing more green spaces and a 2-mile nature trail. All of these spaces can be booked for events, private guided tours, and tastings through Tripleseat. In addition to providing plenty of social distancing space, Jester King has introduced a new online reservation system that allows guests to book their visits during limited two or three hour periods offered Wednesdays through Sundays, with an hour blocked off between time periods for cleaning. Food and drinks are being served in disposable containers and Jester King’s food and beverages are also available seven days a week through contactless curbside pickup. The brewery has introduced contactless payments and QR code-accessible menus. Guests are notified via text when their order is ready, and pick up their order at the brewery’s pole barn. The team has increased their cleaning frequency during business hours, with all employees wearing masks and gloves. Guests are also asked to wear masks and Jester King provides plenty of hand sanitizer made by local distilleries. Technology and flexibility have been an important part of the reopening process, said Gardner.


Features

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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Technology and flexibility have been an important part of the reopening process, said Gardner.


Customer Spotlight

Before the pandemic, Jester King was an Austin hotspot for all kinds of events. The team hosts 30 to 40 events annually at their event spaces, including weddings, festivals, rehearsal dinners, and fundraisers. They brought on Tripleseat to manage all of the details that go into planning these celebrations. “We needed a tool to streamline our event booking process, from inquiries and event requests to taking payments and signing contracts. Tripleseat came highly recommended, and after researching other tools, we recognized Tripleseat had the best features and was exactly what we were looking for,” Gardner said. After reopening, Jester King has started to receive event inquiries and they’ve started offering updated event packages to ensure that guests are safe, comfortable, and everyone — from employees to attendees — are following recommended COVID prevention guidelines. “We have added event packages for microweddings and elopements, as well as developing smaller full-service wedding packages. Our venue is all-inclusive, offering catering and bar services in addition to our picturesque venue,” Gardner said. “We’ve seen an uptick in micro-weddings of 20 guests or less, elopements, and smaller weddings overall. We are also seeing more corporate meeting inquiries as businesses look for safer ways to host larger staff meetings and conferences. We have also continued to book events into 2021 and 2022 as people continue to look to the future.” Fortunately, Tripleseat’s tools offer plenty of contactless ways to plan events and the best event management features to streamline the entire process.

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

“Technology has been key — we've moved to mobile ordering from our tables, offering to-go beer and pizza, and instituting a reservation system,” she said. “The ability to be flexible and pivot as changes evolve regarding operating regulations has also been key. Our staff is a serious group of badasses — they have taken everything that has gotten thrown at them and run with it, making Jester King an even better place to visit during a pandemic, all while keeping a smile on their face (even if it is hidden behind a mask).”

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Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

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Features

“We love the ease of taking payments. Tripleseat's integration with Stripe has made receiving payments such a breeze. I also love the master document feature — it makes updating individual sheets for the kitchen, client, and staff so easy,” Gardner said. “If Tripleseat was taken away from us, we would freak out! Seriously. Our ability to quickly respond to inquiries, update client documents from anywhere, and track our event calendar are all dependent on Tripleseat. Without it, we would be definitely less efficient and effective for our clients.” Learn more about Jester King by visiting their website at jesterkingbrewery.com.


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Do it for the 'gram

HOW TO CREATE AN INSTAGRAMMABLE VENUE AZURE COLLIER

When social media networks became rapidly popular in the late 2000s and users started to document the small moments in their daily lives, the people who scoffed at these new tools would often say something like, “I don’t need to know what someone ate for breakfast.” Well, they were wrong — big time. Food and restaurant posts have become a popular topic for social media content. On Instagram, hashtags for #food, #foodporn, and #foodie have been used hundreds of millions of times. Humans need to eat and they are constantly searching for food that’s unique and restaurants that provide an interesting experience. They want motivation to leave the comfort of the couch — where they order delivery from their phone — to a venue that has culinary flair and an environment worth sharing with their network. It’s important for your restaurant to be part of this trend, especially during the pandemic, as a way to reach your

customers. When your food and your space are photographed and shared on Instagram, it’s free third-party publicity for your venue. People tend to value the opinions of their personal network, so a photo of your restaurant is like an endorsement of your business to a network of hundreds of people. And when those people come in and share their experience online with their friends, it spreads the word even further. However, not all restaurants are equal when it comes to shareable content. You need to take some steps to make your venue Instagrammable. Here’s a few ideas to get started.

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Do it for the ‘gram

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CREATE ENGAGING COCKTAILS Food doesn’t get all the attention in Instagram pics. Cocktails are just as visually interesting in the feed, and these are the trends that get your drinks noticed. Color: Cocktails come in just about every color in the rainbow. If you’re mixing up something that has vivid hues, it’s sure to be a hit on Instagram.

MAKE YOUR FOOD PHOTO-WORTHY Social media users don’t just share any food pics online. The food has to be photo-worthy enough to attract attention from their followers. What qualities are they looking for? Color: Food like vegetables, fruits, salads, cheese, colorful sauces, and desserts that have vibrant or unusual colors get attention from followers in their Instagram feeds (and tend to make stomachs growl). Texture: Think about the chocolate cracks in a tray of brownies, the toasty cheese on a pizza, or the crispy crust on a fried chicken sandwich. Those details draw the eye up close to the food and make viewers feel like they’re right there at the table. Plating and presentation: People love seeing interesting ways to serve food, like crazy milkshakes that are topped with a piece of cake, a knife sticking out of a burger or tall sandwich, colorful or elegant plates, beautiful charcuterie boards, or unusual containers like desserts in a cocktail glass. Unusual food or trends: If you’re serving something that everyone’s talking about, your customers are going to order it, take pictures of it, and brag about it on Instagram. Trends like avocado toast, plant-based burgers, and over-the-top desserts like sundaes topped with cupcakes and ice cream cones are all over social media.

Interesting garnishes: A lime wedge or paper umbrella just won’t do anymore. Photo-happy foodies want to share photos of bloody mary bars with wild garnish choices like sliders, shrimp, pickles, and even ribs. Infused fruit or salt, herbed ice cubes, lollipops, flowers, gummy candies, or plastic toys are other possible Instagrammable choices. Clever containers: Glasses are boring. Containers like light bulbs, inflatable flamingo coasters, vases, terrarium spheres, ceramic tiki or animal cups, hollowed-out pineapples and coconuts, beakers, and mini wooden barrels were made for social media sharing.


Do it for the 'gram

Even though there are more than one billion users on Instagram, they’re not posting photos every day. Remind them to do it when they’re visiting your venue. Make sure you have signage in your restaurant or on tables that encourages visitors to follow you on Instagram and includes your Instagram handle so they’ll be sure to tag you and you’ll be able to see and engage with the posts. Some restaurants have also purchased a few smartphone accessories like selfie sticks, small tripods, lighting, or white backdrops for serious Instagrammers to make images look better. Or install professional ring lights in front of your Instagrammable areas to provide better lighting for photos.

GIVE YOUR SPACE A MAKEOVER A distinct design adds to a great overall experience for your customers and provides the perfect backdrop to capture Instagrammable moments. Try one of these designs to make your restaurant stand out. Lighter colors: White walls with bright lights make for a much better background and will make the food and the people pop. Interesting walls: Large murals, unusual art, and wallpaper with bright, colorful patterns are a magnet for selfie-takers and amateur group photographers. Bright colors: Bold colors on the walls, furniture or decor accents are a favorite subject for Instagrammers. Neon signs: A bright neon sign — whether it’s an inspirational quote or fun saying, an animal, or an object — will definitely get captured by a smartphone camera. Plants: The trend of real or fake plant walls and flower walls has been around for a few years, and it’s still a popular backdrop for social media photos.

Adding some of these ideas to your venue can help set the scene for a great photo, and a few simple steps can motivate them to do it right away. It gives your customers photos that their networks will notice and plenty of publicity for your restaurant.

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FOLLOW THE TRENDS BUT MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS

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Work hard and be nice HOW TO BE A CO-WORKER THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO WORK WITH NICOLE CATATAO

As much as I would love to be on a permanent vacation on a tropical island with a spicy margarita in hand and a stack of books, it’s a dream, not reality, and it wouldn’t help me pay my mortgage. I do, however, consider myself lucky because I actually look forward to coming into work every day simply because I enjoy spending time with my co-workers. Even on the busiest, most stressful days, I know that they’ll have my back and make me laugh. I interviewed a bunch of my co-workers and we came up with a list of the top tips that make you an employee that people actually want to work with.


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SET NON-NEGOTIABLES These are the things in your routine that you do not budge on no matter what. A list of non-negotiables helps set clear expectations with the people you surround yourself with and also helps you set a healthy work-life balance. Having a healthy balance between working hours and your personal life allows you to relax and build back up your energy, creativity, and stamina to give your working hours 100 percent of your attention. A non-negotiable could be exercising 30 minutes a day, not answering emails after 7 pm, or taking a 20-minute break each day for a walk.

LEARN TO SAY NO It’s tough, but saying no is actually a good thing when it comes to your career. Saying yes to everything will only end up hurting you in the long run. You will eventually be over-extending yourself, and setting yourself up for failure. When you spread yourself too thin, you cannot give your best effort to everything. Learning to say no in a professional manner allows you to pick and choose what you can work on collectively while still being able to have the desired output that makes you proud and keeps your boss happy.

CREATE YOUR OWN NICOLE'S APOTHECARY Whether we are in the office or out on the road for one of our events such as Party People or EventCamp, my co-workers have become so accustomed to me always having exactly what they need stuffed in my Mary Poppins-like purse that they often refer to it as Nicole's Apothecary. Items that I always have on hand to tackle any situation include: • Advil and Advil Migraine • Tiger Balm • Anxiety Ease CBD and Migraine CBD from Humble Roots Medicinals and CBD Oil from HillView Wellness • Deodorant • Gum • Perfume • Several lip glosses • At least three types of hand lotion • Phone charger and backup phone battery • Snacks • Water • Nail file • Hair elastics COVID Edition: • Mask • Hand sanitizer • Baby wipes • Extra mask for that one co-worker who always forgets theirs


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COVID TIP: CONNECT WITH OTHERS Working from home for the last several months during quarantine has been challenging even for us introverts; especially if you have young children at home. We are simply not used to such limited contact with others, rules about when and where we can visit, or how to interact in the world.

JOIN A HIERARCHY-FREE TEAM The marketing team has several monthly and yearly goals as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) that we are focused on hitting, but at the end of the day, we all have one goal: To help as many restaurants, hotels, and unique venues do their jobs the best that they can and increase their revenue. Having one clear mission on what Tripleseat is set out to achieve eliminates the traditional hierarchy found in most corporations and this is the most evident on our team. We all focus on getting the task at hand completed versus focusing on who is in command or whose job it is. The 10 of us work as a family and step in and do what needs to be done whether it’s in our job description or not. We all see our work as a team collaborative effort of pass or fail. This teamwork naturally creates a supportive, judgment-free zone where we help and educate each other to grow as a team. And we have passed with flying colors, month after month, year after year!

WORK HARD, PARTY HARD You can often find Tripleseat employees spending time together after hours and on weekends since we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Being someone who likes to party is not a prerequisite to being hired here, but it does make things more fun. Spending time together outside of work allows us to bond to create that family sense of support. Being friends with your co-workers makes us all active listeners who can handle disagreements respectively; we are the Tripleseat family and we may not always agree on which route to execute a specific task, but we've got each other’s back no matter what.

To combat loneliness and fatigue, schedule weekly or bi-weekly team happy hours where you can talk about non-work stuff, play games, or discuss a book or show that everyone is watching. Hang out with your co-workers virtually to try and bring some sense of normalcy to your week. Check in with your coworkers more frequently than you used to. Turn on video calls when you can. We may not be able to sit in the same room right now, but seeing each other live through our phones or computers, and being able to see real emotions and body language is mentally beneficial.

BE PASSIONATE My first featured article in Seated was in the Spring 2019 edition and I wrote about becoming an email marketing pro. In my closing paragraph, my final thought was “‘have fun and love what you do,” and that rings just as true when it comes to being a great co-worker. Come to work every day with a passion for your job. Passion feeds creativity, dedication, and grit. When others see how passionate you are about the company and about your work, it ignites passion in others. By not being shy about how much you love what you do, it not only makes you a better employee, but it pushes others to step up and be just as great. It also allows you to do what’s best for the organization and each other. If I had to pick only one piece of advice for you to take away from this article it would be to love what you do. Passion for your craft and output is the foundation for being a great coworker and employee that all of the other qualities and tips I shared can build upon. If you don’t enjoy what you spend your time on, it doesn’t matter how large your Mary Poppins purse is or how many non-negotiables you set, passion is the key to setting yourself up to the best co-worker that everyone wants to have on their team.


Searching for the perfect venue will never be the same.

Discover and book the perfect venue for your next event at venues.tripleseat.com


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Features

Get listed WHY THE TRIPLESEAT BOOKING NETWORK WILL HELP YOU INCREASE EVENT BOOKINGS AND REVENUE NICOLE CATATAO

Private events are the bread and butter (pun intended) for any restaurant or venue since the revenue margins are anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent. Increasing the private events held at your space by just one event per month can mean huge revenue growth over the course of a year. But why stop at just one new event per month? Being listed on both VENUES and EventUp exposes your venue to hundreds of thousands of event planners, all who are potential new leads for you and your venue. The Tripleseat Booking Network consists of Tripleseat's two unique venue booking directories: VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp powered by Tripleseat.


Get listed

EventUp started in 2011 with a bold idea: to change the way people book events. EventUp is the largest event spaces directory, with an emphasis on unique spaces: think museums, art galleries, wineries, and even professional ballparks. Together, as the Tripleseat Booking Network, VENUES and EventUp are the largest network of event venues, making it the number one choice for event planners to browse, book, and plan their social and corporate events with. These two powerful sites are dedicated to supporting event planners to plan their perfect event and driving leads. Beyond the prominent exposure you gain access to by joining the largest marketplace for event spaces, the Tripleseat Booking Network runs the following marketing initiatives that put the focus on exposing the venues to all event planners. • Top organic search result for event-related keywords: Both directories were built around search engine optimization (SEO), which means that our directories and your venue are the top organic search result at the very moment when event planners are searching for their next venue. • SEO specialist-managed paid social media campaigns: These campaigns further expand our viewership and reach across Google and all social media platforms. • Blog posts on industry topics written by professional writers: Both directories focus on producing top quality content with blog posts and handbooks written by professional writers to help both the professional and the everyday event planner with upcoming trends, tips and tricks, style ideas and so much more. Check out the VENUES by Tripleseat blog at venueblog.tripleseat.com and the EventUp blog at eventup.com/blog.

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The VENUES by Tripleseat restaurant and hotel directory was built by Tripleseat as a lead generator for our customers. VENUES is an easy-to-use visual display for event planners to scroll through venues to find the perfect location for their next event.

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• Venue spotlight blog posts, written either by our professional team or your own in-house marketing team: We’ll publish a blog post dedicated solely to your venue, in which you can showcase photos of your space and past events, and an in-depth description of your event capabilities, menu options, and unique offerings. These posts are featured on our blog and shared across all of our social accounts including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, introducing your venue and event space to our expansive social network and reach. • Content focused on customers: We love to put the focus on our venues as part of our own blogging and social media marketing efforts. One of our favorite ways to highlight our venues is crafting listicle features to make it easier for event planners to locate the venue that they need. We craft all kinds of unique lists such as coolest bathrooms, rooftops, weddings, venues with pools, or the newest breweries. We also regularly share articles written by industry blogs that feature our customers as part of our curated social media content. • Venue spotlight posts on social media: These posts highlight photos and unique features of your venue on Facebook and Instagram and your venue will be tagged in these posts. This initiative helps you visually reach the members of our social networks. Event planners are encouraged to create an account with the Tripleseat Booking Network to set up a unique user experience between the event planner and the venue. After

the event planner browses through venues in their desired city, narrowing down on a few that could potentially be a good fit for their event, the event planner can easily submit multiple requests to venues. The two-way communication all happens within the same portal. Event planners can save messages, set favorite venues, and explore educational content all from one view. Once you and the event planner have agreed on moving forward with a proposal, you can simply push that lead to your event management platform like Tripleseat to complete the full sales cycle, event execution, and future marketing potential. With COVID-19 putting a temporary halt on corporate and social events that we are typically used to by either limiting the number of guests who are allowed to attend to a complete ban on public events altogether depending on the city or state you are located in, the value of events taking place in the second half of 2020 and 2021 has increased. The pressure is on to book events further out in the calendar year and next to recoup the loss of business due to the global pandemic, which is why it’s even more imperative that the partnerships that you build with your venue need to have your events business growth as their main goal as well. With VENUES and EventUp running marketing campaigns on their venues’ behalf, and leads flowing in, The Tripleseat Booking Network will quickly become your favorite marketing partner.


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“ Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It's that simple, and it's that hard.” - DANNY MEYER Chief Executive Officer of the Union Square Hospitality Group


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Features

Customer appreciation HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF USER-GENERATED CONTENT IN HOSPITALITY

KATE KENNEDY

When was the last time you booked a hotel room or made a restaurant reservation without first checking online comments and reviews? It’s a new decade, and everyone's a critic. The opinions of everyday, regular consumers are becoming more and more impactful, and the guest experience is more visible than ever before, thanks to user-generated content (UGC).


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WHAT IS USER-GENERATED CONTENT (UGC)? UGC is marketing content created not by professionals, but by your peers and your customers. Social media posts, curated hashtags, location markers, and blog articles published by actual customers is something that all hospitality companies should be utilizing. In most scenarios, event managers — in some capacity — are also marketing managers. Using your customers’ content to boost sales is free advertising and it takes the work off of your plate. It’s an easy way to ensure you’re getting the marketing your venue needs while still having the time to aptly book and attend to events.

LEVERAGE YOUR UGC There are so many easy ways to make the most out of your venue’s UGC. First and foremost, you should be shaping the UGC your venue receives. Whether you’re working for a hotel or a restaurant, offering incentives to guests who generate content is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. Set up tabletop signs in your hotel lobby or restaurant asking guests to take selfies using a certain hashtag and tagging your venue. The best photo wins a free night’s stay or dinner for two. Creating remarkable, Instagrammable experiences for your guests is another easy way to compel them to generate

content for you. It could be something as simple as key cards or coffee mugs with funny phrases and photos on them or as complicated as a living green wall. Show the UGC off on your platforms for added exposure but always make sure you give credit to the customer who originally posted the content by tagging them in your caption. A “hall of fame” page on your website is a fun way to repost all of the photos your guests tagged your venue in on social media. Give your guests a story worth telling and they will tell it for you.

MAXIMIZE YOUR UGC Once you have a handle on how to obtain UGC, it’s time to learn how to maximize it. Hone in on consumer trends. What demographic is sharing the most content for your venue? Are they sharing more food and drink photos or more photos of your venue? Are they sharing content while they’re still in your space or after they leave? During which season are they sharing the most content? All of these factors can help you determine your consumers’ strongest trends and use those trends to facilitate future marketing campaigns. Use the voices of your guests to raise brand awareness and boost loyalty. With a little planning, your restaurant or hotel can harness the full potential of UGC to gain more visibility and hopefully increase revenue.


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The best of both worlds

HOW YOUR VENUE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HYBRID EVENT TREND RACHEL MAZZOLA

The last couple of months haven’t been easy for the hospitality industry, with a sudden pandemic causing us furloughs and closures, canceling and rescheduling months of events, and dealing with slow and confusing reopening phases, it feels as if our world has been turned upside down. It has been a lot to go through in a few short months and has us all craving a sense of normalcy as we navigate life post-reopening.

We have had to rethink how we have normally operated in our day to day and have had to explore new ways to generate revenue while still adhering to restrictions. Those of us who have been able to quickly adapt and get creative with some new initiatives paved the way and gave hope to those who have struggled. We’ve seen innovative ideas from virtual experiences, meal boxes, offering new services (like offsite catering, to-go orders, and microparties), gift card matching and promotions, and expanding outdoor dining into parking lots and sidewalks when they could. The hospitality industry has always been home to some of the hardest working and most resilient professionals — and they have had their skills put to the test — but unfortunately, normalcy won’t come back all at once. As we start to reopen and welcome in-person gatherings and private dining groups back, venues have had to get even more creative. With ever-changing capacity restrictions, hospitality professionals have had to continue to reimagine their spaces, offer different event

packages, and work with customers on altering their events. Even with all of those adjustments, venues are still struggling to get groups back as a lot of corporate clients switch over to virtual events for the foreseeable future. But, knowing that clients will need a virtual option for most events, venues have started to take advantage of the trend and have shifted to pushing the idea of hybrid events to clients — a mutually beneficial option to those looking to welcome those back to their events in person, but also offer an option to those who feel more comfortable joining virtually.

What is a hybrid event? Hybrid events are not a new concept in the world of event planning but are a new revenue avenue to those who work in restaurants and unique venues. So, what is a hybrid event? A hybrid event is a 50 percent in person, 50 percent virtual event — it Involves some people physically gathering in the same space and adds the element of streaming or broadcasting the live event out to a larger audience. It’s a way for your

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event to reach more people than your venue can typically hold. There are definitely some considerations you need to keep in mind when hosting a hybrid event, like how to curate experiences for those participating in-person as well as your virtual attendees.

What does your venue need to know about hybrid events?

How can your venue take advantage of hybrid events?

• Always remember to test your equipment and the broadcast before the event; hold a dry run or rehearsal. This will help you see the experience from the virtual attendees’ eyes and make sure you have no hiccups once you go live.

If production services are something your venue hasn’t offered before, it’s best to establish a partnership with a company that is experienced with it. You can offer the services without having to be the expert. Your venue will attract clients who are looking for a one-stop shop when it comes to them putting on their hybrid event. You’ll be able to promote that while they can’t bring everyone together in person, they can still use your venue to host a small group of people while broadcasting to a wider audience.

How can your venue get involved with hybrid events if you’re not hosting or working with a production company? What if you are with a venue where it really doesn’t make sense for you to partner with a production company? How can you promote hosting hybrid events then? You’ll have to be a bit more creative and think out of the box a bit. Find other ways you can partner with people who are hosting a virtual aspect to their live events. For instance, if there is a venue nearby promoting their space for use of virtual events, or their own hybrid events, offer to provide the offsite catering. Or if there is a local performing arts center that is doing limited in-person seating but offering a livestream of their performance or concert, see if you can partner with them to offer food boxes or catering for those who are watching the livestream. You can also host in-person cooking classes or wine tastings in your venue, offer to livestream them and ship out kits, boxes of wine, or food for people to join virtually and cook and taste at home.

If you’re inspired to try something or dip your toe in the hybrid event world, make sure that you follow these tips:

• Keep your virtual audience engaged. Like I’ve mentioned, the virtual audience will have a much different experience than the live audience; you’ll need to make sure you don’t forget them. Include polls, social media engagement, and encourage the use of your virtual platform’s chat features. • Don’t forget to focus on the details of your venue. The broadcast could include close-ups of speakers, and wider shots of the entire audience, so know what will be in the frame to make sure your venue is properly displayed; this is what people will be staring at on their screen for the whole event.

Hybrid events are an incredible business opportunity for your venue So while we (not so) patiently wait for our in-person business to return, we continue to navigate our way through the virtual and hybrid world. It can be daunting at times, but it’s been incredible to see the innovation that has come out of the pandemic. And I think some of the virtual and hybrid offerings we’ve been seeing will be here to stay and will offer a chance for restaurants and venues to become even more successful post-COVID. In the most cliche way possible, it has been exciting to see the hospitality industry take its pandemic lemons and make virtual lemonade (even if at times we’ve had to add a little vodka).


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a podcast about hospitality trends From current hospitality news, food and beverage trends, interviews with event guests, marketing tips and more, Tripleseat's podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, will keep you in the loop on all things relatable to anyone in the events industry. Tune in with hosts Kate Kennedy and Rachel Calkins every Friday to catch up on the latest hospitality topics. Find podcast episodes at info.tripleseat.com/two-chicks-three-seats-podcast, or download them anywhere you listen to podcasts. Want to be a guest on a future episode of the podcast? Send a note to 2chicks3seats@tripleseat.com!


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Virtual insanity HOW THE FAB CONFERENCE CREATED A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE EVENT DURING THE PANDEMIC LATHA YOUNGREN

FAB is an annual conference and panel series that is brought to life each year by Randi Weinstein for women in the hospitality space to gather to share ideas and educate one another. It typically takes place in Charleston, S.C., in June, but with COVID upending everything, Weinstein rebranded the FAB conference to become re-FAB and moved the series of 37 panels online over the course of seven weeks during the summer of 2020.


Virtual insanity

1. Take us back to the first year or even before the first year, why FAB? Did you see an absence of education and information being delivered specifically to women in the hospitality industry? It all stemmed from a series I produced called Bad Bitches, where we highlighted women’s rise in the hospitality industry through the decades. We raised $50,000 from seven small events and gave out scholarship money. I thought while that was great, there was a lack of business skills that were needed in order to open a business, understand business and look towards the end of your career, and there were not many people offering educational summits at that time where it would pluck you out of your environment and place you in a space with all women looking for all the same things. 2. At what point did you realize that FAB wouldn’t be able to take place in person as planned and did you immediately start to make plans to offer it as a virtual series? Tickets went on sale March 4 and I took them off sale March 14. I moved the date to October, thinking the in-person conference would happen at that time. I knew October wouldn't happen in mid-May and that is when I began planning to go virtually, but the question was when ‌. and I knew it had to be as soon as possible. Tickets went on sale for re-FAB on June 26, and the workshop ran from July 19 through Sept. 2.

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I spoke to Weinstein about how she moved her in-person event to a virtual conference and the lessons learned along the way.

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3. Was your live programming just flipped to a virtual platform or did you have to revisit your content to align with even more current challenges related to COVID?

5. Did switching to a virtual event make some of the event planning process easier? What surprises did you experience?

We developed almost 40 panels of content for the live version and I looked at the panels we were going to have and realized not many were going to work for where the industry was at that time. I developed almost 30 new panels that spoke to the current climate of the industry, and also tried to take a look beyond.

No, not at all. I first decided I can’t use the word pivot - It was overused and I decided that this would be the year better known as Re: - re-brand, re-invent, re-work, re-educate, re-invest, re-imagine.

4. What are the important lessons you learned about pivoting from an in-person to virtual event? There are so many lessons, mainly, charging a fee that will hold ticket purchasers accountable to show up and attend the panel discussions. Also, the moderator is such a crucial role. If you have a boring moderator, you will have a boring panel discussion. The moderator has to do their work and research each speaker or speak beforehand to each speaker and find out more about them, and keep the content flowing.

Then I had to create a new logo that matched that, rework the website, decide the topics that would reach future attendees, and then decide the schedule and what that would look like. I had to also find about 40 new speakers as the original speakers were not “experts” on certain topics any longer. I also wanted to bring the intimacy that people have experienced by attending FAB in the past, so developed some small roundtables to do just that. I would email those that signed up to give them all the details and how important it was to attend those roundtables as there would be interaction as opposed to a webinar and that there was a waitlist, but some were no-shows.

FAB: The Future of Events I was fortunate enough to participate in the series “The Future of Events” as the moderator with panelists Holly Carpenter, the Senior Sales Manager of A. Marshall Hospitality; Caryl Chinn of Caryl Chinn Consulting; and Rachel Sheerin, a speaker, trainer, and coach with a background in events.


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We explored a range of topics related to the current state of the event industry and the panelists offered tips and insights on how to navigate everything from the health and safety of guests to how to increase and maintain sales during COVID. Here some takeaways from the panel: 1. Hybrid events: These have emerged as one of the more popular alternatives to live in-person gatherings during COVID. There are numerous ways to go about doing these, but most involve a live webcast chef, mixologist, or speaker while guests either participate by cooking, mixing, or listening along. The re-FAB panelists also think that moving out of COVID that it’s likely this model will remain for larger-scale events to attract larger audiences where travel might have otherwise prohibited them from attending. It’s a win-win scenario with larger attendance and more access to great information or just plain old fun. 2. Partner events: This is a really great way to solidify your brand and stand out. For example, Goldbelly Live! Event allows you to order a meal kit and then cook along with a chef and learn about a particular cuisine or how to master a dish you have always wanted to. You can also try to partner with an event entertainment company to join forces and provide food along with a fun themed activity. 3. Neighborhood drops: If you have the ability to take the restaurant out of the four walls and on the road, this is a great way to reach customers. One of Carpenter’s restaurants uses

a trolley to go to neighborhoods and bring the food out in the Nashville community. They communicate via social channels when and where they will be and have seen great success with this. 4. Venues used as bookable space: Reach out to live production companies in your area to offer your venue for a variety of uses. They might want to shoot a video or a webinar or have a photo shoot in your space. This can provide additional revenue to your property while it isn’t available for dine-in due to restrictions from COVID. 5. Trends that here to stay: Cooking and cocktail kits at home have opened up a whole new revenue stream for restaurants that were previously too busy to consider this. 6. Invest in technology for any virtual event component like webinar software or podcast software: Be sure to give people any tutorials and time to prepare if they are a guest or speaker. 7. Communication is key: This is true for live events as well as virtual events. There needs to be clear communication about everything during these challenging times. Venues need to be super clear about their ever-changing rules that are aligned with safety standards. Also be sure to update your website with the most up-to-date menus, hours, and any other pertinent info. For virtual events, each system to log on for viewing or participating is different. As previously mentioned, guests need tutorials in order to navigate the different digital programs they are being asked to log into.


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6. What advice do you have for planners who may have to move live events to an online format?

8. What is the most rewarding aspect of FAB, re-FAB, and all future FABs?

Find a platform that will work with as few glitches as possible. I used Zoom. Hire a Zoomru (Zoom guru) that will manage the whole event. It was seamless with my Zoomru Casey Warnick running the behind-the-scenes tasks.

When you attend FAB in person, it’s seeing all the attendees walk in for the keynote and meet one another for the first time and it’s like the first day of school where everyone is a little nervous, but soon they realize they are all there for the same reasons.

I also didn't know if Zoom bombing would happen, so I didn't send codes out to the speakers until the Friday before and to each attendee an hour before the program started. All I know is that it was seamless. I would also take a survey of what people are interested in hearing about. If you create programming that is not relevant, people won’t be interested in showing up. 7. When you do go back to holding in-person events, what will you do differently? To be honest, I’m not sure all that much. For those that have attended in the past, it’s all about connectivity, relationship building, and building your network, and that will still be something that is needed. I have to see about offering it virtually, but in all honesty, you miss the whole point of it. FAB is about investing in yourself and taking the time to do just that.

I love seeing the enthusiasm of the attendees when they shake their heads as if they are saying “Yes, finally someone understands me!” I love seeing all the speakers feed off one another and interact with everyone there, and when speakers don’t know if they are more excited about being a speaker or an attendee due to the content. For re-FAB, it was the emails that people sent in appreciation of providing this content at such a reasonable cost that enabled them to attend something they never could possibly afford. For future FABs, making sure the content is spot on and reconnecting is key!


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9. What were the biggest challenges to putting this series together?

11. What’s your favorite meal of all time? Tell us all the details!

Finding the right mix of knowledgeable speakers for each panel, ensuring attendees show up for each small roundtable, money, and either retaining the financial partners that originally signed on but had to bow out and getting new ones.

Well, I’m a New Yorker living in Charleston, S.C., so there is SO much I miss — I miss bagels, lox, whitefish, pickles, pastrami, and corned beef, but I love Italian food, lasagna, pasta, and baked clams. It’s so hard to narrow it down! 12. What’s your go-to drink?

10. One thing that everyone has experienced this year is dealing with stress. What has been your favorite way to relax and take care of yourself in 2020? I think I am just getting to that part. I worked harder to make re-FAB happen so quickly and it wasn’t until after the second week in September that I felt like I could breathe. That being said, I took tennis back up, I jump rope, and now workout at home (not loving that so much). But the best stress reliever is that I live on the water and I go down to our dock and sit on the pierhead daily with my pup Roscoe.

The easiest question here — I am a waterholic and drink about 90 ounces a day, but Kettle One on the rocks with a wedge of lemon is my drink of choice and I choose it often! Randi and the FAB team created a program that allowed the close-knit hospitality space to gather together and navigate the current disrupted state of the industry. The entire series was a huge success and her ability to quickly shift from the original plan and adapt to what was even possible provided so much value to this eager and appreciative audience.


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A guide for marketing in 2020 and beyond ADVICE ON USING EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO DRIVE BUSINESS AFTER REOPENING AZURE COLLIER

Marketing has always been important to growing a business, and this year marketing matters more now than ever in order to reach customers. As the hospitality industry slows down due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital marketing tools have become crucial to help restaurants drive business. Customers will be using multiple methods to find out what’s happening at your restaurant or venues like yours, so it’s important that you make sure all of these online platforms are up to date and share the right information that connects you with the audience that wants to buy from you.


A guide for marketing in 2020 and beyond

All of the content you use in marketing and the sales process needs to be up to date with any new offerings or post-lockdown changes, including: • Occupancy limits and dates for increased occupancy for your area, if possible • Safety protocols • Food and beverage changes or limitations — for example, some venues are pausing buffet service in order to allow guests to maintain social distancing • Special packages tailored to post-pandemic limitations, such as microparties or elopements • Floor plan options for smaller events — we recommend our partners AllSeated and socialtables to create floor plans • Changes to contracts, cancellation policies, and pricing In addition to the event details, you need to make sure your venue has a good digital first impression. Professional photos or video showing off your space with and without guests, a virtual tour of your venue, customer testimonials (video, text, or images with a testimonial quote), and easy-to-consume event packages in a PDF format will go a long way to help sway potential clients.

PROMOTE EARLY AND OFTEN When your content is ready, make it accessible to clients and prospects digitally so they have everything they need without leaving their home. Add it to your website’s event page and homepage, use popups, and use your blog to tell people you are now booking for the rest of 2020. Share this information via your other digital marketing channels, including email and social media. You don’t have to be open to start promoting your venue. If you have anything new to share, want to reach out and say hello, or want to post a nostalgic photo of past events, do it! The businesses that reach out now and grab attention will be the businesses that are top of mind later.

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Email marketing tips Here are four email marketing tips that will help you book more events and drive more business: 1. Write an interesting subject line

2. Always include a call to action

The subject line is one of the first things email recipients notice in their inbox and it needs to capture their attention. A subject line like August Newsletter is boring and it doesn’t tell your customers what’s in the email and why they should read it.

The point of sending a marketing email to your customers is to get them to do something: go to your website, book an event, come to the restaurant to try something on the menu, or anything that will drive more revenue back to your business.

Try these ideas when crafting your email subject lines:

Don’t miss the opportunity to make something happen. You need to add a call to action to all of your emails. Most of the time, it will be a button that links to the action you need them to take, but don’t be afraid to include that same link in the text as well.

• Use urgent words and phrases like last call, act now, book now – this shows customers that they need to open your email and take action right away or they’ll miss out on something. • Use action words like book, reserve, RSVP, try, eat, or taste to give your readers an idea of what they can do with the information in your email. • Numbers will make people stop and look when they see them in an email subject line. This works for emails that have a list of information or tips. Example: 5 New Menu Items You’ll Want to Order. • Talk about the offers you’re sharing in the email. Customers are always looking for discounts, something new, and anything that benefits them or makes their lives easier. • Try keywords that your customers are interested in. These could have something to do with the type of food you serve – like comfort food, Italian, seafood, or cocktails. You could include keywords about your activities such as live music, trivia night, or virtual cooking class. And you should try words that describe your event packages – weddings, holiday parties, or cocktail party. • Make your subject lines short, and at least 50 characters or less. Anything longer will get cut off on a mobile device and your message will get lost.

3. Keep your email content short Your customers aren’t going to scroll through a long email. People don’t have a long enough attention span to read blocks of text whether they’re on their phone or a laptop. Stick to your logo, an image, a paragraph of information, and a call to action.

4. Create content that benefits your customers No matter what marketing content you’re creating, make sure that is has something that appeals to your customers. Ask yourself “Why should my customers care?” Yes, you need to promote your restaurant but make sure you’re including language about why your email topic would matter to your customers.

Pull your list, choose an email service provider, and get started If you’re a Tripleseat customer, follow these steps to use Tripleseat as a Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM) by pulling a list of email addresses from your Tripleseat database to target with email marketing. Next, check out our Marketplace to find an email service provider that fits your marketing needs. We partner with Constant Contact, Fishbowl, and Mailchimp – it’s easy to upload your Tripleseat email list to any of these providers. Then, use these four tips to create a great email that will stand out and help you drive more revenue for the rest of 2020.


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Here are a few examples of social media posts your restaurant should be sharing to help drive business during reopening. 1. A new header image

4. Food photos

Change the header image on your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and LinkedIn company page to reflect what you’re offering right now. It’s like a billboard for your profile that tells your customers exactly what they want to know.

The best way to get your restaurant noticed on social media is with food photos. Let’s face it — most of us who are staying at home are indulging in comfort food and thinking about our next meal. Share images of food being prepared by your chef, as well as the finished product to let your customers know that your delicious menu items are available for dine-in, takeout delivery, catering, and more.

2. Reminders about your offers Share posts that include everything your customers need to know about your offerings and services, including events, catering, takeout, delivery, and more. Include your hours, phone number, links to delivery apps, notes about menu and cocktail availability, info about discounts or coupons, gift cards, and anything else that would influence your customers to make a purchase. Don’t assume your customers have seen every post about what you offer— keep reminding them by posting several times a week.

3. Your menu The changes you make when reopening your restaurant most likely include a reduced menu. And some menus change a few times a week due to the ingredients available and other factors. If you have menus that change weekly, daily or seasonally, make sure to regularly update your followers with the current menu for dining in, as well as delivery and pickup, happy hours, to-go kits, virtual tastings, prepared items, quarantine grocery kits, essential items, ready-to-heat family meals, cocktails, ready-to-make appetizers, and grocery items.

5. Behind the scenes Create content that gives your customers a great behindthe-scenes experience that will motivate them to book with you and grow your revenue. • The kitchen: Customers who dine at your restaurant may be interested in seeing how exactly their favorite dishes are put together before they are placed in front of them. • The bar: There are many creative routes to show off your bar experience, but simply taping your bartender as he or she makes your specialty cocktail and posting it as an Instagram or Facebook story is a great place to start. • The team: Highlight your team with employee spotlight photos and posts on your feed so that customers get to know your staff as well. • Your events: Use photos and videos to show off the event spaces, employees prepping for events, event room setup, and guests arriving at the event.

KEEP IT GOING These tips might seem a little overwhelming at first, but it’s important to create a consistent stream of email marketing and social media marketing messages to keep your customers in the know and drive repeat business. If you start slow and block off time during your day to nurture your marketing program, it will become a part of your schedule, creating these messages will become a priority, and you’ll learn what’s working, what’s not, and how marketing can get customers in your door.

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Social media marketing tips


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Features

Making a COVID comeback HOW THE SANDS HOTEL & SPA IMPLEMENTED SAFETY GUIDELINES AND CHANGED THEIR MARKETING FOCUS TO WIN BACK GUESTS JENNA GABRIEL

The Sands Hotel & Spa is close to the California vacation hotspot of Palm Springs and the location of the annual Coachella concert festival. But the resort — the first designer boutique hotel in the prominent and exclusive community of Indian Wells, Calif. — had to put some of their business on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic caused temporary closures and lockdowns throughout the United States. Fortunately, the hotel has implemented some creative strategies to rebound as they reopened. We spoke to Olivia Prescott, Area Director of Sales for the Sands Hotel & Spa, about the unique architecture, what makes their boutique hotel stand out among the rest, and how they are navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic.


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A Decade Customer withSpotlight Davio's

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1. Tell us a little about Sands Hotel & Spa The Sands Hotel & Spa opened two years ago and is a boutique hotel with 46 guest rooms, including two suites and one presidential suite — each with a unique personality. Using a series of different color combinations, bespoke furniture, and custom textiles, designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has provided each guest with an individual and unique experience. The property also features the Pink Cabana restaurant and bar, a full-service spa and private wedding and event garden displaying a combination of Bullard’s Moroccan-inspired influence and a midcentury vibe that is synonymous with the desert’s everlasting allure. With that, the Sands Hotel & Spa is an exotic, luxurious and personalized take on hospitality.

2. How has Sands Hotel & Spa handled reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic? Like everyone else, navigating the shifting guidelines has kept us on our toes and limited some of the services we can offer. However, we have been quite successful in adapting to the new norm.

The Pink Cabana restaurant now offers guests a dining experience in our wedding and event garden, which has been upgraded with AstroTurf, misting systems and bamboo lanterns that suspend from its olive trees. The idea was to tie back to Pink Cabana’s beautiful and much desired interior decor and still give guests the full Pink Cabana experience.

3. Is there anything unique that Sands Hotel & Spa is doing to ensure guest and employee safety and trust now that you’ve reopened? The whole team is temperature checked and accounted for in a mobile app daily prior to the start of their shift. In addition, there is hourly sanitation in all public areas, along with use of an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer on all poolside surfaces and loungers. We are also in accordance with our county’s guidelines regarding social distancing, face coverings and operating requirements. Some amenities have also been suspended temporarily in order to minimize guest to guest contact.


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4. How much group business does Sands Hotel & Spa do in a typical year? What style bookings do you specialize in?

packages for microweddings. The smaller weddings still allow a couple and their immediate family to celebrate and tie the knot, while saving the larger reception for the future.

The property produces $1 million in group business annually, that is predominantly from full hotel wedding buyouts and production shoots or photo shoots. The hotel’s design makes for a dramatic and modern Instagrammable backdrop.

In addition, the once-popular family style dining has been reformatted back to a plated-style service.

5. Has Sands Hotel & Spa created any unique offerings to help with group business during 2020? The regulations have made it difficult to promote group gatherings, so the focus has been on the leisure guest market currently. However, since so many of us can work remotely, we have plenty of Angelinos now setting up their office poolside.

6. Has Sands Hotel & Spa had to change the style of group business to accommodate groups during the COVID-19 pandemic? For the most part, many of our large hotel buyouts have rescheduled for 2021 and 2022, which has been promising. However, we have adapted our group offerings to include

7. Why did the Sands Hotel & Spa start to use Tripleseat to manage group business? If you could see my smile right now, it would be ear to ear. I cannot say enough great things about Tripleseat and how much easier it has made my day to day responsibilities. Managing a small property requires all managers to wear multiple hats and I am no exception to that rule. What initially turned me on to Tripleseat was their ability to integrate with other services we were reliant on for our business (such as OpenTable) and how professional-looking and turn-key it was for our customers. Initial proposals and contracts can be merged into documents that our customers can easily view, sign, and pay digitally. Before Tripleseat, this was all being handled manually previously, as larger systems were out of reach financially for our boutique operation.


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Features

8. What is your favorite Tripleseat feature and why? For me, it’s about the intuitiveness of the software and agile ability to respond to leads anytime and anywhere via the app with various customized responses and stored sales collateral, videos, and images with a simple click.

9. How is the client experience at Sands Hotel & Spa in comparison to other hotels? The property’s design and aesthetics are carried throughout the property from Moroccan-influenced spa services to the food and beverage experience at Pink Cabana, where beef short ribs, couscous, apricots, orange carrots, and mint tzatziki is presented in a tagine tableside. In addition, much of the tilework, textiles, furniture, and wallpaper are custom to this property created by Bullard, our designer. You can’t find it anywhere else.

10. Is there anything special that Sands Hotel & Spa is looking to do in 2021 that our readers can look forward to? Just looking forward to getting back to business as usual. We can’t wait!


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How to get found online 6 TIPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR RESTAURANT’S SEO

MITCH GREEN

Trying to stand out amongst the pack is no easy feat for a restaurant. You constantly have new competitors popping up left and right, not to mention your long-time neighbor that offers the same type of cuisine. Thankfully there is a way to gain additional eyeballs on your restaurant with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google research shows that in the U.S., there are more than 78 million searches each month by people looking for a restaurant option in their area, and it should be your goal to get as big a slice of those searches to visit your website as possible. With these six tips, you will be on the right track to accomplishing that goal.


How to get found online

2.

Make sure you have a complete Google My Business profile

Seek out reviews on Google, Yelp, and any other restaurant directory

Google is by far and away the most popular search engine today, totaling nearly 87 percent of all searches on the Internet. And for any search that might contain local businesses in the results, a website will actually rank with its Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is why it is extremely important to make sure your restaurant has a GMB profile that is active and up to date with all of the correct information. Items that are included in your GMB profile are your website, address, hours, phone number, reviews, and other information that’s relevant to customers.

This tip will help both your SEO performance, as well as your overall business. People use reviews to make final decisions, while search engines use reviews to determine which websites should rank higher. This is why it is important to encourage customers to leave thoughtful, quality reviews online.

3.

4.

Ensure there is a menu page on your site

Get listed in restaurant directories and online articles

One of the most popular pages on a restaurant’s website outside of the homepage is the menu page. This page often acts as the “conversion” page that gets someone to come to your restaurant.

Being listed in a restaurant directory or online article is another opportunity that will help your restaurant in multiple ways. It will help you gain awareness and visits to your restaurant, but it will also help your SEO by improving its rank authority. Rank authority is an umbrella term that essentially means how likely your website is to rank highly in search engines.

Search engines are able to recognize this fact and will often rank menu pages high. This makes it important that your restaurant’s website contains a menu page that is relatively up to date. If you are a restaurant that changes its menu daily, perhaps provide a new “sample” menu every month or two.

Feel free to leave notes on the receipt, send emails to previous customers, or even ask at the end of someone’s meal. It’s important to note that we do not encourage buying five-star reviews. You can always incentivize with a free appetizer, discount, or giveaway, if you would like, but you should never require that review to be five stars. That being said, if you are offering an incentive, it is likely that review will be five stars.

Any time another quality website links to your website, your rank authority increases. So, make sure when you are listed in any directory or article that they include a link to your site.

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5.

6.

Update your title tags to include information about your restaurant’s offerings and experiences

If you are a restaurant group, make sure each restaurant’s website links to the other websites at least once

This is a slightly more technical tip, but one that your webmaster will be able to handle with no problem. A title tag is a small snippet of information about a specific webpage (less than 70 characters) used by search engines when ranking a page.

This is another easy win that improves the aforementioned rank authority. While it may seem obvious to the normal restaurant connoisseur that a specific restaurant is a part of a group, it is not obvious to search engines. Implementing these links on each website will provide that connection for a search engine and lead to improved results in search rankings.

We’ve seen plenty of restaurant websites that create pages with great content but are missing the title tag for the search engine to use when ranking a page. The easy fix is to add in a title tag and see an increase in visits to a website.

GET YOUR WEBSITE READY FOR 2021 Taking the time to implement these tips now will enable you to get your up-to-date information indexed by Google and other search engines, so your business will be ranked higher for customers looking for restaurants like yours. Don’t forget to revisit your website on a regular basis and add new information so customers will always have everything they need to make a purchasing decision, event booking, or reservation.


JONATHAN MORSE PUBLISHER, RINGLEADER OF GENIUS CONCEPTS Jonathan has been involved in the restaurant and hotel business for 30+ years with roles ranging from a busboy at Abadessa’s in Hingham, Mass., to line cook at Atlantic Café in Nantucket, to Floor Manager at Back Bay Restaurant Group, to New England Regional Sales Manager for Starwood Hotels. Before starting and becoming CEO of Tripleseat, Jonathan was a VP of Sales for a web startup that delivered business intelligence reporting to the restaurant industry. When not working on making Tripleseat more awesome, Jonathan spends his time with his wife Lisa, twin girls, Eliza and Sophie, and son Owen.

LATHA YOUNGREN PUBLISHER, HEAD OF PROPHECY FULFILLMENT Latha’s (pronounced Lay-ta) interest in hospitality began at a young age, which led her to waitress throughout her high school years in Providence, R.I. After graduating from Barnard College and working in publishing for several years in New York City, she moved to Paris where she tended bar and worked at a magazine. After a brief stint in San Francisco, she made her way back to New York City, where she worked in marketing and events for a variety of companies. She landed at Tripleseat full-time in 2014, where she is the Vice President of Marketing. Latha currently resides in Maplewood, N.J., with her husband and three kids. She enjoys the summer most of all because Rosé All Day is a real thing!

MARK ABAIR CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CZAR OF CREATIVITY Mark’s adventure in design began in high school, after discovering that his love of drawing could lead to a profession in design. Graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art with a B.F.A. in graphic design, he began his career as a footwear designer for Keds, eventually moving into the role of graphic designer, and is currently Senior Graphic Designer at Tripleseat. His designs are driven by creativity and structure, while keeping functionality for the end-user in mind. Mark grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives just west of Boston. He spends his free time seeing live bands and running with friends during season, typically followed by food and drinks. Mark is also known to be the “fun uncle” to six amazing nieces and nephews, ranging from ages 7 to 19, and loves to see them in their various sports and activities.

AZURE COLLIER EDITOR IN CHIEF, AMBASSADOR OF BUZZ Azure is the Content Marketing Director at Tripleseat and joined the company in 2017 after working as the Social Media Marketing and Community Manager for email marketing company Constant Contact. She also worked in marketing for higher education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Fitchburg State University. She started her career as a print journalist in the Midwest at the Times of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso, Ind., and at the Journal and Courier in Lafayette, Ind. She received a BA in communications and journalism from Purdue University, and an MS in applied communication from Fitchburg State University, where she completed thesis research on social media and young adults. Azure currently resides with her cats Zoe and Mia in Brooklyn and spends her free time running or walking in her neighborhood park and exploring the sights and food of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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RACHEL CALKINS CONTRIBUTOR, MASTER OF MISCHIEF Rachel graduated from the University of Delaware in June 2019 with a degree in marketing. Previously she was part of the Tripleseat team as a marketing intern and loved her experience so much that she returned to begin her professional career with Tripleseat as a Marketing Specialist. You can find Rachel co-hosting Tripleseat’s podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, and posting all about our amazing Tripleseat customers on Instagram. In her free time, she enjoys watching and playing sports, traveling, cooking, drinking Tito’s and soda on the weekend with friends in Boston, and not-so-secretly stealing gum off everyone's desk.

NICOLE CATATAO CONTRIBUTOR, DUCHESS OF VENUES Nicole has been in the marketing field for more than 12 years. After graduating from Plymouth State University in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with a degree in English, she moved to Massachusetts, where she started her career at International Data Group (IDG). While there she managed online marketing campaigns for high-tech clients for seven years. After IDG, she spent four years at MathWorks managing events. Nicole joined the Tripleseat family in 2018 and is currently the Marketing Manager of the Tripleseat Booking Network (VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp powered by Tripleseat). When she isn't connecting event planners with the perfect venue, you can find her dancing in the kitchen to '80s pop music with her husband and two daughters while baking and eating cupcakes.

JENNA GABRIEL CONTRIBUTOR, MASTER CONCEPT ALCHEMIST Jenna worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years before joining the Tripleseat marketing team in 2020 as Hotel Marketing Manager. She got her start helping at her parents’ family-owned restaurant and bar, Wiseguys. She worked for a few different bars and restaurants as a server/bartender throughout Boston while in college until landing a great opportunity as a Marketing Manager (and eventually Senior Director of Marketing & Brand Development) for a restaurant and entertainment group in Boston, where she stayed and grew professionally for 10 years. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, finding adventures, participating in races with her brother or trying new cooking recipes, and hosting small parties.

MITCH GREEN CONTRIBUTOR, SEO WIZARD Mitch is Tripleseat’s Search Engine Marketing Manager and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology. While at school, Mitch discovered a passion for Search Engine Marketing and has been working in the industry ever since. He began his professional career at a marketing agency before moving to the hospitality industry. Mitch has lived in the Atlanta area from a very young age, liking the city for its mild winters and sprawling food scene. He and his wife are joined by two amazing rescue dogs, Koda and Olive. His favorite hobbies include craft beer making and watching pretty much any sport.


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CONTRIBUTOR, ORGANIZER OF RANDOM THOUGHTS AND ERRATIC ACTIVITY Kate has worked in the hospitality industry since she was 15. From bussing tables in high school to bartending in college and grad school, where she majored in fashion marketing and merchandising. After college, she moved on to a career as a private events and marketing manager because she loved hospitality a little more than she loved fashion. Kate started working at the best company on the planet, aka Tripleseat, in 2015. Currently holding the position of Senior Communication & Product Marketing Manager, she loves being able to use her vast knowledge of the industry in a non-restaurant setting. Kate resides on the New Hampshire seacoast with her husband and two crazy (but wonderful) children. In addition to her family and friends, Kate’s loves include bourbon, fashion, old school hip-hop, oysters, IPA, and hockey (enjoyed on their own or all together).

RACHEL “MAZZ” MAZZOLA CONTRIBUTOR, SORCERESS OF FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT Rachel (who goes by Mazz) is the Corporate Events Manager at Tripleseat and a certified meeting professional (CMP). She received her degree in sports, entertainment, and event management from Johnson & Wales University, with hopes to one day plan the Super Bowl. In an unexpected turn of events, she ended up in the exciting world of corporate event planning and never looked back. Mazz has planned events and conferences for companies in the information security, audit, and energy and commodities industries but luckily has landed at Tripleseat, where she is happy to finally be planning events for an industry that aligns with her interests: eating and drinking. If she’s not running to catch a flight or trying to get her seat upgraded, you can find her on a spontaneous weekend trip, enjoying nights out with friends, or being lazy and binging Netflix.

KATARINA SU CONTRIBUTOR, DATA QUEEN Katarina is the Marketing Operations Manager at Tripleseat and joined the company after working as a technology consultant at a marketing agency. She graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School with concentrations in marketing and strategy and management consulting. She has always been interested in the hospitality and restaurant industry and the transition into her role at Tripleseat gave her the perfect career opportunity to combine both work and her passion. Katarina resides in Atlanta and loves cooking, baking, hiking, and running in her free time. She also loves exploring the various restaurants and cuisines around Atlanta with her friends — there’s no food she wouldn’t try!

Photography Anshu A, Ashkan Forouzani, Ben Kolde, Bonnie Kittle, Chris Montgomery, Christin Hume, Christina @ wocintechchat.com, Dan Burton, Eaters Collective, Element5 Digital, Etch, FAB, Granger Coats, Henry Perks, Ian Schneider, janicetea, Jester King, Jonathan Borba, Katie Drazdauskaite, Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis, Nathana Rebouças, Nick Collins, Nordwood Themes, Patrick Fore, pixpoetry, Ram HO, Randalyn Hill, Sebastian Coman Photography, SOCIAL.CUT, Steve Daniel, Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk, Szabo Viktor, The Sands Hotel and Spa, Tye Doring, Vera Davidova, Whitney Eccher

Seated | The Fall 2020 Issue

KATE KENNEDY


300 Baker Ave Ste 205 Concord, MA 01742 tripleseat.com

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Booking group and event business at hotels can be as daunting as scheduling a space mission to mars. Tripleseat can help you streamline the booking process and increase group sales by 30% or more. Find out more and schedule a demo at tripleseat.com/hotels

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