Seated Magazine: Summer 2022

Page 1

THE FUTURE OF

Hospitality A LOOK AT HOW THE INDUSTRY IS MAKING CHANGES AND MOVING FORWARD IN 2022

VOLUME 07 | THE SUMMER 2022 ISSUE | THE HOSPITALITY EVENTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE




BentoLiving Nashville, TN


Welcome TO THE SUMMER 2022 ISSUE OF SEATED From technology to food and beverage to operations, the hospitality industry has seen a lot of changes over the last two years. And Tripleseat has been a huge part of it. We’ve made a number of changes to our platform, including the launch of TripleseatDirect, the first of its kind omnichannel direct booking CRM platform that offers various tools and services restaurants, hotels, unique venues, and caterers need to start, run and grow their on- and off-premise business. Last year alone, we made 95 updates to our core product, Tripleseat for Hotels, and EventUp venue directory site. And we recently introduced partnerships with DoorDash, Square, and OpenTable. These updates benefit more than 15,000 customers who use Tripleseat every day to manage and capture the uptick in business for restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. There are more updates to come this year, and we’re working hard to provide hospitality businesses with the tools they need to succeed. In this issue of Seated, we’re taking a look at topics that reflect these changes and the future of hospitality. We spoke to Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, on the industry issues that matter now and his outlook on the future of hospitality. We toured the new Brooklynbased Union Square Events space — dedicated to catering and hospitality operations — that includes a 33,000 square foot kitchen, a research and development kitchen, and a tasting room. And we learned more about BentoLiving, a new extended-stay hotel concept located in Nashville. There are also articles covering hospitality career issues, marketing tips, James Beard Award-winning restaurants, and hotel trends. Plus, two photo spreads of Tripleseat customers: one focusing on outdoor dining spaces and the other featuring hotels you’ll want to visit during your summer vacation. The future of hospitality is now. Are you ready for it?

JONATHAN MORSE CEO, TRIPLESEAT



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JONATHAN MORSE LATHA YOUNGREN AZURE COLLIER MARK ABAIR

CEO PUBLISHER EDITOR IN CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR

COLLABORATORS HEATHER APSE RACHEL CALKINS NICOLE CATATAO MADDIE FRANZREB JENNA GABRIEL LYNN HOLMLUND KATE KENNEDY RACHEL MAZZOLA AUBREY UNGVARSKY 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 eventup.com

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

EDITORIAL TEAM


54 64 82 96

contents

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F E AT U R E S

BRIEFINGS

contents

seated magazine

VOL. 07 | THE SUMMER 2022 ISSUE

10 TRIPLESEAT IN THE NEWS 12 TREND REPORT: SPRING 2022

WHAT’S NEW IN TECHNOLOGY, FOOD, AND OPERATIONS FOR THE EVENTS INDUSTRY

16 WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG? WITH RACHEL MAZZOLA

20 FIVE QUESTIONS WITH OLD RED

26 CHEERS TO SPRING!

LET’S SPRING FORWARD WITH THE ELDERFLOWER COOLER COCKTAIL

28 THE GREAT OUTDOORS

5 VENUES TO ENJOY THE SUMMER DAYS AND NIGHTS

42 HIT THE ROAD

5 HOTELS TO HELP YOU GET AWAY FROM IT ALL

54 THE FUTURE OF HOSPITALITY

UNION SQUARE EVENTS OPENS NEW HEADQUARTERS

58 WHY FREE VENUE DIRECTORY LISTINGS AREN’T ACTUALLY FREE LEARN MORE ABOUT WHY SOME LISTINGS SITES ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

64 2022 GOAL: A BETTER MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

HOW HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONALS CAN ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE

70 DINING AT ITS FINEST

JAMES BEARD AWARDS PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON TRIPLESEAT CUSTOMERS

72 NYC AND BEYOND

A CANDID TALK WITH NEW YORK CITY HOSPITALITY ALLIANCE'S ANDREW RIGIE

78 GOING CORPORATE

HOW YOUR VENUE CAN ATTRACT CONFERENCE BUSINESS

82 CELEBRATING IN THE SUMMERTIME

TIPS FOR DESIGNING WARM-WEATHER EVENTS

84 THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IN 2022: A LOOK AHEAD

87 A NEW TYPE OF HOTEL EXPERIENCE IN NASHVILLE: FLEXIBLE LIVING WITH PLENTY OF AMENITIES

92 THE MODERN MENU

QR CODES ARE TAKING OVER HOSPITALITY FOR MENUS, ORDERING, AND PAYMENTS

94 DO EMAIL MARKETING THE RIGHT WAY WITH A QUALITY LIST 5 TIPS TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST

96 NOW TRENDING: YOUR HOSPITALITY BUSINESS

3 TIPS TO CREATE CONTENT THAT STANDS OUT ON INSTAGRAM

100 WORK FROM HOTEL: THE NEW WFH

HOW HOTELS CAN BE THE DESIRED DESTINATION FOR REMOTE EMPLOYEES

104 A QUALITY INVESTMENT

HOW TO BUILD A SOLID PERSONAL NETWORK IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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Tripleseat in the News

Tripleseat Wins Bronze Stevie Award In 2021 International Business Awards

An Exclusive Guide To America's Top Private Companies

The International Business Awards are the world's premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide — public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small — are eligible to submit nominations. The 2021 IBAs received entries from organizations in 63 nations and territories.

Inc., Aug. 17, 2021 Tripleseat was ranked No. 1442 on Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy's most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000. "We are proud to appear among these prestigious companies on the Inc. 5000 list, and to experience growth during a year that has been a challenge for just about every industry, " said Jonathan Morse, CEO of Tripleseat. "Tripleseat is committed to offering the best tools to capture leads, convert them to bookings, and manage events and catering for the restaurants, hotels, and venues, and we will continue to innovate our software to adapt for the changing needs of the hospitality industry."

Where Can We Meet? HospitalityUpgrade, Aug. 20, 2021 TripleseatDirect was mentioned in Doug Rice’s column on what technology companies in the event and meeting industry are doing to help adapt to the new normal. “Today, many of the technology companies in the space have introduced at least some direct booking capabilities or plan to do so within coming months; most seem to believe it is the future and are investing heavily in deeper functionality … [and] significant projects to enhance previously limited direct-booking offerings; and Tripleseat recently released TripleseatDirect to address the need,” Rice said.

Today, many of the technology companies in the space have introduced at least some direct booking capabilities or plan to do so within coming months ... Tripleseat recently released TripleseatDirect to address the need.”

Doug Rice

HOSPITALITYUPGRADE

The International Business Awards, Aug. 26, 2021 Tripleseat was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie Award in the Business Technology Solution category in The 18th Annual International Business Awards.

More than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Company of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Startup of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others. Tripleseat won the Bronze Stevie Award in the Business Technology Solution category for submitting product innovations such as TripleseatDirect and the re-launch of EventUp.

Consumers: Venues Need to Prioritize Photos, Video, and Fast Response in Online Presence Tripleseat News, Oct. 14, 2021 In the fall of 2021, EventUp surveyed 500 consumers about what they look for in a venue's online listings when booking events. This data was released in an infographic. Here are the highlights of what consumers shared in the survey: Despite the closures and delays brought on by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, many of the respondents have booked venues recently. 53% did so within the last 6 months, 24% did so within the last 1 to 3 years, and 23% did so within the last year. Images and videos play an important role in consumers' decisions to book a venue. Photos and videos are two of the top five things consumers look for in a venue listing. Consumers say that they won't book with venues that don't have any information, post bad photos, list expensive pricing, don't include a link to their website, and don't have an online presence beyond a website. Consumers don't want to wait once they've submitted an event inquiry. They expect the venue to respond sooner rather than later. 92% said they would like a response within 48 hours. When communicating with prospective venues, 73% of respondents preferred email, and 60% said they would speak to their contacts on the phone.


IN THE NEWS

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APPEALIE.com, Oct. 25, 2021 Tripleseat was selected as an APPEALIE SaaS Customer Success Award winner. The APPEALIE SaaS Awards are the most selective in software. Winning SaaS apps are selected on the basis of customer feedback and data, including Net Promoter Scores. APPEALIE also conducts further due diligence beyond entrant applications to ensure each winner meets its standards of excellence. Tripleseat shared how the company has emerged as a veritable support network for the hospitality industry. In addition to rolling out new features that help restaurants facilitate delivery and takeout services, the company has taken a more active role in helping companies survive these extraordinary circumstances. The leadership team has provided content on best practices for managing the pandemic on a regular basis while also hosting weekly Social Hour virtual get-togethers. As different regions begin the process of reopening, Tripleseat continues to offer guidance and support to the industry.

Consumers Reveal Event Booking Habits and Preferences in New EventUp Survey Tripleseat News, Nov. 2, 2021 EventUp, the largest event venue directory helping restaurants, hotels, and unique venues capture new leads and increase event revenue, surveyed 500 consumers about their habits and preferences when booking events online. Here are the highlights of what consumers shared in the survey. These findings were released in an infographic. Here are some of the data: Our survey respondents varied on how much time they need in advance to book an event. 62% need a month or less, while 38% need more than two months. Pandemic safety is very much on everyone's minds when booking events. The top safety protocols consumers look for in a venue include masks for staff, hand sanitizing stations, masks for guests, proof of vaccination, and outside venue spaces. Reviews influence consumers more than you may think. When asked "How much do reviews impact your decision-making when booking a venue?" 76% of consumers said that reviews are a factor, while 24% said that reviews don't influence them as much. Consumers don't want to wait once they've submitted an event inquiry. They expect the venue to respond sooner rather than later. When asked "What is the time frame do you want to hear from a venue once you submit a request?" 92% said they would like a response within 48 hours.

Tripleseat is committed to offering the best tools to capture leads, convert them to bookings, and manage events and catering for the restaurants, hotels, and venues, and we will continue to innovate our software to adapt for the changing needs of the hospitality industry.” Jonathan Morse TRIPLESEAT CEO

EventUp Powered By Tripleseat Announces The Launch Of Self-Service Model Hospitality Technology, Nov. 10, 2021 This article highlights the launch of EventUp’s selfservice model. Venues can now easily join the largest venue directory and get their listing up and running. The EventUp self-service model helps venues accomplish what they need to, quickly and efficiently, so they can focus on what matters most: perfectly executing the events on their calendar.

BBJ Releases This Year’s List of Fast 50 Honorees Boston Business Journal, March 22, 2022 Tripleseat was named to the Boston Business Journal’s exclusive list of 2022 Fast 50 honorees, which represents the 50 fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts. Companies on the Fast 50 must have their headquarters in Massachusetts and must have reported revenue of at least $500,000 in 2018 and $1 million in 2021. The Fast 50 companies are selected and ranked based on revenue growth from 2018 to 2021. The numbers are crunched and analyzed by the Business Journal's research department. "We're very honored to be named to the Boston Business Journal's Fast 50 list of growing private companies in Massachusetts. This award not only recognizes all of the hard work that Tripleseat employees have been doing the past few years, but also the success of the hospitality industry after a difficult economic period," said Jonathan Morse, CEO of Tripleseat.

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

2020 SaaS Awards Announced


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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TREND REPORT

WHAT’S NEW IN TECHNOLOGY, FOOD, AND OPERATIONS FOR THE EVENTS INDUSTRY After two years of uncertainty, we’ve finally entered a year where trend predictions may last. Restaurants and the hospitality industry are turning a pivotal corner, and some standout trends are awaiting them on the other side. What should our industry expect in 2022? Let’s read on to find out.

KATE KENNEDY


TREND REPORT

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

1.

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Consumers have been used to two years of online ordering and contactless everything, so it’s no wonder tech has taken over the hospitality industry. Hospitality tech is growing from virtual restaurants to QR codes and low-touch tabletop ordering systems. It seems as if every restaurant in every city, large or small, has access to or uses these technologies. But what about some new things to watch out for in 2022? The first is something for both front and back of the house staffers: a digital kitchen “board.” Forget about lost kitchen tickets or broken ticket printers; digital menu boards are streamlining back-to-front-of-the-house operations. Directly linked to your POS system, these boards display food orders automatically in the order with which they were entered or flagged by priority. The board will also track kitchen expo times and item availability. If a menu item is out of stock, the staff will know in real-time without having to play a never-ending game of telephone. Say goodbye to lost in translation mistakes for good. This next tech trend is for our quick and fast-service restaurant friends: drive-thru automation. The struggle to find entry-level restaurant workers is real, and we’ve all experienced the effects. Long lines at drive-thrus, closed-off in-house ordering, and shortened operating hours are consequences of this labor shortage. Drive-thru automation can help lighten this load by using voice recognition software to complete food orders. McDonald’s has already begun testing this technology in specific markets across the country. At the same time, other smaller chains have started using it with great success. So the next time you approach your neighborhood drive-thru, don’t freak out if a computer greets you instead of a human.

2.

MENU TRENDS

Let’s move on to some 2022 menu predictions. Up first, per usual, are cocktails. The last two years saw a severe uptick in alcohol consumption, which isn’t necessarily good. This is why I’m predicting a steady spread in the popularity of low-ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktails this year. Now that people aren’t stuck in their homes and can go out and enjoy cocktails in a restaurant, they are being more mindful of what and how much they’re drinking. Low-ABV cocktails made with cordials like Aperol, St. Germain, and vermouth, to name a few, are an easy way to enjoy a delicious cocktail with half the alcohol. As far as food goes, plant-based chicken is having a profound moment. Not only are quick-service chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken jumping on the bandwagon, but more civilized establishments with tablecloths and servers are joining in on the fun. Plant-based chicken from well-known brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have a similar texture and flavor to the real thing. You can grill it, fry it, and eat it any way you eat regular chicken. It’s the next significant movement in plant-based foods that even carnivores can get on board with.


BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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3.

OPERATION TRENDS

The hospitality industry’s severe labor shortage may improve, but it’s not going away in 2022. Therefore, hospitality business operators need to develop longterm solutions for this country-wide issue. Wage increases, paid vacation, sick leave, and mental health support are a few offerings that will most likely be on the table in 2022. For operators, it’s not just about solving the current issue at hand; it’s about creating a lasting positive work environment that will keep staff churn low and retention high. 2022 is the year of green power. Consumers are tired of empty promises regarding hospitality businesses and their environmental footprint. They want real change and tangible results. Your customers want to know exactly what you’re doing to lower your carbon footprint and how changes benefit them. These changes can be as small as going completely paperless or as big as replacing all of your appliances to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Any upgrade with transparency, big or small, will positively impact how your business is viewed in a world full of greenwashers.

TRY THESE TRENDS WITH A DOSE OF OPTIMISM This is a pivotal year for the hospitality industry. We’ve managed to weather the storm (twice), but the work is far from done. It’s time to look at our future with optimism and introduce new tech and positive upgrades that will influence the industry for years to come; because it’s clear we aren’t going anywhere; we’re only getting stronger.


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BRIEFINGS


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What’s in Your Bag? KATE KENNEDY

For this edition of “What’s in Your Bag?” I decided to stay close to home and check out what’s in Tripleseat’s very own event manager’s bag. It’s my pleasure to introduce Rachel Mazzola. Mazzola is an accomplished event professional with more than 10 years of event planning experience. With a proven background in event management, meeting planning, training, trade shows, conferences, project management, and client success, she is currently the Corporate Event Manager at Tripleseat. She plays a pivotal role in organizing Tripleseat’s internal events and customer events such as Party People, Tripleseat University on the Road, and EventCamp. Previously Mazzola worked at S&P Global, where she directed the day-to-day planning and event operations strategies, including venue selection, negotiations, budgeting, logistics, food and beverage, hotel accommodations, and program management. She began her career working from a conference coordinator to an event manager at a company specializing in events for the information security sector. There she was in charge of the strategic planning and execution of more than 300 seminars, three symposiums, and 10 conferences. When Mazzola isn’t planning and executing fantastic events, she loves to spend time traveling with friends, hiking with her dog Luna, tackling home improvement projects in her recentlypurchased city apartment, and trying out new bars and restaurants in her neighborhood. She’s also an avid astrology lover and our go-to gal for anything sun, moon, and stars-related.

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

Event Pros Tell Seated:


Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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THE BAG: Mark and Graham’s Essential Leather Tote

THE ITEMS: Extra pair of shoes and bandages for blisters

Sharpies

I always begin my events in heels. But, when you’re the

There are a million reasons I always have Sharpie

event manager, you spend most of your time running

markers on hand for my use and because I feel like

around, making sure everything and everyone is exactly

someone always asks for a permanent marker at

where and how they should be. Keeping a pair of flat

some point during every event.

shoes in my bag and bandages to fix the occasional blister is vital to keeping me (literally) on my toes.

Multiple chargers and batteries This one should go without explanation. Without a doubt, there is always at least one person at every event that forgets a charger. I always keep extra phone and laptop chargers in my bag along with backup battery ports just in case. Travel toiletries You never know when you’ll need to freshen up during a long event. I also like to have toiletries on hand if a presenter needs something. I always carry travel-sized toiletries such as deodorant, concealer, mascara, and mouthwash. An entire pharmacy It’s essential to be prepared for anything. I like to carry over-the-counter items in my bag like Tylenol, Emergen-C, Liquid I.V., and cough drops, among other things.


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Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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Constantly integrating with leading hospitality software, email marketing, payment processors, and more to keep operations seamless.

“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

LEARN MORE AT TRIPLESEAT.COM


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Five questions RACHEL CALKINS

with

Ole Red

When visiting Nashville, Tenn., there’s a few things that should be on your to do list: eat Southern fare, try trendy cocktails, listen to live country music, and embrace the community that loves it all. Ole Red, a fantastic restaurant, music bar, and event venue in one, encompasses all of these Nashville essentials and much more. We talked to Dena Tidwell, the Director of Catering and Special Event Sales at Ole Red, about what makes Ole Red such a hot spot for events, dining, and the average night out. Tidwell shared her take on what you can expect to experience at Ole Red, the private events scene, and an event booking trend planners should be aware of when looking ahead this year.


FIVE QUESTIONS

1

Tell us about Ole Red Nashville and what makes it so special? What is the atmosphere of the restaurant? At Ole Red, we are more than a venue and, hell, we are more than a restaurant. Ole Red is the full country experience that will get your ass and your taste buds boot scootin’ with what we like to call 100-proof live music, scratch-made dishes, and signature drinks — all inspired by the boss man himself: Blake Shelton. ​​ Red is inspired by country superstar Blake Shelton's Ole breakout song “Ol’ Red” and features a state-of-the-art sound system. The stage is built for a concert experience straight from your barstool. For events, they can be as laid back or buttoned up as the guest chooses — our executive chef's menu ranges from down-south bites to upscale eats. Our location is right in the heart of Nashville's legendary entertainment district, so anyone itchin' to have a good time is welcome!

2

Describe the event spaces at Ole Red. How many private events are held at Ole Red Nashville on average each month? What are the most common event types? Our four-floor venue can really be transformed for any event. Every floor includes concert-level production to ensure a premiere live music experience. On a typical night, our restaurant and bar occupy the first two floors, but this space can be rented for a double-decker concert experience. Our third floor features our dedicated event space, The Hall, which is perfect for a formal dinner, wedding reception, or a songwriter event. The Lookout is our premiere rooftop with soft seating, spectacular views of the city, and a VIP experience. We average about 75 events each month. These are a mixture of corporate, convention, social, and tourism events. Conventions are highly popular in Nashville, so we enjoy the opportunity to showcase Southern hospitality to those out-of-towners!

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Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue


BRIEFINGS

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3

Has Ole Red implemented any new event initiatives or promotions since the start of 2022? ​​ are continuing to promote our live music value to artists We and guests alike. This year, we are working with up-andcoming artists to create industry showcases, album release parties, and writers’ round-style events. Keep an eye on our Facebook, @OleRedNashville, because you never know who just may pop up on the Ole Red stage!

4

Tell us about your experience using Tripleseat. How does Tripleseat help you streamline the event management process? What features are the most helpful to you in your job? Our team would be unable to run as effectively as we do without Tripleseat. The administrative abilities allow us to streamline all the small details that are hugely important for any event. We are incorporating the Merri feature soon and know this will improve our future events for our team and clients alike!


FIVE QUESTIONS

5

Based on the state of the events industry in Nashville today, do you have any predictions on event trends or unique client requests for events later on in 2022? We are noticing that short-term bookings are trending considerably. In the past, guests would book up to six months in advance. Now we are seeing three to eight weeks as the “new” norm. I would predict this trend is here to stay and we'll take the challenge!

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BRIEFINGS

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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CHEERS TO SPRING!

Let’s spring forward with the Elderflower Cooler Cocktail KATE KENNEDY

This drink is so delicious you’ll be shocked and amazed at how easy it is to prepare. Its sweet yet balanced profile is the perfect addition to any spring soirée and could be served as an aperitif or as a palate cleanser between courses.


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The Elderflower Cooler INGREDIENTS: 2 ounces gin 1 ounce elderflower liqueur Soda water Sliced fresh cucumber and mint leaves for garnish PREPARATION: Fill a highball glass with ice and cucumber slices. Pour in gin and elderflower liqueur, and stir with a bar spoon. Top with soda water and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!


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Features

Elephante, Santa Monica, Calif.


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The Great Outdoors 5 VENUES TO ENJOY THE SUMMER DAYS AND NIGHTS If there’s one thing we love at Tripleseat, it’s spending time sampling the food and cocktails at our customers’ venues. Even better? Doing said sampling outside. A lot of us live in the Northeast and we live for the long, lazy days of summer. There is nothing better than basking in the sun with a cold cocktail, a few bites, and an atmosphere that makes you want to linger a few hours before returning to the real world. Take a look at these five Tripleseat customer venues that embrace the summer vibe. From outdoor ocean views to rooftop fun, there’s something for everyone who wants to make the most of the summer season.

AZURE COLLIER


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Features

Elephante, Santa Monica, Calif. Although Elephante is located on the California coast, the venue’s aesthetic and menu takes guests from Los Angeles to the Southern Mediterranean. It’s not difficult to envision lounging outside on Elephante’s custom furniture with a paloma in hand and enjoying ocean views. It might just transport you to a lazy afternoon in Tuscany.


The Great Outdoors

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Features


The Great Outdoors

Fish On, Lewes, Del. It’s hard to choose what time of day to visit Fish On. Daytime offers a sunny, beachy atmosphere, but you can easily be charmed by the twinkling lights and fire pit during the evening hours. Either way, relax outside in Fish On’s expansive porch and outdoor seating areas and order a few dishes from their fresh seafood menu.

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Features

Pizzeria Portofino, Chicago There’s a small window for outdoor dining in Chicago once the snow has melted and the spring flowers make their first appearance, but Pizzeria Portofino has made it a year-long affair. Their all-weather patio allows you to dine on pizza, antipasti, and charcoal-grilled seafood while gazing at the iconic Chicago Riverfront during every season.


The Great Outdoors

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Features

Sixty Vines, Tennessee and Texas One of the best parts of living in the South is the availability of outdoor dining thanks to the warm weather climate. Sixty Vines’ locations in Tennessee and Texas go big on their outdoor spaces, offering greenhouse patios, indoor-outdoor areas with retractable roofs, outdoor patios with communal tables, and walls that open to let the indoor diners enjoy the outdoors. Whatever you choose will go perfectly with Sixty Vines’ wine selection, charcuterie boards, and Wine Country-inspired shareables. You’ll find an abundance of atmosphere, flavor, and wine!


The Great Outdoors

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Features


The Great Outdoors

Slater Hospitality, Atlanta Food halls have become ubiquitous in large cities, but you’ve never seen one quite like Ponce City Market, home to six Slater Hospitality venues. The 2.1 million-square-foot former warehouse is an Atlanta hotspot for dining, shopping, modern office space, and entertainment. Slater Hospitality’s Skyline Park and 9 Mile Station offer gorgeous outdoor rooftop views of the ATL skyline. Share a cocktail and bites with your friends at 9 Mile’s patio or spend some time at Skyline Park playing mini golf and carnival games in the Georgia sunshine.

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Are you a member of our online community of event professionals? Join Tripleseat’s online community of hospitality professionals called the Party People Program. This community is made exclusively for Tripleseat customers. The community will give you access to: • Exclusive Tripleseat product content • Event industry resources • Educational tools • Networking opportunities • And much more… Earn Party People points for your participation in the community, and exchange them for fun rewards like gift cards, swag, or a chance to be featured in Seated magazine! Join the Party People community in person at our Party People networking events in various cities across the country. Check out our events page regularly at tripleseat.com/events to find out if we are coming to your city next!

To become a Party People member, sign up online at rewards.tripleseat.com/join/seatedS22. See you there!


Book More Catering and Events - Faster

TripleseatDirect | Empower customers to book with you anytime, anywhere. TripleseatDirect is a direct-to-consumer catering and event management platform for restaurants. The web application is an easy and fast tool that empowers restaurants' customers to book, plan, and pay for on and off-premise catering or in-person events.


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Features

Hit the Road 5 HOTELS TO HELP YOU GET AWAY FROM IT ALL Travel is back in a big way. Leisure trips and corporate trips are getting booked fast after a two-year pandemic hiatus, and Tripleseat’s hotel customers are ready. Get hotel decor and property inspiration by taking a look at these five featured hotel customers that are hot spots for eager travelers.

AZURE COLLIER + JENNA GABRIEL


Hit the Road

Harbor Court, San Francisco

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Features


Hit the Road

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Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

Harbor Court, San Francisco Some travelers prefer city life for a getaway, and Harbor Court, member of the Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, is here for it. Located near San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building, the hotel offers views of the San Francisco Bay and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Dine at the hotel’s Ozumo restaurant, grab a complimentary bicycle to explore the city, or lounge with a cocktail by the lobby fireplace.


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Features

Oasis at Gold Spike, Las Vegas Las Vegas is known for its love of retro style, so if you’re looking for a little bit of old-meets-new, Oasis at Gold Spike is the perfect spot. Their rooms and property are designed for the urban adventurer, with a combination of retro and modern decor. The hotel’s amenities offer a break from sightseeing and gambling, with aqua-and-orange themed poolside decor, a carnival-inspired bar, and a living room with oversized games.


Hit the Road

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7 Bluff Cabins + RV Park, Concan, Texas Vacations aren’t just about the hotel experience. Travelers looking for something different will find it at 7 Bluff Cabins in Concan, Texas. Choose from 21 cabins and 17 RV sites at this property, located along the banks of the Frio River about 90 miles west of San Antonio. This is the place to bring a group or the whole family — cabins start at a 5-person occupancy all the way to 18 people — with plenty of activities for everyone. There’s private access to the Frio River, tube rentals, a pool, a pecan orchard, and a nighttime view of the stars over Texas.


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Hit the Road

The Ruby Hotel & Bar, Round Rock, Texas Whether it’s a leisurely trip, a corporate retreat, or a private event, The Ruby can do it all. This boutique property, located 20 miles north of Downtown Austin, includes a bar with a patio that overlooks Brushy Creek, a second patio area with a boardroom, a pool, and a 20,000 square foot naturally shaded lawn. Rooms are decorated in jewel tones with the unique collections of midcentury-modern baubles curated by Ruby (the hotel’s namesake) throughout her life and travels. The outdoors is part of the ambiance, thanks to private balconies and large windows that flood the rooms with natural light.

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Wimberley Inn + Bar, Wimberley, Texas Situated between Austin and San Antonio, the Wimberley Inn offers small-town Texas charm with a boutique hotel feel. Relax in their modern-designed hotel rooms with modern amenities, Parachute linens, Pharmacopia amenities, high-speed Wi-Fi, and more. Or head outdoors to the pool, complimentary Blanco River access through their sister property less than 10 minutes away, and walking trails. The Bar at Wimberley Inn offers a place to enjoy drinks and bites indoors or outdoors — just make sure to come early to claim a prime spot by the fire pit.


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The Future of Hospitality

UNION SQUARE EVENTS OPENS NEW HEADQUARTERS DEDICATED TO CATERING AND HOSPITALITY OPERATIONS AZURE COLLIER

Tucked in among the maze of renovated warehouses that make up Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, past the secret Whole Foods, and next door to a building that houses the practice court for the Brooklyn Nets is a kitchen so rare it might just be a unicorn. Spanning 33,000 square feet, the kitchen for Union Square Events, the catering and venue hospitality division of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, has everything a back of house employee and event professional dreams of and more. The ingredients in the walk-ins are neatly sorted, organized, and labeled. There are multiple ovens, stoves, steam-jacketed kettles, and sinks. It has plenty of prep space, as well as special features like temperaturecontrolled butcher and pastry rooms, and a saw to cut pans of freshly baked pastries into single servings. There’s enough room to prepare everything from a small event to a 4,000-person gala. Beyond the kitchen, there’s a research and development kitchen, a tasting room, and a 120-seat family room for Union Square Events staff. During a tour, Anthony Mastellone, President of Union Square Events, navigates between the sections, greeting employees by name and with an enthusiastic fist bump.

“This is all geared towards elevating that workplace experience. We’re providing our workforce with everything they need for productivity and providing some joy,” he said. “I think the high point for us as much as we've got this great kitchen, it's the quality of life measures that we're most proud of here. I feel like it creates differentiation for how we care for our folks. We’re getting the most out of all of our time here, making everyone feel cared for, and that’s been Danny’s philosophy from the get-go.” It’s easy to feel the joy in this space, which opened in October 2021 after Union Square Events relocated from Hudson Yards, a collection of business, residential, and retail buildings on Manhattan’s west side. While Hudson Yards is a new development, space — as anyone who lives in or visits Manhattan can tell you — was at a minimum. The Union Square Events offices, kitchen, and storage were spread out on multiple floors, which isn’t efficient for a hospitality organization. Organizing deliveries was a nightmare.


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In 2018 and 2019, the team researched and found the perfect location in Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. Industry City is a former 19th century industrial center overlooking New York Bay that’s become a center for tech, creative companies, restaurants, and retail. “There was a search to find something that could provide one contiguous space, and Industry City has that in a wonderful, gentrified area with the floor plan we dreamt of,” Mastellone said. Just as construction was about to begin in early 2020, COVID hit, and New York City went on lockdown. “We had a really important decision to make as COVID hit, and the place was selected, and design was started,” Mastellone said. “We really worked through the pros and cons of moving forward and how to have a lot of confidence that we’re going to come out of this right, this huge project, in the middle of a pandemic, that no one could have ever imagined. “We started construction during COVID, when there was literally no business, with the absolute confidence that our brand was beloved in the market. And that New York is going to battle back from this. And whether it takes two years or four years, there will be a resurgence. And we’ll continue with the strategic imperative to support the growth of the business. And here we are.”

The company manages Shake Shack-branded outlets for stadiums and arenas around the country as well as brands at Citi Field and Saratoga Race Course. In addition to this, Union Square events extends enlightened hospitality to several businesses, industry locations, and cultural venues in New York City. These include the Whitney Museum, Après at One Vanderbuilt, and Little Island. They also provide in-flight dining for Delta Air Lines’ Delta One customers and partner with Goldbelly on copacking opportunities. Special events are strong at the core for Union Square Events, which includes a longterm relationship with the Robin Hood foundation in New York City, which raises funds for anti-poverty programs. “I think this space expands our offerings. The equipment we have allows for more flexibility from the kitchen. Whatever limitations there were before were alleviated,” Mastellone said. “The kitchen is a machine that keeps going, and we have dedicated areas like the office and the tasting rooms for clients. The clients feel cared for, they feel like they’ve got your undivided attention. It’s elevated what we could do internally and externally.” Union Square Events is also a trendsetter in the hospitality industry by working as a consultant to help shape a client's vision.


The Future of Hospitality

“It’s consulting and operations, where we’re building something for a client. We’re designing a space, amenities, food and beverage, and working on executive and client dining. Our role is to really help on whatever that core concept may be,” Mastellone said. “It could be elevating the surface experience and using some of the best practices and instilling our family values within those organizations. In many cases, they’re redesigning space and building from scratch. In some cases, it’s helping a brand that’s just being launched go to market.” Mastellone doesn’t view this work as competition. It’s all about helping everyone in the industry achieve success. “It’s about providing this preeminent hospitality experience. Everything we engage in is focused on the community, our clients, and who they serve. But it’s much more than events,” he said. “We did a good deal of consulting during COVID. We did an awful lot to help people in need during COVID, providing meals and providing services from our kitchen and helping people bring everything together.”

Is this the future of the hospitality industry? Will restaurant groups need to move beyond their individual properties and create companies like Union Square Events in order to grow their business opportunities? Absolutely, according to Mastellone. “It’s got to be part of your business strategy and it’s got to be two very different business lines,” he said. “I think it’s challenging to do events out of restaurants because you may not have the proper facilities and you’re working from a core menu. We’ve seen a lot of restaurants now that focus on ecommerce. They’ve gotten on platforms like Goldbelly to get their brand out across the country. But events have to be part of your strategy. You take it to the next level when you create a space like this, with a kitchen dedicated to the events sector.”

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Why Free Venue Directory Listings Aren’t Actually Free LEARN MORE ABOUT WHY SOME LISTINGS SITES ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NICOLE CATATAO

There are plenty of venue directories out there in the market to choose from, with new ones popping up all the time. And pretty much all of them offer free listings to new customers. Free things are great, but nothing is ever really free. In reality, those other free venue directory listings aren’t actually free and will end up costing you more money and more headaches in the long run.


Why Free Venue Directory Listings Aren’t Actually Free

1.

Lead commissions: You pay a flat fee for every lead that is sent to you. With every lead that is sent your way, you pay a flat fee whether it turns into a booked event or not. So you are charged for all leads, both qualified and unqualified. This means you have to work with their support teams, fighting about unqualified leads and why you shouldn’t be charged for bogus data.

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Here are five reasons why those other free venue directory listings aren’t actually free.

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2.

3. 4.

Event commissions: You pay a commission on every booked event. Some directories only charge you for the leads that do end up converting into a fully-booked event as long as the lead was generated by the directory. In order for the directories to manage all of your leads and booked events, they force you to use their tools to communicate with the event planners and collect money from the event planner. That way, the directory can collect its commissions before you recognize the revenue at the venue.

Limited fields: They limit your venue listing fields. With your free listing, you are often limited to only being allowed to upload one or two photos to show off your event space along with a brief description that they max out to only a few sentences. A listing with three or more photos sees a 33% increase in leads. This is exactly why they limit the number of photos you are allowed to upload to your listing. The less information on your listing, the fewer page views and leads you will see. They prevent you from performing well.

Restrictive placement: They restrict where your listing appears on the venue directory. Say your venue is located in Boston. The directory won’t place your venue on all Boston pages, maybe just one of the neighborhoods, or only in a suburb of Boston and not Boston itself. By picking and choosing which pages and locations your venue is displayed, the directory is directly limiting the number of event planners who could potentially see and interact with your listing. Fewer page views to your listing equals fewer leads for your venue.


Why Free Venue Directory Listings Aren’t Actually Free

Time-sensitive listing: Free listing for only one month. For the free listing, you only get to keep it for one month then they shut it off. In this scenario, the directory is going to put you on page 1 of your city, and specifically drive more traffic to your page in order to generate a ton of traffic and leads for that first month. Once you fall in love with the amount of traffic and leads they generated for you and have you signed up for a long contract, they will then move your listing down to the standard rating and rotation that all listings are set up and your traffic and leads will dramatically drop month after month. Then they hit you with complicated tired packages — you only keep a percentage of leads for free per package level, with only the most expensive level offering all leads being included.

6.

Be smart about the listing services you use Venue directories often hide these five key pieces of information deep within their website or even in the fine print of a contract purposely so you miss them in order to hook you on the free listing so they can up-charge you significantly later. These marketing tactics are sneaky and misleading at best and end up costing venues more marketing dollars than what you originally had budgeted. You shouldn’t be focused on trying to get out of a bad contract, reading the fine print, or stuck paying any commission for your leads. You should only be focused on driving new revenue back to your venue with clear, defined, and affordable marketing initiatives.

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PREMIUM VENUE DIRECTORY LISTINGS WITH EVENTUP EventUp is the leading venue directory with more than 15,000 restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. The directory accommodates any venue type, every event type, in both small and large markets globally — that’s why more social, corporate, and wedding planners use EventUp to plan all of their parties and events, which means they receive more leads and more qualified leads. EventUp does not offer free listings, but instead has three robust, affordable premium packages, giving venues maximum exposure to help generate more leads. These packages include:

1. LEAD COMMISSIONS: EventUp never charges venues for leads ever, no matter what package you select. 2. EVENT COMMISSIONS: EventUp never charges venues for booked events ever, no matter what package you select. 3. MORE LISTING FIELDS: Every package includes all possible listing fields — venues are encouraged to fill out available fields as much as they can. In addition, there is plenty of content available to help you optimize the information you add.

4. EFFECTIVE PLACEMENT: The package level venues select determines the overall placement and ranking of their listing, giving you full control to determine how to meet your unique marketing needs based on your available budget. 5. LONG-TERM LISTING: All EventUp listing packages are offered as a yearly contract, with monthly and annual payment options. Annual contracts include two free months.

Schedule a demo


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2022 Goal: A Better Mind, Body, and Soul

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Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

2022 Goal: A Better Mind, Body, and Soul HOW HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONALS CAN ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE NICOLE CATATAO

Mental health in the workplace has become a widely spread topic that more people are comfortable talking about as well as organizations adopting practices or initiatives in the office to help staff be mindful about their mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 25 adults in the US experiences a serious mental illness in a given year, yet fewer than half get the help they need. Mental health in the workplace doesn't have to mean you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues. Taking care of your mental health can also prevent or help manage burnout, stress, and resentment. Even if you love your job, career, or company, a job is still a transactional relationship. There are set duties and hours in exchange for payment. There is more to you and your life beyond a career. Taking care of all aspects of your life leads to a well-balanced and happy whole person. A happy whole person is easier to work with, more productive, works smarter not harder, and saves the company money. What makes up a whole person? There are many rules of thought and ways to categorize and evaluate what makes up a complete person. But, the most simple way, and the easiest to start thinking about is mind, body, and soul. All three areas make up the wellness wheel. Each part needs love and attention and to be actively exercised in order for the wheel to function properly. When your wellness wheel functions properly, you are a happy whole person!


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SET YOUR MIND AT EASE Let’s get started with focusing on your mind. These tips will help you give your mind the time and nurturing it needs to be in a positive space.

1. Goal setting It’s important to set both short-term and long-term goals. Here are a few examples: • This week I want to finish writing this article. • This year I want to work towards completing a Google Analytics class. Both are achievable goals, but If I keep them on the same goals list, it’s unrealistic, overwhelming, and guaranteed to fail. And it only gets exasperated the more goals you add. Having a realistic timeline set for your goals allows you the space to not think about goals that are not the priority at the moment. My year goals provide me the freedom to break out a larger goal into do-able chunks throughout the year that I can schedule on my calendar when it makes sense and I have the time. Not having any goals written down is just as bad. What do you want to achieve or accomplish, or work towards?

2. Challenge thoughts There may have been times when these common thoughts have popped up in your head on the job: • Why was I invited to this meeting? • I don’t know anything. • No one hears me. • Why did I say that aloud? Stop the self-doubt. Learn to be nicer to yourself. If you really think about what you tell yourself in your internal thought monologue, would you ever say those comments out loud to your colleague? Most likely not; what we tell ourselves is often mean and completely over-dramatized. Feelings are valid, but you need to ask yourself, “Is what I’m telling myself realistic or helpful?” Shift your mindset from berating yourself to offering yourself solutions to the problem like you would with a colleague.

3. Delegate tasks Delegation is a valuable tool at your disposal but it is often forgotten. People tend to feel bad about shifting work to others, don't know how to delegate properly, or feel that they can complete the task better. You can't do it all and shouldn’t have to. A company is much like a puzzle. We each complete an important piece of the bigger picture; no one singular part is more important than the others but all pieces are needed. Focus on your piece and let others own their own.

4. Pause before you speak If a situation at work upsets you or bothers you in any way, your first instinct may be to run to a manager or human resources and complain. But more often when we do this, we tend to say things out of anger or frustration that we may not completely agree with. Instead, take a time-out. Take a quick walk or even give yourself 24 hours before you respond. Changing up your scenery can spark a change in your thought cycle. Come back to the problem with a clear mind, helpful feedback, and possible solutions to the problem — you’ll more likely be heard and positive actions will take place.


2022 Goal: A Better Mind, Body, and Soul

LOVE YOUR BODY

3. Make time for movement

If your body isn’t healthy, it impacts your work and your personal time. Try these suggestions to give your body what it needs to move you through your day.

Ride a bike to and from work, take a walk around your building, run up and down a staircase, sign up for a workout class nearby, or just do anything that you enjoy and that gets your heart rate up even a little.

1. Get quality sleep Plug your phone in — in another room — read yourself to sleep, use an eye mask or sound machine, and set the mood to teach your body that it’s rest time. Try to follow a similar routine each night that is easily replicable if traveling. A good night is an elixir to most of life’s challenges.

2. Eat a balanced diet There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a cupcake, a glass or two of rosé, or the occasional box of Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies, but it must be done in a balanced manner. I don’t believe in following fad diets at all. I do believe in making healthy choices throughout the week to fuel my body and feel good while allowing myself treats here and there without the guilt. And always remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy,” — wise words spoken by Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde.” In all seriousness though, your body needs to move, and without consistent movement each week, your body tells your mind to stay stagnant and it eventually leads to depression.

4. Get Vitamin D That’s right, get outside and get some fresh air and some sun. Sunlight provides many natural benefits — including Vitamin D — that can help prevent seasonal depression, and overall makes you happier. Just don’t forget to wear sunblock.

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SOOTHE YOUR SOUL Don’t neglect your soul. The following three pieces of advice will provide you with comfort and relief.

1. Talk to someone It’s better to ask for help when work tasks feel to heavy than to carry the load alone and suffer in silence. Whether that’s reaching out to your human resources representative, a mentor at work, a mental health professional, or a friend you trust, expressing feelings and emotions can feel as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. If you bottle emotions up for too long, they ferment and eventually explode into a burst of anger. Which is the last thing you want to happen at work. Tip: If you want to chat with a friend, always ask permission first before you unload. You never know what someone else is going through each day. If a colleague reaches out to you for some emotional support and guidance, first check in with yourself and be realistic if support is something you are capable of providing at the moment. If it’s not, be honest and suggest that they speak with someone else directly at the company who may be able to help.

If you are willing to provide support, ask them about the particular experience, and what kind of support they are looking for. Each scenario and person will warrant a different need. Someone looking for sympathy just needs to be heard. Something looking for empathy is looking for someone who has gone through the same experience. A person in need of compassion needs someone to provide help in the form of actions.

2. Give credit where credit is due Filling someone else's bucket not only brightens their day, but it's also a little reward for yourself. It can be easy to go about your day-to-day and forget to acknowledge those around you that go above and beyond or out of their way to help you in some way. It can be as simple as, “I noticed your hard work, and I appreciate it.”

3. Stand in your truth The truth will be different for each person. Some rely on religion, some rely on lifestyles, and others have a unique set of beliefs that work for them. Recharge with like-minded folks away from work. You could find this at church, community service, volunteering, book clubs, hitting the trails or gym, and spending time where you feel at peace and feed your soul.

BETTER MENTAL HEALTH = A BETTER LIFE Taking care of your mind, body and soul creates a happy whole person who can show up to work with increased motivation, concentration, productivity, creativity, and collaboration. Working on yourself both while you are at work and after work hours strengthens your overall mental health in the workplace. If at any time you ever feel as though things are too heavy to carry alone, please seek help from a friend, human resources, or a mental health professional.


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Dining at Its Finest

JAMES BEARD AWARDS PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON TRIPLESEAT CUSTOMERS HEATHER APSE

We are so happy for our Tripleseat customers who were nominated in this year’s highly sought-after awards from the James Beard Foundation. We love celebrating the people behind food culture and would like to share some of our wonderful customers who made it to the James Beard Semifinals. Whether an established or new restaurateur, today’s restaurant world has certainly changed. 2022 Semifinalist Restaurateurs that we love as customers include: • Washington, D.C.’s Ashok Bajaj from Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Bindaas, Annabelle, and others) • Atlanta’s Kevin Gillespie from Red Beard Restaurants (Gunshow and Revival) • Houston’s Chris Williams of Lucille's Hospitality Group • Philadelphia’s Ellen Yin from High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, a.kitchen + bar, High Street Philly, and others) • Orlando’s Jason and Sue Chin of Good Salt Restaurant Group • Milwaukee’s Joe Muench, Dan Sidner, Amy Kerstein, and Jason Kerstein of Black Shoe Hospitality • San Francisco’s Willy Ng of Koi Palace, Dragon Beaux, and Palette Tea House

Please congratulate Outstanding Chef Semifinalist, Mashama Bailey, from The Grey in Savannah, Ga. According to the restaurant website’s bio on this chef, she credits her early learning of cooking by her family and got “the best kind of education — a real world one.” Outstanding Restaurant Semifinalists this year include longstanding Tripleseat customer, Brennan's of New Orleans. Also listed is Butcher & Bee of Charleston, S.C,. known for its quality ingredients. Congratulations!


Dining at Its Finest

Best New Restaurant semifinalists include Gage & Tollner located in New York City, Kimika (also in New York City), Laser Wolf in Philadelphia, and Owamni in Minneapolis. Tripleseat sends its congratulations to these amazing establishments! Delicious, beautiful pastry is a fave for us at Tripleseat. We congratulate these Best Pastry Chef Semifinalists from Tripleseat restaurants: • Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles • Elise Mensing, Brasserie by Niche, St. Louis • Ruben Ortega, Xochi, Houston • Caroline Schiff, Gage & Tollner, New York City Outstanding Hospitality Semifinalists include Cúrate in Asheville, N.C., Hugo's in Houston, The Preacher's Son in Bentonville, Ark., and Sylvia's Restaurant in New York City. They always make their guests feel welcome. Outstanding Wine Program Semifinalists include Maydan in Washington, D.C., and Vicia in St. Louis. Kudos to Outstanding Bar Program Semifinalist, Barmini by José Andrés, located in Washington, D.C.; Cafe La Trova in Miami; and Vicia in St. Louis. Best Chef Semifinalists from Tripleseat restaurants include: • Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe, Chicago • Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago • John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth, Chicago • Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C. • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C. • Sean Sherman, Owamni, Minneapolis • Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, N.C. • Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, N.M. Congratulations to the entire list of the 2022 James Beard nominees and semifinalists. Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 13, 2022, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. We love witnessing the greatness we see in the food and restaurant industry. You can read more about the James Beard awards at jamesbeard.org.

Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

New chefs on the scene that are making amazing food include this Emerging Chef Semifinalist from a restaurant that we know and love at Tripleseat: from Anju in Washington, D.C., is Angel Barreto. Also on the list is Manuel Barella from high energy restaurant Bellota in Denver.

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NYC &

Beyond KATE KENNEDY

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to sit down with Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, to get his take on current issues affecting the hospitality industry. For those out there who don’t already know, Rigie is a force to be reckoned with in the New York City hospitality industry, getting his first taste at a young age working at his family’s third-generation bakery in Queens, N.Y. He went on to work in multiple positions within the industry before joining the New York State Restaurant Association in 2004. Here, he recruited members, was a valued consultant to area restaurant operators, and was at the helm of many grassroots movements, eventually becoming Executive Vice President of the association in 2009.


NYC and Beyond

A candid talk with New York City Hospitality Alliance's Executive Director, Andrew Rigie, about the industry issues that matter now and his outlook on the future of hospitality.

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In 2012, Rigie took the immense knowledge he had gained from working inside and on behalf of the industry to become the founding executive director of the independent New York City Hospitality Alliance. Over the years, the Alliance has grown into New York City’s go-to source for delivering information, education services, and representation in government and media to thousands of restaurants and nightlife venues across the city. Rigie also serves on multiple advisory boards ranging from education to regulation. So, needless to say, Rigie is a reliable wealth of informed information, and I was eager to get his opinions and outlook on the industry’s current state and what he believes is in its future. Here’s what he had to say.

LABOR SHORTAGE IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY Kennedy: Let’s begin by discussing the big issue of labor shortages happening in the industry right now. What is your opinion on why this is happening, and what do you think operators can do to lessen the blow? Rigie:

The restaurant industry is highly laborintensive, and even before the pandemic, so many restaurateurs would say they were already shortstaffed, particularly among positions like line cooks. When the pandemic hit, it devastated the industry and eventually shut it down. In places like New York City, many people working in restaurants weren’t originally from New York, and they left the state. Especially the younger generation. Some went back to where they’re from and some went back to live with their parents. Other people — who were from the city — stayed but found jobs in other industries.

The other day, I was in an elevator, and a man recognized me. He said, “You’re Andrew, the restaurant guy, right?” and I said, “Yes,” and he told me that he had worked as a cook in the city at a restaurant for 12 years but had lost his job at the start of the pandemic and was forced to look for work elsewhere. He was currently the building maintenance man for the building we were in. He said he missed the industry, but he has more regular hours with this job, and he’ll eventually become part of the building workers union and, truthfully, make more money and get more benefits. And beyond the compensation and hours, he was happy that he could now spend more time with his wife and young children. This is just one example of thousands of similar situations. So, I think many things could change that would benefit the workers of the industry. Still, many things can’t change, like working nights, weekends, holidays, being on your feet, being in hot kitchens, and, especially now, dealing with an angry public. So much has been asked of restaurant workers in the past few years. They got shut down, reopened, and again had to deal with ever-changing government rules, regulations, and mandates, dealing with angry customers, etc. When attracting and retaining employees, operators face financial realities regarding compensation and benefits like insurance that they can and cannot provide. That may be a complicated economic reality for them to grapple with. But there are non-financial benefits that can be provided to attract and retain employees. The first is creating an open, communitive, and supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable and excited to be a part of.


NYC and Beyond

Yes, the industry is known for being open nights, weekends, and holidays, but within that schedule, can you provide your employees with more support and flexibility to still have a personal life and a family life? Suppose you are a restaurant group growing and opening up new locations. Do you offer your employees opportunities to go and work at new locations or travel to these locations? Restaurant owners can provide many things outside of monetary compensation that will attract employees and make them want to stay. I think that workers want and deserve more than they have been provided in the past, and the pandemic was able to put that front and center for them. Many of the successful restaurants that have come out of the pandemic recognize these issues and are doing anything they can to offer the perks I mentioned, among other things.

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY Kennedy: Do you think we’re turning a corner in the

industry where operators understand the importance of mental health and might be more willing to offer their employees the benefits they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Rigie:

There’s a lot of interest and desire to create more long-term, sustainable jobs within the industry, but that positive intent often then smacks up against the reality of a balance sheet. We’re talking about small businesses with low margins who have recently been struggling to keep their doors open throughout the pandemic and probably have more debt than before. Not to mention that food prices have skyrocketed, making margins even smaller. They are caught in an impossible situation. The cost of health care, whether mental or otherwise, in the United States is outrageous, and the fact that it needs to be employer-provided makes it unattainable, no matter how much businesses want to offer it. The Hospitality Alliance has worked with the New York City’s Office of Nightlife to provide mental health care to people working in the restaurant and nightlife industry. That’s undoubtedly very important to us and the industry as a whole. But trying to find psychologists and more intense mental health care is expensive, and it’s complicated to navigate our system. There are not a lot of great answers to this question. In the end, it’s not that they don’t want to offer it; there are just so many challenges, including its high cost and other U.S. healthcare issues.

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Operators should provide expectations of what employees can anticipate when working at their restaurant. How are they investing in their employees' professional growth? Are they allowing them to participate in wine and food tastings? Can you offer to take them on trips to the markets and farms where you procure your goods? Is there a ladder of growth at this restaurant and transparency on the compensation for growth?

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THE FUTURE OF THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY Kennedy:

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about how the industry will never recover or come back to its pre-pandemic state. Many people believe that this reality we’re in now will become the new normal for the hospitality industry. I tend to think about things from a more favorable light, and I’m curious to know how you feel about this. Do you think the reality we’re in now is our new normal? Should we forget about how the industry was in 2019 and move on?

Rigie:

In short, my answer is no. Throughout the pandemic and all the doom and gloom and countless predictions, I’ve been pretty firm that unquestionably New York City’s restaurant industry — and the hospitality industry as a whole — will come back and eventually come back better than ever. I’ve always been most concerned not with how it will come back collectively but how we save as many of these small business owners as we can that have struggled during the pandemic to ensure they get to the other side to enjoy the future.

People eating, drinking, dancing, and socializing are in the DNA of humans, cities, and cultures. The industry is returning, especially when we’ve been told to be socially distant for so long; all we want is to do is socialize. I think there is pent-up demand — it’s just going to take a long time to get to a place where everyone is back, and everyone feels comfortable being out. Ultimately, it’s not a question of if the industry as a whole recovers. Of course, it does. The question is, “How do you save as many of the people who struggled through this crisis and get them to the other side?” Unfortunately, we’ve already had a lot of loss and a lot of misery, but the industry will recover. The riddle we must solve is, “How do we build back in a smarter and more sustainable way?” For more information regarding Rigie and all of the amazing work the New York City Hospitality Alliance has done, or to find out how you can get involved, check out their website at thenycalliance.org.


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Going Corporate HOW YOUR VENUE CAN ATTRACT CONFERENCE BUSINESS RACHEL MAZZOLA

Looking for ways to attract new event bookings? Hosting a conference at your venue is a great way to diversify your venue’s event offerings. Conferences come in all shapes and sizes and can range in attendance, meeting space needed, and setups — so whether you are a small venue that can accommodate 50 people in one room or a large venue with multiple areas that can host 500 people — there is sure to be a corporate event planner looking for a space for their conference that’s a perfect match for your venue. In addition to being a new form of business to attract, conferences also come with many other needs: client meetings, after parties, and even group dinners that attendees have after conference hours.


Going Corporate

Plenty of meeting space As we’ve mentioned, conferences come in many different forms, but typically there will be a need for designated spaces for sessions, meals, exhibits, and networking. The kind of space needed is up to the planner. Be sure to ask questions, such as “Can the sessions and meals happen in the same room?” or “Will networking be in the same space as the exhibits, or will that need to occur in a separate room?” If you can highlight how your space can accommodate all of these needs, you’ll likely be an excellent choice for any conference.

Attractive event packages Be a one-stop-shop. Meeting organizers will look for a venue where they can get everything — audiovisual, furniture, food, and beverage — without having to find and book many different vendors. If you can, put together a conference package that appeals and includes everything a conference organizer would need. If you are just a venue and don’t have everything included, find partners and work with them on a package offer — you’ll make a corporate planner’s job that much more accessible and will be more appealing than someone who can only offer space.

A sales kit Have information about your space and venue easily accessible. Meeting planners will want to see floor plans, layouts, food and beverage menus and pricing, audiovisual offerings and pricing, diagrams, and capacity charts. Put it all together in a sales kit and make all of this information easy to find on your website or any venue

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So what can you do to make sure you get a shot at hosting a conference? Corporate planners who host conferences will likely be looking for a few of these selling points.

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directory sites where you may be listed (like EventUp by Tripleseat). The more information people can find, and the more comprehensive, the better. Include photos of your space set up for a conference to help visualize what your area looks like all set up.

A relationship with your venue Start your relationship with prospects by hosting a discovery call. If you get an RFP (request for proposal) or an event lead, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get to know a little more about the type of conference, the attendees, what might attract the organizer to pick your venue over another, and other details. You’ll be surprised at how much a call can help you discover and better client’s needs. This is also a great relationship with your client before working together.

quick 15-minute understand your way to build a you even start

Conferences are just the starting point Are you afraid that your space isn’t right for a conference or the meetings that need to occur throughout? Not a problem — conferences are more than just meeting space. As we mentioned, they attract a lot of other kinds of events, meetings, and get-togethers. Market your venue as the place to host an after-party or reception, especially if you are close to the conference venue. Have discounts available for those attending a conference who may be looking for a place to eat after the day has ended. Your private dining spaces can be great after-hour meeting spots for someone to bring clients, for groups to meet, or for teams to get together.


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Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue

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 other Friday to catch up on the latest hospitality topics. Find podcast episodes on Apple, Spotify, our website, tripleseat.com/podcast, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Want to share your own event professional perspective and experiences as a guest on a future episode? Email us at 2chicks3seats@tripleseat.com!


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Celebrating in the Summertime TIPS FOR DESIGNING WARM-WEATHER EVENTS LATHA YOUNGREN

Break out the tiki torches and fairy lights — summer is the perfect time for planning and hosting various events. While the weather might cooperate and offer the best outdoor settings, it can work against you as those temperatures creep up. Your guests’ comfort should be top of mind, so use these tips and tricks during the planning process to beat the heat and host the best outdoor events possible.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH BEVERAGES Make the drinks part of heat relief and a focal point for the party. There are so many fun themes and beverage stations that can be created to make drinks not only a refreshment but part of the event aesthetic. Bringing in a mobile bar truck with champagne or craft cocktails on tap can make a splash for those with larger budgets. Or, with more limited budgets, just using some natural materials to display specialty glasses like mason jars or champagne coups can add a special touch.

Fun Beverage Station Ideas: • Make your own Bloody Mary bar • Frozen margaritas with flavor stations • Spiked lemonade stand display with using glass drink dispensers • Flavored water stations • Bellini bar


Celebrating in the Summertime

THROW SOME SHADE Summer events are a great way to spend time outdoors, but not all of your guests will want to gather in the heat and direct sunlight. Umbrellas and tented areas can elevate or even set the entire tone of an outdoor party. Create fun seating areas under these umbrellas or inside different-sized canopies or tents. Careful placement of pergolas, sail shades, outdoor curtains, fabrics, or even large potted plants can give you more options. This can give your guests the opportunity to relax and recharge away from the sun.

PROVIDE PLENTY OF SEATING Adirondack chairs, folding chairs, benches, and deck furniture are a good start for outdoor event seating, but don’t stop there. Pillows, poufs, picnic blankets, and cushions on the lawn are all great options. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on seating. The heat can make your guests tired, and seating is an opportunity to add to the party theme.

USE LIGHTING TO CREATE AN EVENING ATMOSPHERE As the sun goes down, lights, candles, and lanterns can add a whole new ambiance to the space. String lights have become an essential outdoor standard for good reason. They can illuminate walkways and dance floors without a harsh glow. A fire pit can be a secondary source of light, as well as a gathering place for guests. You can opt for the traditional wood fire pit or try gas or propane. The gas and propane versions are also sold as tables with river rock, stones, ceramic, or glass at the center to add some modern design to your decor.

INCLUDE THESE EXTRAS Often outdoor events have natural beauty built in and don’t require a lot of additional decor to dress up the space, but extra touches can go a long way. Displaying a basket of goodies like sunscreen and bug spray is a little thoughtful touch that can combat the outdoor elements your guests might have overlooked. Another idea is to have some useful outdoor items that double as party favors like hats, sunglasses, beach towels, metal water bottles, or even flip flops. As the temperatures drop, it’s nice to have wraps or blankets readily available.

PLANNING AHEAD MAKES YOUR EVENTS MEMORABLE There are endless possibilities depending on your setting and budget and plenty of room for creativity. No matter the outdoor environment you are working with — rooftop, waterfront, garden, or patio — you can incorporate these ideas to create an event that your guests won’t want to leave.

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The Restaurant Industry in 2022: A LOOK AHEAD MADDIE FRANZREB

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that there is no shortage of data from restaurant operators and consumers regarding how the restaurant industry has been impacted over the past two years. We have gathered insights on the industry's current state thanks to some in-depth research by Square in their latest edition of The Future of the Restaurant Industry, the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry, and Trends & Predictions for 2022 by The Restaurant & Food Group. Let’s look at what factors are still creating challenges for the restaurant industry and how restaurants adapt to another “new normal” going forward.

HAZY FORECAST

OVERALL SENTIMENTS

Restaurant operators are cautiously optimistic about their forecasts for 2022 but will have to find ways to compete with rising costs and shortages in labor and supply chains. The future of the restaurant industry is mainly dependent on how technology improvements and expansion into different channels will play out over the next few years.

There were some glimmers of hope last year across the foodservice industry, and sales increased compared to 2020, but overall sales have not reached pre-pandemic levels, and many challenges persist. According to Square, 58% of restaurateurs are presently concerned about the survival of their restaurant, down from a staggering 92% the previous year. The National Restaurant Association reported that 40% of operators believe it will take more than a year for business to recover. Another 17% of operators say business conditions may never return to normal for their restaurant. On the bright side, restaurants are increasingly adopting new technologies and using insights from the pandemic to meet customers' expectations.

For the first time since pre-pandemic, sales are expected to surpass 2019 levels, but that is without adjusting for inflation. Sales for the overall foodservice industry will reach $898 billion in 2022. Considering each segment, full-service restaurants should reach $289 billion in sales for 2022, a 10.9% increase from 2021. The limitedservice segment is forecast to reach $355 billion in 2022, resulting in a 7.9% increase from 2021.

CHALLENGING CONDITIONS A few common challenges are hitting operators across the industry: the ongoing labor shortage, supply chain disruptions, and rising food costs. As witnessed across multiple sectors, recruiting and retaining employees is a significant hurdle.


The Restaurant Industry in 2022

There are a record number of job openings in the hospitality sector, but many operators say their restaurant is more than 10% below where they need to be in terms of staffing levels. By the end of 2022, the foodservice industry expects to add another 400,000 jobs bringing total employment to 14.9 million.

LABOR SHORTAGE After the uncertainty of the last two years, many of the millions of restaurant employees who were laid off in March 2020 have pivoted into other careers or chosen not to return to the restaurant industry. More than 70% of restaurants say they are experiencing labor shortages and are trying to find ways to operate with unfilled positions. Restaurant owners see that they need to reassess benefits and adapt the working environment to entice new employees. For restaurants that can afford it, they are offering higher wages and better benefits that provide more long-term security. There will continue to be intense competition for employees as other industries offer more attractive benefits for their employees. At the same time, restaurants are exploring new solutions to combat the issue of labor shortage, such as tableside payments and QR code ordering.

SUPPLY CHAIN AND PRICING CONCERNS In addition to staffing problems, supply and pricing issues continue to impact restaurant profit margins. In 2021, 96% of operators said they experienced supply delays or shortages of essential food and beverage items. U.S. inflation climbed to a 40-year high at 7.9% in February, and consumers feel the impact of raised prices. Restaurants have been forced to raise prices, in some cases just to break even on their costs. Menus have been streamlined with fewer offerings than before COVID-19 due to ongoing delays or shortages of menu items. The industry has continued to adapt and remain resilient to stay in business. Finding ways to work through labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and increased prices will be paramount over the next year to meet customer demand and keep restaurant-goers happy.

THE PATH FORWARD We have entered an era of change where technology is evolving rapidly, and customers are open to innovations in the restaurant industry if it improves their overall experience. Changes are happening from the front of the house to the back of the house and every other touchpoint in the dining journey. Four areas where we believe the most disruptions will occur in the coming year are off-premises dining, automation, a focus on omnichannel strategy, and payment collection.

FLIPPING OPERATIONS Dining off-premises is a pandemic trend that is here to stay. Restaurants are starting to reassess how they traditionally run their operations and adjusting their business model to fit the trends. Across the foodservice industry, restaurants are looking at decreasing their front-of-house space to accommodate larger kitchens as people continue to dine off-premises in overwhelming numbers. In some instances, business owners provide more space for delivery drivers to pick up orders as they see fewer customers walking into their restaurants. Most restaurant operators in the limited-service segments say their off-premises business will be the best avenue for growth in 2022. Even 41% of full-service restaurants say they expect a lot of growth from off-premises opportunities. A quick glimpse at how people eat in general: 6 in 10 adults say they are more likely to order takeout or delivery now than before the pandemic. As the off-premises category grows, restaurants will need to adopt new technology to meet the demand.

EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY Automation in the restaurant industry is increasing at a rapid pace. The gaps that technology can fill run the gamut from order processing to accepting payments, managing restaurant capacity, reservations, tracking item availability, and even communicating with customers. 36% of restaurants say they upgraded technology to help their business in just the last year. As many as 62% of restaurants say that automation would fill critical gaps in managing orders placed across delivery apps, online and at the restaurant. Technology advancements are grouped primarily by customer-facing tech, back-ofthe-house tech, and technology devices or hardware. Across the different restaurant segments, customerfacing app ordering, mobile payment, and delivery management improvements are where restaurants say

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More than 50% of full-service, quick-service, and fast-casual segments reported labor recruitment and retention as the biggest challenge of 2022. Even though the restaurant and foodservice industry added back 1.7 million jobs in 2021 for a total of 14.5 million jobs, many restaurants are still understaffed.

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they’ll invest the most money. Point-of-sale and inventory management software will follow. Quick-service restaurants plan to invest the most in tableside or kiosk ordering systems in terms of hardware. From the consumer perspective, restaurants shouldn’t worry that people are overloaded yet; about 1 in 4 adults think restaurants could use more tech. There is certainly excitement for technology across the younger generations, while the Gen-Xers and the Baby Boomers are most hesitant to adopt new advancements.

OMNICHANNEL APPROACH The past dining experience of simply ordering and dining in person has been shifted over the last two years. Today, restaurants are working to make sure customers are comfortable and able to experience their venue in whatever capacity they choose. Some customers said they would even avoid a restaurant if it did not offer online ordering. Ordering channels have expanded to include self-serve ordering from a kiosk, third-party ordering, and native websites or QR codes. Even with these new channels, restaurants can still receive orders in one centralized system that does not create any additional work for the restaurant. More customers are opting for delivery or curbside pickup, while some still choose to dine in. Restaurants that offer online ordering say that an average of 34% of their sales currently comes from those channels. Another 54% say they added or expanded options to take online orders over the past year. The overwhelming response is that restaurants need to meet customers where they are and provide as many touchpoints as possible to make the ordering experience frictionless.

MODERN-DAY PAYMENTS The United States has lagged behind Europe in tableside payment collection for many years. Restaurants finally see the value as a much more convenient and efficient way of collecting payments. It helps restaurants turn tables, increase revenue and cope with the labor shortage. The options for payments have also increased — customers can pay with QR codes directly from their check, pay at table mobile devices and mobile wallet apps are a few of the most popular. An overwhelming 94% of restaurants surveyed say they currently offer contactless payment options. Many of the younger generations prefer contactless payments and welcome the adoption of new payment technology. There once was a time not too long ago when customers didn’t know how to scan a QR code for a menu; now, people are requesting them to optimize their checkout experience.

TECHNOLOGY IS MOVING THE INDUSTRY FORWARD Looking ahead at the rest of 2022, restaurants still need to make a lot of headway to increase sales back to pre-pandemic levels. Still, with the continued advancements in restaurant technology and a renewed optimism for the industry, we are hopeful for a bright year ahead.


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A New Type of Hotel Experience in Nashville: Flexible Living With Plenty of Amenities JENNA GABRIEL

BentoLiving Nashville, TN


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When BentoLiving first opened its doors in 2020, the extended-stay hotel concept wasn't a thought. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had to quickly adjust their strategy and pivot to what the world around them needed, and they’ve been doing it successfully since.

Couched between Nashville's distillery and brewery haven, known as Wedgewood-Houston, and the upscale shopping of The Gulch, you’ll find the historic Chestnut Hill neighborhood BentoLiving calls home. And this apartment-style hotel really does feel like home — each of the 89 rooms has a fully-equipped kitchen, a stylishly furnished living room, and washer/dryer — but with the bonus of Peloton bikes and 24-hour bodega, concierge, and valet services. BentoLiving offers a five-bed suite, which is perfect for larger groups, but if you’re solo, they also have studios. A rooftop bar hosts live music performances on the weekends along with one of the best views of Downtown Nashville, making this home away from home the perfect escape. We sat down with Denise Tinney, BentoLiving’s Director of Sales & Marketing, to learn more about their property, what makes them a unique experience, and how they got to where they are today.

1. Tell us a little about BentoLiving and the concept you’ve created, and how it’s unique compared to similar concepts. Our Bento culture is continuously evolving and building. “Simplicity, Flexibility and Convenience” is our vision. We use design to promote convenience throughout our property. We want to make things purposeful, intuitive, and joyful (modernist design doesn’t have to be all business). Our kitchens are an excellent example of Bento design. By designing a space for each kitchen item, we created an easy-to-use, simple and small straight run design; the smaller the kitchen, the less there is to clean. We also emphasize minimizing clutter and maximizing fun. Our panelized appliances and solid surface countertops reduce visual and physical clutter, reinforcing a sense of calm cleanliness in the room. Playful colors and natural materials position the kitchen as a center for gathering.


A New Type of Hotel Experience in Nashville

Our location in Chestnut Hill neighbors the buzzing, up-and-coming Wedgewood-Houston area, an ideal alternative to the overplayed and overcrowded Broadway and Gulch districts. A quick sprint across the tracks brings you to a creative hub dotted with former factories that now serve as art spaces and makers’ studios. The hip, walkable, and inclusive neighborhood is also a beverage destination, featuring award-winning cocktail bars, local craft distilleries, and café-lined streets. Crowds fill the area every month during Art Crawl, which showcases new art and artists across multiple galleries and stores. Golden Hour is particularly stunning in Chestnut Hill, one of Nashville’s most rapidly redeveloping neighborhoods. Chestnut Hill retains distinctive buildings dating back to the 19th century, as well as modest working-class homes from the early 20th century. Fort Negley, a restored remnant of the Civil War, is surrounded by trees and paths, while the flea market in nearby Nashville Fairgrounds is packed with antiques and treasured bric-a-brac. You can live like a Nashville local for a night or a few weeks in a BentoLiving apartment-style room with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and other amenities of home, including pets, who are always welcome. Complimentary onsite fitness classes, yoga, live music, and a rooftop patio provide daily activities for body and soul. Our flex-stay residences are designed to simplify life. BentoLiving Chestnut Hill offers 89 fully furnished units with functional design and generous amenities, able to host a variety of stay durations. Our innovative property is expertly outfitted using the BentoBuild system. BentoBuild takes a modular approach to delivering custom architectural casework. This system allows uncluttered, clean, and curated spaces to store essential items. Kitchen, entertainment, wardrobe, and entry modules feature high-quality Baltic birch case construction, European hardware, integrated countertops and backsplashes, and accessories and finishes for truly modern living.

2. When did the BentoLiving team decide to adjust your concept? We opened in January 2020, and when the pandemic hit in March 2020, we quickly determined we needed to adjust our strategy, which we did quickly and found a lot of success with the new direction.

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BentoLiving Chestnut Hill was created to provide that familiar touchpoint for our guests on the road who are experiencing a life full of change and movement. We make our guests instantly comfortable without getting in the way, providing them with a familiar product and service and making it easy to plug into life in Nashville whether they are here for a night or a year.

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Photo Credit: Reid Brand Photograph


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3. Has BentoLiving created any unique offerings to help with group business during the pandemic? We have a couple of packages to make it easier for the planners: a half-day and a full day. We are a small property with unique spaces, so the traditional banquet/catering menu is not what we do. We offer customized creations with our chef to create the perfect experience.

4. Why did BentoLiving start to use Tripleseat to manage group business? We did not have a previous sales system in place. When we changed our PMS system to StayNTouch, they highly recommended Tripleseat due to the connectivity abilities. I used competitive software at a previous property and was looking forward to integrating with Tripleseat to simplify our booking process.

5. How has Tripleseat helped you manage your bookings? I guess the better question is, “How has it not?” I now have a system to generate leads, organize all documents and communication, track all activity from lead generation to a closed booking, reports that allow my owner to know what I do all day, a concise database of accounts and contacts, generate BEOs for my chef and kitchen team, plus so much more!

6. What is your favorite Tripleseat feature, and why? My favorite feature is the user-friendly design and ease of use, including the connectivity between my PMS and sales and the ability to do more!

7. What makes group business at BentoLiving special and unique? Everything about BentoLiving appeals to group business: our location, our hotel, our vibe, and our style!

8. How is the client's experience at BentoLiving in comparison to other hotels? Clients of BentoLiving have a simple, flexible, and convenient experience. BentoLiving provides convenient and high-quality accommodations for flexible lifestyles. We have an amazing restaurant and bar, The Hart as well as The Chestnut Rooftop Bar with a variety of entertainment and the best views of downtown.

9. Is there anything special that BentoLiving is looking to do in 2022 and beyond that our readers can look forward to? We hope to have more BentoLiving properties in the future, so stay tuned!


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The Modern Menu

QR CODES ARE TAKING OVER HOSPITALITY FOR MENUS, ORDERING, AND PAYMENTS AZURE COLLIER

During the summer of 2021, when restaurants were getting back on their feet and experimenting with new ideas, I found my new favorite new dining trend: QR codes. I was meeting a group of friends at the patio of a Brooklyn restaurant chosen at random, and a QR code was taped to the table. QR codes at restaurants had become more common since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as a touchless way to view menus, but this one was special. Not only could you access the menu, but you could order, pay, and tip through the website’s pointof-sale site from your smartphone. No more splitting checks or driving your server crazy by asking them to split checks and asking them to keep track of how to pay for the split checks with a combination of credit cards and cash. No more, “I’ll get this one and you can Venmo me the money.” It’s all there — on your smartphone. A lot of diners are just as excited about this new technology as I am. A QSR study found that 45% of diners prefer using a QR code to order and pay at restaurants. 77% of Americans said they would prefer to continue to pay for not just food and beverages, but merchandise, as well as services via contactless payments after the pandemic is over.


The Modern Menu

1. MOST OF YOUR CUSTOMERS HAVE A SMARTPHONE

2. IT’S LESS WORK FOR YOUR STAFF

According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans own a smartphone, which means they’re more likely to scan a QR code at your venue. And that smartphone plays a role in their dining habits:

Remember how long it took to disinfect laminated menus during the height of COVID? Or the time spent making sure you have enough paper menus for the bar, happy hour, brunch, breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Your employees can spend their time on other tasks instead of stocking or handing out physical menus. And, if you create a QR code for the menu, ordering, and payments, your servers are going to spend less time figuring out and ringing up separate checks.

• 53% of diners use their smartphones to search for restaurant locations • 49% use a smartphone to view restaurant menus • 37% use a smartphone to research new restaurants Smartphone use doesn’t stop when customers walk through your door. They’re also constantly on the phone at the table. 66% of them are multitasking — taking photos, browsing social media, shopping, looking up restaurant reviews, and more. Bottom line: people use their phone to find your restaurant, they’re using it when they’re at your business, and they will use it to scan QR codes.

3. IT SAVES YOU MONEY Then there’s the cost: hiring a designer, printing multiple times a year as your menu changes seasonally, and paying for menu books or menu holders. After the last few years, restaurants need every opportunity to save money, and using QR code menus will help reduce your expenses.

HOW TO GET STARTED Your restaurant can offer QR code technology to customers in just a few steps.

Step 1: Find the right technology Many point of sale (POS) companies have a QR code integration. If you already have POS software, check with their team on how to implement it. If you don’t have the software, we recommend our partner, Toast.

Step 2: Create a QR code that points to your menu Again, you can use POS software to accomplish this step. You might choose to just point to the menu link to your website or you could use the online ordering and payment system offered by your POS.

Step 3: Test and train Print out your QR code and run some test orders. Try these tests with iPhones and Android phones so you know how the process works for each system. Train your staff on the new procedures.

Step 4: Print and post the QR codes throughout your venue Print cards or table tents and place them at tables, bars, and anywhere else people will want to access your menu, online ordering, or payment system. Don’t forget to hang them in windows and entrances so customers can scan them when they’re walking by no matter what time of day. You also do want to have a few printed menus on hand in case someone’s phone has run out of battery or if there are customers who prefer the paper option.

ADAPT AND MOVE FORWARD Once you have your QR code system in place, don’t forget to maintain your website for menu, price, or hourly changes. And take advantage of the data you get from your POS service and website to find out your busiest times of day, most popular menu items, and other dining trends.

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If you’re on the fence about introducing QR code technology at your restaurant, here are three reasons why you should take a closer look:

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Do Email Marketing the Right Way with a Quality List 5 TIPS TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST AUBREY UNGVARSKY

As social media continues to be a focal point and pastime for nearly all generations today, the thought of an email campaign may fall to the back of your mind. However, email marketing is something that should be at the forefront of your hospitality marketing efforts. Email campaigns are the best way to connect with your customers, as they are more likely to take action on an email than through other social media platforms. With that said, it is important to properly build and maintain your email lists so you know you are reaching who you want.


Do Email Marketing the Right Way with a Quality List

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Here are our top 5 tips on building a great email list: 1. Provide straightforward email subscription options A simple, set it and forget it way of obtaining quality email addresses is to offer and encourage email subscriptions to all of your online traffic. Placing a button on your homepage can do just the trick to adding high quality emails to your campaign target lists. Prospects that have come to your website and sign up subscription emails have already showed their interest in what you have to offer and will be even more likely to take action at a later date — you can’t get more quality than that!

2. Acquire emails through your check-out process I’m sure we’ve all participated in online shopping one way or another (a little too much for me personally, but that’s beside the point). Businesses gather information from customers during the checkout process, including their email address. This is a great spot to put a checkbox and ask the customer if they would like to sign up for subscription emails or the opportunity to receive special offers throughout the year. This second tip, like the first, will be a way to collect quality leads since you will be adding the emails of someone that has already purchased from you.

3. Build your list with referral programs Prospects and repeat customers that are already in your email list will have a great idea of who they know that would be interested in what you have to offer. Offering a referral program in your emails can save you both time and money by eliminating the need to search and pay for lists of possible prospects. However, you will need to create a win-win situation when asking someone to participate in a referral program. An example would be offering a discount for each referral that a current customer sends your way. Always make sure your steps for the referral process are clear and concise. Having a successful referral program is a great way to continually grow a high quality email list.

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4. Leverage social media platforms Going beyond sharing daily activities using a Call to Action (CTA) in your posts is a great way to almost effortlessly add prospects to your email list. As I mentioned earlier, just about everyone is on some form of social media and scrolls throughout the day. Take advantage of this fact and create great educational content specific to your industry while also offering the opportunity to join your newsletter subscription to stay up to day on industry trends as well as content specific to your business.

5. Perform regular maintenance on your lists When you think about building your email list, your mind generally goes towards any efforts that add to its size. But if you skip out on managing and maintaining your lists, you are likely to see a drop in your deliverability performance. As a marketing professional, I can tell you, that is not what we want! Scheduling list updates once a quarter can help ensure that your team is getting the most out of your email campaigns. It will also give you guidance on when you should start focusing your attention on gathering more prospects for your business.

A quality list ensures a greater return on investment To further emphasize the importance of email marketing even with today's obsession of social media channels, I want to ask you one thing: When you wake up in the morning and grab your phone off the bedside table, what is one of the first things you open up? I’m willing to bet your answer is your personal and work email applications. This fact alone is a fantastic reason why you should never neglect your email marketing. Sending emails is the best way to ensure that you are getting the correct information to your prospects rather than relying on word of mouth through other social platforms. And because of this continuous importance of email marketing, building and maintaining your email lists should remain a top priority within your outreach efforts as well.


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Now Trending: Your Hospitality Business 3 TIPS TO CREATE CONTENT THAT STANDS OUT ON INSTAGRAM RACHEL CALKINS

The world of social media is constantly growing, changing, and evolving. New platforms emerge, and more senior platforms add new features to stay competitive with the newcomers. When it comes to representing a hospitality industry business on social media, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are generally the most-used social media trio of the current day. Across these three platforms, you are bound to reach various demographics of your target audience using each one. If your restaurant, hotel, unique venue, or catering company is not on these platforms, it is time to begin.

The platform we will specifically talk about in this article is Instagram. Instagram has continued to show its ability to evolve to stay the most relevant in the competitive environment of social platforms. In June of 2021, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, took the digital marketing world by surprise when he announced that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app but is a video app. Instagram is not just about photos on the grid, and frankly, it has not been for a while now.


Now Trending: Your Hospitality Business

So, where should you begin with Instagram, and how will you stand out among the other businesses posting on social media while keeping up with all of the updates from the platform itself? We were hoping you would ask. We have some tips for optimizing your account on Instagram and growing your presence.

TIP 1: START SIMPLE AND ANALYZE YOUR NICHE As a restaurant, hotel, unique venue, or catering company in the hospitality industry, your niche will be your business. This niche will guide the type of content you post to your page to attract the right followers. When posting anything on social media, you always want to think about what will be valuable content for your target audience. This is one way you will stand out among the crowd because your content will be exactly what your followers want to see. In the case of the hospitality industry and depending on your exact venue type, that will be showing food and drink content, venue tours, social media contests, behind-the-scenes looks at your team, and special event experiences. Since your venue is located in a specific geographical area, it is important to incorporate elements of the local community into your content because that will be relevant to your niche. For example, as a restaurant in Boston, businesses need to stay in tune with local happenings, like the countless professional sports celebrations and how they can get involved in the excitement. As you look for diners, event planners, and locals interested in visiting your restaurant, be sure to put yourself in the position to be found by those groups based on creating relevant content.

TIP 2: CLEAN UP YOUR INSTAGRAM BIO BASICS The next step to standing out on Instagram is to optimize your basics: the bio. The Instagram bio is the first impression someone has when visiting your profile. It may seem simple, but many accounts skip out on completing a full bio, hurting their chances of impressing a profile visitor. What elements make up an Instagram bio? • Account name: This should be your business name. • Profile photo: This should be your business logo. • Category: This is your business type — restaurant, caterer, hotel, or event venue. • Bio: Business description and piece of credibility - The first part of the bio is a description of your business. - The second part of the bio is a piece of credibility about your business that could also help you stand out. Any piece of success could be added here; think “Best Ranked Restaurant by X Magazine.” • Link: Every Instagram account is given the option to put one link in the bio, so choose carefully. This should be your website to start, but further down the line, you could use a link in bio tool, which is a landing page that hosts multiple links where you could include your website, Tripleseat lead form, menus, and so on. There are a lot of link in bio tools available; one of our favorites is Linktree. • Address: This should be your business address.

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Since that announcement, Instagram has rolled out various features to compete with its biggest video app competitor: TikTok. The most apparent release being Instagram Reels. Like TikTok videos, Reels can vary in length, with a video as short as 15 seconds or as long as 90 seconds. TikTok has introduced the longer form 3-minute Reel, similar to Instagram's current video feature. Video is having a moment right now, and the accounts that take advantage of features that Instagram wants are rewarded with extra favorability by Instagram's algorithm. This is just one example of Instagram evolving and using new features to do so.

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TIP 3: POST CREATIVELY, PURPOSEFULLY, AND CONSISTENTLY Now that you understand the niche behind your account and have mastered your first impression with a cleaned-up Instagram bio, it is time to post. By following a consistent posting strategy, your account will get found, receive increased engagement, and grow, leading to the overall result of standing out on Instagram.

Creatively Theoretically, restaurants could post similar types of content because everyone wants to show off their new menus, most popular drinks, and outdoor spaces. The way to stand out is to tap into what is “in” on Instagram and execute it more creatively than the rest. As mentioned at the start of this article, video is really hot right now across all social media platforms. Reels are the video feature you should be trying when it comes to Instagram. Instead of taking a still photo of your space, switch it up with a 30-second Reel touring around your private event room. Go beyond a photo of your dish and create a Reel of your chef describing how the special sauce is made and where the fresh ingredients originated. If you have any sort of food experience on your menu, like a torched cocktail or a dish that is served table-side, film a quick video of that experience. When you get specific by showing what’s unique about your restaurants, your content will stand out for being different from your competitors. Scroll through the Reels page on Instagram, and you will also see what sounds and actions are trending at any moment. By recreating those trends with your own restaurant’s personality shining through, viewers will recognize your restaurant as one that keeps up with the current times. When recreating a trend, think about how it could be entertaining, informative, and relatable to your target audience. While Reels are most important for engagement on Instagram right now, photos are still important. According to Instagram experts, carousel posts receive more engagement than single photo posts. Try posting a series of photos together to your feed, perhaps showing off the eight different dishes you serve in your eightcourse dining experience. This could also work to show off the various cocktails that were recently added to your menu or a series of shots from setting up for an event. Grab your camera and get creative shooting a series of continuous photos.

Purposefully When other accounts engage with your profile and content, those actions let Instagram know that people are highly interested in what you’re posting. Instagram will then favor your account and put your posts in front of more eyes. To increase engagement on your profile so that Instagram favors your account, you can purposefully post to promote intentional engagement. Engagement can come in many different forms: likes, comments, shares, direct messages, saves, views, story interactions, and more. Let’s look at how we could promote intentional engagement in three of these areas. Comments: Post a photo carousel of your new summer drink menu followed by some cocktail shots with the caption: “Summer is here, and so is our brand new seasonal cocktail list! Which drink are you most excited to enjoy on our patio this summer? Let us know with a comment below.” By instructing the viewer to interact with the post in the form of a comment, you create intentional engagement for them to interact with your account. Shares: Run a social media contest for the month, with the grand prize being a $100 gift card to your restaurant. To compete, followers must share a Reel you posted on your feed about the contest to their own stories and tag you in the story. Share engagements are the most important form of engagement. They show interaction with your restaurant’s content. Plus, sharing exposes your content to the followers of the people who shared your posts, further expanding your reach. Story interactions: There are various ways that you can create intentional engagement with the elements already in Instagram Stories. Try using the poll feature that lets a viewer vote between two options. This could be a “this or that” series where you show two cocktails, two appetizers, and two desserts from your menu and ask your followers to pick a favorite. The questions feature lets you propose a question to your followers that they can interact with your account to answer. The quiz feature is another good one that lets you add a multiple choice question with four possible responses. Simply posting great content on Stories will also promote intentional engagement from viewers using the default emojis listed when you swipe up on an account’s Instagram Story. When you post purposefully to create intentional engagement, Instagram will reward you and put you at the top of the feed of the accounts that interact with you and other accounts that may like you. As you continue to land at the top of someone’s feed and lineup of Instagram Stories, you will make an impression and stand out to your audience.


Now Trending: Your Hospitality Business

Consistently Now that you have creative content that you are posting purposefully, it is important to be posting consistently. Do not bite off more than you can chew when creating a posting schedule. It is OK to start smaller if the posts are consistent and then grow to a larger number of posts that also stay consistent. There is no perfectly confirmed number of times to post on Instagram, but anywhere from daily to three times a week to multiple times per day based on your ability to stay consistent could work for your account.

USE THESE TIPS TO STAY IN INSTAGRAM’S SPOTLIGHT In conclusion, standing out on Instagram comes from following Instagram’s own algorithm and showing your business’ unique personality creatively. By following these tips, you can recruit your target audience and turn them into loyal fans of your business.

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Work From Hotel: The New WFH

HOW HOTELS CAN BE THE DESIRED DESTINATION FOR REMOTE EMPLOYEES HEATHER APSE

With more and more companies shifting to work-from-home models, tired remote employees want workspaces that don’t isolate them in their homes. Hotels can drive more bookings by promoting new work-from-hotel packages.


Work From Hotel: The New WFH

Moving into 2022, we are acclimating and enjoying more normalcy now. Companies and employees continue to evolve as restrictions have lifted. We have seen a large shift in work culture compared to how it was prepandemic. While many office buildings have opened, many more are converting work models to remote or partially remote. According to Gallup’s September 2021 update, 45% of full-time U.S. employees work all or part of the time remotely.

WORK THIS WAY Across the U.S. and the globe, companies saw an increase in productivity during the forced shutdown, despite the non-ideal work environments in the homes of remote workers. Many companies have opted to work this way and formalize a remote or hybrid model within their work culture. Well-known companies like Facebook, Capital One, Amazon, and Ford have to lead the way for all companies to be more flexible with employees by implementing a permanent remote option. Today, companies and their workers need to focus on improving remote work. One way to do this is to consider alternative locations. Let’s face it, some homes are better equipped for home office workspace, while some are not. Fatigued and unmotivated by their makeshift home offices, remote workers seek unconventional environments to increase productivity and overall job satisfaction. Beyond having a respectable space to work in, they desire to escape the isolation of home. With travel and social activities back on track, many remote workers are desiring to balance work and personal time. Companies and their employees want inspiring, easy, and affordable workspaces.

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Can you believe we are closing in on two years since COVID initially caused us to hunker down in our homes? As we look back on the initial shutdown and how we had to adjust to a new way of living and working, we remember the peak of stress and chaos. We were tested to perform office jobs in creative, shared spaces with family members, kids, pets, and roommates. Personally speaking, I may have had to retreat to my closet from time to time for some quiet and sanity. There was zero balance — absolutely no division between home life and work life.

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CHANGE OF SCENERY At an upward rate, remote employees are booking nearby and faraway hotel stays. So how do hotels leverage this opportunity and entice remote workers to become guests? A simple, clean, spacious room can provide the basics. (No more hiding home messes with Zoom meeting backgrounds!) Hotels that are scenic and in interesting locations certainly attract remote employees for office hours and beyond. After all, who wouldn’t want to work poolside, with the option to sightsee during their downtime? But every hotel, even those without pools or scenic views, can attract more remote guests seeking a change of surroundings. This truly is an opportunity for hotels to create offerings and promotions focused on remote employees looking for an escape from their home office.

PERKS THAT WORK In order to maximize bookings, consider the amenities that you offer. Change your perspective on what it is like being remote. What offerings would make you more productive? Our suggestions include high-speed wi-fi, landlines, office supplies, printing and faxing access, and accessible meeting rooms. Additional amenities include access to a kitchen, discounted food and drinks, endless coffee, fitness centers, laundry service, long-term parking, and onsite child or pet care. If your working guests are seeking your hotel to mix in some downtime, make sure you can provide something social after hours when work is done.

AFFORDABLE WORK FROM HOTEL PACKAGES Working out of a hotel might seem unrealistic financially for many. Keep in mind when you are developing your work from hotel packages, guests could be apprehensive about hidden costs. Make sure you promote great deals for remote employees seeking short and long-term stays. Put in place elite status programs for your guests, reward programs and incentives, multi-hotel memberships, reduced fees for added services, long-term tax exemptions, rebates on spending, and more. Look into local companies for potential partnerships and make sure you promote your hotel package.

REMOTE IS HERE TO STAY Settling into the changes created by COVID, we realize that remote jobs are here permanently. Research from Ladders, a career site that tracked remote jobs since the pandemic began, shows that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of this year. They believe remote opportunities will continue to increase beyond that. There is plenty of upside to hotels as people seek a creative workspace. We are thrilled that the hotel industry is reaping the benefits from this workforce change. Make sure you make the most out of this growing guest segment and develop your work-from-hotel package. Use your creativity to develop offerings that boost your business. It is bound to be a comeback year!


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A Quality Investment

HOW TO BUILD A SOLID PERSONAL NETWORK IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY LYNN HOLMLUND

We all know a stellar reputation, reviews, recommendations, and referrals drive revenue, especially in the hospitality and event industry. The same Rs are vital for building your own brand and network. So don’t just stop at executing an awe-inspiring customer experience. Building a solid personal network with customers, industry colleagues, and beyond benefits you and your venue. But how do you get started? These tips will help you develop your network and create a supportive industry community.

Who should be in your network? Your network should include colleagues (current and past), customers, partners, friends, and influencers. It should be people you enjoy working with and people who inspire you. You never know if they — or their connections — can make the introduction you need.

Where to meet the right people for your network? Work is the right first step for meeting people for your professional network. Then you can expand your circle by attending industry events, online communities, or even a fun night out.

Why? Here are four reasons why building your network is smart for you and your business.

1. 2. 3. 4.


A Quality Investment

It keeps you up to date with the people in your industry You build strong relationships with customers during the event planning process. Don’t let the relationship end there. Take a moment after their event to connect with via LinkedIn. You can learn more about their company and industry through their posts. If they move to a new company, you are alerted, can congratulate them, and connect on future partnerships.

It allows for an exchange of ideas Fostering relationships with people in your industry offers the opportunity to share ideas, directly or indirectly. You may see promotions other venues are running or an inspiring set up to make a cocktail reception easier to navigate. For the most creative ideas, you may want to go beyond LinkedIn and follow industry leaders and peers on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook (yes, it is still a tool for some demographics).

You can explore your next gig or hire from your network People want to work with good people. Whether you are looking for a new opportunity or hiring, your network can help you make connections. If you are hiring, share the post on LinkedIn and let your connections introduce some great people. If you are interested in a new position, see if any of your connections (or their connections) work there. They can give you the scoop about the environment and even submit your application because we know the power of referrals.

You can introduce customers to new venues If you have made the leap to a new venue, update your LinkedIn profile, so your connections (like past customers) know where you landed. Through your feed or a personalized DM, share news about your cool new meeting space, innovative menu, or special packages to encourage conversations.

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NURTURE YOUR NETWORKS Spending time each week growing and maintaining relationships can build business, find opportunities, and just make navigating the industry a little easier. Tripleseat Bonus: As a member of the Tripleseat family, we are here to help you get started with building your network. If you have not joined the Tripleseat hospitality professionals community, Party People, here is your VIP invitation: get started by visiting rewards.tripleseat.com. In this group, you can learn industry trends, connect with like-minded event leaders, and more.


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 Backbay 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 Chief Marketing Officer. 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 9 to 20, and loves to see them in their various sports and activities.

Azure Collier

EDITOR IN CHIEF, AMBASSADOR OF BUZZ Azure is the Director of Brand Marketing 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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Contributors

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Heather Apse

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CONTRIBUTOR, INFORMATION INQUIRER, AND WIZARDESS OF WORDS Heather has been a storyteller all her life and was elated to join Tripleseat in early 2022 as a Content Specialist in marketing. In her college years, she hustled as a hostess, busser, and waitress for several restaurants and venues in order to support her time at UMass Amherst. With an English degree, she began her career and love of tech working in Customer Support for pioneer internet giant, Lycos. Since then, her passion and career has always centered upon writing and helping others. She has contributed all sorts of content for several companies covering topics including internet software, travel, finance, and decor. When she isn’t researching or writing, you can find her with the love of her life husband, three extremely fun boys, and a large boisterous dog enjoying the outdoors.

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 14 years. After graduating from Plymouth State University in 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 Senior Marketing Manager of 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 or at the soccer field.

Maddie Franzreb

CONTRIBUTOR, COUNTESS OF QUESTIONS Maddie attended Boston College, where she participated in every intramural sport possible and first fell in love with the French language while studying abroad in Paris. She spent three years living and working in Paris and the south of France, where a typical dinner usually consisted of a delicious baguette, a hunk of cheese, and some charcuterie. She spent the next nine years in Philadelphia working in marketing in the consumer products industry and attending as many concerts as possible. She recently relocated to Cape Cod with her fiancé and can be found spending time with her friends and family, including 25 first cousins. Currently working as the Product and Customer Marketing Manager, Maddie joined the team in 2021 and loves working at the intersection of hospitality and technology at Tripleseat.

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.


Lynn Holmlund

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CONTRIBUTOR, HERDER OF INGENIOUS SCHEMES childrens songs and shows while growing up. During her time at Bentley University, she tested marketing fields with internships in sports marketing, field marketing, and high-end retail advertising. With a focus on communication, she received her master's degree from Suffolk University, and started her marketing career in technology and media at IDG. She is delighted to bring her brand and marketing prowess to the Tripleseat team as VP of Marketing. Outside of the office, Lynn loves traveling to beach destinations with family and friends and sampling the ice cream.

Kate Kennedy

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 Director of Growth Marketing, 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.

Aubrey Ungvarsky

CONTRIBUTOR, CONVERSATION ARCHITECT, AND CONVERSION WRANGLER Aubrey went to school studying economics and finance on a golf scholarship at the University of Hartford but it wasn’t until a few years after school that she found her love for marketing. Most of her marketing roles have had the best of two worlds to offer: creative freedom for building thoughtprovoking and lead-generating content, while allowing her to use her love for analytics and understanding the numbers behind it all. Aubrey switched from financial software to hospitality software in February of this year when joining the best of the best — Tripleseat — as the Demand Generation Manager and could not be happier! Outside of work you’ll likely find Aubrey outdoors one way or another with her husband and dog Moose or out for dinner and drinks with friends.

Photography @breeandstephen, Austin Distel, Bruno Nascimento, Candice Picard, Christin Hume, Cloris Ying, Dollar Gill, Edgar Castrejon, Fabrizio Magoni, Green Chameleon, Jeremy Thomas, Kaylee Garrett, Kyle Glenn, Lewis Nguyen, LikeMeat photographer Line Tscherning, Max van den Oetelaar, micheile dot com, Mitya Ivanov, Nathana Rebouças, Patrick Tomasso, Priscilla Du Preez, Rachel Calkins, Reid Brand Photograph, Rupixen.com, Samuel Pereira, Shangyou Shi, Sincerely Media, Tammy Chan, Tara Sullivan, Tony Luginsland

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Marketing has been ingrained into Lynn’s DNA since childhood, as she preferred jingles and commercials to


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