RSS F&B News

Can Platforms And Payments Solve Restaurants’ 73 Percent Turnover Problem?

Good waiters are hard to find. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are even harder to keep, as the restaurant worker turnover rate is 73 percent every single year. This was a problem that Ron McCulloch, executive chairman and co-founder at Jitjatjo, decided he wanted to solve after decades in the hospitality space in Europe, Australia and the U.K.

The chronic churn isn’t new. During his 30 years of working and running venues, he noted, it has been an endemic problem. However, in recent years, particularly with the rise of gig marketplaces, it’s become even more of a drain in the industry.

“I felt that combining technology with this problem could be a real help and a real service to the industry,” McCulloch said.

The technological solution he eventually came up with was Jitjatjo, a platform that offers hospitality industry players — of all shapes and sizes — access to a stable of skilled, vetted, tested and profiled hospitality professionals. They can be booked for as little as one hour and for as long as two months, with all manner of customization in between.

In a sense, McCulloch told Webster, it looks like many gig work platforms out there (the term “Uber for restaurant workers” has come up more than once). While the comparison is apt in some ways, it misses much of what sets Jitjatjo apart, starting with the fact that it doesn’t have gig workers on its platform at all, but employees.

Picking Professionals

To go with 1099 or W-2 workers, McCulloch said, was actually one of the foundational questions the firm had to answer within its first six months. The company was aware that many big things were going on with that 1099 model at the time, but ultimately decided that W-2 workers would be both easier for the firm to manage and important in developing the offer it wanted to make to its hospitality operator clients.

“In the early days,” he explained, “we picked the W-2 model because we knew it was important to look after the whole process of doing temporary work on an ongoing basis. The commitment we make includes the talent and the operator community, and what we can do to empower good work. It is very important for us to have vetted the talent properly so we have productive workers available on the platform when our clients are looking for them.”

Restaurants and hospitality are specialized segments, more than most people know, he said — and there are various skill and operational capacities, like knowing how to use certain machines that are mission-critical to keeping services up and operating.

What Jitjatjo clients most want — whether they are an individual proprietorship coffee shop or a 50,000-seat arena — is staff that can walk in the door (mostly cold, with minimal explanation of local customs and quirks), and get up and running in minutes. If the firm doesn’t offer that, McCulloch told Webster, its offerings aren’t doing these organizations any favors. That means the first layer of vetting is to make sure people are walking in with the right skill set. That is not the only layer, though: The technology must go further.

“Hospitality is a broad sector, and a dish washer who is used to a small space might freak out in a stadium. We also have to develop personas of our staff and operators’ clients so that the skills and the environment are a match. One of the classic errors staffing firms and apps make is they don’t go far enough into the persona of the talent or the client,” he said.

Better matches mean fewer surprises, operationally speaking, and that is strongly preferred by clients — even as their client portrait is shifting.

Meeting The Diverse Needs Of Hospitality

Given that hospitality is such a wide and varied space, Webster wondered if Jitjatjo found a market sweet spot in the industry — in terms of size or vertical — that stood out above the others. McCulloch noted that, though it literally runs the gamut when it comes to operator sizes, the composition of the firms it serves has shifted a lot. In the two and a half years that it’s been in the market, it has seen its lineup of operators shift from 80 percent small businesses (SMBs) and 20 percent enterprise-level firms to the exact opposite: 80 percent enterprise and 20 percent SMBs.

As for the types of orders it sees, again, the firm runs the gamut — though it does vary by size. Situations that would qualify as emergencies would be, for example, if the dish washer called in sick an hour before their shift, or if the head waitress eloped and wouldn’t be back for two weeks. Larger operators, stadiums and corporate functions, on the other hand, tend to be high-volume, high-skill, short-duration events that need large-scale staffing of all kinds.

As a draw to the talent side of the platform, Jitjatjo pays well. Workers can make up to $30 an hour, and those payments are, by and large, offered instantly to workers when their shifts are completed.

“When we first came here, no one was doing [instant payments], including the big guys, and it seemed like such a natural add,” McCulloch told Webster, noting that it was also a complicated offering at the time — an offering that workers, in some sense, need to earn. Instant Pay is only available for workers who show up on time, and who get positive reviews from clients when their jobs are done, he noted.

Jitjatjo offers its clients a variety of ability levels from which to choose, depending on what skill level they need. The firm also offers access to solid, outstanding and epic workers, depending on whether clients need to be assured that their “minds will be blown” or if their sights are set somewhat lower.

“From our point of view, there is also a progression in our platform,” he said, “so that servers can move up, depending on how they do and are reviewed.”

Changing The Hospitality Model

One of the great difficulties of hospitality as an industry is nailing down staffing properly, because the industry is known for having peaks and troughs. The only way to manage that, McCulloch noted, is to be slightly overstaffed, which is inefficient and not even guaranteed to get the job done.

“This opens up a different way of thinking. We have had clients that were actively trimming down their event offerings, because they couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of staffing them, that are now turning up this part of their business,” he explained.

Today, Jitjatjo is open in New York, D.C. and Chicago, with plans for expansion to Philadelphia “very soon.” The challenge, as is the case for most marketplace businesses, is to make sure its supply of talent keeps up with demand, which can be substantial and unpredictable. It has succeeded in that endeavor so far, with a lot of internal referrals bringing new workers to the platform and the savvy use of social media recruiting others. Moreover, he noted, Jitjatjo is the beneficiary of changing trends in the labor market, as workers with skills are preferring greater self-determination.

“There seems to be plenty of people out there to come into a trusted platform, to be offered jobs when they want and are available, which is all logged by the technology itself,” he said.

There is also an expansion of the services coming soon, offered through the platform and “other advances” that are designed to make Jitjatjo an even more attractive platform for talent to come work on, so it can continue growing strong.

Jitjatjo is a slightly unusual platform — down to its unusual name. It’s memorable, though it has heard many pronunciations in its early days. However, different is good, he noted, because different is exactly what it wanted to be.

“We didn’t want to get pigeon-holed into a shift company or a gig company,” he said. “We wanted to stay away from that, and create an environment and an ecosystem that lays a foundation so that people on both sides of the platform can trust what is going to happen.”

Plus, Jitjatjo is a fun name to say. Any other explanation of how it picked the name, he noted, is a strict company secret.


Lessons in Luxury: why I have mixed feelings about my Bangkok Michelin-star mission

A fixer for the super-rich messaged me recently, saying he had a client who wanted to book a  particular three-Michelin-star restaurant on a specific date, “money no object” – but the restaurant was closed that night. Could I introduce him to the owner so he could plead his case?

Contact was made, but the chef wouldn’t budge. I suggested a comparable restaurant, less well -known and less lauded. It was a non-starter: the client “doesn’t set foot in any restaurant without Michelin stars.”.

He’s missing out. Many of my favourite meals – from cheese and charcuterie at a lakeside tavern in the Swiss Alps to seafood chowder and warm soda bread back home in Galway – wouldn’t pass muster with Michelin’s critics. And I’ll always prioritise the recommendations of well-informed locals over all others.

Bangkok skyline
The constellation of Michelin stars spread over Bangkok is confirmation of what travellers long knew: this is a city whose restaurants cater to every taste and budget CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

But a Michelin star nevertheless carries real weight and meaning. It’s a shorthand I can generally trust to guide me to high-quality restaurants that I will probably find agreeable (if often a touch too prim and formal). And in cities where the fine-dining scene is obscure to me, and time is scarce, that is very useful.

A good example was when I returned to Bangkok in December. My last trip,  as a backpacker, had been about 10 years previously. Then, I ate 50p portions of pad Thai on Khao San Road and my friends and I ordered Vodka Red Bulls literally by the bucket.

Bangkok floating market
Fruit for sale at one of the city’s floating markets CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Now I write about luxury travel, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is making greater efforts to promote its more refined culinary experiences. In 2017, it teamed up with Michelin Travel Partner to publish a Thai edition of the Michelin Guide.

Given Michelin’s cachet with big-spending travellers, this makes sense. In 2016, foreign tourists spent 326  billion baht (£7.8 billion) on dining in Thailand, 20 per cent of the revenue the nation derived from tourism. TAT expects Michelin -star-seeking visitors to boost overall food spending there by 10 per cent. Those travellers tend to favour pricier shops, experiences and accommodation too. Bingo.

The Como Metropolitan Bangkok hotel
The Como Metropolitan Bangkok

Keen to check out Michelin’s recommendations, I stayed at the Como Metropolitan Bangkok, a luxury urban resort in the embassy district with a smart spa and a one-star restaurant, Nahm, created by Australian chef David Thompson to provide a fresh, fine-dining take on traditional Thai cuisine.

It is now overseen by Bangkok native Pim Techamuanvivit, and I found dinner a disappointment. The dishes were mostly fine, but nothing wowed me and service was patchy. I arrived with sky-high expectations, and left feeling I’d been misled by Michelin.

Nahm Como Metropolitan Bangkok
Dining at Nahm, one of Thailand’s most famous restaurants

That is the danger with stars: once a restaurant is anointed, diners anticipate perfection. When guests have booked their visit to mark a special occasion, even minor slip-ups can cause great upset.

Michelin redeemed itself by introducing me to Bo.lan, a modern Thai restaurant where sophisticated but unpretentious dishes and kind staff helped me better understand how complex, varied and unexpected Thai cuisine can be.

Fine dining at Bo.lan Bangkok
Fine dining at Bo.lan CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

I might not have found it without that one-star endorsement, but conversely it was Michelin mania that stopped me trying the crab omelettes served by street-food veteran Jay Fai – one of the very few Michelin experiences locals and backpackers can afford. I’d been told it would be far too busy, a common problem since its star was announced.

Jay Fai street food Bangkok
Jay Fai’s fabulous street food is even more popular since her Michelin star garnered worldwide interest CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

I just about managed to secure a table at Gaggan, one of the world’s most creative and upbeat fine-dining restaurants. It has become even more popular since announcing it will close for good in 2020. 

Gaggan restaurant dessert
Raw papaya and mango, presented with typical creativity at Gaggan restaurant CREDIT: GAGGAN

A menu printed with only a column of emojis introduced 25 diminutive and consistently delicious dishes, from a charcoal samosa to sea urchin with hay ice -cream. With its two stars, Gaggan provides – to use the Michelin parlance – “excellent cooking that is worth a detour”. The critics were right; it was the most enjoyable meal I had all year.

By: John O’Ceallaigh, telegraph luxury travel editor


35 Food and Beverage Manufacturers and Retailers Achieve Perfect Scores on 2019 Corporate Equality Index

The food and beverage industry made a good showing on this year’s Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI measures companies on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality.

This year, 35 manufacturers and retailers scored a perfect 100, based on policies and initiatives in three key areas:

  • Non-discrimination policies across business entities
  • Equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families
  • Supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility

Food and beverage manufacturers and retailers scoring 100 on the 2019 CEI

Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
Aramark Corp.
Barilla America Inc.
Brown-Forman Corp.
Burger King Corp.
Campbell Soup Co.
Cargill Inc.
The Coca-Cola Company
Conagra Brands In.
Constellation Brands Inc.
Danone North America
Diageo North America
Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.
E&J Gallo Winery
Food Lion
General Mills Inc.
GIANT Food Stores, LLC
Giant of Maryland, LLC
Hannaford Supermarkets
The Hershey Co.
International Flavors and Fragrances
Kellogg Co.
The Kraft Heinz Company
The Kroger Co.
McDonald’s Corp.
MillerCoors LLC
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co.
Nestlé USA Inc.
PepsiCo Inc.
Pernod Ricard USA LLC
Shake Shack Inc
Sodexo Inc.
Starbucks Corp.
Walmart Inc.

Several suppliers to the food and beverage industry also made the list, including Ecolab, Emerson, and Rockwell Automation.

Policies and practices that support LGBTQ equality are becoming more important for businesses. Millennials and Gen Z prize corporate social responsibility, which includes diversity and inclusion, when making both purchasing and employment decisions.

  • Almost 70% of Millennials actively consider company values when making a purchase (Forrester).
  • 75% of Millennials expect their employers to take a stand on social issues (Glassdoor).
  • 15% of Millennials and 22% of Gen Z feel ranked LGBT among the top three areas of diversity that businesses need to address (Deloitte).

By: Krista Garver – Source:


Hospitality workers in Fife and the Highlands are being offered the chance to enhance their skills and gain qualifications, as the Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality Elevator course comes to the regions.

Launched earlier this year, the Hospitality Elevator programme is aimed at over 18s currently working on part-time or zero-hour contracts in bartending or front of house roles who are looking to increase their hours, level of responsibility and develop skills to aid career development.

Completely free to attend, the new course comprises of four locally tailored one-day modules held over a three-month period and includes Diageo Bar Academy (spirits and beer training), as well as the opportunity for participants to be awarded with nationally recognised qualifications in personal licence, food safety and customer service.

Nicola Reid, Programme Manager, Diageo Learning for Life,Great Britain and Europe, says: “We’re very excited to be bringing the new Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality Elevator course to Inverness and Fife for the first time.

“The hospitality sector is growing rapidly, which offers a wonderful opportunity for those working in the industry to progress their careers. The future looks bright and I would encourage anyone interested in taking their career to the next level to sign up for the programme.”

Hospitality Elevator courses operate alongside Diageo’s award-winning Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality programme which was launched in 2014 and has seen more than 1,200 unemployed people graduate, progressing into careers in the UK hospitality industry.

The new programme will be delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner. Inga McVicar, National Programmes Manager for Springboard, says: “Developed out of established Springboard Charity models, and injected with exclusive Diageo content, to support and enhance skills development in hospitality, the Hospitality Elevator course offers participants tailored opportunities to gain new skills, further qualifications and greater confidence. At the same time, it provides hospitality employers support to upskill, develop and retain their team members.

“This is an excellent chance for bartenders and front of house staff to improve their prospects, and for the hospitality industry to offer enhanced opportunities to its talent. “

The Learning for Life: Hospitality Elevator course in Fife and Inverness begins in April. Individual hospitality workers and hospitality businesses are encouraged to contact the Springboard Charity to get involved and take advantage of this opportunity for themselves and their teams. For more information visit:


How Technology Will Impact The Restaurant Industry

Technology surrounds us, impacting every part of our daily lives. From communicating with friends and family to paying for groceries, technology is being used to simplify processes and make them more convenient. It’s been used with great success in the restaurant trade too. Things like POS systems, tabletop tablets for self-ordering and inventory tracking systems are streamlining mundane and repetitive tasks.

While there is definitely some positive impact technology can have on restaurants, there’s no denying that the restaurant experience is still mainly driven by human interaction. And, for the foreseeable future, it looks like it will remain this way.

But this raises an interesting question: What role should technology play in the restaurant experience?

Customer Experience

People have written extensively about the role of technology in business. One such author, Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great,’ states that great companies are the ones who understand how technology can be used to enhance their offering. That’s an excellent point. Technology should only be incorporated into a restaurant if it can improve the customer’s or staff’s experience.

Most people visit a restaurant because of two reasons; the convenience of having food served to them immediately, and, for the feeling of joy they experience when they’re being looked after while sampling delicious food and drink.

So, if convenience is at the heart of a restaurants offering, then technology should have a central role. Examples of brands who are doing this really well include EKIM, a French food start-up who have recently raised substantial investment for their robot pizzeria concept. Another example is San Francisco based Café X, who use robots as a replacement for baristas.

It’s possible, that this is a glimpse of things to come. Spyce is a concept that has been developed by graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It involves robots instead of chefs cooking complex dishes. Using robots means the restaurant’s overheads are kept to a minimum, so they can sell their dishes for as little as $7.50.

While convenience is great, there is still a question of how technology can add to the ‘joy’ that people experience when eating in a restaurant. The main benefit of using a robot is that they can automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks. But the downside is that they add very little to a customer’s main experience i.e. being looked after by attentive staff who serve tasty food.

If robots are used to provide this service, once the novelty has worn off, are you left with an experience that people are bored by?

It will be interesting to see what the answer to this question is. However, there are already examples of restaurants who are successfully using technology to offer convenience and joy. One such restaurant is Inamo. The incorporation of self-ordering technology means their customers can be served quickly. And at the same time, this technology is creating an interactive environment which appeals to its core audience.

This concept is definitely working as their Camden branch was voted ‘Best Local Restaurant’ by Time Out. It will be interesting to see how this brand reacts to developing technology and how it plans to incorporate any of this into its branches in the future.

Staff experience

It’s also worth looking into how technology impacts the restaurant staff. Technology can play a hugely positive role in helping staff to perform their duties more efficiently, so their time is freed up to focus on serving customers or training and mentoring junior team members.

So, if you are thinking of incorporating technology into a restaurant, you should ask yourself these things first:

Does technology complement the main purpose of the restaurant? i.e. what is it that makes people want to visit the restaurant?
Will technology enhance the ‘convenience’ factor of the restaurant for both the customers and staff?
Will technology add to the feeling of joy of visiting or working in the restaurant?
So, will robots be running restaurants soon? Probably not. But it’s quite possible that their use in a restaurant environment may help to create a positive experience for customers and staff, alike.

Object Space Place is a London based restaurant interior design company, with a focus on storytelling and craftsmanship. They work with both brands and private individuals to create rich and enjoyable spaces and thriving businesses.


IHG reveals insight into the world’s most exquisite seasonal dishes

IHG reveals insight into the world’s most exquisite seasonal dishes

IHG®, (InterContinental® Hotels Group), today announces that InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest luxury hotel brand, has created a new global Culinary Calendar, designed to be a snapshot of five-star seasonal dishes for food and travel enthusiasts around the world.

The new seasonal map showcases world-class dining experiences available to guests throughout the year, in every corner of the globe. From unique dining destinations to signature dishes created by an enviable roster of renowned chefs, the Culinary Calendar illustrates the brand’s unwavering commitment to offering the best seasonal and local cuisines; a practice which over seven decades, has seen InterContinental Hotels & Resorts establish itself as the ideal getaway for luxury leisure and business travellers with a discerning palate.

Plating up 81 million meals annually, it takes a team of highly skilled and dedicated chefs to maintain InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ luxury dining legacy. With several Michelin-starred restaurants across the portfolio and a team of internationally acclaimed chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Theo Randall, Jason Atherton, Alain Ducasse, and Martha Ortiz, who is soon to join the team, the brand remains at the forefront of luxury travel and dining.

Featured in the new Culinary Calendar and leading the growing food trend to offer versatile and innovative seafood-inspired menus, InterContinental Santiago’s signature Seafood Ceviche served in Autumn, perfectly demonstrates the ‘ocean-to-plate concept’ with its octopus, shrimp and squid, caught and served on the same day. Adding to the culturally authentic dining experience, the ceviche is paired with a traditional Pisco Sour cocktail, a recipe that originated in the region.

Across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, the Winter menu at InterContinental-ANA Tokyo offers guests Tokyo’s highest grade Blowfish Sashimi, one of the country’s most exclusive seafood delicacies sourced from the famed Tsukiji Market. For lovers of lobster, InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam is the place to visit in Spring, with the famous and locally sourced, Blue Lobster served alongside InterContinental’s classic Old Fashioned Worldly Classic Cocktail.

Ginger Taggart, Vice President Global Brand Strategy, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts said: “As leaders in international luxury travel for more than 70 years, we are continually innovating to meet the changing tastes of the world’s most discerning travellers. Along with the InterContinental brand’s rich heritage and expertise, our community of great chefs and Restaurant & Bar teams across over 180 properties worldwide, means we are uniquely placed to deliver unrivalled and truly authentic dining experiences year-round, in every corner of the globe.”

Also featured in the Culinary Calendar is InterContinental Bali Resort, located in one of the world’s most desirable travel destinations. The hotel’s renowned Summer signature dish,Marinated Duck in Pepes Tahuserved with sautéed chilli vegetables, is the resort’s most sought-after menu item and is perfectly complemented by aWhite Two Island Sangria, made with Balinese white wine and local tropical fruits.

For guests travelling to North-America, InterContinental Los Angeles Century City offers mouth-wateringSeared Diver Scallops with carrot-lime purée and local purple cauliflower during the Autumn months. Using succulent scallops caught in the nearby Gulf of California, the speciality dish is full of vibrant colours and textures to reflect the changing colours of the season and is complemented by a Mexicali Garden cocktail, flavoured with herbs and fruit grown in California.

With a seven-decade heritage in restaurant and bar excellence, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has catered for some of the world’s most illustrious people, from Princess Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Martin Luther King, to The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Queen Elizabeth II. Embarking on a new era in luxury travel, the brand continues to grow and evolve its culinary expertise to offer guests the very best five-star local cuisine in every corner of the globe.

LKC Boutique Drinks Launched on the Greek Market – Featuring Sheep Dip Malt

The Blended Malt Scotch whisky with the eccentric name, Sheep Dip. Iss name comes from the times where British farmers placed their home made whisky in barrels with the indication “Sheep Dip” (disinfectant for Sheep), in order to avoid tax payment. Sheep Dip whisky is the result of mixing 16 different malts, aged from 8-20 years, from the different whisky regions of Scotland, each one adding unique characteristics to the product. Produced in small batches and matured in carefully selected first fill oak casks. A rich gold- colour with copper highlights, an elegant nose, with soft, sensual flowery aromas, in perfect balance  with an attractive array of complex fruit flavours. Sheep Dip has heritage and tradition being blended by Richard Paterson, the only 3rd generation master blender in Scotland.

Multi-award winning including Gold medals at Great Taste Gold Award 2009, International Wine & Spirits Award 2004, 2005 and the famous Le Concours Mondial Spirits Award 2009. Recognised as outstanding in well-known journals including Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die, The Whisky Bible, World of Whiskies and Whisky magazine.



LKC Boutique Drinks Launched on the Greek Market – Featuring Aspall Perronelle’s Blush Suffolk Cyder

Aspall Cyder is produced in England and is still owned and managed by the eighth generation of the family of the founder Clement Chavallier. It’s one of  the top ten oldest family businesses in UK. Since it begin, in 1728, production has been based at Debenham in Suffolk, amongst 90000 sqm of biological plants. During the production process they use different apple varieties, since no single variety of it’s own provides the desired characteristics to ensure a balanced cyder.

The combination of the different varieties in Aspall cyder incorporates the best characteristics of each. Depending on the variety you get sweetness, acidity, apple flavour, and together provides an intense aroma, with a full body and a “complicated” long lasting taste. The quality and stylish packaging of Aspall cyder has been awarded many times and is recognised as a Cool Brand the last 3 years. Enjoy each Aspall cyder lightly cooled. If Aspall is served chilled then the flavour and aromas are suppressed. Pour in a clean empty glass and enjoy it on its own or as a perfect accompaniment to a meal.

The name comes from the lady who inspired the product (Perronelle Chevallier) – who in previous times ran the business and was well known for her rosy red cheeks. The key ingredient is the mix of fresh berries in the recipe, the ones she was collecting from the Aspall grounds.

Perronelle’s Blush Suffolk Cyder has an intense pink colour, delicious apple and blackberry notes with under sweet taste, long lasting and balanced acidity. Ideal as an aperitif or excellent choice for all sort of creamy desserts.


Grace Gin – A Handcrafted Botanical Gin, Created by Three Proud Greek Women

It is the result of the shared vision between three women, two second generation distillers and a spirited woman with extensive knowledge and experience in the drinks industry.

The uniqueness of the product lies in its rich aromatic character that comes from the botanicals used, a selection from Greek nature’s land and sea. The hand crafted aspect, emphasizes the process of the ingredients’ selection and how the distiller blends them in order to achieve the recipe used, to flavour the neutral grain spirit.

The term “distilled gin” means it is 100% traditionally distilled in pot stills in combination with the finest perfume techniques.

The Three Graces have researched and experimented with recipes for more than a year to decide on the 13 different botanicals and the extraction processes to be used. They start with continuous distillation to flavor the base spirit with 8 botanicals: Juniper berries, angelica root, orris, lemon and orange peels, cardamom, coriander and cassia bark.

Then carefully selecting only the “heart” of the distillation, and using a vapor-infused method, also used for essence oils production.

In addition to the base botanicals, schinos, myrtle leaves and orange blossom from Evia, have been added, and are perfectly combined with critamos (from Crete) and pink pepper.  In order to enhance the final distillate’s aromas, the distiller has applied a smooth, light filtering method.

Grace gin has an ABV of 45,7%. On the nose it is juniper driven. At the same time, this fresh-pine aroma combines perfectly with the presence of critamos and schinos. The pink pepper and cassia flavor are in the background while Myrtle hints enhance this complex aromatic profile.

The palate is interestingly oily and robust. Both juniper and critamos are immediately to the fore, making a perfect match with the spicy character from coriander, pink pepper and cassia bark. There are underlying hints of an intense freshness with earthy elements.

Available in Greece and exported to England, Germany and Cyprus.



What’s The Proper Amount to Tip a Waiter?

American diners are a fickle bunch. We love going out to eat but when the check comes we don’t know what to do. How much should we tip? Is it 15%, 18%, 20% or more?

It’s gotten so bad that many restaurant chains now place a “tip guide” on the bottom of their checks that list the recommended tip in percentage and dollar amounts. Yes, this makes it easier to figure out the totals but what do we base these amounts on?

Well it depends. It depends on:

1. Did the waiter greet you with a warm sincere smile?

2. Did the waiter make you feel welcome?

3. Did the waiter inform you of the various possibilities of food substitutions for your meal?

4. Did the waiter make your children feel important and not like a nuisance?

5. Did the waiter get your order correct and present it to you as advertised?

6. Did the waiter check back with you in 2 minutes or 2 bites to make sure you were fully satisfied with your meal?

7. Did the waiter make sure your beverage was always full and you had enough condiments?

8. Did the waiter look for an opportunity to follow-up on something that came up in your conversation? Example:

  • If you mentioned it was your birthday, did the waiter make arrangements for a special dessert, and at no charge?
  • If you were taking photos of each other at the table did the waiter offer to take a group shot for you or even recommend another location with a more appealing backdrop?
  • If you asked about local shopping in the area, did the waiter make a sincere effort to find an appropriate answer for you?

9. Did the waiter talk-up his fellow team mates and inform you that they could assist you during your meal in case he was not in view?

10. Did the waiter make sure that you, the customer, felt special and that YOUR enjoyment was HIS primary concern?

11. Did the waiter thank you for the opportunity to serve you and invite you back again?

If you can answer yes to these questions then by all means tip your waiter as much as you can. If he/she made you feel special then show your appreciation back and tip well.