Barkeeper.ie, an online resource for the Irish hospitality industry, will be launching a UK sister site within the next three months.
Barry Chandler, founder and managing director of Barkeeper.ie, said that the company will remain based in Galway and looks set to double its staff from three to six by the end of this year.
Barkeeper.ie won Ireland’s best business-to-business website at the Digital Media Awards in February of this year and has just announced a membership of 600 Irish hospitality businesses.
Chandler said he and co-founder Patrick McDermot, came up with the idea of Barkeeper.ie when they were running a consultancy business, Inspire Control, back in 2004.
Clients were constantly asking for advice on topics such as training or industry checklists, said Chandler, and a thorough search of the internet showed that there was no one resource for this kind of service, so Barkeeper.ie was set up in 2005.
“We’ve continued to grow in Ireland as businesses are realising just how much our content can help them control their costs and make their businesses profitable. Managing a hospitality business is not a nine-to-five job and so the ability to access helpful tools at any time makes Barkeeper.ie an essential tool,” said Chandler
“The majority of the businesses that subscribe to Barkeeper.ie are restaurant owners, publicans, hoteliers and businesses like suppliers and drinks companies.”
The reason to start Barkeeper.co.uk, said handler, was based on the large number of subscriptions the Irish site was getting from UK companies. “With the impending smoking ban some businesses have been predicting a downturn in profits, and want information on how to streamline their business,” said Chandler.
The site’s blog, called The Snug, which was launched late last year, has also been gaining popularity as a forum for discussion on hot topics with the hospitality industry.
“The site itself is advice based so the blog offers a space for contributors to express their thought,” said Chandler. “Once people start using it we get more piggybacking on it; now it actually drives some traffic to our main site.”
By Marie Boran