House Introduces a Bill to Bring Back the Employee Retention Tax Credit
On Tuesday. A bipartisan group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that would bring back the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which expired on Sept. 30. The Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act was introduced to Congress by Reps. Carol Miller (R-W. Va.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), and Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.) “By reinstating the ERTC, struggling small businesses can access one of the last remaining pandemic recovery programs to receive the help they need to replenish their workforce and get back on track,” Congresswoman Carol Miller said in a statement. “As we continue to emerge from this public health emergency, we must remember that small businesses in West Virginia and across the country still need our support.” The ERTC was part of the original CARES Act passed in March 2020 and allowed businesses to receive up to $5,000 per employee in their tax refund if they can prove they had a revenue reduction in 2020. This boost for small businesses officially ended when President Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law in November, which backdated the ERTC claims to Sept. 30 instead of the end of the year.
IRS Issues Guidance on Early Termination of Employee Retention Credit
How businesses should handle the retroactive termination of the (ERC). The tax credit for wages paid, which was enacted by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and amended several times afterward, was supposed to last until the end of 2021. However, the federal infrastructure law signed into law Nov. 15 changed that, making the ERC applicable only for wages paid before Oct. 1. The challenge for employers is that some who were expecting to receive the credit in the fourth quarter have been reducing payroll tax deposits, which are usually due monthly or semi-weekly depending upon the amount. Other employers may have received advance payments of the credit for fourth quarter wages. Employers who received an advance payment of the ERC or reduced their employment tax deposits in anticipation of receiving the credit for Q4 of 2021 may repay or deposit the taxes owned without penalty if they do so by Dec. 20, according to IRS Notice 2021-65.
Industry Groups Sue to Kill a Troublesome Tip Credit Rule
The action aims to prevent the Biden administration from returning to the 80/20 rule. The Texas Restaurant Association and the legal arm of the National Restaurant Association have asked a federal court to halt the Biden administration’s return to a controversial rule for determining when tips don’t count as wages. The state association and the national group’s Restaurant Law Center have filed a lawsuit that seeks to halt the re-adoption of discarded guidelines for determining how much an employer has to directly pay a server, bartender or other tipped employee. A victory by the industry groups would prevent the re-adoption of the 80/20 standard for determining when tipped employees are entitled to a full minimum wage directly from their employer and when tips constitute part of their pay. The rule-of-thumb has been the foundation for a slew of lawsuits filed by restaurant workers against their employers. Most sought late payment of the full wage the servers allege they should have been paid.
The ‘Great Resignation’ Sparking Real Estate Dreams Across US
Many Americans don’t feel tethered to just one place anymore. The “Great Resignation” Is Impacting Home: 41% of employed Americans would be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with a lower salary in order to move to a more affordable location. And younger employed Americans are more likely to be willing to do so than their older counterparts – those 18-44 are more likely than those 45-54 to be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with a lower salary in order to move to a more affordable location:
- 18-34 (51%)
- 35-44 (47%)
- 45-54 (32%)
- 55-64 (27%)
Budget Friendly Moves: Nearly half (46%) of employed Americans who live in the northeast and west regions would be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with a lower salary in order to move to a more affordable location. Space To Grow: Household sizes are continuing to grow, especially with younger homeowners. 57% of young homeowners (age 18-34) have felt their housing needs impacted by a growing household in October 2021 compared with 50% in February 2021.
New Report Reveals 49% of Consumers are Tipping More
At Restaurants and Apps. While the pandemic has created a number of hurdles and obstacles for restaurants both this year and last — consumers appear to be digging deeper in their pockets to reward restaurant and food delivery service workers this year. According to a new report from Home Run Inn Pizza, a Chicago-based pizzeria chain and national frozen pizza company, 49% of consumers surveyed within the report stated they’re tipping a larger amount, on average, over the past year when dining out at restaurants, ordering food online, and/or going to bars. What might be causing this increase in generosity? Sympathy and empathy appear to play a role. In fact, 61% of respondents that stated their tipping behaviors have changed in the past year cited feeling sympathy and/or empathy for service people who are working through the pandemic as the reason they adjusted their tipping habits. Interestingly, female respondents were much more likely than men to cite sympathy/empathy as a reason they’re currently tipping more than the previous year (70% of females, compared with 52% of males).
Prepared to Win the War on Talent?
Four trends for restaurant operators to consider in 2022. Despite external pressures on talent, ample opportunity exists for restaurant operators to prepare for a year of constant change. With 2021 nearly wrapped up, restaurant operators across the country are looking to the New Year with cautious optimism. On one hand, the industry disruption over the past 18 months has provided many new opportunities to look at ways to optimize business operations. However, the uncertainty and desperate regulatory environments at the state and national level present seemingly relentless headwinds. Numerous shifts in both consumer behavior and the labor market have already left a lasting impact on restaurateurs. The GDP recovered to its pre-COVID level this past July, but with this growth arrived a more unsettled labor market, intensified competition for talent, spiked inflation and exacerbated ongoing supply chain pressures. This is the frothy backdrop against which restaurant HR professionals are working to recruit, cultivate and retain the right talent.
A Hospitality Engagement Platform Looking to Save the Restaurant Industry
Union If you’ve been out to eat at a restaurant since lockdowns were lifted, you’ve likely had an underwhelming experience. Hospitality workers have left the industry in droves during the pandemic and the “Great Resignation,” with some 892,000 food service and hospitality workers leaving their jobs in August alone this year, according to the US Bureau of Labor. Restaurants and bars have struggled to hire enough staff to replace them and return to pre-COVID sales levels and service standards. And it shows—in the form of reduced seating capacity, long waits to order, reorder, tip and pay. In many cases (including my favorite local go-to) restaurants are throwing in the towel and closing for good. UNION’s platform stands out from other hospitality and payments solutions by combining a POS system, contactless mobile ordering and payments, and customer data that helps operators automate loyalty. The company is on a mission to save the restaurant industry by letting busy restaurants and bars leverage consumers’ smartphones as the center of engagement so they can do the same amount of sales as they could pre-pandemic with 75% less staff, while “treating every guest who walks in the door like a VIP.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Considers Mandating Covid BOOSTER Shots
For restaurants and concert venues. Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is considering mandating COVID booster shots for restaurants and concert venues as the Omicron variant has spread to a variety of countries across the globe after emerging last month. After officials confirmed that five people in New York State have tested positive for the Omicron variant, both de Blasio and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said they would consider tightening vaccine mandates to allow entry to certain venues. With all of our approaches to COVID, we’re going to update them because we’re dealing with some new challenges,’ de Blasio said on Friday. ‘We’re going to keep updating policies regularly to meet this challenge. The city currently requires proof of one shot. currently the city requires providing proof of one shot.
Restaurants Created a Monster by Emphasizing To-Go and Online Orders
Now they can’t control it. Restaurant chains have enjoyed huge boosts in delivery and to-go orders over the last year and a half, but now they’re facing a demand that they can’t handle. Off-premise orders were key to keeping these restaurants afloat in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic closed many dining rooms, and online orders subsequently exploded. Mobile orders drove Starbucks’ recovery and grew to an “all-time high” in 2021, making up over 25% of all orders, and at Chipotle they now make up nearly half of all orders. Even restaurants that traditionally concentrated more on dine-in business have emphasized online orders, and Cheesecake Factory doubled them in 2021 to $3 million in sales per restaurant. Consumers are spending way more on delivery, and restaurants in general, than they have in the past.
Did You Know?
America’s favorite Restaurant Chains 2022. There is a restaurant chain in America serving pretty much any kind of food you can think of, from pizza to tacos to sushi to smoothies. There are over 100,000 chain restaurant businesses in the country and last year total sales were about $565 billion. While the pandemic definitely hurt (sales were down about $335 billion from pre-COVID-19 projections), Americans still like to go out to eat. With the pandemic at least appearing to recede in many places, we’re getting back in the habit of doing it more often. For the first time, Newsweek and global data firm Statista are proud to award America’s Favorite Restaurant Chains in selected categories. The awards are based on the results of a survey of more than 4,000 customers and employees of restaurant chains in the U.S. This year there are 220 winners in 16 categories.
Job gains in restaurants and bars ‘not where we want it to be’. There are still over 1.3 million people out of work in America’s leisure and hospitality businesses compared to pre-pandemic levels, and the Biden administration says that’s a problem. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told Yahoo Finance on Friday that he was “surprised” by the jobs report released Friday morning showing only 23,000 payroll gains in the sector (on a seasonally adjusted basis) during the month of November. “That number is not where we want it to be,” Walsh said. Employment in leisure and hospitality cratered during the depths of the pandemic, as bars, restaurants, museums, and casinos closed. Total payrolls in the sector nearly halved in the early months of 2020, losing about 8.2 million jobs. Since the reopening, about 6.9 million of those jobs have been recovered.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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OCEAN COUNTY, NJ “ROADHOUSE/TAVERN” FOR SALE
Highway location; 35-year operational track record; quality food & spirits in casual surroundings; seats 125 dining + 75 at bar; grossing $1.7M+; 60/40 food & liquor; real estate included in sale; financing available to qualified.
For more information contact Richard Santore, Bielat Santore & Company, 732.531.4200
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