Prepping for Uncle Sam
Fourth quarter tax preparation. More than two centuries ago, American statesman Benjamin Franklin penned a note to French scientist Jean-Baptiste Leroy identifying two certainties in life: death and taxes. One might wonder if Franklin owned a restaurant given the grim view of taxes, he shares with so many of the nation’s restaurant owners. For as much joy as owning a restaurant can deliver, taxes can be – and often are – the proverbial buzzkill, a necessary evil prone to sparking headaches, stress and costly realities. Yet, taking a proactive approach to taxes, especially throughout the calendar year’s fourth quarter (Q4), can spur a more streamlined and efficient effort that preserves time, cash and sanity while also driving overall performance. “When it comes to taxes, so many business owners don’t want to think about them, talk about them or plan for them, but there’s a tremendous amount of benefit that can come from getting a jumpstart on end-of-the-year taxes,” says Drew Wolf, a certified public accountant (CPA). In the fall, Wolf suggests restaurant owners ask their accountant for a complete checklist of the items needed for tax preparation. With that in hand, operators can assemble – or at least ensure they have the capacity to provide – all the figures and documentation necessary for a streamlined filing process.
What Will Cannabis Infused Restaurants of the Future Look Like
Get ready: cannabis is coming to restaurants and bars near you. Celebrity chefs and cannabis business operators are designing concepts for experiences with infused foods and beverages. These experiences will permanently and positively alter dining. For that to happen, cannabis professionals and consumers need education on these dining experiences. They also require access to quality cannabis recipes and immersive experiences to create excellent dining opportunities. Cannabis infused restaurants and bars will thrive when cannabis professionals and the public receive proper education on this new experience. How will consumers experience cannabis dining in the future? As an epicurean and seasoned cannabis consultant, I know the quality of the dining experience will be vital to attracting customers to cannabis restaurants and bars. The cannabis industry has become more knowledgeable about ingredient combinations and flavor pairings to delight its consumers. As this body of knowledge continues to expand and processing technologies continue decreasing the onset times of edibles, we will see an increase in the number of cannabis chefs and mixologists showcasing their creativity and skills to attract this new class of cannabis consumers to their restaurants and bars.
10 Common Pitfalls
In restaurant buildouts. Opening a new restaurant is exciting. When you find a space that’s perfect, you want to jump in and get moving on the build-out. However, there are many potential issues to keep in mind to prevent costly headaches, or worse, lawsuits. Below are ten potential pitfalls that could lead to litigation and delay that grand opening. Pitfall #1: Signing a lease without negotiating the build-out terms. Your restaurant lease is one of the most important contracts needed to start your business. Before signing anything, you must make sure you can get the restaurant build-out you want. There are many factors to consider. Here are just a few:
- Will you or your landlord be responsible for the build-out?
- Does your dream design plan include demolishing and creating new walls?
- Will the build-out affect the utilities of other building tenants?
- Will the landlord even permit your build-out plan?
- Will renovations need to be removed if the lease is terminated early by you or the landlord?
- Do you get a tenant improvement allowance to help pay for the build-out?
Make sure you negotiate these and other critical build-out terms before signing the lease. If possible, put your exact build-out design plans into the lease agreement to avoid any confusion or disputes with the landlord.
How Bars and Restaurants Can Prepare
For a safe football season. It’s a fact that football season can get rowdy. Unsurprisingly, a survey of NFL fans shows they drink more when their team loses. For example, four out of 10 Saints fans report drinking “heavily” when they lose. Meanwhile, one-third of all NFL fans surveyed report “pregaming” before kickoff, while Denver Broncos fans lead the pack, drinking an average of eight drinks before the game. While businesses in the hospitality industry provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere for clientele to briefly escape their everyday routines, it’s also their responsibility to keep their patrons safe. As we all know, excessive drinking can lead to altercations on-site (a fifth of fans admitted they’d gotten into a verbal spat with someone before a game), physical harm to oneself and others, and lead to widespread issues once a patron has left an establishment. Ahead of this year’s football season, the team at Society Insurance has put together the top four tips on how a restaurant and/or bar can protect themselves, their patrons and their employees as well as create a safer environment for football season and beyond.
What The Latest Labor Statistics May Say
About the state of restaurants. It’s no secret that working in the service industry is tough. But, judging by the latest labor statistics, it might be a tougher scene than ever. According to recent data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, restaurant hiring slowed by 75% from July to August (via Restaurant Business). Businesses categorized under the Leisure and Hospitality Sector, which includes restaurants, only took on 31,000 new workers in August – a dramatic drop from the 95,000 hired in July, and the 202,000 in August 2021. Now, there are a whopping 600,000 fewer employees working in the service industry than before the pandemic – 5.1% lower in August than just one month prior in July. The nationwide unemployment rate hit 3.7% in August. That’s over 6 million people without a job – the highest rate since February, per Trading Economics. Yet, in the same month, the “labor force participation rate” hit 62.4%: the highest in five months. In California, says CBS, July unemployment dropped to 3.9%, a record low for the state.
Three Ways Menu Engineering Can Help
Manage profit. Every operator I talk to right now is feeling the pain of supply chain disruptions and high food costs. Inflation has been the straw that broke the camel’s back for many in the restaurant industry, particularly after the pain of dealing with low sales during the early days of the pandemic. Only 25 percent of operators believe their restaurant will be more profitable this year than last, in large part because 90 percent also say their food costs are higher now than pre-pandemic. Of course, high labor costs are also playing a significant role in restaurant profitability, so operators are looking for every penny they can find. While restaurants have always been intentional about food waste, menu offerings, and purchasing, I see operators doubling down on looking for any efficiency to help save money right now. This is necessary but can be so detailed and time consuming that it gets pushed to the backburner. Menu engineering, particularly for enterprise restaurant brands, has to take into account myriad details, from supplier pricing in different regions to regional menu item preferences to rapidly changing food costs. However, menu engineering doesn’t have to be a task you dread. You can use modern restaurant technology to make the process of menu engineering easier, get better visibility into your profits and waste, improve employee training, and track your efforts.
Restaurant Hiring Slowed in August
New stats show. Eating places and bars added about 25% of the employees they did the previous month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They remain 600,000 jobs short of pre-pandemic levels. Restaurants and bars slowed their hiring in August, filling just 18,200 jobs, or about a quarter of the vacancies they filled the prior month, according to new government statistics. The figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the industry is still about 600,000 workers short of its pre-pandemic employment level. BLS reported an overall slowdown in hiring and job creation for the month. The agency said the number of unemployed workers rose by 344,000 in August, nudging up the unemployment rate by two tenths of a percentage point, to 3.7%. In total, 6 million Americans were unemployed at the end of the month, the agency said. Restaurants and other businesses in the agency’s Leisure and Hospitality Sector followed the trend. They collectively filled 31,000 jobs last month, compared with 95,000 hires in July and 202,000 in August of last year.
Personalized Service Has Never Been More Important
And new tech is making it a reality. Operators are turning to advanced technologies that both enhance the restaurant experience and help reduce costs. Restaurants are facing multiple compounding pressures as high inflation drives customers to dine out less and persisting staffing shortages hinder smooth operations. Many operators are pulling back, cutting certain elements of service to minimize costs. Yet diners are looking for the opposite: heightened experiences that make dining out and spending their hard-earned money worth it, even with increased prices. To that end, forward-thinking operators are turning to advanced technologies that both enhance the restaurant experience by offering more tailored service and help reduce costs. One such tool is facial recognition technology (FRT), which can be integrated into restaurant management and POS systems. By instantaneously and accurately identifying regular diners, it can offer a myriad of helpful ways for restaurants to enhance their customer experience without breaking the bank. As restaurants more fully embrace technology in their kitchens and dining rooms, facial recognition will boost efficiency for operators and create more personalized experiences for expectant guests.
Did You Know?
Survey: 88% of restaurant operators have neutral or positive outlook for 2023. A majority of restaurant operators (88%) have a neutral or positive outlook for 2023, according to a survey of 1,000 restaurants conducted by Rewards Network this summer. While half of operators are concerned labor shortages are hurting operations, only about 4% of customers have cut back on frequency due to staffing issues, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. Despite inflation concerns, operators have faith in customer loyalty, with 54% of restaurants expecting frequency to reach or surpass pre-pandemic levels.
Murphy wants to change how remote workers are taxed. New Jersey is set to tackle the controversial issue of how remote workers employed by out-of-state companies are taxed, something that took on heightened urgency since the COVID-19 pandemic when many people started working from home, Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week. The governor revealed a bipartisan proposal for new legislation that addresses the issue, which Murphy said is costing the state billions of dollars of revenue.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ “SPORTS BAR – RESTAURANT” FOR SALE
Photo shown to illustrate “sports bar” only. Not actual representation.
Turn-key Atlantic City, NJ restaurant/bar; strategically located on strip near hotels and casinos; 3 floors; 1st floor – 100 seat dining + 75 seat bar/lounge; second floor – 100 seat private party room + 30 at bar; third floor – office/residence; on-site parking for 50 cars; owner retiring after 40 years in business; financing available to qualified.
Contact Richard Santore, 732.531.4200 for additional information.
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