Restaurants That Survived the Pandemic
Are now threatened by inflation. It was a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, that helped 34-year-old Joseph Charles steer his Boston pizza place through the worst of the pandemic. Rock City Pizza had the advantage of being on the outskirts of the city, instead of in the mostly deserted downtown, and it had the benefit of having a takeout window already built in. When indoor dining was banned in March 2020, Charles worked seven days a week adapting his business model and hustling pizzas and subs out the window to masked customers on the sidewalk or into delivery cars. “It was real tough,” Charles recalls. “Real trying times. But we did what we had to. And fortunately, we’re here now.” Unfortunately, however, doing business now is no less trying. “Inflation is just ridiculous now,” says Charles. “It’s harder to do business than it was in the pandemic. While his sales over the last two years rebounded to about 75% of what they were pre-pandemic, Charles says they’ve now slumped back down to about half, as his customers — who are also feeling the pinch — are cutting spending.
A Guide to Understanding Employee Retention Credits
Operators have missed out on millions simply because of common misunderstandings. The last two years have forced many beloved restaurants to shut down or drastically reduce their customer capacity and services due to federal, state, or local government-mandated closures. Washington, recognizing the hardships these establishments have faced, has passed legislation to help address the cost of these operational adjustments to COVID orders. Unfortunately, franchise owners are still not taking full advantage of the significant federal tax benefits available to them. It is not uncommon for a franchisee to receive a six to seven figure check from the government through the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) program, assuming they’re claiming all to which they are entitled. So why are so many restaurants missing out on potentially millions of dollars? It comes down to some common misunderstandings that are easy dispelled. The ERC is the single-largest tax incentive program available to restaurants but when first introduced, the CARES Act did not allow a business owner to claim ERC and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, at the end of 2021 this bar was lifted. This hasn’t been well understood by many business owners—restaurants have been slow to realize that they can and should be looking to the ERC to help offset the costs of their disrupted operations due to a federal, state, or local COVID order.
Why Bars are Ditching Cocktail Lists
For a more personalized experience. Restaurant and bar operators are likely to invest no small amount of time in curating their beverage menus. After the selection is perfected, staff are then trained in mixing the signature libations as well as classics. But what happens when those menus are removed from the equation? In a world where menus can now be accessed through various channels like QR codes and mobile apps, some establishments are bucking the trend and opting for a menu-less operation, with the goal of creating a personalized experience to match personalized drinks. While not a widespread trend, concepts, including those in second- and third-tier cities, are dipping their toes in this unusual operating model. For example, Nashville, Tennessee, now boasts the second location of Attaboy, a cocktail bar that opened in New York a decade ago. The Music City outpost, which debuted in 2017, is operated by managing partner Brandon Bramhall, who spent years working at the New York location before relocating to Tennessee. Bramhall says operating a beverage program without a menu is definitely not for the faint of heart, especially since it faces challenges the average restaurant or bar does not. But, he adds, the appeal of running a menu-free program comes from the desire to personalize and curate an experience for the guests that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
3 Errors to Avoid in Your Restaurant’s Hiring Plan
It’s time to rethink how you treat employees in the workplace. Restaurant industry wages reached an all-time high in recent months, but the sector’s turnover rate suggests it’s not enough to retain talent. For workers to stay, restaurant employers need to do more than just increase compensation. Frontline workers are leaving their jobs in droves as they face burnout, inadequate benefits, and long, unpredictable hours. Even though the restaurant industry has a historically high turnover rate, over the past two years we’ve all seen an escalation in existing issues. This has impacted workers, making them realize they want more from their employers. In an attempt to attract and retain talent, many food service establishments have tried offering sign-on bonuses or increasing wages — and neither seem to be very effective. While providing higher pay is a compelling way to show employees you value their work, it’s no longer enough to make them stick around. So, what will entice restaurant employees to stay? It’s time to take a closer look at the benefits you’re providing employees. Today’s workers demand an engaging workplace environment, career advancement opportunities, and modern technologies that enable them to work efficiently and effectively. Does your retention strategy reflect this?
Boost Your Reputation and Restaurant Sales
Three ways your staff can get more online reviews. Online reviews are perhaps more important to restaurants than any other industry. We look at three easy ways your staff can get those reviews for you, boosting your online profile for increased restaurant sales. It’s no secret that your restaurant’s reputation can live and die on the merits of your online reviews. In fact, according to GoDine, 62 percent of diners said that reviews were the top thing they considered when choosing a restaurant. And it’s not just whether your reviews are good or not, it’s how many reviews you have. The search engines will rank you higher above your competition if you have more reviews. In the eyes of Google, more reviews mean more people are talking about you, making you more likely to be relevant to the user’s search. We take a look at three ways you can get your staff to get more reviews out of your customers, to boost your presence online and get more customers through your door to increase your restaurant sales.
What Can I Do to Reduce My Restaurant Supply and Labor Costs?
Here are three ways. These days, restaurants are on the search for solutions to minimize costs and provide efficiency throughout their operation. Why should you and your staff spend hours counting inventory, auditing invoices, and combing through contracts? Nobody has time for that when there is a crowded dining room, to-go orders flying out the window and customers complaining about their favorite menu items going up in price. At the end of the day, there are so many ways you can minimize your operational costs and make things easier for both you and your staff. The restaurant industry has been slow with change but has started to understand why it is necessary. And don’t even get me started on the purchasing data your restaurant is producing all day every day. Are you doing anything with that data? We’re going to park this one here until a little later in this article. When you’re short on time and resources, technology can help you automate on and off-premise processes, navigate increased costs, and make more informed business decisions. Embracing different innovations and moving away from traditional ways of operating can help you identify more areas of profitability and drive business success.
Restaurants Continued to Add Jobs in April
The industry added 43,800 workers last month. The restaurant industry continued its steady pace of hiring in April despite concerns about higher labor costs and slower sales, according to new government data released on Friday. Food services and drinking places added 43,800 jobs in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it among the top job creators for the month. The overall economy added 428,000 jobs in the month and the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.6%. The figures suggest that the industry added about one out of every 10 jobs, which is on par with restaurants’ overall employment average. Still, there are signs that the rate of restaurant job growth is slowing. The rate of monthly job growth has slowed from more than 1% per month in November and December to less than 0.4% in April, with a slowing rate of hiring each month. Restaurants now employ just under 11.6 million workers, up 1.2 million over the past year. But the industry remains about 700,000 jobs short of where it was back in February 2020, before a global pandemic led to dine-in restaurant shutdowns and widespread layoffs that wiped out more than half of the workforce.
Easy Ice Specialty Cube Expansion with Icesurance Purchases
The last thing you should be troubled about is ice. The younger generations consume more iced beverages than ever, and this increased market pressures businesses to have a 100% reliable supply of ice.” There’s one problem with that: ice makers are notoriously fickle machines that require a precise environment, maintenance, and quick repairs to avoid disrupting ice production. Business owners from cocktail lounges and cafes to coffee shops and hotels are in dire need of a guaranteed ice supply to meet customer demand. Easy Ice has built its business by addressing a common concern expressed by operators: ice machines are the least reliable piece of equipment in the kitchen. Easy Ice provides full service of its ice makers, so that restaurateurs can focus on the bigger picture without the hassle of worrying over a broken ice machine. “No capital. No hassle. Just ice.” has been the hallmark of their value proposition since launching.
Did You Know?
Digital tools boost restaurants’ safety, cleanliness. Restaurants are embracing technology to navigate a new industry landscape characterized by a tight labor market and elevated consumer expectations around safety and cleanliness. Beyond point-of-sale innovations, tech-driven solutions are helping restaurants operate more efficiently and effectively throughout both the front and back of the house, simplifying workflows and creating healthier and happier work environments. Digital tools are successful when they save time by simplifying or automating tasks in a restaurant. Digital tools also can be used to gather and track data, providing insights and allowing a manager or person in charge to make timely, corrective actions and even make proactive change on those areas that need it most.
When to stop serving alcohol and refuse service. Restaurants and bars face unique risks and complexities. As an alcohol-serving establishment, your business can be especially vulnerable to legal challenges. It is crucial that your bartenders and staff know what signs to look for in an intoxicated person and when to stop serving patrons. Society Insurance has compiled some helpful tips for alcohol-serving establishments. At some point, bartenders will likely have to address a belligerent or highly intoxicated person. There are several legitimate reasons for bartenders to refuse service. For example, underage individuals, those who have over-consumed or are showing symptoms of intoxication, excessively rowdy or unruly customers, a person harassing staff or other customers, or if the establishment is at capacity. It is important that employees are educated on the conditions that a business cannot refuse service.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
OCEAN COUNTY, NJ “ROADHOUSE/TAVERN” FOR SALE
Photo shown to illustrate “roadhouse tavern” only. Not actual representation.
Highway location; 35-year operational track record; booming residential growth in immediate area; quality food & spirits in casual surroundings; seats 124 dining + 76 at bar/lounge + 80 outdoor; 22 Flat Screen TV’s; small package good store; business climbing back up to pre-covid gross sales of $2M; 50/50 food & liquor; real estate included in sale; financing available to qualified.
Contact Richard Santore, 732.531.4200 for further details
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