Connections for Success




Are You Taking Advantage of the FICA Tip Credit?
Brian R. Israel

If you own a restaurant, bar or other business that serves food or beverages, do not overlook the FICA tip credit. This credit provides some relief for the federal payroll taxes you pay on your employees’ tip income. You are required to withhold FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare) from your employees’ wages and to […]


Want to Improve Customer Loyalty? Consider a Subscription Program
James Pellino

The subscription business model has taken off in recent years. There is a reason that companies talk about becoming “the Netflix of (insert product or service here).” A successful subscription business can offer a more stable revenue stream and improve customer retention. Does the subscription model have a place in the restaurant business? Current trends […]


Managing the Rising Cost of Labor
Brian R. Israel

Of the many challenges facing the restaurant industry today, the rising cost of labor is one of the most formidable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings in food and drinking establishments jumped from $15 in 2018 to $19.42 in 2022. Factors contributing to this trend include the ongoing labor shortage […]


Still Waiting for Your Employee Retention Credit Refund? You Are Not Alone
Thomas Pierce

For restaurants that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, the employee retention credit (ERC) can be a welcome source of relief. Unfortunately, IRS processing delays have forced many restaurants to wait a long time before receiving their ERC refunds, in some cases more than one year. The longest wait times have been for retroactive ERC […]


Nine Tips for Combating the Restaurant Labor Shortage
Thomas Pierce

One of the biggest challenges restaurants face today is the continuing labor shortage. In a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, 65% of restaurant operators reported that they do not have enough employees to support customer demand. Although the right strategies for addressing the labor shortage will depend on your restaurant’s particular facts and […]


Restaurant Revitalization Fund: How to Report Your Expenditures
James Pellino

If your business had the good fortune to receive a tax-free grant from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), you are probably aware that the funds must be used for eligible expenses during the “covered period.” Generally, recipients must use the funds by March 11, 2023, for eligible expenses incurred from February 15, 2020, through March […]


Unused Gift Cards: Windfall or Burden?
Robert Swenson

Gift cards can be an attractive option for restaurants and customers alike. For customers, they provide an easy, yet thoughtful, gift idea. And for restaurants, they help increase revenue, attract new customers and build customer loyalty. Another potential benefit is that many gift cards go unused or are only partially used — a phenomenon known […]


What Is Happening With the Employee Retention Credit?
Robert Swenson

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. One of the Act’s provisions terminated the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) retroactively to September 30, 2021, except for eligible “recovery startup businesses.” Previously, the ERC was scheduled to continue through the end of 2021, which would have allowed eligible […]


Heads Up, Restaurants: Federal Relief Could Trigger a Single Audit
James Pellino

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic’s impacts, leading to spikes in business closures, continued capacity limitations, and unprecedented loss in both jobs and sales. However, many establishments were able to keep their doors open and continue to serve customers throughout the course of […]


Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Another Option on the Financial Relief Menu
Christopher Georgiou

There are a variety of relief programs available for restaurants that have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, including grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Related Read: Paycheck Protection Program Gets a Refresh If your restaurant business was unable to obtain this relief — or if your funding has […]

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