Fast-Food Restaurants: Are You Making the Most of Your Drive-Through?
Brian R. Israel
During the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-through sales exploded at many restaurants. This should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, avoiding human contact had become a health necessity. What may be more surprising is that in the wake of the pandemic, customers continue to be drawn to the drive-through window. According to a recent report […]
Benchmarking Helps Restaurants Measure—and Improve—Their Performance
Benchmarking is the process of calculating your restaurant’s key financial or operational metrics and comparing them to established standards. Those standards may be industry averages, the performance of “best-in-class” restaurants or even your own restaurant’s past performance. Benchmarking can be an effective tool for identifying areas in need of improvement, spotting dangerous trends while there […]
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
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
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
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
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?
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?
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 […]