Connections for Success




Playing Your Cards Right: Can You Defer Taxes on Gift Card Sales?
Christopher Georgiou

Many restaurants sell gift cards that can be redeemed for meals or for merchandise. For tax purposes, these sales are considered “advance payments,” which generally are included in taxable income when they are received. But there may be an opportunity to defer some or all of this income into the following tax year. Are you […]


Is Your Restaurant Required to Participate in the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program?
Kenneth Kobiernicki

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program is a simple and convenient state-sponsored retirement savings program for employers who do not already offer a qualified plan. With Illinois Secure Choice, employers can help their hard-working employees save for their retirement. Under the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, covered employers do not contribute to employees’ accounts or […]


SECURE Act Expands Access to Multiple Employer Retirement Plans
Thomas Pierce

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act increases access to multiple employer plans to help employees save for retirement.


Chicago’s New Fair Workweek Ordinance: Get Ready for Predictive Scheduling
Brian R. Israel

Recently, Chicago joined the growing ranks of cities that have enacted “fair workweek” ordinances. These ordinances are designed to ensure more predictable work shifts for employees in certain industries, including restaurants, allowing employees to maximize their income while maintaining a work-life balance. Chicago’s ordinance — which is expected to effect July 1, 2020 — strives to accomplish this goal by requiring employers to provide employees with at least 10 days’ advance notice of their work schedules and to compensate them for last-minute changes.


A New Recipe for Lease Accounting: How Will It Affect Your Restaurant?
Christopher Georgiou

Many restaurants rely on leasing to acquire essential assets, from physical space and furniture to kitchen and bar equipment to point-of-sale (POS) systems. If your business has a substantial number of leases, be aware that new accounting rules — which bring most leases onto the balance sheet — may have a significant impact on your […]


Illinois’ New Minimum Wage Law: Much More Than a Rate Hike
Thomas Pierce

Illinois recently joined the growing list of states increasing their minimum wage. On February 19, Governor Pritzker signed the Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act (the Act), which amends the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage from its current rate of $8.25 per hour to $15 per hour by […]


Reaching the Tipping Point – Service Charges vs. Tips
Kenneth Kobiernicki

After much debate, the IRS determined – in Revenue 2012-18 – that automatic gratuities are service charges–not tips. This ruling, which went into effect on January 1, 2014, increased the paperwork burden and payroll tax commitment for restaurant owners.


Pass-Through Deduction Regulations are Good News for Restaurant Owners
Christopher Georgiou

Recently, the IRS issued final regulations on the new pass-through deduction. In general, the regulations are taxpayer friendly and will make it easier for restaurants to claim the deduction.


New Sales Tax Regime Casts a Wide Net
Robert Swenson

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark June 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair opened the door for states to impose sales tax collection obligations on out-of-state sellers without a physical presence in the state.


A Recipe for Online Success: Five Key Ingredients for Shaping Your Restaurant’s Social Media Strategy
Thomas Pierce

Restaurants often talk about establishing a social media presence. However, most restaurants already have such a presence, whether they know it or not. It’s likely that people are discussing your restaurant on Facebook, sharing photos of your food or decor on Instagram, and posting reviews to sites like Yelp and Foursquare.

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