Connections for Success




New Tax Leaves Cook County Restaurants Feeling Unsweetened
James Pellino

As Illinois and its counties continue to look for more ways to generate revenue, local legislators have turned their attention to taxing items deemed unhealthy to its citizens. Cook County is no exception, as a new sugary drink tax was recently approved by Cook County Board members and will take effect in July 2017. This article analyzes how this tax works and its potential impact on local restaurants.


Is Your Restaurant Prepared for the New Overtime Rules?

The Department of Labor’s new overtime rules will take effect on December 1, 2016. So, if you have been putting off crunching the numbers, it is time to take a hard look at your restaurant’s operations, determine the impact of the new overtime law on your bottom line and evaluate your options.


Best Accounting Practices for Restaurants
Thomas Pierce

While a big focus for restaurants revolves around the food, service and atmosphere, owning and operating a successful restaurant really starts with good accounting. Countless restaurants close their doors every year because the numbers were ignored or not given the attention that they deserve. While the accounting function is not the most exciting part of owning a restaurant, it is certainly one of the most important aspects that should be taken seriously. This article presents a handful of best accounting practices for owners and managers of restaurants of any size.


Charitable Contributions of Food Inventory
Robert Swenson

The rules regarding charitable donations of inventory, specifically food inventory, have fluctuated over the years. Recently a tax law was enacted that made the deduction for food inventory permanent and enhanced it. Previously non-C Corporations and taxpayers that were not required to track inventory did not receive an enhanced deduction. Now, all types of taxpayers can get a deduction of an amount somewhere between their cost basis and the fair market value of the food they are donating. This article will give you the details you need to know about charitable contributions of food inventory.


City of Chicago Raises Minimum Wage Effective July 1, 2016
Kenneth Kobiernicki

In recent years, the number of restaurants — both national chains and local establishments — that have faced wage and hour lawsuits have been on the rise. Therefore, it is imperative that restaurant owners pay attention to the rules that dictate how employees, especially tipped employees, are to be paid under federal and state law. This Restaurant Group blog explains how the City of Chicago’s recent raise in the minimum wage will impact both employer and employee.


Whipping Up a Social Media Strategy for Your Restaurant
Christofer Georgiou

Social media is a great way to connect with current and potential customers. The active user base certainly shows a world of opportunity. According to its 2015 Annual Reports (Form 10-K) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook and Twitter boast an impressive 1.04 billion daily active users in December 2015, and 302 million monthly active users in the three months ending December 2015, respectively. In our latest Restaurant Group blog, discover ways you can take advantage of various social media tools to help promote your restaurant.


Menu Costing Affords Restaurateurs Proper Pricing and Inventory Management
Darwin C. Mintu

How often do you cost your menu items? Menu costing allows for proper pricing and inventory management. In our latest Restaurant Group blog, we give you tips on how you can determine the various costs of the items in your menu, how frequently you should examine these figures, and the benefits you will reap from following this practice on a regular basis.


Cooking Up a Business Plan for Your Start-Up Restaurant

Last month, our Restaurant Group blog discussed the importance of determining a restaurant’s break-even point. This month, our focus turns to an integral part of a start-up restaurant’s lifeblood: its business plan. In this article, we analyze the three major components that are crucial to a restaurant’s business plan, including financial projections, investors’ analysis and a growth plan narrative.


Break-Even Sales
Darwin C. Mintu

An important figure in your restaurant’s profitability is its break-even point. This amount represents the sales you need to cover all your costs. This Restaurant Group blog will help you calculate your restaurant’s break-even point, and also examine key aspects concerning this figure, including variable costs and fixed costs. With these figures in mind, we also help you discover ways you can reduce these costs to maximize your restaurant’s bottom line.


Restaurant and Retail Remodeling Safe Harbor Election
Thomas Pierce

Are you considering updating part of your restaurant or retail space and not sure of the tax implications? The IRS has developed a new Safe Harbor election for a select few restaurateurs and retailers. However, its requirements can be rather daunting. This article will give you a rundown on this Safe Harbor’s requirements to help you decide whether or not you qualify.

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