Use Restaurant Menu as BLUEPRINT for Business

The time you invest in the menu for your restaurant is probably more important than anything else you plan for your restaurant. A restaurant menu pays huge dividends financially and personally.

The menu is the first thing people look for and what they see in any format, whether it’s mobile, paper, or on a review site. It sets the tone for your guests and is a leading impression in choosing your restaurant.

What personal dividends can you get from a menu? Creativity and art with food. A way to express the personality of the owner, staff and operation. Your style in flavor, spices, color and presentation with each dish setting the tone and atmosphere for your experience.

What financial dividends can you get from a menu? You should be rewarded for who you are and your expression. If it is not special and rewarding for you, the owner, why would you sell it? You deserve it. You are the one taking all the risk and reaching for opportunity. Do it for the right reasons but also earn a...

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How to Take Control of Your Business's Destiny

Many of you may not know this, but I recently had the privilege of writing the foreword to The Restaurant Prosperity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do, a book by restaurant industry coach David Scott Peters. While I am a fan of David and consider him a friend and mentor, my reason for writing the foreword was more than just out of respect. I wrote it because I believe his formula, if implemented, is not just a game changer, but a LIFE changer for the business owner.

More than any time in recent history, we as business owners all need to revisit this prosperity formula.  With the uncertainty of an economic change, now is NOT the time to sit back and hope that 2020 is as great as 2019. Now is the time to TAKE ACTION and follow a formula that is proven to ensure prosperity regardless of any economic change in the next 12 months. 

While it is easy to doubt the claims of savings and changes due to a formula, I can tell you from my firsthand experience from working with...

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3 Common Mistakes Made on Restaurant Tax Returns

tax returns Feb 21, 2020

It’s scary to hand over control to someone who doesn’t know your business as well as you do, but also has expertise you have to count on. That is exactly what happens between an accountant and a business owner. You rely on your accountant to make important decisions about your taxes based on their knowledge of the tax code, but also hopefully based on knowledge specific to your business.

This leaves many business owners with anxiety about their tax returns and a lack of understanding of why they pay so much in taxes when they felt like they didn’t even make any money.

Unfortunately, many times your business tax return can contain material errors that can cause you to owe more in taxes each year. To help you avoid these, below are three common mistakes and tips on how to correct them on your 2019 return :

  1. How sales are being reported: This is a key question to ask your accountant or bookkeeper as it is the basis for your annual return as well as your monthly sales...
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3 Tips for Stress-Free Year-End Tax Planning

What exactly is year-end tax planning? This phrase comes up as something important to do, something business owners must do, but no one ever tells you how HOW to do it. It can make the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year something to dread, especially when you feel like you should be doing more, yet you're unsure what that "more" is. 

I want to simplify that for you. Here are my 3 quick tips to simplify year-end tax planning for your business along with the reasons tax planning matters. 

1. Focus on what you can control now

Whether it has been a better or worse year through November 30, the truth is there are only a few things you can do between now and the clock striking midnight on December 31 that will make a difference in your bottom line. 

Here are a couple:

  1. Year-end bonus to owners – if you plan on paying yourself a bonus through wages, you may want to contact your accountant to make sure it makes sense...
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Recognizing Service as a Skill in Hospitality

I recently snuck off for a family vacation to the Florida Keys, a place known for peace and quiet, and the ability to disappear for a few days to a different world. And surprisingly during this trip, I learned a great life lesson on the impact a server can have on a customer’s experience. 

The second day on our Florida adventure we decided to go on a snorkeling trip. As guests were boarding we couldn’t help but notice the boat attendant seemed to know many of the other guests. He was shaking their hands and greeting them as if they were old friends.

“I waited on them last night at the restaurant,” Ruben, the attendant, shared cheerfully as one of the couples boarded.  “Just another day in paradise.”

With 80 degrees in crystal clear water all around, I realized he wasn’t being sarcastic.

“I love my job,” he said to my 7-year-old as he handed out our gear.

And he did. We came to learn that he had worked on Royal...

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How to Select the Right Business Formation

business formation Nov 05, 2019

So many business owners ask me to verify if their business is set up the “right” way. The short answer is that the key to a good business formation is to make sure that the formation works with the dreams you have for your company. 

Let’s use Facebook as an example. Mark Zuckerberg had a dream while in his Harvard University dorm room in 2004. But before he could bring his innovation to the masses, he needed to choose a business formation that would work with his vision. No one could have predicted, what Facebook would ultimately become. And yet, at the beginning stages of any company, every business owner must these important decisions without knowing what the future holds.

Prior to defining Facebook legally, it was just a fun project among Mark Zuckerberg and his friends.  According to the records, Mark Zuckerberg first formed a limited liability company, or LLC, based in Florida. The legal formation LLC is considered a “hybrid”...

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How to Manage Inventory Levels One Can of Soup at a Time

cash flow inventory Oct 21, 2019

Chances are somewhere on your shelves, lurking behind so many other boxes, is an old dusty can of soup that gets counted every week and passed on to the next team of back-of-the-house employees, week after week, without a thought. This can of soup can teach you a lot about your inventory. Many times, your struggle with managing inventory levels is more about your mindset than your process. Here are three tips to help you adjust your mindset and better manage your inventory levels, one can of soup at a time.

The value of inventory

The hypothetical can of soup probably cost you $1.50 several months ago when purchased as part of your weekly food order. But each week that goes by, that can of soup costs you more than just $1.50. The true cost of that can of soup is all the other products you haven’t been able to buy each week because $1.50 of your cash is sitting in the can of soup waiting to get sold.

This can be a hard concept to follow at first. Assuming you don’t want to...

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Why Every Business Decision Is an Accounting Decision

Uncategorized Oct 04, 2019

When I claim every business decision is an accounting decision, most business owners say they don't want anything to do with accounting. I hear about when they were in school, they struggled with numbers and don't like to deal with them. Or they're just not good with numbers, or they're not numbers people. But I think everyone can do basic accounting, and I work hard to help every client become an expert on their own business's accounting.

I was once an accounting instructor at Eastern Florida State College and Florida Atlantic University. I founded The Largo Group on the principle that in order to be successful, everyone must harness their inner accountant – whether you think you’re a “numbers person” or not.

If taught the right way, accounting is something we can all understand.  We just have to get back to the basics. Here are three first steps in embracing your accounting. 

Step 1: Have a positive mindset

Unfortunately, many...

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Why a Restaurant Profit and Loss Statement Is Important

Have you ever wondered what a restaurant profit and loss statement is and why it's important to your restaurant business? Watch this video, or continue reading below, to find out.  

Let’s make an assumption that you take a picture of the business (a balance sheet) on the last day of each month. That picture has changed from one photo to the next. Things happened to make those pictures change; deliveries were accepted at the back door, customers came and purchased your products, people worked and were paid, and so on. A profit and loss statement (P&L) is like a movie showing all of those things happening on a daily basis. Simply put, a P&L is a moving picture or movie that shows everything that went on in your restaurant between the times you took the photos.

You get your P&L statement, flip to the end to see how much you've made or lose, and say, "Oh, crap." What does it mean to you? Have you ever combed through it to see if it's accurate? Does it make...

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What to Expect from a Restaurant Accountant

restaurant accountant Sep 23, 2019

Have you ever wondered what a restaurant accountant does for a restaurant business? Why are they important and what you should expect? Watch this video, or continue reading below, to learn.

Look, I feel your pain. I've been an operator and received my P&L anywhere from 15-90 days after a period closed. Getting it that late doesn't help me - all it does is help me look backwards. But you should expect more from your restaurant accountant because you need more to run a profitable restaurant.

If your restaurant accountant is giving you your profit and loss statement even 15 days into the next period, all you're doing is looking backwards. Many restaurant owners feel like they're overpaying their restaurant accountant and then don't want to be charged more so they don't call and ask questions for fear of being billed. Instead they wait until the end of the year and then get a big bill when the accountant is redoing all of the books to make sure the taxes are paid. And all the...

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