Joe Erickson is a leading contributor and Vice-President of RestaurantOwner.com and a feature writer for Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine. As a thirty-plus year veteran of the restaurant industry, Joe has created and developed several successful foodservice concepts as manager, owner, and consultant.
Joe's unique skills for financial controls are enhanced by his experience of more than ten years providing point of sale and accounting systems to restaurants. He has been a guest speaker for the National Restaurant Association, the International Pizza Expo, and several industry and state association events.
Joe started his career by developing Luther's Catering service, a division of the Luther's BBQ chain, in the mid 1970's. The concept grew to over 1.2 million in catering revenue by 1980. In 1982, Joe opened his consulting firm, Hospitality Services of Houston, and helped other restaurateurs in the creation of several barbecue and southern style cooking restaurants around the country. He was also a partner and co-founder of Sunset Dinner Cruises, a concept that operated a 57-foot catamaran, taking parties for island style dinner cruises on Clear Lake near Houston.
In 1985 Joe used the introduction of the personal computer to help control costs for his new venture, Bobby Mac's restaurant in Kerrville, Texas. Believing that computers would eventually become as commonplace in restaurants as refrigeration, he collaborated with local computer programmers to create software for restaurant accounting and inventory control. He later helped to develop a southwestern bistro, Nicole's Cafe San Felipe, and was managing partner for Truluck's Steak and Stone Crab from 1992 until 1995 when he joined CRS Texas to provide restaurateurs with POS, video surveillance, paging systems and financial control software.
In 2004, Joe teamed up with long-time friend and business associate, Jim Laube, founder of RestaurantOwner.com. Together they have developed hundreds of articles, tools, and resources to help independent operators compete with the chains and become more profitable.
Joe's most notable contribution has been the creation of the seminar program, "How to Prepare a Winning Restaurant Business Plan", a step-by-step process that includes prewritten business plan templates, financial projections, and sample business plans that have helped hundreds of would-be restaurateurs plan their startup.