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Business & Financial

Business & Financial

There are multiple facets to the "Business & Financial" section. First of all, your restaurant isn't just a restaurant, it's also a business. It's very possible to have a great restaurant that's a lousy business. One of the reasons independents, in particular, tend to have challenges in this area is that many people who own an independent restaurant may know a lot about running a restaurant but haven't developed the skills needed to build a successful business.

Think about the functions & skills involved in running a restaurant - management of the dining room & kitchen, menu planning & recipe development, purchasing, food preparation & delivery, customer service, hiring, staff training & development, facilities management, sanitation, etc. Now, consider the functions and skills involved in managing a business, any business - interpreting P&Ls & balance sheets, cash & financial management, business development, lender & investor relations, strategic planning & marketing, etc. It's easy to see that the knowledge and skills that might lead to the creation of a fabulous restaurant are quite different from those needed to manage and grow a successful business.

In this section, you'll get proven insights and tools to help you better understand and manage the business side of your restaurant. Our business development resources will help you create your own unique operating system. With an operating system in place, a restaurant becomes better organized, customers get more consistency, employees enjoy their jobs more and the restaurant is able to perform in a more predetermined, predictable fashion "without the owner having to be there all the time." Having a well-thought out and functioning operating system is one of the keys to creating a truly successful (and more valuable) business "and" a better life-style.

Another important part of managing the business side of your restaurant is understanding your "numbers." Everyone knows the restaurant business is a "people" business, but it's also a "numbers" business. Success can't just be measured in terms of smiling, satisfied customers but also in the cold, hard realities of facts, figures and finances.

Harold Geneen, former Chairman of IT&T said, "The difference between well-managed companies and not-so-well managed companies is the degree of attention they pay to the numbers." While the numbers are certainly critical in any business, they are probably even more so in operating a restaurant. Dealing with perishable products, lots of employees and razor thin profit margins are just a few of the factors which leaves little room for error and the need to know where you stand, from a financial perspective, quickly and often. Only your numbers can tell you if your restaurant is performing the way it should be or not.

Our financial programs, reports and tools are easy to grasp and implement. You need the benefit of having a financial approach and perspective to your restaurant. This section will help you better understand the business and financial dynamics of your restaurant so you manage it like the business it is.

Success Focus Video: Restaurant Economics 101 - What Everyone on Your Staff Should Know
Success Focus Video: Restaurant Economics 101 - What Everyone on Your Staff Should Know Your employees are clueless about how much it costs to operate your restaurant. In fact, most of your employees assume you're making a killing! Ask your employees one simple question: "Out of every dollar in sales that comes into this restaurant, how much does the owner get to keep?" . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: Don't Get Burned By a Bad Bookkeeper
Success Focus Video: Don't Get Burned By a Bad Bookkeeper Over the years we've seen more than just a few independent restaurant owners get stung, sometimes very badly by shoddy bookkeeping practices. Find out how to get a quick read on what kind of bookkeeper you have. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Mission Statement Worksheet
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Mission Statement Worksheet The right mission statement, properly used, can be one of the most powerful ingredients in creating and sustaining success. For many companies it's an invaluable tool in providing direction, focus and consistency throughout their organization. Use this worksheet for crafting or improving your mission. . . . more >>
WEBCAST: What Every Restaurant Owner & Manager Should Know About Prime Cost
WEBCAST: What Every Restaurant Owner & Manager Should Know About Prime Cost Prime cost (food, beverage & labor) consumes in excess of 60% of sales in most restaurants. They are your largest and most volatile costs. Without good Prime Cost controls even high volume restaurants can have profitability problems. Learn how tracking your prime cost every week can significantly boost your profitability and how to do it easily and efficiently with our Prime Cost Worksheet. . . . more >>
Restaurant Rules of Thumb: How Does Your Operation Measure Up to Industry Averages & Standards?
by Jim Laube
Restaurant Rules of Thumb: How Does Your Operation Measure Up to Industry Averages & Standards? A review of several key restaurant industry startup, financial & operational metrics that have proven to be reliable measurements over time. A handy guide for operators planning changes or assessing how they compare to industry averages & standards. . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: How Much Money Should Your Restaurant Be Making?
Success Focus Video: How Much Money Should Your Restaurant Be Making? Are you generating enough sales to have any hope of making a profit? Are you making as much profit as you should given your sales volume? Find out now in this short video. . . . more >>
How to Manage Your Restaurant's Critical Numbers and Avoid Financial Loose Ends
by Chris Tripoli and Jim Laube
How to Manage Your Restaurant's Critical Numbers and Avoid Financial Loose Ends Too many owner/operators are not tracking sales accurately, not posting costs by category correctly, and/or vewing a cash balance at the end of the month as profit. In this article, we discuss how to setup and interpret your financial reports to help you identify how your restaurant is really performing. . . . more >>
Four Things Every Independent Operator Should Know About Restaurant Numbers
by Jim Laube
Four Things Every Independent Operator Should Know About Restaurant Numbers In this article we review some important financial concepts that are particularly relevant in the current economic environment. If you keep these four items in mind as you manage your restaurant's finances, you'll be in much better control of your business. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant P&L Trend Analysis
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant P&L Trend Analysis A Profit & Loss Statement Statement is one of the most important financial tools that a restaurant owner has but is of limited value when only a single month is viewed. Using the P&L Trend Analysis Worksheet will greatly enhance your understanding of what's actually going on in your restaurant by comparing current percentages and per guest ratios to prior periods and the same month or period last year. . . . more >>
Restaurant Management Agreements: The Advantages and Pitfalls
by David T. Denney
Restaurant Management Agreements: The Advantages and Pitfalls Management agreements can be effective tools in streamlining restaurant operations. They can cover everything, including clearly stated, detailed responsibilities for employee matters. They can also create pitfalls for the unwitting. Here's how to harness their upside and sidestep their downside. . . . more >>
Selling Your Restaurant: How to Find & Work With the Right Broker
by Allison Wollam
Selling Your Restaurant: How to Find & Work With the Right Broker Ultimately, you make money in the restaurant business by building a great concept and following and selling the business to an operator who wants to step into a successful business with a history of success. Whether that is your end game for retirement or a steppingstone to your next big project, you need to think about that day. . . . more >>
WEBCAST: Selling Your Restaurant - What You Need to Know to Attract Serious Buyers & Get Top Price
WEBCAST: Selling Your Restaurant - What You Need to Know to Attract Serious Buyers & Get Top Price Selling your restaurant may one day provide you with the chance to have the biggest payday of your life. You need to know what to expect and how to position your restaurant as a desirable business opportunity long before you decide to put it on the market. Learn what the restaurant selling process is all about from one of the top pros in the industry. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan Template
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan Template Includes 2014 Industry Analysis A professional, well-conceived restaurant business plan is absolutely essential for an independent restaurant venture to obtain funding and have any real chance for success. Our business plan templates will provide you with the tools to develop & communicate your plan in a professional, compelling format that will enhance your chances of securing capital and making your plan a reality. . . . more >>
To Skim Or Not To Skim
To Skim Or Not To Skim Although not the most publicly discussed restaurant topic, the fact remains that there are some operators who have no problem pocketing some portion of their cash sales and not reporting it. You've probable heard some stories yourself about the schemes owners have devised to avoid paying the tax man. One creative restaurateur did this by . . . more >>
WEBCAST: Your Path To Better Numbers - How to Use the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants
WEBCAST: Your Path To Better Numbers - How to Use the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants Management of your organization requires a financial and operational reporting format that reflects the restaurant industry's unique requirements. In this webcast, RestaurantOwner.com Founder and President, Jim Laube and Vice President, Joe Erickson will highlight the recent updates in the NRA's Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants, a leading guide for preparing and reporting restaurant financial results for 50 years . . . more >>
Restaurant Profitability Calculator
Restaurant Profitability Calculator Use the Profitability Calculator to compare your restaurant's sales and profit ratios to industry averages. The Annual Sales section calculates the annual sales per sq. ft. for your restaurant and then returns the profit percentage expectations for restaurants with equivalent sales volume. The Annual Profit and Loss section compares your restaurant's financial performance to industry averages. . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: How to Use the Weekly Prime Cost Worksheets
Success Focus Video: How to Use the Weekly Prime Cost Worksheets As a restauranteur, the importance of a weekly Prime Cost discipline cannot be understated. Prime Cost is the total of your food and beverage cost combined with your labor cost, including taxes and benefits. . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: Running Inventory
Success Focus Video: Running Inventory A running inventory is one of the most basic and fundamental food cost controls in our industry but surprisingly it's one that many independent restaurants simply don't do. . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: 3 Rules for Computing Cost of Sales
Success Focus Video: 3 Rules for Computing Cost of Sales Many operators erroneously assume that what they spend on purchases in a given week is their ACTUAL cost of sales -- but this assumption is wrong! Accurately calculating your cost of sales requires that these three very important rules are followed. If you aren't following these rules you have no way of knowing if cost of sales is accurate. . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: How to Analyze Your Numbers
Success Focus Video: How to Analyze Your Numbers The Three Undeniable Truths of Business clearly illustrate how important it is to measure and analyze the financial results of your restaurant. This video will demonstrate the essential knowledge that you can gain from financial analysis. . . . more >>
Success Focus Video: Three Undeniable Truths
Success Focus Video: Three Undeniable Truths There are restaurant owners who are exceptional operators, and then there are restaurant owners who are exceptional operators and business owners. The Three Undeniable Truths of Business clearly separate these two groups. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Accident Report Form
DOWNLOAD: Accident Report Form Use this report form to document any personal injuries, near misses or dangerous occurances that take place at your restaurant. . . . more >>
How to Take Your Restaurant Products to Retail
by Amelia Levin
How to Take Your Restaurant Products to Retail Restaurants have been hit really hard over the past few years and have been searching for alternative revenue streams. Selling your food products at retail may be the answer. This article will describe the process and potential pitfalls of bringing restaurant products to retail. . . . more >>
How Independents Win Concession Contracts and Make Them Work
by Howard Riell
How Independents Win Concession Contracts and Make Them Work Over the last decade, large concession management firms have sought out local, popular independent concepts to include in their managed facilities. Local diners find that their favorite burrito place has a presence at the ballgame, or airport or hospital. Exciting, yes, but taking a local restaurant and translating its concept to a stadium concession, for example, is an operational feat. . . . more >>
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