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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.

What to Consider BEFORE Going From One to Two Restaurants What to Consider BEFORE Going From One to Two Restaurants
by Jay Goldstein
Now that you have one successful restaurant you may be contemplating #2. Before you jump in with both feet, there are several key principals required for successful growth. Learn what you need to consider, how to be sure you're ready, and who can help you more >>

Restaurant Economics: Inside Expansion Restaurant Economics: Inside Expansion
by Jim Laube and Chris Tripoli
There are successful growth strategies that involve expanding an initial restaurant in ways you might not have considered. These include adding day parts, banquet and catering operations, increasing tables, or making the restaurant a commissary for kiosks and concessions. Explore these strategies and more to grow your business without adding units or franchising the concept. more >>

Why Restaurants Fail Why Restaurants Fail
by Howard Riell
The reasons restaurants fail are many and varied and, in some cases, not the least bit obvious. It was nearly seven years ago that Dr. H.G. Parsa decided he wanted to know why and spearheaded a landmark study to seek the answers. Seven years after that study was released, we talk to Parsa about the study, its "back story," and what he's learned since. more >>

SURVEY: How Independent Operators Are Using Management Incentive Programs SURVEY: How Independent Operators Are Using Management Incentive Programs
More independent operators are taking what used to be a "chain-only" practice and profiting on several levels by using management incentive programs. Learn what works and what doesn't from the comments and insights of nearly 100 independent operators. more >>

DOWNLOAD: Menu & Recipe Cost Spreadsheet Template DOWNLOAD: Menu & Recipe Cost Spreadsheet Template
Knowing what each of your menu items costs to prepare is one of the most basic yet overlooked aspects of running a profitable restaurant. This comprehensive spreadsheet template will give you an easy-to-use tool to calculate and maintain the current cost of your menu and recipes. more >>

How to Create a Realistic Budget For Your Restaurant How to Create a Realistic Budget For Your Restaurant
by Joe Erickson
The vast majority of restaurant failures can be attributed to the absence of a plan or practical budget upon which decisions, accountability and actions are based. A budget focuses management on considering changing conditions and forces them to adapt their operations to maintain profitability and consistency of product and service. more >>

Break-Even: It's Like Having Your Own Financial Crystal Ball Break-Even: It's Like Having Your Own Financial Crystal Ball
by Jim Laube
One of my sharpest restaurant clients, nearly aways knew what his monthly net income would be for each of his three restaurants before he saw the P&L. Using a simple break-even approach, he could accurately estimate his profit just by knowing each restaurant's sales volume. Here's how he did it. more >>

Success Focus Video: Burning the House Down Success Focus Video: Burning the House Down
Unfortunately, many restaurant owners place their trust in a few key employees such as a manager, chef, bookkeeper, key server or bartender to keep watch on the rest of the staff for theft prevention. But what many owners find out is that it's often the very people you trust the most that end up stealing you blind. more >>

DOWNLOAD: 4-Week Periods for 2015 to 2018 DOWNLOAD: 4-Week Periods for 2015 to 2018
If you want to convert to a 4-week, 13 period reporting cycle, now is the time to get ready. This series of Excel worksheets breaks down years 2015 to 2018 into 4-week periods beginning on the last Monday in 2014. more >>

WEBCAST: Ordinary to Extraordinary: How to Transform Your Restaurant Into a World Class Business WEBCAST: Ordinary to Extraordinary: How to Transform Your Restaurant Into a World Class Business
This lively, fast paced webcast will show you how ordinary restaurant organizations have dramatically improved the way they do business and are now achieving stunning results. We'll examine some of the common foundational principles and practices followed by some of the most successful independent operations in the country and provide practical ways for you to implement some of these practices in your restaurant and organization. more >>

DOWNLOAD: Weekly Planning Guide Template DOWNLOAD: Weekly Planning Guide Template
Carrying out your restaurant's annual plan is done one week at a time. Managers who excel in weekly planning tend to be more knowledgeable of unit profitability and shift preparedness. Use this template as a guide to create your own weekly agenda form. more >>

DOWNLOAD: Annual Restaurant Budget Worksheets DOWNLOAD: Annual Restaurant Budget Worksheets
How will your restaurant perform in 2015? Studies show that companies who prepare annual operating budgets are more successful than those who don't. Use this budget worksheet to quickly prepare your annual financial plan to give you and your staff specific, measurable goals throughout the coming year. more >>

Success Focus Video: What Would Happen if You Got Serious About Raising the Bar? Success Focus Video: What Would Happen if You Got Serious About Raising the Bar?
What would your restaurant look like if you no longer accepted average and instead insisted on excellence? I'm sure you'd agree that, if your restaurant achieved excellence in the execution of even the most basic and routine tasks it would dramatically improve your guest experience and likely transform your financial results. 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 >>

DOWNLOAD: Customer Count Tracking Template DOWNLOAD: Customer Count Tracking Template
The Customer Count Tracking template is a great tool for forecasting sales, estimating labor needs, and setting prep levels. This easy to use Microsoft Excel form is ready for use. more >>

Understanding the Implications of 'Service Charge' versus 'Tip' Understanding the Implications of 'Service Charge' versus 'Tip'
by Doug Duerr, Esq.
Why the IRS and Labor Department care if a tip is really a service charge(and why you should, too). Although the new rules were announced in June 2012, implementation was delayed until this year because of the resulting confusion and potentially negative effects. Starting in 2014, the IRS began enforcing the new rules on what is a "service charge" and what is a "tip." Here's some important details that will hopefully eliminate any confusion. more >>

How to Turn Your Good Restaurant into a Great Business How to Turn Your Good Restaurant into a Great Business
by Jim Laube
Many people who open an independent restaurant don't fully understand the role they should playing as the owner. They're convinced that rolling up their sleeves and "running the restaurant" will lead to restaurant success, when in reality, this mindset is often the fatal flaw behind many underperforming or failed independent operations. Find out what independent restaurant owners SHOULD be doing instead. more >>

DOWNLOAD: Daily Sales Report Templates DOWNLOAD: Daily Sales Report Templates
Spreadsheet templates to record daily sales transactions. Includes fields to record sales, deposits, discounts & comps and paid-out detail. more >>

How to Assess Whether Delivery Service Is Right for Your Restaurant How to Assess Whether Delivery Service Is Right for Your Restaurant
Do you want to deliver? For restaurants with a strong carryout program, the question is almost inescapable. Are you there yet? Delivery is not for all, nor is it a one-size-fits-all, to be sure, but with some thorough research, price calculations and other considerations, there is a way to determine its potential profitability, not just possibility. more >>

Success Focus Video: Why Chains Are More Profitable Than Independents Success Focus Video: Why Chains Are More Profitable Than Independents
While there are many differences between chain and independent restaurants, one of the most profound is how much money they make. This is primarily due to one key factor: systems. more >>

Success Focus Video: Your Most Important Customer Success Focus Video: Your Most Important Customer
Ask a restaurant owner who their most important customer is and they will probably respond by naming a big-spending regular, or a local business that calls in large catering orders. However, your most important customer probably hasn't even seen your restaurant yet. Your most important customer is the person who will eventually buy your business. more >>

Success Focus Video: How Our Members are Cutting Their Costs and Improving Profits Success Focus Video: How Our Members are Cutting Their Costs and Improving Profits
Ask most operators how they plan to improve their profitability and they will likely refer to promotions, marketing, or social media. While activities like these which increase sales can certainly improve your profitability, usually the quickest and easiest way to improve your bottom line is to re-evaluate your expenses. more >>

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 >>

DOWNLOAD: Daily Sales & Receipts DOWNLOAD: Daily Sales & Receipts
Use this form to record your daily sales, receipts, deposits and other DSR numbers for easy entry into your accounting system. This form also simplifies the bank reconciliation process by breaking out credit card deposits by day and type and. more >>