GDPR: What Restaurants Need to Know About the New Era of Data Privacy
Nov 06,2018
For U.S.-based restaurants, the European Union’s recent enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means navigating unexpected compliance hurdles. As the most significant change to EU data privacy policy in more than two decades and the most comprehensive data privacy law that American businesses have ever faced, restaurants are obliged to safeguard the personal data of individuals in the EU—regardless of where they’re headquartered. Say a U.S. based quick-serve restaurant opens a new location in France. That restaurant is now held to the policies set forth in the GDPR, despite it being headquartered in the United States. In fact, many restaurants operating in both the U.S. and the EU are working towards universal privacy compliance, given impending new domestic privacy regulations and on-going requirements of the GDPR. But what about restaurants operating outside of the 28 EU member states? It may be assumed that U.S. restaurants without stores in the EU,...
The Counter: Restaurant Industry Scorecard
Jul 09,2018
Financial Year 2017 Same-Store Sales Restaurant same-store sales were flat in 2017, posting no change over 2016.  The year was marked by continued change in consumer preferences, but positive economic indicators and improved consumer confidence failed to convert to more comparable sales for restaurateurs. While restaurant owners invested heavily in technology, delivery partnerships, new concepts, menu upgrades, and experience, it did not encourage the majority of consumers to significantly increase their check size or frequency of dining out. Pizza outperformed all other restaurant sectors analyzed, pulling in a 2.9 percent increase through Q4. However, growth was slower than the 4.6 percent increase in 2016 overall. Domino’s remains the top performer at +8.7 percent for 2017. With its newly minted NFL partnership, Domino’s is poised to further increase marketing and advertising in 2018 and continue to capitalize on its sector-leading technology investments. Quick serve posted a modest 0.8 percent increase through Q4...
How Tax Reform Will Affect Restaurants
Jan 15,2018
On December 22, 2017, the conference version of the tax reform bill was signed into law, marking the largest change to U.S. tax policy in decades.With most of the provisions set to go into effect in 2018, it’s important that the restaurant industry review the changes that occurred during the conference process to understand the impact to their companies.What Changes Are Coming For Restaurants? To help organizations navigate the key provisions affecting restaurants, we’ve summarized top considerations and implications below.Tackling Tax Reform: Initial Steps Restaurateurs Can Take Now Tax professionals are busy assessing changes caused by this bill, and are waiting for additional guidance on many key provisions to ensure the overall impact is fully understood. In the interim, here are two tips for restaurants to consider to begin tackling tax reform: Establish priorities. When considering what to undertake in the coming months, focus on the areas that could have the greatest impact on...
Restaurants: Tips for Integrating Third-Party Delivery
Aug 30,2017
It wasn’t that long ago that the only meal someone could get delivered came from the local Chinese restaurant or in a pizza box.But now, with all the delivery services at our fingertips, there is no food item that can’t be delivered to your home. This is a convenience that consumers cherish and have come to expect. For the restaurant owner, on the other hand, this reality presents a whole host of challenges.Food Quality ControlWhen customers dine at restaurants, they are expecting a certain quality of food—and they anticipate the same level of quality when it comes to delivery. Unfortunately, this is not guaranteed. Food does not always travel well and its taste may not be preserved long after it’s prepared. To help minimize quality discrepancies between in-store and at-home dining, consider the following:Ensure delivery packaging allows the food to breatheMinimize menu items available to be ordered to-goSet restrictions on...
The Appetite for Fast
Jun 14,2017
The future of the restaurant industry will be driven by consumers’ appetite for delivery, experience and speed. Delivery Food delivery allows restaurants to tap into new markets that were not available prior to the expansion of technology. Third-party delivery services such as Grubhub, UberEATS, Postmates and Zifty are revolutionizing the restaurant industry. So, how are restaurants affected by online platforms, third party delivery services and hungry city-dwellers? For urban consumers, the idea of ordering and having lunch or dinner delivered within 30 to 40 minutes is appealing. The National Restaurant Association states 30% of consumers say technology makes them opt to dine out or order takeout or delivery more often. The instant gratification of ordering food from mobile devices has eliminated the stress of going to the grocery store and preparing meals. A February article in FoodnBeverage emphasized that providing a positive in-house experience for guests increases the likelihood of...
The Counter: Restaurant Industry Scorecard
Apr 25,2017
Restaurants sales continued to lag in 2016 as uncertainty around the U.S. economic and regulatory environments persisted. Overall, restaurant same-store sales were flat last year. This broader stagnation comes as restaurants report lower traffic counts, in part as a result of market saturation, increased menu prices and declining grocery costs. Restaurants also face challenges associated with evolving consumer preferences and market composition, as smaller chains, independents and chef‑driven concepts expand rapidly.Despite slowed foot traffic, restaurant spending exceeded grocery spending for the first time in 2016, according to Fitch Ratings. As economic indicators post-election have spurred confidence among consumers, operators are vying for a greater slice of consumers’ wallets. The pizza segment experienced the most significant growth in 2016, with a 4.6 percent same-store sales increase. For the ninth consecutive quarter, Domino’s dominated the pizza pack, reporting a 10.4 percent boost last year. The company’s Tweet-to-Order rollout in 2015 and other...
Nine Questions Brewery Owners Should Ask Their CPAs
Jan 28,2017
Do you own a brewery and have a question that you think may be outside of your CPA’s scope of knowledge? Do yourself a favor and just ask! From research and development (R&D) to trademarking advice, your CPA can provide insights into some tricky financial scenarios and help your business improve cash flow while finding savings.1. Why does inventory matter when I compute my beer ingredient costs, or Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)? What comprises COGS? There are a variety of reasons inventory matters when computing beer costs, particularly for your financial reporting. If your inventory is incorrect, it can affect the accuracy of your costs. For example, if you count inventory once per month, your monthly purchases or products used may not be factored in, misrepresenting actual inventory levels and, therefore, cost of sales. At the end of the month, brewers must make an adjustment to the actual physical inventory,...
Proposed Regulations May Limit Discounts on Family Transfers – Guidance on IRS Section 2704
Jan 28,2017
Time may be running out for restaurant owners to take discounts on transfers to family members. On Aug. 2, 2016, the Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations under IRC Section 2704 in response to perceived abuses in the use of valuation discounts. Currently, owners transferring non-controlling interests in privately held companies are able to consider discounts for lack of control and discounts for lack of marketability. Discounts for lack of control relate to the inability of non-controlling interest holders to impact the strategic direction of the entity. Discounts for lack of marketability account for the lack of a ready market to sell privately held interests. The provisions of the IRS 2704 proposed regulations that may have the most impact on restaurant owners seeking to transfer wealth to family members include: Transfers Within Three Years of Death Under Section 2704(a) of the proposed regulations, if a transfer resulting in a...
Hospitality: Accounting Treatment for Promotional Cards
Sep 19,2016
Amid continuously increasing competition and growth within the restaurant industry, restaurant operators often find themselves actively searching for ways to boost average unit volume and same store sales. Offering gift cards has proven an effective strategy for attracting new customers and driving sales, as they’ve become an increasingly popular purchase for consumers. According to the NRF’s 2016 Mother’s Day Spending Survey, 43.2 percent of Americans said they planned to give a gift card for the holiday, averaging $2.2 billion.  Not only are gift cards convenient for both their purchasers and redeemers, but they essentially provide restaurants with free advertising via word-of-mouth and customer referrals. Given the success of standard gift card programs within the restaurant industry, the use of pre-paid cards has crossed over into the realm of promotional marketing. Instead of sending gift certificates, many restaurant operators are experiencing positive results by mailing or giving out promotional cards. A 2010...
State of the Restaurant Industry: U.S. and Georgia Trends and Forecast
Jul 21,2016
The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast predicts that restaurant industry sales will reach $783 billion this year. Although this number represents the seventh consecutive year of real growth in restaurant sales, the rate of growth remains only moderate for the nation’s second-largest private sector employer. National OutlookAccording to the June 2016 BDO Benchmarking Update, the restaurant industry struggled to maintain flat to positive same-store sales during the first quarter of 2016. What’s more, many attribute any increase to higher menu prices rather than traffic growth. Looking ahead, the industry could be significantly affected by Department of Labor’s new overtime rule that goes into effect December 1, 2016.Related article: Overtime Final Rule Could Have Far-Reaching ConsequencesAccording to the new rule, salaried employees earning less than $47,476 will automatically qualify for overtime, a significant increase from the previous threshold of $23,360. The new rule could force restaurants to pay millions...

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