4Thought Blog

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Employee Shift Meals Remain 100% Deductible for Tax Purposes

Posted by Lisa Haffer on Wed, Jul 3, 2019

Great news! Important tax guidance was released in late December 2018 that is considered to be a significant victory for the restaurant industry: Employee Shift Meals Remain 100-percent deductible for tax purposes.

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Topics: McDonald's management, 2017 Federal Tax Reform, Restaurants

An Opportunity Zones Guide for Restaurants

Posted by Lisa Haffer and Marla Miller on Tue, Jul 2, 2019

To encourage economic growth and investment in distressed communities, the 2017 tax reform act commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contains tax incentives that are tied to investments in businesses or property located within opportunity zones. Tax incentives include both the deferral of, and exclusion from, income tax.

The Department of Treasury has certified nearly 9,000 of these districts across all U.S. states and its territories, including the entire island of Puerto Rico. Opportunity zones, also commonly referred to as O-Zones, are generally areas with low income and high poverty levels.

An O-Zone designation has the potential to trigger an influx of investment activity and is intended to help revitalize areas that were left behind after the depression. Restaurants built in O-Zones can help vitalize underserved communities and attract local talent, all while offering their owners a highly valued tax incentive.

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Topics: McDonald's management, 2017 Federal Tax Reform, Restaurants

Hiring Minors to Work at Your McDonald's? Know the Rules

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 4, 2019

Hiring young people can be beneficial for all parties. But before McDonald's franchisees make any job offers, you should be fully aware of how youth employment is regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act. When employers fail to comply with these obligations, they can be prosecuted by the Department of Labor. And if the prosecution is successful, the DOL will likely publicize the results as a sobering reminder to all employers of the FLSA requirements.

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Topics: McDonald's management

Monitoring Contribution Margins: The Benefits for McDonald’s Franchisees

Posted by Ryan Moore on Wed, May 8, 2019

A sixteenth century English romance writer named George Pettie once quipped, “So long as I know it not, it hurteth mee not.” In other words, what you don’t know can’t hurt you.

While the merits of this sentiment may be debatable, one version of the opposite certainly is not: What you do know can help you. Especially when it comes to your McDonald’s business: Financially speaking, what you know or can learn from past performance – both recent and over time – will help you make better decisions in the future.

Regular analysis of certain metrics is how you can make your business more profitable, avoid making poor decisions (again), and separate yourself from the ever more crowded marketplace. One such financial metric that is often overlooked yet unquestionably important for you to analyze and understand is contribution margin.

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Topics: McDonald's management

Minimizing Tax Liability without QIP Guidance

Posted by Lisa Haffer and David DesRoches on Thu, Apr 4, 2019

Restaurant owners who invested in interior improvements in 2018 may be surprised when they receive their 2018 tax returns and see higher than expected tax liabilities. This is a result of an inadvertent drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) relating to the depreciation of restaurant improvements.

Before the TCJA, the tax law provided rules for multiple categories of restaurant property assets, many of which were eligible for favorable tax depreciation benefits. To simplify the rules, tax reform consolidated the categories applicable to interior improvements into the single category of Qualified Improvement Property (QIP).

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Topics: McDonald's management, 2017 Federal Tax Reform, Restaurants

Attention Business Owners: New Draft Overtime Rules to Know

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Mar 21, 2019

Today (and since 2004) salaried employees who earn at least $455 per week aren't eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, if their job duties are executive, administrative or professional (EAP) in nature. That's true no matter how many hours these employees work in a week. 

Under proposed regulations, the limit would rise to $679 in 2020. So, salaried employees earning up to around $35,308 annually would be overtime-eligible even if they fall into those EAP job roles as defined by the Department of Labor (DOL). 

Although the jump in the threshold is substantial, it's not nearly as high as the $913 weekly pay threshold set in an earlier version of the proposed regulations. If that version — which was blocked by a federal judge — had passed, it would've been much more costly to employers.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Business consulting

Should a McDonald’s Franchisee be a C Corp? Pros & Cons

Posted by Ryan Moore on Thu, Feb 7, 2019

Now that tax reform through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is no longer breaking news, it’s time we take a closer look at a question that arose for McDonald’s franchisees as a result of the change in the tax law.

One of the headline reforms of the new legislation was the slashing of the corporate tax rate from the graduated maximum of 35% to a flat 21%. This begged the question, “Is it now more beneficial for a McDonald’s Owner/Operator to be a C Corporation than a pass-through S Corporation?”

Without examining the merits of the latter choice of entity type, let us instead lay out some (but not all) of the pros and cons of operating your McDonald’s business as a C Corporation.

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Topics: McDonald's management, 2017 Federal Tax Reform

Buying a New Restaurant? Borrow Techniques from a Turnaround CFO

Posted by Ryan Moore on Thu, Nov 15, 2018

Growing your business is the primary focus of every entrepreneur. Whether growth occurs by way of increasing sales and cash flows at existing business divisions or via acquisition and expansion, the challenges faced are often strikingly similar.

That being said, let’s examine for a moment the prospects and hurdles one will often face when buying a new restaurant, through the lens of a turnaround CFO.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Business consulting, Restaurants

Business Succession Planning: How to Start Your Exit Plan

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Nov 8, 2018

The business world is in for a major generational shift – a recent survey found 79% of business owners plan to exit their businesses within the next 10 years.

The survey, conducted by the Business Enterprise Institute and the Conway Center for Family Business, found more surprising statistics. Only 30% of family-owned businesses succeed in transitioning their business to the second generation, and only 10% succeed in making it to the third generation!

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Topics: McDonald's management, Succession planning

The Exit Path: Transfer Ownership of Business to Active Family Members

Posted by Angel Chiariello on Thu, Oct 11, 2018

In many ways, selling to a third party is far easier than selling to a family member – it is usually less emotional, and the focus is entirely on transferring the business.

To sell to a family member, it requires a plan for working with your family, transferring your knowledge and transferring the business. Of course, from our experience, the extra effort is worth it when you are rewarded with seeing your business continue on as a legacy for generations to come.

To accomplish your exit plan, you will need to plan early and communicate openly and often. Both parents and Next Gens must set expectations, and put the plan in writing. If you have an exit planning team, they can help keep you focused on achieving your goals and keep you on track in the process.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Succession planning

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