4Thought Blog

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The Case for Diverse Revenue Streams for Restaurants

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jun 9, 2022

A patron speaks with the restaurant host, either to confirm a reservation or ask if there’s a table available. Ideally, the host calls upon a server who then leads the patron to a table and takes their order.

It’s a system that worked since the dawn of the U.S. restaurant industry — accounting for 90% of most restaurants’ revenue pre-pandemic — until it didn’t. The single revenue stream model was derailed by COVID-19 related closures, capacity restrictions and transmission concerns.

Restaurants were forced to get creative and many attribute their survival to diversifying their revenue streams. They launched ghost kitchens, scheduled deliveries and assembled meal kits. Though sit-down dining is once again a possibility, many restaurants continue to engage customers, compensate for staff shortages and increase agility by maintaining multiple revenue streams.

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Topics: Restaurants

From Automat to Automatic: How New Tech is Bringing Efficiencies to Restaurants

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 5, 2022

From the drive through speaker to the QR code menu, restaurant patrons are familiar with the evolution of technology that streamlines front of house operations.

Recent years have seen increased focus on innovation at the back of house. Though they might not be visible to the average customer, changes underway will have a profound impact on customer experience.

As the restaurant industry recovers from labor shortages, supply chain disruption and other COVID-19 related setbacks of the last few years, adoption of back of house technology can help establishments manage inventory, mitigate staffing shortages and elevate customer experience for a competitive edge.

Restaurants looking to take advantage of today’s wealth of back of house tools can take a strategic approach to innovation that takes return on investment (ROI) and staffing implications into account.

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Topics: Restaurants

Restaurant Association Urges IRS to Release ERC Funds

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Mar 8, 2022

The National Restaurant Association is urging the IRS to release crucial Employee Retention Credits to the pandemic-stricken industry.

Many restaurants that applied for ERC have not received the federal funds. A recent poll found 83 percent of operators who applied for the tax credit over six months ago still have not received any funds.

“The ERC has been a critical recovery tool for hundreds of thousands of restaurants, but far too many are still waiting for their refund from the federal government,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

Restaurant Technology Series Part 1: The Restaurant of the Future

Posted by Restaurant Practice Leaders on Thu, Oct 21, 2021

More than a year ago, no one could have predicted the unprecedented challenges faced by so many restaurants around the world due to a major global pandemic. Customer demand for convenience and flawless digital experiences are on the rise and further fueled by the pandemic. How can restaurants improve the new generation customer experiences using these new demands and digital ecosystems?

As a restaurant owner or operator, you need to look for fresh perspectives as you plan your way forward to remaining successful in the business. Some of the things you can look into include changes in business models that came about as a result of the pandemic, customer behaviors and dining habits.

As long as concerns about being exposed to COVID-19 remain, people are likely to continue opting for the payment and ordering trends we’ve seen since the onset of the pandemic such as delivery and pickup.

Read on for some insights into what the restaurant of the future might look like.

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Topics: Restaurants

PPP Now Excluded from Gross Receipts Rule for Employee Retention Credit Eligibility

Posted by Lisa Haffer on Thu, Aug 19, 2021

For restaurants, one of the most beneficial COVID-19 tax relief measures made available by the U.S. government is the employee retention credit (ERC). For readers not familiar with the ERC, a general overview can be found in our January blog post.

The ERC is a fully refundable payroll tax credit equal to a percentage of wages paid by employers that meet certain ERC eligibility requirements. On August 4, 2021, the IRS confirmed its position that tips that are treated as wages for payroll tax reporting can be treated as wages eligible for the ERC in both 2020 and 2021 (provided all other requirements are met).  This is a significant win for the restaurant industry.

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Topics: Restaurants, COVID-19

Restaurant Staffing in the Wake of COVID-19: How Much Has Changed?

Posted by Restaurant Practice Leaders on Thu, Jun 10, 2021

This blog was written by our guest author, Dan Murdoch, Vice President of Marketing, Harri

Before COVID-19, restaurants had a significant labor challenge, typically referred to as the “talent crisis” or “war for talent.” Unemployment rates were at a five-year low and minimum wage rates were rising across the country.

To better define the challenge, there were simply too many restaurants, massive job growth, a smaller talent pool given the same level of eligible employees, particularly among teenagers, as in 2007, triple-digit turnover rates, cyclical seasonal hiring, and a struggle to find talent that was capable of representing a brand’s ethos.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Receives $65 Billion in Applications, More Money Sought

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 20, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration has received more than twice the amount of Restaurant Revitalization Fund requests than they have money for, though the National Restaurant Association is advocating for more funding.

As of May 12, there were 266,000 RRF applications seeking a total of $65 billion, more than double than the $28.6 billion fund total.

Applications were accepted starting May 3 and for the first 21 days, the SBA is prioritizing funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Applications from that group alone totaled $29 billion.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

Restaurant Revitalization Fund to Start Disbursing $28.6 Billion in Stimulus Aid

Posted by Concannon Miller on Fri, Apr 30, 2021

Applications for $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be accepted starting at noon Monday, May 3, the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced.

The grants are for restaurants with 20 or fewer locations to help cover their pandemic-related revenue losses in 2020.

Restaurants can start registering for accounts now. In preparation, the SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience, specifically by:

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants, COVID-19

5 Ways Restaurants Can Reduce Employee Turnover in 2021

Posted by Restaurant Practice Leaders on Thu, Apr 15, 2021

This blog was written by our guest author, Brian Hassan, Co-CEO, Kickfin

For years, restaurant employers have struggled with high employee turnover rates. If they are able to find and attract qualified, dependable employees—a feat in and of itself—ensuring retention often poses the next challenge.

And it’s an expensive one. Recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and training candidates are non-revenue generating activities, and they take a lot of time. This doesn’t take into account the “softer” implications of dealing with employees coming through a revolving door, like the impact it has on relationships and company culture.

While the hospitality workforce, by nature, will always be more transient, restaurant operators do have the power to minimize turnover on their teams. Here are five ways employers can ensure that their most reliable, hardworking and talented employees stick around for the long haul.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

New Restaurant Aid: How to Qualify for New Stimulus Funding

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Mar 18, 2021

The new federal stimulus bill (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) includes a special fund – the new $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund – to benefit the hard-hit restaurant industry by providing grant monies in addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loans and other pandemic relief measures.

While we await additional guidance from the SBA, here are the details that are currently available (subject to change).

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Topics: McDonald's management, Restaurants

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