Faced with underperforming bagel restaurants, national chain Einstein Bros.Bagels is closing 39 of its estimated 600 stores located in 40 states. JAB Holding Co. bought ENRGI in September and is following a pattern of shutting down poorly performing stores as it did with another acquisition of Peet’s and Caribou Coffee restaurants.
Raising Concern Over Humane Treatment Of Animals
More restaurants and chefs are raising concern over the humane treatment of animals that may end up on the plates of customers in their establishments, FSR Magazine reports. The issue is gaining enough momentum that is also fueling the local farm-to-table markets across the country. “This is everybody’s issue,” Jason Gronlund, vice president of culinary for Smokey Bones, a 65-unit casual-dining chain based in Orlando, told FSR. “Just because we have to feed the population doesn’t mean we can take shortcuts in the care of animals.”
The Tax Man Cometh…
Before April 15 arrives, you may want to talk to your tax advisor about any incentives you can peruse to lower your tax burden, The National Restaurant Association is advising. Here are a few tips to get you started:
* Depreciation deductions allow you to deduct half of the value of some new equipment up front, while the remainder can be taken over several years. If you purchased new dining-room furniture this past year, for example, you can write off half its cost and the remainder over a five-year period.
* If your business financed less than $2 million in new equipment in 2014, you qualify for up to $500,000 in deductions. Known as Section 179 Expensing, it applies to most business equipment, including business vehicles, computers, etc.
* Parking lot needs repair? Your restaurant needs a new roof? Or the interior needs refreshing? Now you can depreciate some of those cost under Section 162 of the tax code.
* Enhanced charitable deductions for food, including the cost of storing and shipping donated food.
* 15-Year Depreciation Schedule allows you to depreciate costs you encounter for remodeling, for example, over a shorter period than the 39-year schedule.
* Review your accounting methods. By doing so you may discover opportunities to accelerate deductions, defer revenue recognition, and identify risk areas.
Asian Eateries Dominated By Private Owners
Although there are more than 64,000 Asian restaurants in the U.S., making that food sector the third most popular in the country, the sector is dominated by mom and pop owners, Restaurant Smartbrief reports. The Asian restaurant sector includes Indian, Chinese, and Korean establishments that average roughly $25 billion a year in sales. Despite their success, only 6% of Asian restaurants are run as chains… at least for the moment.
Survival Tips From The Pros
One of the benefits of working for The Poughkeepsie Journal is the fact that it is the hometown paper for The Culinary Institute of America. That said, Bill Guilfoyle, associate professor of business management
at CIA, has some pointers for restauranteurs, new and old. Consider the following things restaurants must do to survive:
• Find a great location
• Establish a niche and theme
• Create a detailed business plan
• Connect with customers on social media
• Save money for the first year
Things restaurants should avoid at all costs:
• Rely entirely on food for profit
• Neglect employees
• Raise menu prices to make ends meet
It’s Lobster Season Everybody
It may not feel like it around most of the country, but spring is almost here… and so is the peak season for lobsters, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. Most of you will offer lobster in its traditional forms, but some chefs around the country are experimenting. How about lobster, egg, and caviar, for example? Or perhaps Maine Lobster Bolognese, which has diced lobster atop a haystack of house-made linguini and coral butter? Even a Lobster Bloody Mary came out of Firefly in Studio City, CA, headed by executive chef Paul Shoemaker. Executive chef Michael Hung of Faith & Flower in Los Angeles marring lobster with clams casino. Similarly, chef and partner Dave Pasternack and chef de cuisine and partner Christian Goerner of Barchetta in New York City recently added to their menu a Spiny Lobster Crudo, made with raw lobster dressed with olive oil, sliced green almonds, and lemon. Whatever the recipe, be bold, and be creative. Your customers will thank you.
Edible Coffee Cups
KFC is introducing edible coffee cups, USA Today reports. Called the Scoff-ee Cup, “the cup is made
of a wafer-thin cookie wrapped in sugar paper and lined with white chocolate that won't melt into hot beverages,” the paper says. The edible coffee cups are currently being tested in Great Britain. Who knows … Next up may be a pretzel-flavored, edible beer mug!
According to new research by the NPD Group, desserts in the U.S. are on life support. Once a staple of American dining at home and in restaurants, dessert, it seems, is headed off into history. Why? The new findings show that only 12% of Americans bother with dessert. That is down 50% from 30 years ago, NPD Group says. By age group, the future of desserts seems even bleaker with 90% of people under 34 passing up on that proverbial slice of American pie.
Family Restaurants Gain In Popularity
From IHOP to Denny’s, family dining joints are enjoying a renaissance, The Washington Post reports. Sales were up 3% in 2014 primarily because the family fare is inexpensive and popular, so everyone can get want they want without breaking the bank. Cracker Barrel, which has 80% of its restaurants, located right off the interstates, reports sales were up 8% the past three months. It credits cheaper gas for allowing more family travel. The Black Bear Diner chain, which also caters to working class Americans, says business is up thanks to cheaper gas, which is like giving working people a raise.