In business for four years, a talented chef owned a unique, small restaurant with an eclectic menu, but rarely were his tables full. While the chef had long dreamed of owning a successful restaurant, he simply wasn’t making enough to support his lifestyle – until he partnered with an experienced small business tax firm that also provides small business consulting.
The owner could’ve made more working for someone else’s restaurant, but it wouldn’t make him happy. In difficult times during his first four years, he wondered if he should simply sell his restaurant. However, he had misconceptions on how much his business was really worth.
Making only $15,000 to $20,000 for himself each year, he was tired of struggling and wanted to learn how he could become more profitable. Unfortunately, his accountant was rarely around to answer these high-level questions.
In time, the owner met with Ronya Simmons, who, with her husband, owns a small business tax and advising firm. They have clients in the foodservice industry, and with her help, he started to turn his restaurant around.
The Depth Of His Small Business’s Problems
The client’s restaurant faced a number of challenges and had several issues, many of which are common for newer small businesses. On top of that, tourism had a significant impact on his restaurant in Panama City Beach, Florida.
Like many small business owners, the owner opened his restaurant because he has a talent for food. He wasn’t necessarily ready for the intricacies of running a business. Part of the small business problems he faced stemmed from his misconceptions about tax and a lack of understanding about the tax implications his decisions had.
How His Small Business Improved With Advice And Consulting Support
Ronya not only focuses on tax matters with her clients, but also with offering advice about improving her clients’ cash flow. After she became familiar with this client’s small business and the issues he faced, she devised a detailed plan to streamline operations and work on profitability.
Payroll advice and optimal staffing levels was a critical first step. The client didn’t need the number of people he employed, and it was cutting into his profits. Ronya also advised him to give waiters sections to ensure quality service and increase the efficiency of his staff.
The restaurant’s operational efficiency also depended on the equipment he used to serve food both quickly and hot and fresh. Ronya helped him update his kitchen to streamline these functions.
The restaurant owner also needed to better manage his portion control to standardize costs and ensure customers received consistency. Having used the same vendor for the past four years, he wasn’t getting the best value on his food and supply purchases.
Ronya encouraged him to make price and quality comparisons with different vendors. She also advised him to purchase a bigger walk-in freezer, allowing him to purchase in bulk and take advantage of the costs savings that bigger orders presented.
Perhaps as important as any advice she gave, Ronya recommended that he talk to a local newspaper about writing an article on his restaurant, and encourage his patrons to write online reviews, especially on TripAdvisor.
The Big Results For This Small Business
In time, more prominent food critics and travel writers wanted to talk to this restaurant owner and visit his restaurant, including Southern Living. Now, the restaurant has a line from open to close during the summer.
Not only is the business more stable, but also in the four years he’s worked with his tax advisor (who he calls his business consultant), his small business’s income has quadrupled. This past year, he took well over $100,000 home for himself, a stark contrast to the less than $20,000 he made during his first years in business.
The client is now consulting with Ronya about obtaining a loan to open a new, more upscale location with a liquor license. Many of their planning conversations focus on the optimal pricing to maximize his profitability.
With the help of an experienced, knowledgeable small business tax and business advisor/consultant, this restaurant owner not only radically improved his finances, but also continues to pursue and live his dream as the owner of a lively, successful restaurant.