Tag Archives: government

If banks were restaurants they’d all go out of business.

Dear banks,

We’ve noticed as you merge and grow your customer service goes down the drain.

You replace most of the experienced people we’ve gotten to know with barely trained robotic staff.

You make up rules that don’t exist and aren’t consistent branch to branch.

You use fraud protection as an excuse for bad service and no common sense.

You’d really prefer not to have lobbies or provide any services other than selling us stuff.

The only way for a business owner like myself to efficiently and pleasantly do business with a bank to pick one branch and only go to that one branch. Get to know the people so they can make “exceptions” that shouldn’t have to be exceptions. It’s like having to know the doorman at a nightclub!

When you merge, your original shareholders tend to get short-changed unless they are bank management.

If an independent restaurant grew into a chain the way banks do, they’d go out of business.

Then again, restaurants aren’t bailed out by taxpayers when they make bad decisions!

 

 

 

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Learn how to survive Obamacare from restaurants that started it early.

Learning from early adopters:  Illuminating article on the ACA from RestaurantBusinessOnline.com.

“Don Fox was busy designing a health-insurance plan for his workers when he got an unexpected reprieve from Uncle Sam: an extra year. Unlike many of his colleagues, he decided not to take the delay.

Before Obamacare’s rules kicked in, he wanted to shake down his insurance program, to find out how it would hit his operations and his bottom line.     …

For at least some early adopters, Obamacare may not be the apocalypse they had dreaded. “The numbers have generally gone down from what people feared would be the worst-case scenarios,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association. There are several reasons, say benefits consultants.

One is that many employees just don’t sign up. Thirteen percent are covered under spouses’ or parents’ plans, according to the University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Others decide it’s cheaper to pay a tax penalty for going uninsured than to pay their share of premiums. “You’ve satisfied the obligation to offer the coverage,” says Keith McMurdy, benefit-plan attorney with Fox Rothschild in New York City. “There’s no requirement to force people to be covered.”

Some insurers are softening the blows, too, by offering lower-cost options tailored to restaurants. “Insurance companies have been nimble,” says Gary Levy, hospitality-practice partner with accounting firm CohnReznick in New York City. “They’ve gone out and designed plans that meet the act’s requirements that are very affordable.”

Speaking of work hours, millions of restaurants will need to start tracking them in January, even if they’re not yet offering insurance. That’s because they’ll have to report those 2015 hours to the IRS, to document who’s eligible. Michelle Neblett, director of labor and workforce policy for the NRA, recommends making sure your payroll system is set up to gather the numbers. “You’ll have a hard time if you wait to rebuild this data at the end of next year,” she says. “This is a massive hidden compliance cost, which a lot of people are not paying attention to.”

Try to remove whatever uncertainties you can, experts say, because there will be plenty remaining that are out of operators’ control—such as 2016 insurance rates, most of which won’t be set until next fall. By then, NRA lobbyists hope Congress might raise the definition of full time to 40 hours. That would exempt another 21 percent of restaurant staff from employer mandates, according to UC Berkeley Labor Center figures.”

Read the entire article here.  And thanks to RestaurantBusinessOnline.com, a great site and resource for F&B information and guidance!

 

 

Food Biz :: Fairness for Food Trucks

I’ve read several rants against food truck regulations in Chicago, DC and other cities, which limit food trucks from selling near buildings containing restaurants.

pigfoodtruck3
Food trucks aim to pig out on restaurant customers.

Writers including this think tank dude and this political pundit apparently think using public streets rent-free to undercut restaurateurs who rehab buildings and pay property taxes is libertarian free enterprise.  Somehow I doubt cities or pundits would favor me pulling up in a U-Haul and selling TVs on the street outside a Best Buy, or dropping pallets of fertilizer on the sidewalk in front of Home Depot, intercepting people on their way to those retailers.  There’s no difference between that and parking your cupcake truck in front of a local bakery.  It would be closer to a level playing field if food trucks paid the equivalent tax burden of a “brick and mortar” business, provided consistent employment for a comparable number of local residents, provided restrooms, cafe seating and the other amenities that restaurants provide.  But instead we have numerous start-up sites that say stuff like this: “With lower overhead costs and greater mobility, a food truck can be an exciting opportunity…”

Why would a city want to bet on a fad, making it easier for food trucks to congest already crowded city streets, hurting restaurants that make long term community investments to turn empty storefronts into public attractions?  If the neighborhood starts to slide, food trucks can drive away to another city or location; they have no commitment to a neighborhood or community.

By squatting on taxpayer-maintained public streets, food trucks are the farthest thing from a free market case study.  They need to be prevented from piggy backing on the entrepreneurs that build healthy city dining districts.  The Chicago rules, DC proposals and other regulations are not government favoritism toward established restaurants, but simply a way to level the playing field.  If food trucks can survive by bringing food service to unique locations, they are creating value on their own, but not by poaching traffic in existing restaurant districts built by tax paying long term operators.

If food trucks can’t make it without being parasites, they should die off as a short term fad, without taking our vibrant business districts down with them.

ridicfoodtruck
Need more street congestion? Here ya go.