Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just You and Me | A Valentine Cooking Class at The Maya Kitchen

The couple that cooks together, stays together. Find love in the kitchen as The Maya Kitchen features a couples’ cooking class on February 1 and 8, Saturday, 1-5pm. Only limited slots are available.

Guest Chef Martin Algarra of Chateau 1771 will conduct a cooking workshop with hands-on, featuring a delicious 4-course upscale dinner that includes Hand-Made Parmigiano Reggiano Ravioli with Napolitaine Sauce and Grilled Vegetables, Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Balsamic Reduction, Provencal Tomato, Chorizo and Lentils, Squash Puree, Seared U.S. Beef Tenderloin with French Beans and Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Strawberries Mille Feuille.

For more information on other course offerings, log on to www.themayakitchen.com  or e-mail contactus@themayakitchen.com  or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F  Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108 / Mobile No. +63947 835 2290.

Press Release: This means that this material is fully and directly from the company issuing the press release. This also means that this website is not the author of the statement being read. The Cuisineuer is simply providing the information for readers who may be interested.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

4 Cooking-Based Nonprofits Who Are Solving Problems One Dish At A Time

Food is a non-optional part of being alive, and consequently, it’s the source of a lot social problems in America. Many of us who have easy access to food and were taught at a young age how to whip up healthy meals can’t appreciate how much basic nutrition can be a stumbling block to prosperity. People frequently can’t get enough of it, don’t know how to cook it, or don’t know how to handle it properly. Food troubles can cause serious health problems and even worsen the condition of people stuck in the spiral of poverty. Fortunately, there are many clever nonprofits who are working to change America’s relationship with food for the better.

Here are four nonprofits that are using pots, pans, ovens, and olive oil to make the country healthier and more prosperous place to live.

1) Together We Bake Gives Troubled Women Job Skills

Reintegrating into society can be challenging for people who have been released from prison or jail. Not only do many not have quality job skills they can use to support themselves, but many companies simply refuse to hire prior offenders. Together We Bake, along with corporate sponsor www.InstantCheckmate.com,  helps give previously incarcerated women a second chance by teaching them baking techniques, job skills, and self-esteem. By whipping up cookies, granola, and other goodies, the women in this Virginia nonprofit can set themselves up for a productive career.

2) Cooking Matters Spreads Shopping And Cooking Knowledge

Since some of the cheapest food sources are also the least healthy in America, poverty, obesity, and poor health frequently go hand in hand. The only thing stopping some families from making better meals at home is knowing the best ways to prepare food at home and how to gather ingredients at the grocery store. Fortunately, Cooking Matters Colorado is working to nip that problem at its source by providing food education courses that teach easy ways to shop on a budget and make healthy meals quickly and easily. Their completely free, six-week course gives students a foundation on food that will serve them for the rest of their lives. 

3) The Cooking Project Teaches With Food

Cooking is much more than just a way to have tasty meals, it’s an education. You can learn about chemistry through the cooking process, discover new cultures by trying foreign cuisines, and learn self-sufficiency by having a big repertoire of dishes. That’s why The Cooking Project aims to bring the educational power of food to kids and young adults all across the country. People aged 15-25 can take free classes in San Francisco to sharpen up their culinary skills and learn about everything that goes into good food.

4) Mama’s Kitchen Delivers Gives Meals To People Who Need It The Most

Being diagnosed with a serious illness can turn your world upside down. Frequently those who are forced to fight through a troubling diagnosis toss even basic necessities— like eating— to the wayside. To make sure people in the San Diego area who are living with HIV/AIDS or Cancer get the nutrition they need to stay as strong and healthy as possible, Mama’s Kitchen delivers free, home-cooked meals and pantry staples. The foundation was started in 1990, and delivers hundreds of thousands of meals to those suffering from life-threatening diseases and their dependant children every year.

About the author:  Fulton Snedly is a blogger living in San Diego, California.  He writes about charity, cooking, and social media.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Benefits and Uses of Your Restaurant POS System

With restaurant accounting, the only pain would be the initial outlay in setting yourself up with a great restaurant bookkeeping and accounting service – the gain would be an efficient, recommended and tailor made Point of Sale System, backed up by the expertise of a team who specialize in your field, guiding you through the analysis of your sales and expenditure on a timescale to suit your needs – daily, weekly, monthly, entirely up to you.

What you gain from a POS system is a multitude of accounting records from which you will easily be able to ascertain the trends of your business. A good POS system provides many excellent sales aids, at the same time as providing you with data to keep your business on track. It is entirely up to you to decide how small or how large your POS system is, but the following are the recommended aids for your business. Components of the system can be purchased separately, in order to avoid a large expenditure at the beginning.

Some tracking items available to you are:
  • Touch Screen Monitors
  • Bar Code Scanners
  • Hand Held Printers
  • Cash Drawers
The benefits of such hardware are manifold. With a system geared to your establishment(s) you will be able to access the following services and information:
  • Orders sent to different station areas – thus cutting down time for servers and other restaurant personnel. One order can be sent to as many stations as you have tools for. The server is able to maintain the full order, whilst the individual stations have theirs.
  • No handwritten orders, thereby cutting out mistakes, which can be costly
  • Processing credit cards, by using a magnetic reader – reports can also be ran relating to all credit cards transactions, as opposed to cash
  • Simple and efficient record keeping, with assistance from your restaurant accounting service to analyse, in real time, all profits, losses, inventory and ratings of your sales in order of popularity, plus many other features. Such information can be paper generated or kept as a digital file.
  • Reducing theft and other losses – a common occurrence in restaurants. By using a POS system, owners are able to track what was ordered, who took the order, if and how it was paid for – a very valuable tool.
These are just some of the important tools and services available to you – discussion with your restaurant accounting or restaurant bookkeeping service will be more than valuable in ascertaining what your needs and criteria in your particular restaurant or group of restaurants will be in order to button down your accounting processes. Like any other computer or web based systems, there are advantages and disadvantages, but that’s life!  But one thing is for certain – with the right accounting team and a custom made POS system behind you, the benefits will certainly outweigh any pitfalls. Taking ‘the sweat’ out of paper-pushing, will enable you to free up your time to concentrate on promoting and building your business without the worry of wondering whether you money is going in the bank, or up in smoke.

About the author
CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence, Menu Writing and CFO Restaurant Consulting Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com

When Craving for that Norwegian Salmon Kicked-in...

When you are up to fulfill the usual routine that you do every day and suddenly a powerful desire to consume a specific food kicked-in and distract your attention, do you control and extinguish your cravings or you just simply give in?

For me, it depends on the food that I am yearning for. When I crave for my sinful fatty desires and heavenly sweet treats, I try really hard to destroy the temptation and avoid the triggers by taking a power nap to let it go. Brushing my teeth or eating few nuts works but not all the time. Speaking of cravings, according to Marcia Pelchat, PhD, of the Monell Center “You crave what you eat, so if you switch what you’re eating, you can weaken your old cravings and strengthen new ones." 

Stress is a huge trigger for cravings and cravings sneak up when we’re tired. This explains why I craved for that Norwegian Salmon sautéed lightly in generous amount of non-fat butter in the middle of the workload that I'm trying to accomplish today. No, I won’t even try to avoid it nor distract the temptation. Seafood longing is healthy and guilt-free, I have to give in to this beautiful tasteful craving and act immediately because cravings, according to study, typically last for only 10 minutes. I was sad when I check the fridge, I wished I have time to go to the grocery and shop for it but none.  I hoped there's mail order seafood and deliveries and was surprised and when I checked online. There is! …And it would just take overnight. 

So, in the meantime, I would just settle to look at the serene picture of my Norwegian Salmon recipe to somehow remind me of the taste, maybe this would help pave away my craving, lol!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Ayala Triangle Project | Wee Nam Kee

Roasted Pork (Lechon Kawali) Php 220.00

Real foodies or even health conscious people think of a plate of greasy goodness twice a week. This statement isn't a fact to everyone but to me. And for me, it means a plate of Roasted Pork, Crispy Pata, or sometimes, Wee Nam Kee's steamed or roasted Hainanese Chicken served with chicken rice - cooked in chicken broth, rich with chicken flavor and glistening with chicken fat. Yes, it's a simple dish, done well, and reaches heavenly heights.

Surprise, surprise! Here I am again at Wee Nam Kee's branch in Makati City's food-lover paradise to satisfy our weekly Hainanese Chicken Rice and Roasted Pork cravings. 

Wee Nam Kee, Singapore's number 1 chicken rice restaurant is conveniently nestled in the corner of Ayala Triangle Gardens, at the heart of Ayala Triangle Gardens lineup of restaurants designed with wooden tables and chairs for casual dining. Just like the other restaurant in the area, there's an al fresco area offering a good view of the lush garden.

Iced Lemon Tea (House Blend), Php 50 per glass and Cucumber Lime Fizz, Php 120

On the menu are all sorts of Asian goodies; Cereal Fried Prawns, Sichuan Hot, and Sour Soup, Crabmeat Tofu with Broccoli, noodles, Chinese Style Stir-Fried Beef Tenderloin, Crabs, seafood dishes etc. But having come for the signature dish, we stick to the basics. We ordered Steamed and Roasted Chicken Rice and Roasted Pork served with chicken rice . Bowls of broth and unlimited dipping sauces of soy, chili and ginger are included.

Chicken Rice Php 40.00

Two bowls of hot chicken broth were served first, followed by our chosen drinks. I had Cucumber Lime Fizz and geez, it has a subtle sweetness and refreshing coolness, I loved it!

We didn't wait too long. Soon enough, our steamed and roasted Hainanese Chicken are served boned and sliced with fresh cucumber in chicken broth and light soy sauce. 

Steamed or Roasted Small - Quarter 2 pax 248.00

Chicken rice was served alongside the chicken the grains of rice are clumped, shiny and yellowed from broth and chicken fat. It is rich with chicken flavor but not so laden with moisture that it's sticky. We can't help but order another servings of chicken rice.

Very satisfied, my brother and I finish every last bit of rice telling ourselves that the intake of chicken fat is worth every penny. Wee Nam Kee's  Hainanese Chicken, indeed was a taste of heaven.

Food Quality

The project's criteria are; Food Quality, Ambiance, Service, and Cost/Prices, where  Five (5)   indicates "Exceptional Experience", Four (4)  indicates a place "worth a come back", three (3)  means "a casual place to eat", two (2)   means "acceptable", and one (1))   means "poor".

Wee Nam Kee,  Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Ave., Bel-Air
(02) 846-8924

The Ayala Triangle Project:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Breakfast at Estrellas De Mendoza Playa Resort

The main and only restaurant of Estrellas De Mendoza Playa Resort in Laiya, Batangas is adjacent to the front desk, both are occupying the spacious lobby of the Mediterranean - inspired main building. Free of charge, buffet breakfast was ready as early as 6:00 AM and we were the earliest to arrive. We settled in a large table next to the buffet table, the restaurant is clean and cool with wifi access. Since I skipped dinner I was really hungry but managed to take some pictures of my nephew in the salad bar fixing his salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, cucumber, corn kernels, onion rings and bell peppers. I also made the same to start my meal.

Pandesal, french bread and sandwhich bread are available at the Bread Station. Theres a small oven toaster and guests who had just arrived started to line up to toast their breads. Butter and fruit jams are also available. Toasting two slices of french bread took me a while because I need to stand in line so I took the opportunity to scoop scrambled eggs and get 2 pieces of fried Luncheon Meat while waiting. I think I saw machines for the preparation of  soft ice cream and frozen yogurt on the other side of the restaurant and craved for some frozen delights instantly at that very early time. I wondered if there are establishments selling ice cream or cold refreshments on the strip of Laiya shore that I could try later of that day.

Hunger paved away my cravings, I was really starving. I had two servings of Chicken Adobo, Fried Bangus Belly, Pancit Canton and Garlic Fried Rice. We had fruit cocktail for the finale. My breakfast at Estrellas De Mendoza Playa Resort in Laiya, Batangas was fulfilling.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Restaurant start up advice

Follow the Words of the Beatles Song....
‘When I was young and so much younger than today, I never needed anybody’s help in anyway’..... (from ‘HELP’ 1965). Certainly not the case when opening a restaurant.

Starting a restaurant business and maintaining its lifespan is neither easy nor a walk in the park. Very few restaurant entrepreneurs, in fact I have never met any after nearly 40 years in the industry, have the qualifications or the time to run their business alone. Apart from balancing my own bank accounts any other financial transactions, profit and loss, and most forms of financial analysis had never been in my make-up – I wanted to cook, share my food with the world and have the best restaurant in town. It became clear very early on that shuffling pieces of paper around, writing things down on the back of a cigarette packet was just not going to cut it. I needed a seriously good restaurant accounting service that could tell me what I needed to know at the drop of a hat – well almost. I can seriously say, that this was my saviour, I would almost certainly have had an uphill struggle, or even gone broke in the very first year of trading, in spite of any rave reviews I may have had in the press.

Whilst I had been in the restaurant business for years, it was in the ‘back office’ as a trained chef. I knew what food was great, and I knew where to buy it. I could write terrific menus, put on special events that brought the crowds in – but I needed to know what my bottom line was, what had been great ideas (Stars), but also those ideas that had not done me any particular favours (Dogs). With fierce competition in the industry, a specialist restaurant accounting service had to be the way to go, one who offered a top class outsourced restaurant bookkeeping service with all its intricacies and clear and concise information – in fact experts in the entire field of restaurant consulting. I needed to get rid of the ‘pieces of paper method’. I knew what was happening with my food, but I needed to know where and how I was spending my money. Everyday accountants are all well and good, but I needed someone or a great company who could take care of me, my paperwork and who had a real understanding of the restaurant industry who would work with me to achieve success.

It wasn’t exactly the dark ages when I started my first restaurant, but it was only a step up from using an abacus to count with!   Sophisticated Restaurant POS Systems were still relatively in their infancy, but my restaurant consultants introduced me to the best system that was then on the market, and I never looked back. With their help and guidance I was soon on the way to really understanding my business through the use of the POS System and their accounting processes and analysis.

My restaurant consultant was worth more than their weight in gold and very soon my business was as well. Don’t penny pinch on such valuable services (in fact often you save money by using experts) and take the stress and hassle out of your restaurant bookkeeping – you won’t regret it.

CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence and Menu Writing Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com

Steps to take to make your restaurant menu more profitable

You can have the most exotic, exciting, different, topical menu in the world – but have you got your costing’s right?

After your chef has designed his dishes, hopefully he will have done a huge cost exercise – if not, you need to sit down with him and go through it line by line, item by item. Sometimes, you need an outside or a third ‘eye’ – what you see is what you hope will attract your customers in terms of menu – but you haven’t worked out your bottom line and are carried away with the romance of owning your own restaurant. Seek outside help for that non-biased affirmation of your costs, it could make or break you.

Work out your theoretical but tangible costs – cost of product, cost of production, staff costs, and general overheads per menu item. This may seem laborious, but this can save your restaurant life. It will take time, so again, that ‘third eye’ can help with the number crunching.

Once in operation, your POS system will be the trigger to understanding your profit and loss situation – it will isolate your key sellers (stars) and your ‘waste of time’ items (dogs). It will also show you your middle of the road items, those that sell but do not make much profit but are popular on a regular basis (plough) horses, and those that have irregular or intermittent sales but make good profits (puzzles).

Your analysis of this information is of paramount importance, and the big question will always be WHY?
You need to determine whether:
  • Your cost per menu item is too high for the current market place
  • Your cost of ingredients is over sourced
  • The taste just simply ‘is not right’ – too bland, too spicy, unpalatable etc.
  • Portions are too large and over fussy in presentation
  • High product deterioration costs – (must be used quickly, no shelf life)
  • Do your staff know how to sell, and has the menu item been explained to them so that they can point out the brilliance of the dish?
In essence, you need to ‘ditch the dog’ or ‘perfect the plough horse’. The enigma of your ‘puzzles’ could be to upsell as a special offer, or couple in with a special cocktail etc. You can leave your ‘stars’ alone for the moment, but always look at methods of improving them, creating even better profits and making them shine.
Throughout your entire menu, you need to continually establish if you have the right supplier, or whether you can find great quality product and superb service from the producer for less money – less costs make more profit.

Menu Engineering is a tricky and slow process and it takes time to perfect. Having laid out money, taken bank loans and nights of endless worry, it could be the time to enlist the help of a company who are experts in solving your menu dilemmas.
Above all, utilise your product to its full capacity – low wastage means less dollars thrown in the bin and more in your bank account. Creativity without reduction in quality is the essence of making that bit extra over a continued period of time.

CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence and Menu Writing Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com

Creating Value Without Discounting Your Brand

Creating value can mean value for your guests and value for your bottom line.  Value equals time and money well spent.  You can add value by designing signature dishes at low cost to you, but at a nominal premium. Coupons create perceived value even when customers have to spend a little more in order to get that coupon. Coupons also work well to generate bounce back traffic creating a win/win for you and your customer. Shameless self promotion using sampling techniques to encourage larger orders per guest can also work well to create value while raising the profile of your brand as opposed to discounting it.

From the owner’s perspective, begin with menu engineering.  Focus on margin calculations of items that can be bundled and set at a fixed price.  Which items on your menu have the lowest food costs but have the highest perceived proportions?  An example may be a natural, hand cut French fry that is unique to your restaurant but has a very low food cost.  Another easy example is a signature dip or dressing.  Signature cravable items have an important impact on traffic.   So your approach would be to pair, for example, a ½ sandwich with your special French fries and choice of our “signature” dips all for $7. If your average per person check at lunch is $5.42, you are creating value and you are potentially bumping up your average lunch check by $1.58. 

You can also create perceived value using these same low food cost menu items as your give-aways on coupons.  It is important to have your restaurant accounting department confirm these costs. This helps you be competitive with high couponing brands without discounting too deeply at your restaurant.  Use these coupons when you are generating trial.  For example give away a free small order of your signature French Fries and a dipping sauce with any two entrees purchased.  You can also offer a free child’s meal with two adult entrees purchased.  Or the same works for free drink with two entrees.  The idea is to promote value with a low discount. 

Typically $5 off $20 or Buy One Get One (BOGO) offers generate traffic, but results show that you do not have to give that much away.  If you have a captive audience for distribution and close proximity (convenience) the redemption percentages can be upwards of 15%.  (3% is an average redemption percentage on couponing.)Then, to continue to create a circle of visitation, the guests that visit with these “acquisition” coupons should be identified as new guests.  Before they leave, present them with another bounce back offer. 

Another approach to value is sampling.  If you have a fast casual restaurant design, you can take advantage of your line to sample products.  If it is an item that your food service partner is willing to promote they are likely to provide sampling cups for you at no fee.  If you have a casual dining design, use your extra hostess to walk around with menu samples during slower seating times.
Remember the key to value is giving the guest a reason to select your restaurant and then leave them wanting more of your menu, and ready to visit again. 

CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence and Restaurant Consulting Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com/why-us/

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Creating Restaurant Employee Personal Accountability

Recently on a flight on an international airline carrier, two passengers inquired about standing-by on an earlier flight to avoid upcoming potential weather delays.  As seasoned travelers, they expected to be greeted with an air of annoyance by the airline employees.  This day was different and the two gate agents responded with comments letting the passengers know that they wanted them to be able to get home and not get stuck overnight.  They went as far as to even suggest seating the travelers together on the plane.

What makes an employee take personal ownership in their work and a guests’ experience, when in fact they don’t have true ownership in the company?  Here are a few tips:

*Trust and Openness to Ideas – Create a venue in your organization to hear employee ideas.  Highlight those that push the company towards its objectives and guest satisfaction.  Trust employees until they give you a reason not to.
*No Complaint Zone – Make your company a place where solutions rise above complaints.  Encourage and reward employees for finding the good in a situation and making bad things better.
*Reward Excellent Leadership – A company CEO set up a system of “Take care of it, like it belongs to you”.  It resonated all the way to the front lines of the restaurant, where if the General Manager walked into a perfectly clean and well maintained restaurant, she would buy all of the hourly employee’s lunch.  This created the “buy in” from the employees and the behavior was rewarded.
*Set Goals at Every Level – An hourly server likes to be challenged to sell 8 desserts on a Friday night and to then receive a reward.  A poster in the back of the house can list the “Dessert King or Queen” and they then get to choose the shift time or best section of tables in the restaurant for their next shift.  For Associate managers, set loss and spoilage goals where they are rewarded with credit card gift cards and have your restaurant bookkeeping department post the results monthly.
 *Reduce Turn-Over - Employees that feel part of something and well treated stay longer.  Not every idea needs to be tied to a monetary incentive.  A hand-shake, a photo on the wall, a pin on a lapel, an opportunity to share their ideas with a group are all incentives that make employees thrive.
*Recognize Employees’ Length of Service – Set a level of accomplishment to stay and serve with your company.  In this digital age, send an e-message from the CEO to the hourly employee that has been working in the restaurant 10 years.  Have the General Manager show it at a team meeting with all employees.
*Encourage Guest Input – Having a quick survey on the table about guest service can be very helpful in encouraging a sense of ownership. It will work in two ways 1) It will let staff know they can be in danger of receiving complaints which will lead to improved performance and 2) It will allow you to reward outstanding service to show your appreciation.

CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence and Restaurant Consulting Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com/why-us/

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Samovar | Feel Christmas Every Morning with Freshly Pressed Starbucks' Christmas Blend

Holidays are still around. In celebration of the Three Kings yesterday, we sampled and savored the richness of the season with freshly plunged Starbucks' Christmas Blend at the comfort of our home. Using Samovar tea and coffee plunger, a gift I received last Christmas from an office mate, I made my very first pressed coffee. 

I am switching from brewed Kapeng Barako to pressed Starbucks' Christmas Blend until supply lasts. I never knew that pressing coffee is much moreasier and tastier than brewing it.

Here's the steps on how to press the coffee;

1) Remove the top and filter from the plunger.
2) Place the coffee ground inside the plunger. 1 tbsp : 1 cup
3) Pour hot water.
4) Stir using wooden spoon or stirer. Do not use metal spoon to avoid damaging the glass of the plunger.
5) Put the top and filter back with the filter raised all the way up.
6) Let it brew for at least 4 minutes.
7) Stir again just before pressing the plunger, this will increase the flavor.
8) Press the filter down gently. Make sure the filter "sprout" is facing forward and wait 30 seconds.
9) Pour the coffee slowly into your cup. Serve with anything you want it with and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why Not To Invest in Commercial Property for Sale in Scotland

There are a lot of individuals who are wary of starting a new business. However, if you do some research before taking the plunge you may find that it is not so difficult. One option is to consider purchasing a commercial property for rental or resale. You may decide to start a business and occupy it yourself or perhaps lease it to someone.

Whenever you are investing in commercial property for sale in Scotland you have the option of purchasing it already renovated and ready to go. Or, you can purchase a property and renovate it yourself. The option you choose is of course dependent on your resources and skill sets.

If you have some knowledge of construction, renovation, and design, you may choose the option of taking advantage of the condition of an older building and buying it at a discounted rate. You can then take on the project of renovating the building yourself and then lease it or offer it for sale.

This is an excellent choice for individuals who may have the time but not the resources to purchase a fully renovated property. It is important to bear in mind however that renovating a commercial property for sale in Scotland is not cheap either.

After you are finished renovating your property it is time to decide if you will lease or sell your property. The prevailing market rates should be taken into consideration. Are rental rates in the market relatively high? Are there are a lot of vacant properties available for rental? What are the comparables for commercial property for sale in Scotland for the sale of buildings similar to your own?  

What you decide to do next will not only depend on the prevailing market conditions but also depend on what you intend to next. If you decide to live off the proceeds of your investment then you will require a steady stream of monthly income and a rental or leasing arrangement would probably be best for you. The sooner you complete your renovation and secure a tenant for your property the sooner you can start collecting rent.

If you have caught the renovation bug and decide that purchasing and renovating commercial property for sale in Scotland is for you then you will probably need the proceeds from your first successful endeavor to finance your next project. If you decide to occupy the property and start your own business, then this is also a very worthwhile option. In order for it to be successful stick to what you know best and research well any ideas you may have before taking the plunge.

Any way you take it win, lose, or draw you will have the benefit of an asset that if taken care of should appreciate in value depending on market conditions. In a crunch or tight spot you can always try to get it back on the market as there is always room for a commercial property for sale in Scotland. Visit NetMovers and let them assist you with buying selling or leasing.

Cheri Davis writes for http://www.netmovers.co.uk/

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Restaurants Prepare For The New Minimum Wage

If you are a restaurant owner you can probably remember working for less than $2 an hour. As of January 1st, 2014 the minimum wage will exceed $8.00 per hour in thirteen states1. The suburb of Seattle-Tacoma, Washing ton, an area surrounding the SEA-TAC International Airport will have the highest minimum wage in the country at $15 per hour but does not include workers in the airport1. While restaurant accountants across the country are gearing up for a new round of tax and wage changes.  The current Federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 back on July 24, 2009 and as of 2014 some states are still adhering to the 2009 wage limit while others have made small increases and nine other states are still fighting it out. You can check out what the minimum wage is in your state at the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. They have a clickable chart by state here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#content

If you are not currently using a restaurant accounting service then you should retain one right away as the minimum wage issue is a serious matter not to be ignored. You have to deal with the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour division plus your state’s labor department. One of the best reasons to have a restaurant accountant is just to keep government off your back and out of your life as much as possible.  It is your accountant’s job to keep you in compliance and out of trouble.

The higher minimum wage will affect everyone whether you live in a state that has an increase or not. Restaurants located close to a border with a state that has a higher wage may need to match it in order to retain qualified help. Labor costs will go up which means food costs will have to go down or prices raised in order to keep margins level. If you are an owner you will be faced with the dilemma of reducing staff or increasing prices.  All small businesses that rely on minimum wage workers will feel the pinch this year.  The economists have their ideas of what is going to happen to the economy as a result of these wage changes. Some say that the new increased earnings will be injected back into the economy as workers buy more stuff. Other economists point out those small business owners will likely have to reduce hours or staff to maintain profits as large price increases cannot be made without adversely affecting sales.

President Obama is pushing for a federal minimum wage of $9 per hour but it remains to be seen if he will get it. Here is a list of States with minimum wages over $8 per hour as of 20142:
  • California  $8.00 ($9.00 July 1, 2014)
  • Colorado $8.00
  • Connecticut: $8.70
  • Illinois: $8.25
  • Massachusetts: $8.00
  • Nevada - $7.25 for employees who receive qualifying health benefits, $8.25 for employees who do not receive qualifying health benefits.
  • New Jersey: $8.25
  • New Mexico: $7.50    (The Santa Fe Minimum Wage is $9.92 per hour. The Albuquerque Minimum Wage is $8.60 per hour.)3
  • New York: $8.00 ($8.75 on December 31, 2014, $9.00 on December 31, 2015)
  • Oregon: $9.10
  • Rhode Island: $8.00
  • Vermont: $8.73
  • Washington: $9.32
Ultimately restaurants and other small businesses will pay the price and make the tough choices forced upon them.  Looking at Washington State and especially SeaTac and its $15 per hour wage you can’t help but wonder how a small business will be able to sustain such a large expense.

1 Source: Reuters.com - http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/28/us-usa-wage-seatac-idUSBRE9BR01J20131228?feedType=RSS
2 Source: Dept. of Labor, wage and Hour division -  http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#content
3 Source: Minimum-wage.org -  http://www.minimum-wage.org/

CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence and Restaurant Consulting Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com/why-us/
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