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Proactively Manage Minimum Wage Increases

Q: Minimum wage is set to increase again. I feel the squeeze of financial obligations already, how can I overcome another increase in expenses without any foreseeable benefit?
A: Washington State boasts the highest minimum wage in the nation and because of a voter approved measure is one of only 10 States where minimum wage can increase annually based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). As a result, minimum wage will normally increase each year. Over the last five years Washington State’s minimum wage has increased nearly $1.00 per hour and approximately $0.50 in the last two years [Exhibit 1]. Effective January 1, 2013 minimum wage will once again increase to, gulp, $9.19. Click here to read more »

Making Price Increases in a Down Economy

Q: The cost of food has been increasing over the last year. Times have been tough but it’s time for me to take a price increase on my menu. What is the best way to go about increasing our menu pricing?

A: The National Restaurant Association is forecasting an increase in wholesale food prices of 3.3% over 2010 while the USDA projects a 2.0-3.0% increase for all foods. Meats, pork, dairy, fats and oils are projected to have the highest increases. Click here to read more »

Four Simple Reports for Understanding Your Business

Q: When I step back and take a look at my business, I know I need to spend more time analyzing sales information. Where do I start?

A: The most underutilized tool in the restaurant industry is the Point of Sale System (POS). Reams of paper are used daily in support of a healthy business but those wonderful reports are underused in decision making to move the business forward. Analyze POS reports from both a macro and micro level and use various time parameters such as hours, days, weeks, months, and year over year. To begin, focus on the macro level reports and these four specific subjects. Click here to read more »

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