Richard Taubin and I spoke the other day. He’s one of the owners featured in Restaurant Owners Uncorked, and he also is owns one of the awesome restaurants that displays a Schedulefly badge on their web site.
Rich reminded me of when he and I discussed the importance of having a good CPA during his interview. Here’s what he said:
“I highly, highly recommend hiring a CPA, especially one who is close to the restaurant industry. They understand what percentages should be, as an average. Without breaching confidentiality, they can talk to you about what other restaurants do to combat certain cost structures that you have. Our CPA, Patrick Gros, has been very instrumental in helping us cut costs, and in telling us what percentages should be. He recommends the financial applications that we should use, and helps us with reading P&L’s [profit and loss reports], and how to make adjustments. And that’s really helped us out quite a bit.
When you can work with CPAs on a daily basis, and have them help assure that budgets are aligned and cost controls are adhered to, it’s just as important to me as the food you put on the plate. Without controlling those costs, you don’t make money.
If you’re in it just to make a paycheck, just do it on your own. Otherwise, I highly recommend you hire a CPA and make that a big part of your restaurant. Just as much as you would design a recipe for your food, you need to design a recipe for how you’re going to track and adjust for financial costs and profits.”
This kind of quote is exactly the reason we did the book, because I remember immediately thinking to myself, “Now that’s very interesting – I never would have thought of that” the second he said that. I had the same thought multiple times while interviewing Rich, as well as during each interview. An owner would say something and my radar would shoot straight up. He/she had just said something I knew I’d want to know before ever starting my own restaurant.
If you own or want to own a restaurant, the book is an absolute gem. There’s a reason it has lots of 5-star ratings on Amazon. It’s got nothing to do with us here at Schedulefly – and everything to do with the fact that the twenty owners we interviewed opened their curtains, and gladly revealed what has helped them succeed in such a tough biz.
If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend getting one enough. Or heck, if you don’t want to spend the dough, at least check out this series of posts with content from the book on our blog – tons of great advice for free!