On September 24, 2012, KROST held their first ever restaurant-themed seminar entitled “Restaurant Management: Operations, Systems, and Financial Controls”. Hosted at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, Managing Partner, Greg Kniss, and Director of Restaurant Operations, Jean Hagan, were the featured speakers of this exciting event that covered the ins and outs of operating, owning, maintaining, and growing a restaurant business in this competitive and challenging environment.

Event attendees included representatives of some of L.A.’s prominent restaurants and foodservice companies. Those who attended found the theme important for the growth and vitality of their restaurant.

“It was eye-opening,” said Allan O’Donovan from CiaoCristina restaurant, who marveled at how the seminar was so relevant to current restaurant operations. The event benefited from the “restaurant style” seating in the historic Academy room that allowed for a casual environment with interaction from the audience. “It was professional yet casual enough that I felt comfortable to ask questions,” said Lisa Houston from Barney’s Beanery. The cocktail mixer afterward further encouraged mingling and socializing among the diverse industry members.

Greg and Jean shaped the content of the seminar from two perspectives: one from an industry CPA on how to approach the analysis of a restaurant company, and the other from an industry expert on what operational elements to look for on the ground level in a restaurant. This dual approach allowed attendees to learn how to grow their restaurant business from both a tax & legal standpoint, and also from an operational side with a focus on growth and trends in the industry.

Attendee Rob Rubinkan from Spaghettini restaurant described the seminar as “an amazing lecture” as he added, “I wished our entire management staff was there to attend!” Pamela Brady, also from Spaghettini, said: “The seminar was current, informative, and presented in a clear and understandable manner. [Greg and Jean] were very knowledgeable. The information provided touched on every aspect of running a restaurant from the back of the house to the front. I especially enjoyed the insight given on upcoming trends and laws that will impact the industry.”

This aforementioned insight on upcoming trends and laws was presented by Greg Kniss, who, as a CPA with an expertise in the restaurant industry, was able to connect with the audience on changes in current tax laws that can seriously affect the restaurant industry. Noting the challenges of the current economy, he informed the audience that the industry is being hit hard with employment tax audits. By breaking down the areas of tip reporting and employment tax credits, plus the unique issues of income, property, sales and payroll tax, Greg enlightened on ways to not only stay in compliance with the IRS but to profit from tax credits and cost reduction.

While Greg covered the legal and tax aspects of the industry, Jean dug deep into the operational side of things; delving into such topics as Profit & Loss Systems, payroll controls, basic costing, and menu analysis. A major emphasis of inventory control was covered in accordance with the theme: “better management of operations results in better profits”. These restaurant topics seemed to resonate in a big way with the attendees.

Altogether, it was a very successful, informative, and fun event. KROST plans to host more restaurant seminars in the future; both at the Roosevelt and at other locations around Southern California, so stay tuned!

Author: Daryle Goldfarb