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THE MAGAZINE OF FRANCHISE BUSINESS SERVICES

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2 020 ISSUE 4

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Steve Wheat & Bobby Pancake

lead High 5 Hospitality to Franchisee of the Year honors FRANCHISEE SPOTLIGHT, PAGE 12


All of us at McLane Foodservice would like to extend our well wishes to the entire BUFFALO WILD WINGS franchise community, their businesses, and especially their families during these trying times. We look forward to coming through COVID-19 and building on our strong partnership for the future.

Š2020 McLane Company, Inc. All rights reserved.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

2020 Issue 4

FBS Board of Directors Wray Hutchinson Chairman Mark Jones Vice Chairman Jenny Beaudoin Director James Bitzonis Director Brian Carmody Director Steve Grube Director Roz Mallet Director Bobby Pancake Director Larry Podlogar Director Christy Williams Executive Director

FBS Editorial Board Jessica Loeding Editor-in-Chief jessical@myfbsonline.org Sean Ireland Managing Editor seani@myfbsonline.org Rachel Jackson Associate Editor rachelj@myfbsonline.org

Advertising Sales Jeff Reynolds Director of Business Partner Relations jeffr@myfbsonline.org 678-797-5163 Montserrat Almaraz Sales & Development Manager montserrata@myfbsonline.org 678-439-2284

Design and Layout Kristen Thomas KT Graphic Design ktgraphicdesign@gmail.com

ON THE COVER From corporate managers to independent franchisees, Bobby Pancake and Steve Wheat have guided High 5 Hospitality from its founding to its latest and greatest achievement: BWW Franchisee of the Year recognition. Read about their journey in this issue’s Franchisee Spotlight on page 12.

COLUMNS 2

Chairman’s Column

DEPARTMENTS 4

FBS Member News

7

Event Calendar

11 One Topic: 10 Facts

8

Look, Listen, Read

12 Franchisee Spotlight

FEATURES 10 14 17 18 21 22 24 26 28 30

Spotlight on the 116th Congress: Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK-01) Local Sports Connections Draw Fans Back to B-Dubs by Sean Ireland, FBS associate director of communications Get to Know Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Rita Patel Franchisees Face Challenge of Finding Enough Willing Workers by Sean Ireland Win Customer Loyalty Even in Challenging Times by Dennis Snow, Snow & Associates Inc. Should You Require Employees to Take a COVID-19 Vaccine? by Douglas Duerr, Elarbee Thompson EPLI: Protecting Your Restaurant in the Age of #MeToo by Lockton Affinity Build the Fellowship of the Quest by Dan Coughlin, The Coughlin Co. How Your Income Tax Situation Might Be Impacted By COVID-19 Funding by Stacy Smith, Mize Restaurant Group Stumbling Into Proficiency: Four Ways Mistakes Can Improve Your Productivity by Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro®

DIRECTORIES 9

Associate Member Listing

32 Advertisers Guide and Editorial Calendar

Headquarters 1701 Barrett Lakes Blvd. NW Suite 180 Kennesaw, GA 30144 Phone: 678-797-5161 Fax: 678-797-5171

In keeping with our commitment to the environment, this publication is printed on certified, environmentally-friendly recycled paper using eco-friendly inks. Franchise Business Services publishes The SCORE. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, of the contents of this publication is prohibited without prior written consent of Franchise Business Services. All Rights Reserved.

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Printed in the U.S.A.

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From the Chairman

A

s hard as it is to believe, John Wooden has been gone now for 10 years. The former UCLA basketball coach, who lived to be 99, won 10 collegiate

national basketball championships, including seven straight titles from 1967 to 1973. At one point his teams won 88 straight games, a record no other school has ever approached.

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But as remarkable as his impressive coaching record is, today he is remembered more for the life lessons he taught and the way he taught them. Early in his career, Wooden developed what he called the “pyramid of success” – a blueprint that plotted how foundational building blocks such as enthusiasm, cooperation and industriousness, combined with other good personal habits and a strong work ethic, could build a path to competitive greatness and personal fulfillment. He taught the pyramid to his players, and later, featured it at business speaking engagements. Coach Wooden left behind a plethora of sayings to which people still often refer. As a difficult year draws to a close, this one often comes to mind: “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

In the face of 2020’s challenges, many of you have intuitively followed Coach Wooden’s advice. Among the actions many of you took to make the best of this year was participating in the financial analysis of the Buffalo Wild Wings® franchise system. The results were shared in a conference call earlier this fall, and they present a picture of where Franchise Business Services (FBS) members stand and what we need to do to emerge successfully when the crisis ends. Some of the numbers are difficult to see. The analysis showed that our comparable same-store sales numbers dropped sharply, with double-digit declines at the beginning of the pandemic. They improved somewhat over the summer to single-digit losses, but those steep declines are having a lasting impact on franchisees’ financial condition. Not surprisingly, the analysis indicated that there are differences in the performances of franchisees based on geography. BWW® locations in areas of the country with fewer restrictions are doing better than those in areas with more restrictions.

There are glimmers of good news. BWW franchisees managed exceptionally well through the crisis relative to other casual dining brands. The improvement in sales results over the summer and into the early fall was extremely encouraging, and Congress approved a new round of relief in the form of Paycheck Protection Program loans in late December – loans that will be a lifeline for many restaurants. Trinity Capital, our partner in the financial analysis, had recommendations for making the best of where we stand today. Among them: • Franchisees with significantly impaired cash flow due to the pandemic should conserve cash until conditions improve. • When conditions do improve, and we hope that will be soon now that vaccinations have started, franchisees should focus on rebuilding sales in existing restaurants rather than building new stores. Given these findings, FBS has been engaging with brand leaders about the need to tailor expectations for 2021 around the individual needs and capabilities of each franchise group. While they are anxious to move the brand forward and believe strongly that refreshing and remodeling the appearance of our sports bars is a key step toward that goal, they are committed to not putting franchise organizations in financial peril to accomplish it. Friends, as we enter 2021, I want to thank each of you for your efforts to make the best of the past year. I wish each of you a safe, happy and better new year ahead.

Wray Hutchinson


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MEMBER NEWS

World Wide Wings Feeds Oregon Firefighters

The teams at World Wide Wings’ restaurants in Oregon donated meals to the men and women fighting the fires in their areas.

W

orld Wide Wings (WWW), operated by franchisee Wray Hutchinson, has 67 Buffalo Wild Wings® restaurants in seven states across the country. Many of these restaurants are along the West Coast in Oregon, Washington and California, where wildfires have burned millions of acres of land and displaced residents from their homes. WWW supported the heroes who have spent countless hours fighting

the wildfires. The fires began in mid-August and, as of mid-December, had burned over 10.25 million acres up and down the coast. The WWW teams in downtown Portland, Lloyd Center and Medford, Oregon, came together on a weekend in September to provide meals to the men and women battling the fires. In just two days, the teams served 230 meals to firefighters. Chief Gherky from the Clackamas

County Fire Department called to thank the staff for its delivery. “When the team came off the line tonight, they were so excited to see BWW® there for them! We truly cannot thank you guys enough,” said Gherky. B-Dubs® also received a thank-you call from the wife of a firefighter at the department in Medford who saw photos of the meal delivery. She was very appreciative of the kindness shown to her husband and his colleagues. S

Manchester, New Hampshire, BWW Managers Get Pied for a Cause T

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he Awesome Holdings LLC Buffalo Wild Wings® restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire, raised more than $2,000 in October for the Team Up for Kids effort to support youth sports initiatives. One of the biggest contributions came from the restaurant’s Pie Your Manager Day on Oct. 28, a chance for the restaurant’s staff and families to have a little Halloween fun at the restaurant. “We had an open invite for all team members to come and have an opportunity to ‘pie their manager’ for $20 or two managers for $30,” said Ben Lee, regional manager for the restaurant. “We had about 10 team members contribute. They loved the chance to pie their regional manager in the face. We also gave complimentary kids meals to any team members who brought kids and had candy packs for them as a Halloween treat.”

Guests at the Pie Your Manager event had a great time raising money for Team Up for Kids.

About 25 team members and their children attended the event, which raised another $340 for the Team Up for Kids fundraiser. The effort was spearheaded at the restaurant by bar manager Heather Strong, who was once a manager for a corporate location in San Antonio, Texas. “I had a positive experience at a

corporate store in San Antonio where we volunteered our time to help build a playground for our local Boys & Girls Club,” she said. “Just the feeling knowing you are helping other people, especially children, is a great feeling.” The event not only supported a good cause, but also boosted staff spirit, raising morale and building camaraderie. It was so successful that the restaurant planned a Christmas event around the holidays. “The team appreciated the efforts of our management team hosting this,” Lee said. “Our franchise group is committed to helping our community,” he said of Awesome Holdings and franchisees Martti Matheson and Aaron Miller. “It has been tough this year with everything happening in our world. I’m very proud of Heather and the rest of the team members who made this a focus for the month.” S


MEMBER NEWS

BWW Restaurants in Washington, D.C., Sponsor USO Touching Base Tour

Military service members across the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., areas received gift bags with BWW gift cards and spent time with players on the Washington Football Team.

T

his October, Buffalo Wild Wings® franchisees in the metro Washington, D.C., area partnered with the Washington Football Team of the National Football League (NFL) to sponsor the United Service Organizations’ (USO) Touching Base Tour. Three franchisees, Ganse/Beaudoin Group, Belle Holdings Inc. and BW Wings Management, were thrilled about this partnership because it helped support troops and their local NFL team. USO is an organization that supports service members throughout their time

in the military. The Touching Base Tour consisted of trips to 15 military installations throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The Washington Football Team travelled to connect with 1,500 service members and thank them for their service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They visited several different branches of the military, including the Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. At each stop, team members gave service members goodie bags that included Buffalo Wild Wings gift cards and free appetizer cards along with other

Washington Football Team swag items. BWW® was included on all advertising and PR efforts and was tagged in social media relating to the tour program. “We also have a unique code on the coupon cards and will be tracking redemption to see how many are redeemed,” explained Amy Zorn, BWW field marketing manager. The program was a great way for the brand to show its support for the troops in an especially hard year and provide them with an awesome meal from B-Dubs®. S

High 5 Hospitality Shows Appreciation for Local Teachers

H

Faculty members at Nellie Stokes Elementary School were excited to receive a free lunch from their local BWW.

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fall into that category right now.” The Dover BWW® team donated 80 meals, which each consisted of a wrap and side salad. The principal and the rest of the staff were surprised to hear that they would be receiving a free lunch. “After lunch, I received many text messages and emails thanking us and saying how delicious everything was,” said Ewald.

The High 5 Hospitality team always enjoys giving back to its community, but it is especially rewarding to show appreciation for those who have been working extra hard during a hard time. The team looks forward to continuing to raise funds and provide meals for front-line workers throughout the rest of the year. S

THE

igh 5 Hospitality, owned by franchisees Bobby Pancake and Steve Wheat, has raised over $16,000 for its Feed the Frontline Program, which was established to raise funds to feed those on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic. Since school has started back in areas across the country this fall, High 5 Hospitality’s leaders decided to recognize local teachers. The restaurant in Dover, Delaware, donated meals to the faculty of Nellie Stokes Elementary School. Over the years, the restaurant has developed strong ties to many community members and has close relationships with several teachers at the school. “What I love about this program is we are thinking outside the box,” said Lori Ewald, marketing manager for High 5 Hospitality. “We have been considering what occupations have been stretched thin or are having hard days. Teachers certainly


MEMBER NEWS

Four M Strengthens Relationships in Its Communities

A

s 2020 closes and the pandemic rages on, Four M restaurants across the Northeast have stayed connected with their community partners. Four M Franchising owner James Bitzonis and the rest of his team know that first responders have been some of the busiest employees this year, still executing day-to-day duties while also supporting those affected by COVID-19. Teams at the BWW® restaurants in New Rochelle and Valley Stream, New York, donated wings to their local police officers. The New Rochelle Police Department’s annual golf outing serves as one of the largest department fundraisers of the year, and BWW helped ensure golfers had a terrific experience by donating 200 boneless wings. Team Valley Stream spent time with its 105th precinct to show gratitude and appreciation for the officers’ hard work in the community. The team dropped off care packages of wings, and the police officers were very thankful. “It is important during these tough and uncertain times to connect with each other to keep building positive environments and safer, more inclusive communities,” said O’Neil Washington, a Four M training general manager.  The local firefighters and EMTs in Stamford, Connecticut, received a lunch delivery from their Buffalo Wild Wings® sports bar. “We do not feel like we did anything special to deserve this,” an appreciative firefighter told a BWW team member. In addition to supporting first responders, Four M teams have also been backing other community organizations in their areas. The team in White Plains, New York, has been working with the Culinary Tech Center to host internships for aspiring chefs. The program gives students a chance to work in the B-Dubs® kitchen 25 hours per week learning the ropes of the restaurant industry. The team from the Hicksville, New York, restaurant chose to show support for the Great Strides Program at Old Westbury College for the restaurant’s Community Heroes Appreciation Day. The program provides a variety of supportive activities such

Four M Franchising’s teams in New York and Connecticut have enjoyed rewarding hard workers in their communities with Buffalo Wild Wings.

as therapeutic horseback riding for people with disabilities and educational initiatives for inner-city students. Great Strides also works closely with The Wounded Warrior Project. BWW provided 30 boxed meals for participants in the program to enjoy. S

Potters Wings Opens New Restaurant in Foley, Alabama

P

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Potters Wings opened its Foley, Alabama, location Nov. 3.

otters Wings, owned by franchisees Brian Jordan, Bill Hall and Jason Hall, opened a new restaurant in Foley, Alabama, this fall. The BWW® opened Nov. 3, making it the seventh restaurant owned by the trio. Although the pandemic and Hurricane Zeta posed some challenges, the team was excited to open the Foley BWW and get it running before the holiday season. The company prepared the community for the restaurant opening through social media outlets. Facebook was used to stay connected with customers, keeping them updated on the grand-opening date and encouraging them to visit with gift-card giveaways. Team members had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 3 and welcomed guests from the community to enjoy some wings. Potters Wings plans on continuing its partnership with Deuce Drones to deliver wings across Foley and the surrounding area via drone. S


MEMBER NEWS

High 5 Hospitality Honors Former Servicemen on Veterans Day M

any business owners across the nation paid tribute to veterans on Nov. 11. High 5 Hospitality was one of them, showing support by partnering with nonprofit organization Jump for Valor. Jump for Valor offers military veterans, including combat, retired and disabled veterans, access to a community that brings them joy and a sense of freedom through a daring activity: skydiving. By involving themselves in activities with other veterans, friends and family, the program provides participants with many therapeutic benefits.

Jump for Valor’s skydiving event on Veterans Day weekend raised funds and awareness for the organization. Many people faced their fears and went skydiving for a good cause.

EVENT CALENDAR FBS Summit Aug. 4-6 Las Vegas, Nevada

No. 3861 Aberdeen, South Dakota Todd and Susan LaHaise | LaHaise Management LLC

No. 3860 Kingston, New York George Banta | Banta BWW MDT LLC

No. 3879 Foley, Alabama Bill Hall, Jason Hall and Brian Jordan | Potters Wings LLC

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NEW STORE OPENINGS

No. 3869 Temecula, California Pinal Sitaram | Isha Investments

7 THE

On the weekend following Veterans Day, Jump for Valor hosted a huge skydiving event in Ridgely, Maryland, to raise money for the organization. Buffalo Wild Wings® donated 70 boxed lunches to event registrants and volunteers. Each included a chicken sandwich, side salad and a bag of chips. Participants enjoyed food, beer from a local brewery and live music, all while supporting veterans. High 5 Hospitality, operated by Bobby Pancake and Steve Wheat, was glad to show support for the organization this Veterans Day. “There comes great satisfaction in finding those unique pockets of people who qualify for our Feed the Frontline program, but most don’t think about, and who are pleasantly surprised by our show of appreciation,” said Lori Ewald, marketing manager. This event is one of many through which High 5 Hospitality and BWW® show support for the military. This is due in part to both Ewald and Pancake’s involvement with Dover Air Force Base (DAFB). They have completed the Honorary Commander Program and now serve as National Civic Leaders for DAFB, representing the base at a national level and advocating for military members. The team looks forward to continuing its involvement with DAFB, Jump for Valor and other organizations that help United States veterans. S


LOOK LISTEN READ

L

ook, Listen, Read is a quarterly compilation of some of the most highly rated and reviewed apps, podcasts, books, websites and other resources. FBS does not support or endorse the use of these tools, which merely serve as a guide to exploring a new level of knowledge and productivity for your business.

1

Scoro is an award-winning end-to-end project and business management solution that enables you to control your entire workflow in one place. In addition to project management features, Scoro provides all the tools you need to fully manage your business: work and task scheduling and tracking; collaboration; contact database and CRM; quoting and billing; advanced reporting; real-time dashboards; and much more.

4

Written by cognitive scientist Dr. Carmen Simon, “Impossible to Ignore“ explores what we can do to influence people in today’s fast-paced world that exposes us to countless messages every day – or even every minute. In general, your small-business audience will forget 90% of your messaging. To succeed, you need to cut through the noise and make sure that your key messages hit home – and stay there.

5

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People“ is a time-tested classic that’s sold more than 30 million copies since it was released in 1936 – making it one of the bestselling books of all time. Once a successful salesman, Carnegie eventually left his sales career and took up public speaking, and the advice from his seminars was compiled into this book. Read it and learn how to get people to like you, how to convince others that your reasoning is the right way of looking at an issue and how to change folks without them hating you for it.

6

Those of you who have enjoyed “The New Business Podcast” by British entrepreneur and bestselling author Chris Ducker will be excited to check out his newest venture in podcasting. ”Youpreneur” is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs understand what it means to develop their personal brand in the 21st century. Ducker covers every topic from delegating to launching online products and establishing industry authority in his weekly podcast and offers key insight, advice and tactics to help business owners succeed.

7

Andy Grove, the former chairman and CEO of Intel, knows a thing or two about management. “High Output Management,“ written in 1995, is Grove’s highly regarded guide small-business owners have relied on for two-plus decades to become better managers and help their companies get more done more effectively.

2

Pat Flynn hosts this award-winning weekly podcast. “Smart Passive Income” offers interviews, strategies and tactics on how to increase profits and grow your online business. If you’re interested in learning about ways you can build atomic habits, create evergreen sales funnels, buy and sell businesses online, tap into niches or grow your YouTube presence, then this is going to be a great resource.

3

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Eighty percent of small businesses fail. A big reason for that is that being incredibly proficient in a craft is not the same thing as running a business. You may be one of the most skilled people in your industry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to build a successful company. Originally published in 1988, “The E-Myth Revisited“ is an updated entrepreneurial guidebook written by Michael Gerber that explores why so many small businesses fail and gives entrepreneurs tips on how they can avoid suffering a similar fate.

8

Wrike’s mission is to help organizations thrive in the digital age by transforming the way they plan, manage and complete work. Its SaaS-based, work management platform features engaging collaboration, workflow and project management tools built into an intuitive online workspace. Every day, millions of users at over 15,000 companies use Wrike to drive top-line processes across their organizations. In 2017, Wrike was named to the Deloitte Fast 500 list of the fastest-growing companies in North America for the third consecutive year. S


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THAT SUPPORT YOUR ASSOCIATION CONTACT

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Audio Visual Design Install

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Copesan

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Jolt

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Mahoney Environmental

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One More Time

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Pabst Brewing Co.

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Parts Town

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UPshow

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Spotlight on the 116th Congress:

Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK-01) Q

since August. This kind of legislation shouldn’t be viewed as a bailout because your businesses were shut down due to no fault of your own. The government caused your business to suffer, so the government should be responsible for the repayment. This distinction is incredibly important – revenue shortfalls this year are not your fault. When the government picks winners and losers in business, we enter dangerous territory.

As a small-business owner and McDonald’s franchisee, what qualities or skills did you develop that you use as a representative?

A

I’ve always had the attitude that I will not be outworked, which has served me well in Congress. The kind of work ethic you have to have to make it as a small-business owner is rare in Washington, D.C. I found out very early that my experience in small business set me apart from my colleagues, even on the Small Business Committee. You’d be surprised how few people on the committee have ever run a small business. Even in the first few months of my freshman term, my colleagues turned to me for expertise on small-business issues because they know that experience matters. I’ve seen the difference in the witnesses who come before our committee as well. There’s usually a visible sigh of relief when they realize someone on the committee has been in their shoes before and understands the issues they’re facing from the business side and not just the legislative side. I’ve been astonished at how much time Congress spends on legislation never intended to become law. In the business world, you’d never waste a single minute on a project that will never see the light of day. In Congress, on the other hand, people spend most of their time talking about bills that they know will never make it to the president’s desk. That’s a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. I’ve had success working across the aisle to find issues we can work on together with legislation that can earn strong support in both chambers of Congress and make it to the president’s desk.

Q A

How is relief legislation, similar to what was passed early in the pandemic, important to small-business owners?

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As a business owner, we all know that you are the last one to get paid. Your top priority is your staff and the health of your business. Especially with small operations, your staff are like family. When the country shut down this spring, I heard from hundreds of business owners whose hearts were broken having to furlough or lay off staff. It was a gut-wrenching decision for so many to make with no clarity on how long it would last or if any help was coming from Congress. Enter the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It was a lifeline to small businesses to keep staff on the payroll rather than in the unemployment lines. It wasn’t perfect, but it was something to keep our small businesses alive. Unfortunately, partisanship got in the way, and the program has been stalled

Q A

How has your role on the House Committee on Small Business influenced your opinions on the impact of legislation on small business?

It’s always on the top of my mind. Naturally, as a business owner for more than 30 years, I look at all legislation through the lens of a business owner. How is it going to impact Main Street? Are there any unwanted side effects that a career politician might have overlooked? Historically, it’s a strong bipartisan idea that our small businesses are of utmost importance to the national economy. But very few small businesses have a say in the legislation that Congress considers. Small businesses don’t have the resources to employ expensive lobbyists and get their issues in front of the top congressional leaders, so their perspectives can be left behind. You see this all the time in regulations that come out of Congress meant for large corporations. There’s almost always an adverse application to small businesses. That’s why it’s essential to have business leaders in Congress. It’s essential to have people of all backgrounds and all experiences making the laws that govern our country.

Q A

What challenges have you helped small businesses in your district overcome?

COVID-19 is by far the largest challenge our business community has had to overcome. In the immediate aftermath of government-mandated shutdowns, I held weekly virtual town halls specifically for local business owners. We helped connect local businesses to the resources available, and I even had the senior policy advisors to the Small Business Committee join me to explain in detail the PPP and other resources created in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It was certainly a hard year and these challenges are far from over, but I know my constituents were glad to have a business owner representing them in Congress and helping them navigate through such a challenging year. S


One topic: 10 facts

Employment in the Restaurant Industry 1

7

There are 15.1 million restaurant industry employees in the United States.

Nine in 10 restaurants have fewer than 50 employees.

2

8

1.6 million new restaurant jobs will be created by 2028.

Seventy-six percent of restaurateurs are looking for labor management tools in their restaurant point of sale.

3

9

The restaurant workforce makes up 10% of the overall U.S. workforce.

The number of middle-class jobs ($45,000-$75,000 annual salary) in the restaurant industry grew 84% between 2010 and 2018, more than three times faster than in the overall economy.

4 Three in 10 restaurateurs cite staffing as a challenge.

6 Eight in 10 restaurant owners started their industry careers in entry-level positions.

Source: Upserve

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Nine in 10 restaurant managers started at entry level.

More than 7 in 10 restaurants are single-unit operations.

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FRANCHISEE SPOTLIGHT

Steve Wheat & Bobby Pancake High 5 Hospitality

Year Became a BWW® Franchisee: 2004 Total Number of BWW Locations: 8 Total Number of Employees: 555

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obby Pancake and Steve Wheat got to know each other as high-ranking managers for Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. in Minneapolis in the early 2000s. While Pancake served as senior director of company operations, Wheat was marketing manager of company operations. They had more in common than their employer, however. They each desired the opportunity to operate their own restaurants. With a partner, Pancake and Wheat started High 5 Hospitality (H5H) and opened their first Buffalo Wild Wings® in Delaware in 2004. Though their business partner died unexpectedly shortly after the opening, they overcame the adversity and quickly earned recognition from the brand, earning New Franchisee of the Year honors in 2005. In 2009, High 5 Hospitality opened its sixth location, and shortly after, Pancake received the Founders Award from BWW Inc., given to the individual who best personifies the vision, enthusiasm, work ethic and humility of the chain’s founder, Jim Disbrow. The awards have continued to roll in. In 2011, the Delaware

Restaurant Association chose the pair as Restaurateurs of the Year, and earlier this year, Buffalo Wild Wings chose H5H as its Franchisee of the Year. Read on to learn more about Pancake and Wheat and their recipe for success.

What drew you to the brand?

Bobby: The transition from old school BW-3 to a lighter, brighter, more contemporary and cool Buffalo Wild Wings. When I joined the brand, they had just opened the first [Gen 3] location in Lexington, Kentucky. I wanted to be part of a growth company, and when I joined in 1997, there were only 10 company-owned locations and just over 60 franchise locations. Steve: I guess you could say that I grew up with the brand. I started in 1999 as a member of the corporate marketing team and have been a part of its growth and transformation ever since.

What is your favorite thing about the brand?

Bobby: In the beginning, it was the simplicity of the operations. Now it’s menu variety and the number of sauce choices along with the energy and joy we see on the faces of our loyal guests when the big game is on. Steve: In some way or another, the brand becomes a part of you. People have a real connection with the brand, and they consider their local B-Dubs® to be their own. People are very quick to share their favorite location, which store was their first in college or if they ever worked in one. There is a true attachment from the guest to the brand.


High 5 Hospitality recently won Franchisee of the Year recognition from Inspire Brands. What does that recognition of the organization mean to you? Bobby: It is a feather in the cap of each of our sports bars, recognizing the dedication and focus our leaders and team members bring to the fight every single day. For Steve and I, it is the culmination of 16 years of grind, chopping wood and focus on our desire to be an elite operator of the BWW brand. There are some incredible franchisees in our system, so to be recognized is very humbling. Steve: It means we have built a solid foundation of great people that are willing to work hard every day to improve and do what is best for the guest. This company is full of incredible franchisees, so to be considered one of the best is a testament to our teams.

What other concepts do you own?

Bobby and Steve: Stone Balloon (independent); Limestone BBQ and Bourbon (independent); and Eggspectation (franchise).

What are your current top three business goals?

Bobby: 1. Never let a good crisis go to waste. Come out of the pandemic better than we went in. 2. Execute our five-year operating plan. People. Processes. Performance. Product. Profitability. 3. Continue to grow and expand our brand portfolio within a two-hour radius of our hub. Steve: 1. Continue to retain and recruit the best talent. 2. Navigate and survive the effects of COVID-19 and the restrictions that go with it. 3. Identify and correctly time the best opportunities for growth.

predictive scheduling, to paid leave, to mandated health care, to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to local municipalities, state and county governments making up their own hot-button issues – the biggest fight we have is for freedom from our government. In addition, our politicians and mainstream media have worked hard to give our industry a black eye. It’s tough enough to hire great individuals who enjoy serving others and find great satisfaction in preparing food for the masses in pressure-packed timeframes. Surrounding our leaders with the best talent to propel our businesses forward continues to be front of mind. Steve: The challenges, uncertainty, government restrictions, safety protocols, social distancing and other unforeseen consequences of COVID-19.

What is your favorite BWW wing sauce? Bobby: Caribbean Jerk. Steve: Asian Zing.

If I weren’t a franchisee, I would be …

Bobby: I can’t go backward in time and go into the military, so I would likely be an entrepreneur of some type of business. I really do enjoy growing companies and helping people grow in their careers. However, my roots are from the farm, so I might have just gotten in on the front end of this farm-to-table movement and supplied restaurateurs with beef or produce. Steve: I have always wanted to be an owner and an entrepreneur, so if I was not a franchisee in the restaurant industry, I would most likely be a franchisee in another industry or possibly create my own business in design or construction. S

Describe your best recent business decision.

Bobby: Our commitment to build the H5H Leadership Academy and the curriculum/leadership acumen that we can share. Our goal is to inform, educate and inspire. Steve: Restructuring our debt as well as purchasing some of our buildings to reduce fixed expenses.

What is the best business advice you have received?

Bobby: 1. Don’t fall in love with a restaurant site or trade area. 2. You’ve got to always look at the big picture. 3. Of all the people who will never leave me, I’m the only one. Steve: The smartest person in the room is the one who knows what they do not know. Be patient, take the time to learn or seek the expert advice needed. It’s not our job to have all the answers, and it takes multiple points of view to see the correct path.

Describe the biggest industry change since you started.

Bobby: The impact of government at all levels of our business. From the National Labor Relations Board, to the Fight for $15, to

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Describe your current biggest challenge as a franchisee.

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Bobby: The advancement of technology and our ability to measure and calculate food cost and produce unit-level profit and loss statements. The ability to have a sales forecast at the push of a button. The capability to send schedules to a team member’s cellphone and allow them to swap shifts in seconds. Secondly, the push toward fresh and farm to table. Food quality has certainly improved in our industry over the years. Steve: Increased competition.


local sports connections draw fans back to b-dubs by Sean Ireland

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he coronavirus pandemic has left little in our nation unchanged. Many of us have altered how we work, the ways in which we interact with our families, and our personal habits and lifestyles because of the disease. With such fundamental change occurring, it may seem trivial to fret over the postponement or cancellation of collegiate and professional sporting events. It is important to recognize, though, that such disruptions to the sporting calendar do have important economic consequences. Empty stadiums and venues don’t employ people to sell popcorn and soft drinks or manage parking lots, and they don’t draw people to surrounding hotels in their

communities or to restaurants anywhere. For Buffalo Wild Wings® franchisees, no sports being played meant no sports being televised and the loss of one of its most important draws. Of course, in the spring and early summer, when nearly all restaurant dining rooms across the country were closed and large gatherings were discouraged, the loss of televised sporting events didn’t matter much. With sales made only by takeout or delivery, the atmosphere inside the sports bar was irrelevant. As dining rooms have reopened, albeit with restrictions on capacity, sports have returned too, though in ways we have never before seen: Major League Baseball (MLB) started a 60-game season with

expanded playoffs and rules changes to expedite games in late July. The National Basketball Association (NBA) resumed its season in July with all teams playing at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It crowned a champion in October, normally the time when teams are attending training camps preparing for the next season. The Kentucky Derby was run in September, some major college athletic conferences delayed the starts of their football seasons until October and November, and The Masters golf championship was moved to November. So, what does that mean for a brand


that markets itself as the Great American Sports Bar? The big answer, but not the easy one: It depends on location and community interests. It seems that people want to get back to watching live sports, no matter where they are. “There is a definite difference with guest counts on nights with big events versus ones with no events. We have done very well with add-ons as well, like Ultimate Fighting Championship,” said District Manager Jeff Carmody of JK&T Wings, which has 84 BWW® locations in five states including Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri.

“ it has been an escape back to some normalcy with baseball, basketball and football back on.” – Joel Dover, JK&T Wings district manager

champion Kansas City Chiefs has brought fans back. “Our customers are ready to hang out with a touch of normalcy, socially distanced, of course,” he said. “Customer counts are up specifically when our local teams play. Takeout is still the majority of sales though.” “It has been an escape back to some normalcy with baseball, basketball and football back on,” Joel Dover, another JK&T Wings district manager, said. “It’s also a chance for our team to re-engage with our regular guests. Having 50% [dine-in] capacity has now created its own challenges when guests stay to watch an entire sporting event. It has slowed seating down and created a longer wait list; however, it has also helped increase our takeout business.” “The NBA and National Hockey League crowds were not strong, but the pandemic is still in full swing. We are far from back to a normal viewing audience,” Breunig said. Conversely, at Four M Franchising restaurants, “we are seeing a rise in sales versus the prior year with sports playing a major impact,” Feliciano said. “Basketball in the summer and fall brought many spectators.”

“ in talking with guests and from observing, there’s just a lot less interest in the modified sport seasons.” – Jason Garrity, JK&T Wings district manager

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Two other JK&T district managers agreed that sports-viewing guest counts overall are down when compared to before the pandemic. “In talking with guests and from observing, there’s just a lot less interest in the modified sport seasons,” Jason Garrity noted. Dan Parkerson agreed. “If it’s a major event, such as a UFC pay per view or local games, they do help drive in some traffic. Continued on page 16

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Tom Rodgers, director of operations for Spark Restaurants, with eight BWW locations in Texas, agreed that the return of televised sports has had a role in attracting guests back. “People want to see live sporting events and eat wings,” he said. “We are seeing higher traffic on nights with live local sports versus nonsports days.” “Televised sports have helped rejuvenate the dining rooms,” added Juan Feliciano, area director of Four M Franchising, which has 11 BWW locations in Connecticut and New York, including Times Square. “Guests are excited to be part of the action and take their minds off the reality taking place in the world today.” B-Dubs® sports bars that have a particular affiliation with a college or pro sports team have seen better numbers when those teams are playing. Across the board, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight nights seem to be a big draw. In some communities, basketball and baseball have been popular. In others,

not, and the same holds true for esports, a hobby growing in popularity in the U.S. that the brand has been trying to capitalize upon. Even with the return of televised sports, there are both good and bad effects. Takeout sales may go up on a night with a big game, which is a positive. People seem to want BWW food, even if they are watching an event from home, though that means that they aren’t ordering as many beverages and snacks as when they are in the sports bars. While on-premise dining has opened in most states across the country, seating restricted to limit the spread of COVID-19 makes for a complicated equation. Televised sports may be bringing people back to BWW, but if guests are waiting too long for a limited number of tables that are slow to turn over, it can be as much burden as boon. Sports bars across the nation are feeling their way through these differing experiences, hoping to find the right mix to feed the passion and appetites of hungering fans. It’s important first to remember the steps that operators have taken to incorporate safety guidance and restrictions into their locations while still providing the game-day experience and great food that have been the basis for the brand’s growth. “We have obeyed the 6-foot seating rule and have distanced tables to accommodate our customers,” Rodgers said. “After they leave, we disinfect the table before reseating. We have 6-foot dividers between booths so we may seat all of them up to our 75% capacity.” At JK&T Wings, there are fewer tables to meet social-distancing requirements, and team members are wearing masks and consistently cleaning high-touch surfaces. Some locations have added hands-free door openers for bathrooms and hands-free bags for silverware. The same is the case for Four M Franchising, with 50% and 25% dining-room capacities and requirements for guests to wear masks when walking around and tables spaced 6 feet apart. But at all the restaurants, there are still banks of flat screen TVs on the walls, each tuned to one of the myriad networks broadcasting sports content. For Jon Breunig, a Missouri-based district manager with JK&T Wings, the return of the National Football League and, more specifically, the Super Bowl


Sports Connections Continued from page 15

We are just not getting the overwhelming crowds like we used to,” he said. “I feel that some of the traffic is also related to people simply wanting to get back out and closer to normalcy.” Rodgers said the teams at Spark Restaurants have sensed enmity from fans toward professional athletes who have expressed public opinions about politics, diversity and police misconduct. “Due to the political views of sports teams and players, people are choosing not to support the leagues,” Rodgers said. “Sports viewing is down due to the professional leagues getting involved in politics, which people do not like. They just want to watch sports without all the opinions of the million-dollar athletes. Due to this, we at BWW are affected by less viewership.” Garrity said that a surprising form of TV content involving amateur athletes has brought people back to some locations. “We have had the opportunity to televise high school football. With so many restrictions on attendance at those games, that has been very beneficial and really allowed us to grow our footprint in the local community,” he said.

“ we have found airing or streaming high school games to be very successful in certain markets.” – Jeff Carmody, JK&T Wings district manager

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Football is usually the gold standard for TV sports ratings. Offering local high school games for those fans who can’t be in the stands because of social-distancing and capacity requirements is an unusual opportunity, but one to be considered more closely. “Airing high school networks and promoting that locally could be a good way to grow business and own local community support,” Carmody said. “We have found airing or streaming

high school games to be very successful in certain markets.” On the flip side of the coin, the JK&T Wings leaders are seeing deflated sales numbers caused by the delayed start to the college football season, particularly the late start of the Big Ten athletic conference, which didn’t have its first weekend of games until late October. “We are in Big Ten country, and the season has yet to start,” Carmody said in early fall. “We have seen an uptick in dining room volume with college football’s start, but nothing like [the impact] we are hoping the Big Ten will have on our business volume.” “Same-store sales will reflect negatively going by game days from last year. The late start to the season will bring those dollars back in a different period,” Breunig said. “As far as [the season] going later in December, we have to hope the pandemic will have eased up, and the general public is comfortable getting back out. That will have way more impact.” Likewise, Spark Restaurants are seeing numbers affected by the delays to the college season, but to an extent still undetermined. “We have been down considerably for our Saturday NCAA crowds for football. We will see how it impacts our year later because many have not requested to see games,” Rodgers said. The brand is at the start of a partnership that it hopes will also have impact on guest counts, though that may come down the road. In August, Buffalo Wild Wings and Riot Games reached a sponsorship deal that allows BWW to stream the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) esports league in its sports bars across the country. Esports – video games played by multiple players in single-player competitions or grouped on teams – was reported to have been a $660 million business in 2017 and is growing rapidly with revenue from esports predicted to reach $1.5 billion in 2020. League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game that is among the most popular in the world, and LCS is the top level of competition for the game in the U.S. In Rolla, Missouri, where the Missouri University of Science and Technology and one of JK&T Wings’ Buffalo Wild Wings is located, esports is having an impact on traffic. “Our Rolla location has developed a following

for watching esports because the university has a strong esports presence,” Breunig said. “We often stream events and programming outside of the big tournaments.”

“ as always, we are the place to come to watch sports.” – Joel Dover, JK&T Wings district manager

“We certainly televise esports,” Feliciano said. “Any sports are good sports. We saw somewhat of a bump, but it is still a growing craze. In time, we will create a loyal fan base. We will continue to televise esports and have conversations with our guests letting them know what we offer. Word of mouth is the best advertising.” In other locations, the effect has not been as pronounced. “We have pushed the marketing for the League of Legends but have seen very little guest traffic for this,” Carmody said. “We hope to see some positive impact as popularity increases in the Midwest, but this is definitely not as impactful as on the West Coast.” It’s here that there is perhaps the most evident example of what to make of the relationship between sports viewership and BWW. It’s not the tie between sports and the sports bar that’s most important. It’s the connection between a community and its local Buffalo Wild Wings that is of far more relevance. By knowing what matters to fans in their areas and offering ways for them to connect with it inside the retaurant, each location best lives into the marketing of Buffalo Wild Wings as the Great American Sports Bar. “As always, we are the place to come to watch sports,” Dover said. “We have and will continue to create a fun, exciting place to watch sports.” S SEAN IRELAND is the FBS associate director of communications. You may reach Ireland at 678-797-5165 or seani@myfbsonline.org.


Get to Know … Chief Marketing Officer

Rita Patel

Tell us about your career before Buffalo Wild Wings®.

I was fortunate to start my career where many marketers begin – in the consumer packaged goods business. Right out of college I worked for Wrigley, where I developed a strong, fundamental understanding of the marketing business. I then went on to spend time in the adult beverage category working for Coors Light followed by Beam Suntory. I most recently spent time at Target, where I worked on many facets of the business, including food and beverage, sports marketing, licensing and apparel.

What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?

As the chief marketing officer for Buffalo Wild Wings, I have the privilege of leading the advertising, digital innovation, menu development and overall experience for the brand. I also have the honor of leading an extremely talented group of marketers who will collaborate with me on this journey.

Your background includes retail and time in the beverage industry. How did those prepare you for the unique experience BWW® offers?

All of my previous experiences have led me to this moment of leading marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings. The retail business is similar to the restaurant business in many ways. In both retail and the restaurant industry, we spend each and every day looking at foot traffic and analyzing the business. And while in retail you are focused on building basket, in the restaurant industry you are focused on building check. The beverage industry, beer and spirits particularly, makes you understand big brands and how those brands not only operate in culture, but also influence culture. I am humbled, honored and excited to bring all of these key learnings and experiences to Buffalo Wild Wings.

Can you talk about digital innovation and what it will mean for the brand, particularly following the COVID-19 crisis?

The passion and dedication they have for the brand and the people is like none I have seen. They are just as invested as we

I’ve always been a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings, having gone with my friends each week in college. But something I didn’t learn until I took this role is how truly amazing the food is! One of my favorite things about the brand is how this team really demonstrates the brand values in their day-to-day actions.

What are three things people would be surprised to know about you?

1. In my college years, I worked with a team to help launch a music group that Kayne West was in before he was solo. 2. I am on a personal mission to visit every football stadium in the United States. I’m not as far along as I would like, but I’m working on it! 3. I have lived overseas twice – Barcelona, Spain, and Sydney – but for marketing roles.

Tell us a little about your personal/family life.

My parents moved to the U.S. from India, so I am firstgeneration. I think about the sacrifices they made for me, and I am motivated and driven by wanting to succeed for them. I was born in Chicago, which makes me a huge Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks fan! I love to travel and am thankful that my career led me to spend time in Barcelona, Spain, and Sydney, Australia. I am a wife, a die-hard Browns fan, and a mother to our 3-year-old daughter, who is a Vikings fan, which makes for interesting football seasons. S

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What makes the Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee community special?

What are your favorite things about the Buffalo Wild Wings brand?

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Consumers were already digitizing all moments of their lives for control and convenience, but what we’ve seen historically is that massive consumer events tend to accelerate trends forward. At Buffalo Wild Wings, we are leveraging these digital trends to maximize our guest experience – from enabling easy transactions (digital payments), to personalizing the growing off-premise experience and entertaining guests via Bring Your Own Device (trivia and picks and props). We aim to create great guest experiences using technology to support, not the other way around.

are in seeing the brand grow in consumers’ hearts and translating that to traffic and sales today.


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Franchisees Face Challenge of Finding Enough Willing Workers


by Sean Ireland

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takeout and delivery business than usual. “Less staff creates more work for the ones we have. It can be very taxing at times,” said Joel Dover, another JK&T Wings district manager. “It has limited what our managers can do outside of operations. There’s very little time to spend on marketing, training, the extras.” The qualities restaurant teams need in potential new hires remain the same. Good personalities and strong work ethics will always be at the top of the wish lists of managers. If they have the right attitude, they can be trained on the rest. But Rodgers said Spark Restaurants has added patience, compassion for customers and the ability to follow safety guidelines as important attributes the company seeks now more than ever in the hiring process. “We still want to make sure we are hiring motivated candidates who want to be at work,” Garrity said. “We have really focused on hiring people who want to be cross-trained. It has been essential to find team members who can work so many different positions.”

“We still want to make sure we are hiring motivated candidates who want to be at work. We have really focused on hiring people who want to be cross-trained. It has been essential to find team members who can work so many different positions.” – Jason Garrity

JK&T Wings district manager

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“Whether we have more dine-in business or takeout, we are still in the people business,” Breunig added. “We need team members that are focused on taking care of guests as if they are in their own homes.” These types of can-do employees were the ones most likely to be retained or the last laid off when restaurants had to make the difficult decision to cut staff when dining rooms were closed because of the pandemic. They were most likely the first team members asked back when sales rebounded on the back of increased takeout and delivery business and when dining rooms slowly reopened. “We asked every employee that would be impacted [by dining-room closures] if they would like to stay on and work a different position,” Rodgers said. “[If they did], then we made accommodations for them.” Continued on page 20

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ne of the biggest problems franchisees across many brands experienced with their businesses before the coronavirus pandemic in March was hiring and keeping quality workers. As we close out this strange year, one of the few things that has not changed after the pandemic is the challenge that franchisees still face with finding and retaining employees. Before the pandemic, a historically low unemployment rate across the nation was the culprit, with restaurants struggling to find enough workers to meet the demands of high standards of guest service in their day-to-day operations or to staff new locations. Since March, the situation has been equally, if not more, difficult. While unemployment is high across the nation because of the business closures caused by the pandemic, until July 31, workers who’d lost their jobs were receiving an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits as part of the congressional relief packages to boost the economy. Then starting in August, some states were offering extra compensation of $300 to $400 per week as part of unemployment benefits. While helping to keep the economy moving, the needed relief may also keep some workers on the sidelines. Others remain leery of working closely with the public in a restaurant as the pandemic continues, afraid for their health or the health of loved ones despite the stringent safety procedures brands and franchisees have established. Those fears are keeping some potential employees away and pushing some former restaurant workers to seek opportunities in different industries. For Buffalo Wild Wings® franchisee groups, the combination is challenging. “It was difficult to find employees as everyone is hiring and no one wants to work as long as they get the extra unemployment compensation,” said Tom Rodgers, director of operations at Spark Restaurants, which operates eight locations in Texas. “The pandemic has caused a huge increase in unemployment, but we are not seeing the applicant flow as people are leery about close-contact positions, in my opinion. It’s the nature of the job,” said Jon Breunig, a district manager with JK&T Wings, with 84 BWW® sports bars in five states, including Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri. “Hiring and retaining has been as challenging as ever these last six months,” agreed another JK&T Wings district manager, Jason Garrity. “It has been rather difficult to hire folks. While there are many looking for jobs, their qualifications do not meet the standard,” noted Juan Feliciano, area director of Four M Franchising, which operates 11 B-Dubs® in Connecticut and New York. “This has been a struggle. We are looking for new team members every day. With so many people not working, I would have thought this would be easier. Unfortunately, it’s not.” “It’s the worst it’s ever been in my 25 years with Buffalo Wild Wings,” added JK&T Wings District Manager Jeff Carmody. “It’s challenging to find people that want to send an application in, let alone work. Look and see how many ‘Now Hiring’ signs are around.” Being short staffed is always a problem when the brand promise is built on delivering great guest service, but it becomes particularly acute when new operating procedures require more cleaning and disinfection tasks and there’s a higher volume of


Hiring

Continued from page 19 “We only furloughed servers and bartenders during the shutdown,” Carmody said. “Once our dining rooms opened, we offered employment to all. Fortunately, we executed well during that shutdown with high-volume takeout business and offered hours for most staff that were looking to work.” When asked back, some employees returned quickly, with little reservation, while others were more circumspect. There’s been no one-size-fits-all explanation to the responses restaurants received when trying to rehire. “For the most part, we have been able to bring most people back,” Breunig said. “Some have opted to take the opportunity to switch industries or go back to school.” “We focused on our core group of team members and made sure we did our best to discuss [layoffs] with each employee,” Garrity said. “Some really wanted to stay while others volunteered to take time off. It was very store-dependent. Overall, most team members were eager to come back, but we had a few who did not come back and remained on unemployment.”

“We need to be known in all our communities as a great employer by treating our teams fairly and bringing fun to our environment now more than ever.” – Jeff Carmody

JK&T Wings district manager

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“The ones dedicated [to the BWW brand] have come back,” Four M Franchising’s Feliciano said. “But we lost some good people. There are folks who have moved on to other states, some who have found other jobs and some who have changed careers.” The JK&T Wings managers do as much as possible to alleviate safety concerns as a reason for former employees not to return or new hires not to join their teams. They emphasize the brand’s training and safety procedures during interviews and highlight the mask requirement, daily temperature checks, socialdistancing measures and third-party disinfecting services they use. Spark Restaurants also ensures safety is the top priority for its team members. “We are always communicating about safety procedures to follow to ensure they do not get the virus, whether it’s always wearing a facial mask at work and washing hands every 30 minutes or disinfecting tables between each of our customers,” Rodgers said. Four M Franchising holds preshift meetings every day to constantly emphasize new safety measures and runs incentives with scheduling and food to keep its teams going. “I think we are running well with what we have, but we can use some more experienced folks to balance out the new ones,” Feliciano said. With the difficulties in hiring, these managers do whatever

they can to discover, attract and keep candidates. “We have just introduced a retention/referral bonus for new team members,” another JK&T Wings district manager, Dan Parkerson, said. “We offer $200 net to our employee that referred the new hire and $450 for the new hire if they stay for six months.” “If you have someone walk in for a job application, you run an interview on the spot and get them on board if they have the right attributes,” Dover said. “If an applicant applies for a job, we must ensure we respond immediately as there are too many places looking for employees,” Rodgers said. “They will not wait for us to contact them before they move on to another company.” “We had to get rid of the three-step interviewing process in a majority of locations due to the fear that other concepts will get to them in that timeframe,” Carmody said. “In some cases, we have had to hire bodies regardless of experience due to where we are in hiring and lack of staff in numbers. If they are experienced, then we pay over market value in hopes of retainment and due to the hiring climate we are in. I would say 10% of the applicants you call show for interviews when contacted.” It’s important to look to nontraditional resources for leads at a time like this – contacting and recruiting through schools, chambers of commerce, sports coaches and other community leaders. When interviewing potential employees in the current job market, it’s also important to think in terms of selling candidates on the job just as much as they are selling employers on their skills and attitudes. Buffalo Wild Wings is a fun, team-based work environment and emphasizing the sports bar’s culture can be an important, but sometimes overlooked, incentive. “We need to make sure we appreciate our team members and that they know it,” Garrity said. “We need to keep work fun, safe and inviting for all our team more now than ever. Competitive wages and benefits go a long way, but we need to focus on their happiness at work. I think we need to look at our systems in place and make sure we are easing operations, not making things more difficult.” Even so, competitive pay and benefits are a must. “You need to have your managers staying on top of the market they are in,” Breunig said. “Who is hiring? For what pay and hours? Pay attention in your interviews and find out what your applicants are looking for out of you and your organization. Put thought into how you can better become an employer of choice.” Carmody, too, noted the importance of high energy, a fun environment and the desire to shine above other casual dining concepts as the key factors that will enable Buffalo Wild Wings to increase its market share in sales and employment. Being known in their communities as good employers in business for the long haul will give BWW a leg up on others when it comes to hiring. “We have to do the extras and be the best recruiters in our industry. People will eventually get back to the normal work environment. We must outperform our competitors and show our guests the pride we have in our operations by continuing to deliver genuine service,” Carmody said. “We need to be known in all our communities as a great employer by treating our teams fairly and bringing fun to our environment now more than ever.” S

SEAN IRELAND is the FBS associate director of communications. You may reach Ireland at 678-797-5165 or seani@myfbsonline.org.


Win Customer Loyalty Even in Challenging Times by Dennis Snow

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happen for your customers to feel that way. For example, if you want customers to say that you were extra appreciative of their business right now, behaviors like: • Sincerely thanking customers for being loyal during this challenging time. • Asking if there’s anything else you can do to make it easier to do business with you. • Offering an add-on at no cost. Again, it’s a dialogue to have with your team, but you do this with each of the three things that you want your customers to say about you. The next step is to communicate and reinforce the outcome of those discussions with everyone on the team. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page. There’s just too much at stake right now to leave customer perceptions to chance. So, here’s something to think about: What are three things we want our customers to say or feel about their experience with us? What has to happen for them to say those three things? S

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DENNIS SNOW is the president of Snow & Associates Inc. Dennis worked with The Walt Disney Co. for 20 years and now consults with organizations around the world, helping them achieve their customer service goals. He is the author of “Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service” and “Lessons From the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life.” You can reach Snow at 407-294-1855 or visit his website at www.snowassociates.com.

THE

he world is in the midst of one of the most challenging times we can imagine. The impact on health, on families and on businesses is staggering. At the very least, your business has changed dramatically. People all over the world are dealing with massive challenges that they’ve never dealt with before. One of the questions I’m being asked from many of my clients is: What can we do right now to make sure that we’re increasing the likelihood that our customers will stay loyal to us now and in the future? So, I want to offer an approach that works very well in creating a great customer experience and for engaging your team in the process. Keep in mind you’re going to have to tailor this approach to your own situation. In a meeting with members of your team – either virtually or in an appropriately socially distanced setting – come up with three things you would want your customers to say or think about their experience with you in this crazy time. Focusing on three things makes you think about and define what’s truly important to your customers right now. For example, three things you might want your customers to say could be: 1. They were easy to do business with during this confusing time. 2. They were extra appreciative of our business right now. 3. Their employees were highly knowledgeable or knew exactly where to find the answers. My guess is that if your customers could make those three statements about you, they’re going to be loyal now and in the future. Again, your statements might be different, but I’m sure you get the idea. Once you have identified those three things that you want customers to say, the next step is to discuss what needs to


Should You Require Employees to Take a COVID-19 Vaccine?

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s this article is being written in late October 2020, various COVID-19 vaccines are in third-stage trials while infection and death rates are rising across the United States and much of the world. Will there be a safe and effective vaccine at the time this article is distributed? I certainly hope so, but if not, make sure to save this for when there is one (although you should read it now to start planning for when a vaccine does come out). Even if a vaccine is out and available, the current thinking is that the

by Douglas H. Duerr

available doses will be prioritized for first responders and other high-risk groups such as the elderly and medically fragile. That said, at some point, a vaccine will become generally available, and you will be faced with the question of whether you require your employees, as a condition of continued employment, to take it. Why would you need to consider this question at all? After all, as an operator of a retail business catering to the general public (i.e., not a health care setting) you likely do not require your employees to take any vaccines as a condition of

employment. For example, although the seasonal flu is common and infects a fair number of people each year causing tens of thousands of deaths annually in the U.S. alone, you probably do not require a vaccine. In fact, although people (customers and employees) infected with all types of diseases enter your establishment, there is seldom, if ever, any traceable infection


less common as more becomes known about the COVID-19 vaccines, such medical opinions are nonetheless a critical consideration when determining whether an individual is disabled within the meaning of the ADA and, if so, whether a reasonable accommodation in the form of a waiver of vaccination is required. Can a waiver of vaccination be a reasonable accommodation even during a pandemic? Maybe. Not only do public health experts consider less than 100% vaccination sufficient to prevent a significant public health event, but there may be other measures that might be available when a small portion of your workforce is not vaccinated, including job modifications to eliminate or reduce exposure to others, requiring use of N95 masks (make sure you comply with OSHA requirements) or the like. The same is true for someone who claims a sincerely held religious belief that they cannot be vaccinated against the virus; you may need to accommodate that person as well. Thus, you are not likely to be able to require everyone to get a vaccine. Even if none or very few of your employees have a condition requiring waiver under the ADA or a religious belief likewise excusing them from a vaccination requirement, should you require a vaccine? There are many considerations that need to go into that decision, such as the availability of doses in the community. Who will pay for the vaccine, and if it is the employee, does that cost count as a deduction from wages that takes the

employee below the minimum wage for that week? Is the vaccine’s efficacy and the amount of time for which it provides protection worth the cost and side effects? How will this intrusion in the private medical decisions of your employees impact morale? Will the requirement help or hurt recruitment for open positions? What will the impact be of having some employees required to get vaccinated while others are excused? Yes, you can have a vaccination requirement. No, you might not be able to apply it to everyone. Is such a requirement worth it? Definitely maybe. So long as there is a pandemic and substantial risks to vulnerable individuals and your business, mandatory vaccination against the virus should be given serious consideration; however, when making a final decision, there are many issues to consider. Thus, while as of the writing of this article (and likely even when it is published) there are still many unknowns about the virus and any vaccine, this is an issue that will (hopefully) soon be front and center. Consequently, as I mentioned at the start of this article, now is a good time to begin thinking about what your decision will be. S

DOUGLAS H. DUERR is a partner at Elarbee Thompson, a national labor and employment law firm with an industry practice area focused on franchisees. Learn more at www.elarbeethompson.com.

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of another customer or employee as a result. (OK, admittedly, I am leaving out the common cold, which can sometimes go through your employees like wildfire, but that is more of a nuisance. And I am getting to the point.) Present science, however, indicates that 40% of COVID-19 cases are traceable to indoor spaces, that COVID-19 is not that hard to catch (particularly when compared to another airborne disease like tuberculosis) and is more serious than the flu in terms of hospitalization and death. Consequently, because of these somewhat unique risk factors, you might be inclined to consider whether a step such as a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine might be prudent to avoid potential liability to the co-workers and customers of an employee who might become infected. Now that you have considered the risk of allowing infections to occur when there is a potential preventative measure in the form of a vaccine, can you require vaccination, and if so, what are the risks of doing so? Stated succinctly, the answer is generally a “yes” you can require a vaccine, but (you knew that “but” was coming, right?) just because you can does not mean that you will be able to require all employees, including those being hired, to be vaccinated as a condition of starting or continuing employment. There are two primary exceptions to any vaccination requirement: The individual has a condition that may require you to excuse the requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (or equivalent state law) or has a sincerely held religious belief that requires you to excuse the vaccination requirement under Title VII (or equivalent state law). As many employers have already experienced with COVID-19 itself, many individuals have been able to obtain medical opinions that they are at a higher risk of the disease and, therefore, should receive an accommodation from interacting with customers or co-workers. Given the anticipated speed of development and regulatory approval of a vaccine, it is not unreasonable to assume that individuals will be able to obtain medical opinions that they should not be vaccinated because of the risk of an adverse health result. While perhaps with time such opinions may become


EPLI: Protecting Your Restaurant in the Age of

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he food-service industry faces unique challenges in the age of #MeToo. Claims of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment are increasingly common, with accusations being leveled at managers, employees, vendors and even customers. The fallout from a claim of discrimination or harassment can be serious. Restaurants can face lawsuits and fines as well as bad publicity. Worst of all, you and your business may be held accountable even if you were unaware of the existence of a problem. According to Harvard Business Review1, more claims of misconduct are filed in the restaurant industry than in any other, where as many as 90% of some workers say they experience some form of harassment or discrimination on the job. Plus, these complaints can be costly. In 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported employers paid out a record $68.2 million for complaints, not including other settlements or judgments obtained through litigation2. How EPLI Coverage Protects You Many employers protect their restaurants with employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), which offers

coverage to help shield employers from the high cost of legal fees, judgments and settlements that can result from a discrimination and sexual harassment claim. Here are a few instances where EPLI could help protect your restaurant. Sexual harassment claims can result when managers or other employees make inappropriate comments or ask inappropriate questions about an employee’s personal life. Restaurants have also faced costly claims that involve harassment by nonemployees, such as vendors and customers, where management failed to take adequate steps to address the behavior. Consider these scenarios: • A manager repeatedly comments on a new employee’s appearance. • An employee keeps asking out another employee after being turned down. • A vendor always makes loud inappropriate jokes during the weekly deliveries. • An employee’s complaints about a customer’s physical advances are repeatedly ignored. Retaliation claims can result when an employee is denied shifts, passed over for promotion or fired over making a complaint about unwanted comments or touching as well as those who serve as a witness for a complaint. Retaliation is


the most common Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge, representing more than half of claims in 20183. Consider these scenarios: • An employee’s hours are cut after complaining about a shift manager’s comments. • An employee is passed over for promotion after complaining about a co-worker. • An employee is fired under pretense after being a witness for a former worker’s complaint. Discrimination claims can result over your restaurant’s hiring practices, from the firing of an employee or during a worker’s employment. It is possible for employees to claim discrimination based on a wide variety of factors, including age, sex, family status, pregnancy, religion, national origin or disability status. Sex and age discrimination claims are some of the most common claims employers now face. Consider the following scenarios: • A female employee denied a promotion files a complaint after noticing a pattern of male employees being promoted. • An employee makes a claim of racial discrimination due to comments made by other employees. • An employee is laid off shortly after informing management of a pregnancy. • An older employee makes a complaint after losing a promotion to a younger employee. In each of these cases, a restaurant with EPLI coverage will have protection that helps shield the business from claims resulting from accusations of sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination.

2 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Charges Alleging Sex-Based Harassment (Charges filed with EEOC) FY 2010 - FY 2019,” 2019. https://www.eeoc.gov/statistics/ charges-alleging-sex-based-harassment-charges-filed-eeoc-fy-2010-fy-2019 3 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “EEOC Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Enforcement and Litigation Data,” 2019. https://www.eeoc.gov/ newsroom/eeoc-releases-fiscal-year-2018-enforcement-and-litigation-data]

The Elevanta Insurance Program is administered by Lockton Affinity LLC d/b/a Lockton Affinity Insurance Brokers LLC in California #0795478. Coverage is subject to actual policy terms and conditions. Policy benefits are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Coverage may be provided by an excess/surplus lines insurer which is not licensed by or subject to the supervision of the insurance department of your state of residence. Policy coverage forms and rates are not subject to regulation by the insurance department of your state of residence. Excess/Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and therefore insureds are not protected by such funds in the event of the insurer’s insolvency. Elevanta will receive a royalty fee for the licensing of its name and trademarks as part of the insurance program offered to the extent permitted by applicable law.

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What to Know About EPLI When choosing EPLI coverage for your restaurant, it is important to understand how coverage works. • Ask questions about coverage limits and exclusions. • Read through the application and policy documents thoroughly. • Ensure you know your contractual responsibilities for coverage. Most EPLI policies are issued on a “claims-made” basis, meaning you are covered for claims brought during the policy period, even if the incident occurred prior to your coverage start date. It is important to understand any applicable retroactive dates on your claims-made policy to prevent gaps in coverage. Many EPLI insurers require notification and reporting of any written complaints, even before a lawsuit has been brought forward. Follow any requirements regarding incident reports, documentation and annual renewal questionnaires. Also, be sure to ask about policy exclusions. In today’s world, an incident of sexual harassment or discrimination may escalate to involve an intentional act or criminal conduct that is excluded by your policy. Limits may also apply for bodily injury and emotional or mental distress claims. To be fully protected, understand the limits of the EPLI policy you choose and purchase additional coverage as needed. For more tips about how to protect your restaurant from an EPLI claim, contact Lockton Affinity, the co-broker of the Elevanta insurance program, at Elevanta.LocktonAffinity.com, elevanta@locktonaffinity.com or 844-403-4947. Lockton Affinity offers key coverage designed with your insurance requirements in mind. S

1 Harvard Business Review, “Sexual Harassment Is Pervasive in the Restaurant Industry. Here’s What Needs to Change,” 2018. https://hbr. org/2018/01/sexual-harassment-is-pervasive-in-the-restaurant-industryheres-what-needs-to-change


BUILD THE

Fellowship Quest OF THE

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by Dan Coughlin

eaders don’t achieve anything. Whenever I read that an NFL or NBA head coach won a championship, I just smile. No NFL or NBA coach could actually play in a game during the season. They would get run over on the field or on the court. The players won the championship game. The head coach influenced the other coaches and the players to produce a performance that won the championship.

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I think the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi and Mother Teresa are three of the all-time great leaders in history. None of them achieved anything. What they did was influence literally millions of people to sit in, stand up, march, boycott, pour soup and wake up millions of other people to try to solve massive societal problems. Those people who were influenced changed history.

Leaders Build the Fellowship of the Quest When I was 12 years old, I read the three-book series called, “The Lord of the Rings.” Now 44 years later, I just finished re-reading “The Fellowship of the Ring,” which is the first book in the series. This is the story of a group of people who worked together on a long and dangerous quest to destroy an all-powerful and dangerous ring to keep it out of the hands of the enemy. Frodo Baggins by himself could not travel across the country, deal with goblins and orcs and other such monsters, and destroy the ring. He needed a fellowship. Mother Teresa needed other people to set up soup kitchens around the world to feed the poor. King and Gandhi needed other people to protest in a nonviolent way to change the world. You need a fellowship to fulfill the meaningful purpose and achieve the important goals of your quest. You will not do it by yourself. Let me repeat that: You will not do it by yourself.

Nurture Relationships I’m not saying you should go party with your employees. Actually, I’m encouraging you to not party with your employees. Those folks do need time to party together, but that’s separate from you. What I am encouraging you to do is to nurture relationships. Get to know each of them on an individual basis. Get to know them on a group basis. Understand what they are thinking and feeling, and then respond appropriately. Understand the nuances of the individuals, and the nuances that are created by the group. That is empathy, and it is critically important.

Invest time with people. Listen to them. Turn off your cellphone and really listen to them. Work to know them and understand them. Talk about what is important to them. DAN COUGHLIN is president of The Coughlin Company Inc., a management consulting firm focused on improving executive effectiveness and significance. He serves as a thinking partner for executives, managers and business owners toward improving their most important desired business outcomes. He does this through executive coaching for individuals and small groups. He B:3.75" also provides keynote speeches and seminars on effectiveness and T:3.5" leadership. S:3.25"

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Relationships. Focus. Effort. Communication. Sacrifice. This is not new news. It is the age-old journey that all leaders go on. It is NOT you by yourself. It is you in fellowship with other committed people to fulfill a purpose. You don’t achieve anything. You influence people to work toward the fulfillment of that purpose and the realization of the fellowship’s goals. S

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Time. Time is the secret. Invest time with people. Listen to them. Turn off your cellphone and really listen to them. Work to know them and understand them. Talk about what is important to them. And then talk about the quest, the purpose of the group, the goals the group is trying to achieve and the journey it will take to get there.

ENJOY XX® RESPONSIBLY. ©2020 IMPORTED BY CERVEZAS MEXICANAS, WHITE PLAINS, NY.

What’s the Secret to Nurturing Relationships With the People in Your Fellowship?


How Your Income Tax Situation Might Be Impacted By COVID-19 Funding by Stacy Smith

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ertainly, this year has been a head spinner when it comes to keeping up with the dozens of COVID-19 relief and funding programs. As 2020 ends, it’s a good time to brush up on how the various programs could impact your individual and business tax planning.

Tax Implications for Individuals

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Congress passed a number of relief programs from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to assistance with unemployment benefits. We’ve summarized a few of the tax implications these programs have for individual taxpayers: • There are recovery rebates available of up to $1,200 for single taxpayers; $1,200 for head-of-household taxpayers; and $2,400 for married couples filing jointly (plus $500 per qualifying child). These rebates are all subject to income-based phaseouts starting at wage levels $75,000 (single taxpayer), $122,500 (head of household) and $150,000 (married, filing jointly).

• If you had to dip into your retirement plan because of the pandemic, there is a 10% waiver of the early distribution penalty for coronavirus-related distributions from retirement plans for taxpayers younger than 59 ½. • If you are 72 or older, you do not have to take a required minimum distribution from your IRA or 401(k) in 2020. • If you make charitable contributions, there is a $300 above-the-line charitable contribution deduction for 2020. There is also an increase in the percentage of adjusted gross income (AGI) limitations for 2020 charitable deductions from 60% to 100% of AGI. • Employers’ tax-free educational assistance programs (maximum $5,250 per employee) were expanded to include student loan principal and interest payments as a qualifying tax-free educational benefit.


Tax Implications for Business Owners If your organization applied for and received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief, here are a few tax relief provisions to consider: • Eligible employers can claim the employee retention credit, a refundable tax credit equal to 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages (including health plan expenses), paid after March 12, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2021. Eligible employers are those businesses with operations that have been partially or fully suspended because of governmental orders due to COVID-19, or businesses that have a significant decline in gross receipts compared to 2019. • The refundable credit is capped at $5,000 per employee and applies against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees. Eligible employers can reduce federal employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit.  • An employee who is unable to work (including telework) because of coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis is entitled to paid sick leave for up to 10 days (up to 80 hours) at the employee’s regular rate of pay or, if higher, the federal minimum wage or any applicable state or local minimum wage, up to $511 per day, but no more than $5,110 in total. • An employee who is unable to work due to caring for someone with coronavirus or caring for a child because the child’s school or place of care is closed, or the paid child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus, is entitled to paid sick leave for up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay or, if higher, the federal minimum wage or any applicable state or local minimum wage, up to $200 per day, but no more than $2,000 in total. • There is a deferral of the payment deadline for the employer’s portion of the Social Security tax from March 27 through Dec. 21, 2020. Fifty percent of the Social Security tax is due on Dec. 31, 2020, and 50% due on March 31, 2022. • There is a five-year carryback for net operating losses (NOLs) arising in 2018, 2019 and 2020. One hundred percent (normally 80%) of taxable income in the carryback year may be reduced with the NOL carryback. • Qualified Improvement Property has been retroactively categorized as a 15-year recovery property that qualifies for 100% bonus deprecation for years 2018-2022. • There is an acceleration of the time for use of minimum tax credits for corporations. Corporations can recover refundable minimum tax credits in tax years beginning in 2018 or 2019. The refundable credit amount is equal to 50% (100% for tax years beginning in 2019) of the excess of the minimum tax credit for the tax year, over the amount allowable for the year against regular tax liability. Corporations can elect to take the entire refundable credit amount in tax years beginning in 2018.

• How individual states treat PPP loan proceeds depends on many factors, for example, whether the state conforms to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the PPP provisions. Even if a state generally conforms to the CARES Act, it might choose to separate from provisions that do not include loan amounts as income if the loan is forgiven or discharged. Several states haven’t yet issued guidance on if they will follow federal tax treatment of PPP loan forgiveness. You can learn more about relief plans for individuals and families as well as business at the IRS website www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments. S STACY SMITH, CPA, is a shareholder with Mize CPAs Inc. (formerly Mize Houser & Co.), a full-accounting firm that has provided the Elevanta Accounting & Payroll Solution since 2003.

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• The amount of the forgiven PPP loan is excluded from gross income of the eligible recipient and not considered to be cancellation of debt income for federal income tax purposes. The IRS clarified, in Notice 2020-32, that no deduction is allowed if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of the PPP loan and the income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income.

State Tax Implications for PPP Loan Forgiveness:

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Specific Tax Implications for PPP Loans:

Congress passed a number of relief programs from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to assistance with unemployment benefits.


Stumbling Into Proficiency:

our 3 Ways Mistakes FCan Improve Your Productivity

e w t a h w , s e im t y “Man r o r o r r e n a s a e iv e c per . t if g a y ll a u t c a failure is ally, we find that And eventu ned from that lessons learg experience discouragin of great worth.” prove to be oodrich, – Richelle E. G author American

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E

by Laura Stack

xperience sets veteran workers apart from novices and is a large part of what makes them attractive and important to any organization. Most veterans aren’t necessarily smarter than their younger colleagues or more talented. They have much more experience, wisdom and better connections. More significantly, veteran workers know what they’re supposed to do, how to do it and have done it so many times it’s become ingrained habit. But here’s their real advantage: Veterans not only know what to do – they also know what not to do and when not to do it.


As a new employee, you may learn how to avoid pitfalls if you have excellent documentation to work with or, better, a mentor to show you the ropes. But most of us learn the boundaries of our functions and our jobs best by, well, screwing up. Most schools don’t teach this aspect of business well, except through their tests. Rarely do you see courses like The Greatest Mistakes in Business History or Things Never to Code in LISP in formal curricula, much less How to Learn by Failing. I’d argue that occasional mistakes, when taken to heart, hone your productivity to its keenest possible edge. Here’s why:

1

Occasional mistakes taken to heart, hon , when productivity to its ke your possible edge. eenest

Mistakes close off nonproductive paths. Legend has it

that Thomas Edison tried thousands of possibilities before he invented effective, long-lasting light bulbs. When asked about it, he declared he had not suffered thousands of failures, he had just found a lot of ways that didn’t work. Every false trial taught him what not to do. The same happens whenever you make a mistake; you learn what not to do in a particular situation, ultimately increasing your productivity over time.

2 3

Mistakes refine your routine. Work, like all of life, requires trial-and-error sometimes. Some things you try will work great; others will prove abject failures. Let go of the things that don’t work and keep trying new things until you’ve smoothed out your routine to something simple and consistently successful. Mistakes teach you your limits. When you hit a wall and fail, or simply make a goofy error, ask yourself tough questions about what happened and why. If you’ve been stretching yourself to use a new statistics program you don’t entirely understand, and you utterly fail to get decent results, you’ve met a personal limit. It doesn’t have to be permanent; you can always take a class on using the program effectively or hire someone else. Some limits may prove inherent; if you disastrously fail to juggle your projects while working a 70-hour week, but do fine with a 45-hour week, you’d best pull back to the shorter workweek.

4

Mistakes often include seeds for future success. The old saying, “It’s an evil wind that blows no good,” encapsulates this concept. Even if an idea or attempt fails catastrophically, not only will you learn not to do it again (a worthwhile nugget of wisdom in itself ), you can reflect upon it and see what parts did work and how you can put them to use for something else. For example, Silly Putty was originally invented as a substitute rubber during World War II, but the military passed on it because it wasn’t a good replacement. After realizing its stretchy and bouncy properties, the inventor marketed it as a children’s toy – and it became one of the best-selling products in history.

ways and let it try again. Eventually, it’ll catch on. The same is true of employees. Canny supervisors know you’re going to fail occasionally, not just early on but also later in your career. So, when you make a mistake, learn from it. Take whatever bricks remain of your failure and start rebuilding something new. It may end up being your personal Taj Mahal. S LAURA STACK, MBA, CSP, CPAE, aka The Productivity Pro®, gives speeches and seminars on sales and leadership productivity. For over 25 years, she’s worked with Fortune 1000 clients to reduce inefficiencies, execute more quickly, improve output and increase profitability. Laura is the author of seven books, including “Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time.” To invite Laura to speak at your next event, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com.

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When It’s All a Mistake …

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You can’t completely avoid making mistakes at work. Modern business life is just too difficult for that to be possible. While I’m not here to tell you to learn by deliberately failing, I am here to tell you to be willing to try and fail so you can learn from your accidental errors. You’ve heard the advice before: fail fast, fail forward. Some of us are afraid to risk anything, for fear of losing a job or career. But let’s face it: Most work failures are “puppy” mistakes, really. Do you send a puppy to the pound just because it made a mess once or twice? No, you show it the error of its

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Supporting you through the good times and the bad Some years are better than others, and 2020 was certainly a challenge for most. With all the change and uncertainty, there is no better time to ensure you have the right business insurance in place. Like always, co-brokers Lockton Affinity and Elevanta are here to support you—whatever 2021 looks like for your business. In addition to servicing your insurance needs, we offer complimentary policy reviews and risk management tools.

Get support at Elevanta.LocktonAffinity.com or by contacting Lockton Affinity at Elevanta@LocktonAffinity.com or (844) 403-4947. The Elevanta Insurance Program is administered by Lockton Affinity, LLC d/b/a Lockton Affinity Insurance Brokers LLC in California #0795478. Coverage is subject to actual policy terms and conditions. Policy benefits are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Coverage may be provided by an excess/surplus lines insurer which is not licensed by or subject to the supervision of the insurance department of your state of residence. Policy coverage forms and rates are not subject to regulation by the insurance department of your state of residence. Excess/Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and therefore insureds are not protected by such funds in the event of the insurer’s insolvency. Elevanta will receive a royalty fee for the licensing of its name and trademarks as part of the insurance program offered to the extent permitted by applicable law.


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