THE MAGAZINE OF THE ARIZONA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
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Ten Action Items in This Issue Toast to Foodist success Page 18 Make for Membership Page 28 Clean up your act Page 38 Tip the scales in your favor Page 44 Talk politics Page 46 Play the odds Page 52 Craft business opportunities Page 63 Grow your business Page 72 Show me the money Page 78 Shine light on energy saving Page 91
beginning of every issue you’ll find the 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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to 10 must-read articles. A lot goes into
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8 9 10
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Get to know Arizona’s food scene through stories, interviews and conversations with industry insiders. Who
Explore this global hub of industry news and commentary on food, drink, design and more.
INVITING INVESTMENT Have a seat at our table as Arizona Restaurant News serves up an in-depth look at the restaurant-financing marketplace. Feed your fix for cost-saving business practices, hear from top industry professionals on surviving financial challenges, and enjoy a strategic recipe for buying and selling franchises.
INNOVATION kickstarting restaurants
3 8 What
CLEAN the business case for clean
LEGAL playing the odds
TIP CREDIT tipping the scales
JOB GROWTH follow the leader
AWARDS Nowhere but up
WISE GUY DON FOX TALKS EXTINGUISHING DEBT
how Learn from the best with this business know-how guide filled with ideas, tips and resources.
Firehouse of America, CEO, Don Fox shares his two cents on the importance of frugality in this penny business.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH grab a piece of the pie
KICKSTARTING RESTAURANTS In these economically uncertain times, atypical opportunities for financing are luring us off the well-worn funding paths. Get to know these Arizona food-centered startups who raised capital from the community…instead of credit cards.
CRAFT BEER the great craft shakeout
LOAN show me the money
ENERGY bright ideas
MEET OUR MEMBERS Girl Meets Fork, Susie Timm
CARBON FOOTPRINT go green, save green
CREDIT CARDS due process
NUMBERS soda Infographic
BREWING THE AMERICAN DREAM Samuel Adams ‘Brewing the American Dream’ provides budding food and beverage entrepreneurs with the essentials of successful small businesses.
MEMBERSHIP membership has its benefits
FRANCHISE catering to growth
President & CEO Steve Chucri Membership, Vice-President Jana Shelton Marketing & Events Tiffanie Hawkins Public Relations & Communications Chianne Hewer Partnerships and Industry Programs Tracie Head Membership Representative Susan Smeriglio Membership Representative Debra Williams Magazine Design
Whether you work at or own a small business, we understand the critical role finance plays in running a thriving company.
frugality built the No. 1
fast casual brand.
of experience wealth The investment challenges of small-biz owners are no
You’ll also hear from Lori
and Matt Nosals of Comfort
Cravings food truck on how
the changing economy is
spurring a radical new
approach to raising startup capital. And for a growing
stranger to the restaurant industry. Whether you work at
number of creative entrepreneurs, that approach seems to
or own a small business, we understand the critical role
be working. You’ll even begin to understand why public
finance plays in running a thriving company. That’s why
relations feeds business growth and what you can do on
we’ve dedicated an entire issue of Arizona Restaurant News to improving your financial literacy.
a shoestring budget.
All of these stories offer a wealth of experience and
Can going green actually save you money? What do you
highlight the personal ingenuity and passion for realizing
need to know when seeking financing options? And how
your business goals. I hope they remind you of what we
can you take advantage of the tip credit? You’ll find answers
can achieve together by being financial fit.
to these questions and more within this month’s issue.
Firehouse of America, CEO, Don Fox weighs in on
the longtime industry saying: restaurateurs throw nickels around like they’re manhole covers , as he shares how
Steve Chucri President & CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
wise guy interview
DON FOX talks Extinguishing Debt
Interview with Don Fox CEO Firehouse of America
As consumers get more demanding, and as the fight for share of stomach continues to increase, everyone is looking for a competitive edge. Faced with frugal consumers, scarce credit, and rising food prices, restaurant operators are grappling with increasing spending to stay ahead of rivals in the industry. But not Firehouse Subs. In 2012, the fast-casual sub sandwich franchise clocked in a record year in sales, bringing in $385 million in revenue in its 589 restaurants spread across 35 states and Puerto Rico. Today, it continues to be one of the restaurant industry’s fastest growing brands, with – 250 new franchisees since January 2012 – more than 722 restaurants. Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse of America, Don Fox shares his two cents on the importance of frugality in this
penny business and how Firehouse Subs came to be one of the best franchises in the country with no debt. 1. Firehouse Subs has often been dubbed the poster child for debt-free success. What’s the brand’s debt-free vision? In a word: frugality. Our founders, Robin Sorensen and Chris Sorensen, built our company on that foundation. They drew minimal salaries, and used their earnings to pay down debt as quickly as possible, and fuel the expansion of their company restaurant base. When it came time to pursue franchising, they had a solid base of cash flow with which to provide support and service to the franchise community (without incurring debt to do so). It took patience, but it was the right course of action. We encourage our franchisees to share this philosophy as they set a course for building their own business. We coach our franchisees from day one. This includes my personal discussion with every single candidate at our Day of Discovery, where I give them real world examples of franchisees who failed to heed this advice, and who did not succeed as a result. We also spell out for them just how hard they have to work to earn each one of those pennies! 2. How is this business acumen passed on to franchisees?
4. What advice can you offer restaurants considering a debt-free strategy?
As an example, we would never encourage a franchisee to open a new restaurant with 100% out of pocket cash if doing so left them with no cash reserve, or placed them in a position where there was no capital left in order to develop additional restaurants (having staked their entire future on restaurant number one). The key is to have the financial discipline to pay off the loan as soon as possible once you know that you cash flow has stabilized post-opening. It is important to look at your future needs in terms of capital for growth, and maintaining a reserve for any unforeseen (or for that matter, foreseen) downturns in cash flow. One of the most fundamental numbers for you to understand is your contribution margin (i.e., what percentage of every sales dollar should you bring to the bottom line once you are above your break-even point). Knowing this percentage will allow you to make intelligent decision in regard to investments in your business (especially important for marketing endeavors).
3. How has being debt-free helped the brand grow?
Being debt free for so many years has afforded us the opportunity to reinvest in our brand in numerous ways. Over the past several years, we have injected over five million dollars into our advertising fund; something that would have been much more difficult to do had we had oppressive debt hanging around our neck. We also launched our own financing company, Capital 94, which has allowed us to help deserving franchisees fund the growth of their business. When the franchise community sees our financial commitment to the brand, it certainly reinforces their decision to grow with us. This is a penny business , and every penny used for a frivolous expense, whether for personal or business purposes, places you a penny further away from realizing your business goals. 14
For most, debt is a necessary evil. But it need not be the outright enemy of your business.
Have financial plan for your business, and be disciplined in your accounting processes. Your P&L and balance sheet are critical tools that must be accurately maintained; without them, you are operating in the dark. 5. If going debt-free is too hard of a goal for an operator to achieve, what items should they focus on to ensure good finance health? It is always important to recognize that the long term health of your restaurant business is determined by your ability to profitably grow the top line. You can only squeeze the bottom so much! Cut costs like labor and food cost to an excessive degree, and you will start to cut into the guest experience. And that may spell doom for your business quicker than anything else. So while you are optimizing costs, recognize that you MUST be growing your business. Erosion of your top line is not sustainable; you will eventually go out of business if you do not resume growth. Flat sales are not sustainable either, as inflation will eat away at your bottom line. Always lead with focus on growth, while maintaining the discipline of frugality to optimize your bottom line.
6. What are some advantages operators can expect to experience in being debt-free? The disadvantages? The primary advantage is that your operating costs are lowered, and you can maintain a more competitive position in the market place. Being saddled with a loan payment only robs you of resources that you might put to work to grow your business. I have seen many operators in the industry break under the oppressive weight of too much. It forces operators into desperate measures that are bad for the business. The only disadvantage is if, in your effort to be debt-free, you exhausted capital that might be better put to use for the expansion of your business. The key is to find a balance between the two potential uses of your capital. A culture of frugality will lead you to pay off that debt and stop the interest payments as soon as it is practical!
Don Fox is CEO Firehouse of America
nowhere but up
Nowhere to go BUT
we’re building a great legacy in our cities filled with
outstanding chefs. It’s how we’ve brought home
multiple James Beard Awards, an Iron Chef victory,
and a healthy portion of other significant national
accolades. But think about what we can accomplish
set our sights even higher .
Our vision for the future — which was kicked off with
The actor John Gielgud once said, “Before you can do something, you must first be something.” That adage is a perfect theme for this 2nd annual celebration of Foodist .
last spring’s inaugural Foodist Awards — is to be one of
the nation’s top dining destinations. And that starts
Last month, the Arizona Restaurant Association with
Presenting Sponsor Young’s Market Company celebrated
In Arizona, there’s one common ingredient in every dish
Arizona’s 2014 gastronomic game changers; venturing
we serve: authenticity. From sizzling southwestern joints to
further to find honorees who are not only creating incredible
Membership pays for itself in the Arizona Restaurant Association. With the savings and benefits ARA members receive, you recoup your membership dues the moment you join. Save thousands a year by using just some of our benefits! REASONS TO JOIN • Increase business opportunities and relationships • Enjoy buying advantages and discounts from top companies • Achieve greater credibility • Powerful advocacy defending issues that directly impact the restaurant industry on local, state and national levels • Be the first to learn about policies that affect the restaurant and hospitality industries • Enhance your skills and knowledge through member-only educational seminars • Access to expert advisors to answer your specific industry questions
Arizona Restaurant Week —average member savings $300
ARA Member Benefits —average member savings $113 ServSafe, ROM, Labor Posters, E-Newsletters
ARA Buyer’s Guide —average member savings $295
Heartland Credit Card Processing average member savings $496* Heartland Payroll Services average member savings $459* ARA Dues $295.00 (60% of dues are tax deductible) $177
Average Membership Return on Investment: $2,690+ *Based on national average costs Like these savings? Join now For more information, please contact our membership team for more information on the many benefits offered.
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Debra Williams email@example.com 520-275-1614
help food trucks Platforms Raise Capital and restaurants Crowdfunding
tech-savvy pitch, and an influx of cash from the community.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kictstarter and Foodstart
aim to help restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, breweries
and co-ops alike raise capital in small increments, from
their friends, family and future customers. Only instead of
a cash return, backers get a chance to be in on the inside,
receiving perks and rewards like free dessert, discounts,
gift cards and VIP treatment – how about a signature dish
named after you.
Looking to snag startup financing or in need of matching funding in order to qualify for an SBA loan?
Foodstart: The Funding Platform for Restaurants & Food Trucks
Are you a food truck in need of a new set of wheels or
maybe you’re a bakery needing a little dough to redo your
entrance, or a community food-growing coop in need of seeds? Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Foodstart , may be your answer.
Used to be you’d need a hefty inheritance, high-rolling
investors, or credit score-shattering loan to start a restaurant.
Since its launch in late 2012, more than 100 businesses
Now entrepreneurs across the country are launching their
have used Foodstart to raise capital and Kickstarter has
food-centric startups with a little more than a brilliant idea,
their project, Comfort Cravings Food Truck , a mobile feast
funded over 60,817 projects so far. Both sites make money
by taking a 4-5 percent cut of a campaign’s funding.
on wheels serving restored classic dishes that spur
Foodstart advisory board member, Steve Rockwell a
memories of comfort. Lastfall, the Nosals raised over
restaurant industry consultant and former equity research
$10,000, which they used to put the finishing touches on
analyst, said this kind of community-funding model will
their truck before hitting Valley streets. “We launched the
be a key part of restaurant finance in the future. “Most
project as a way of involving people in the process,” they
independent restaurant owners have limited financing
say. “Food brings people together and that’s what Comfort
options. A platform like
Cravings is all about. Now our supporters own a piece of it,
Foodstart not only helps
and that makes us want to succeed even more.”
them raise capital, but
Today, Comfort Cravings is on the go making more than six stops a month at local businesses, community events and Food Truck Fridays . Their menus change every few
almost as importantly,
it creates a network of
loyal customers. And
months to include seasonal dishes, which keeps their 400
that’s something traditional
fans on social media and supporters well-fed. According to the
sources of capital have a
Nosals, in addition to capital support funding, the platform
hard time doing.”
simultaneously focused on building brand awareness.
It’s that community spirit
which convinced Lori
“Kickstarter raises awareness of your business,” says Lori.
and Matt Nosal to use
“By listing our truck on the site we were also able to get
Kickstarter when funding
Comfort Cravings’ name and brand in front of an entirely
new batch of potential customers – folks who otherwise
might not have known about us.”
Comfort Cravings hopes to continue capitalizing on the
former to boost foodies.
Lori and Matt will tell you the road to early success has not
been easy – but definitely worth the ride.
“We had already invested $35,000 in the build out of our
truck and when banks and credit unions wouldn’t give us
Nonetheless, the fact that Arizonans are hungry to fund local food projects is evident. Public Brew House and Coffee , a nano-brewery and specialty coffee house in downtown Tucson, raised $37,739 in 2012 to get brewing their business. Last month, Black Hole Beer Company raised opened its doors in Prescott thanks to its successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $19,335 from 132 backers.
as much as we needed we started researching alternative
fundraising methods,” says Matt. “Kickstarter provided us
an opportunity to cash in on a sweat equity loan which
we’re already working off daily preparing quality food for
every customer and fulfilling backer rewards.”
Of course, Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding platforms
are not always a guaranteed win for all restaurateurs.
Is crowdfunding the future of financing? Maybe. But it
Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing in more ways than
certainly offers the cash infusion of private investment
one. 10% of projects finished having never received a
without the strings.
the business case for clean
Consumers Rank cleanliness Higher than Service and Value i n Determining Where to Dine Out
Recent research from Technomic
You might expect restaurant
guests to rank taste and quality
a leading restaurant industry
of food at the top of the list
research and consulting firm, confirms what leading chefs and restaurateurs know intuitively – cleanliness matters.
when selecting where to eat.
However, would you expect the
cleanliness of the dishware,
glassware and silverware to
Technomic has collected data
also be among the top factors
on 80,000 annual restaurant
in their restaurant choice? How
consumer visits and asks consumers
about the kitchen/ food prep
to rank 62 different attributes they
area cleanliness? Would you
consider when choosing where to
be surprised to learn that a
dine out. Since the survey started
clean bathroom is more important than service or value?
in 2011, three of the top five have
consistently related to cleanliness.
by Kevin Rowley
Bob Goldin, executive vice president for Technomic,
noted, “Across the board, cleanliness attributes
stand out as very important for customers. Tableware,
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to appearance and ambiance attributes. Given the
importance of these factors, especially clean
tableware, it’s imperative for restaurants to make
providing a clean environment for their customers
a top priority.” “There is a cost associated with
keeping a restaurant clean. But that cost is a lot
less than a restaurateur would pay in lost business,”
said Dr. Richard Ghiselli, Department Head, School
of Hospitality at Purdue University. “Our studies
show that consumers are eating at restaurants
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about 160-250 times per year. When a restaurant
doesn’t pay attention to cleanliness, they are missing
out on a considerable chunk of change,” added Ghiselli.
For more information visit www.whycleanmatters.com . Kevin Rowley is the Senior Marketing Manager- Restaurant Segment at Ecolab .
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Are you getting your tip credit?
providing, delivering, or serving food or beverages for consumption; and 2) The employer paid or incurred employer Social Security and Medicare taxes on those tips In addition, no credit is allowed for tips used to meet the federal minimum hourly wage rate. This can require some calculations to determine the tips in excess of the difference between the federal minimum wage and the hourly wage paid to your wait staff. This credit is not claimed on your quarterly payroll forms, but on your annual income tax return on Form 8846. This is a non-refundable tax credit that can be used to reduce your income tax liability, but cannot create a refund. However, it is subject to carry back and carry forward provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Many small restaurant operators may not be aware that they are entitled to a Federal income tax credit for a portion of the Social Security and Medicare taxes they pay on their employees’ tip income. Although I would not want to speculate on the reason that this credit exists, it seems logical that Congress wanted to encourage employers to require their employees to report all of their tips without worrying that fully reporting tips would incur additional taxes for the employers. If the tip credit did not exist, both employers and employees would have incentive to not report all of their tip income.
If you think you may be eligible for this credit and did not claim it on prior returns, you can amend a return and claim the credit as long as you file the claim within three years from the original due date of your return.
There are some caveats to claiming the tip credit: 1) The employees must receive tips from customers for
by Henry & Horne
TO BRING PEOPLE TO THE TABLE.
Minimum Wage Increase More than 500 economists, including three Nobel laureates
and several former White House officials, wrote an open
letter to policymakers, warning them that a mandatory
minimum wage increase will not reduce poverty in
America. They say a wage hike, as the nation still recovers
from the economic recession, would damage growth.
ry day, the business of Washington happens at our tables. A policy deal. A new business. The next big idea… Serving 130 million people every day. Let the conversation begin. Legislative Update AmericA Works Here ® See how at Restaurant.org/AmericaWorksHere
Watch out for new POS malware Keep an eye out for new malware that plagues some
point-of-sale systems. Visa recently issued a security
alert about Chewbacca, a payment card-stealing malware
that targets merchant POS systems that run on Microsoft
Windows. Chewbacca is a relatively new variation of the
malware Trojan.Win32.Fsysna.fej. The malware has been
linked to several dozen merchant compromises since
Tax Reform Included in the tax reform proposal released recently by
Trans Fat Ban The industry filed comments with the FDA about the FDA’s
House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.).
tentative determination to revoke the “generally
Camp’s discussion draft includes a number of cutbacks
recognized as safe” status of trans fat/partially
that would affect restaurants, including eliminating 15-year
hydrogenated oils (PHOs) stating that further reducing
depreciation for restaurant improvements/new construction
trans fat in the food supply is important but raised
for property placed in service after 2016. Camp’s plan
concerns about the methodology the FDA uses in seeking
instead proposes a 40+ year write-off. The draft also
to revoke the GRAS status.
would eliminate the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the
Section 45(B) credit for employer FICA taxes paid on certain
USDA Limits School Marketing The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has proposed limits on food and beverage marketing within schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program. Under the proposal, only foods and beverages that meet the requirements of the Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards could be marketed in schools. While most restaurants don’t advertise in schools, the USDA proposal may impact certain restaurants’ sponsorship activities.
employee tips. The immediate deduction for advertising
expenses would be reduced from 100 to 50 percent, with
the remaining percent to be written off over 10 years.
Overtime Pay Rules President Obama signed a memorandum to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez March 13 asking the DOL to propose revisions to federal overtime regulations to reflect the “changing state of the workplace.” The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees to be paid time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours a week. The Department of Labor is in charge of writing the rules to explain who’s exempt from overtime pay under the FLSA. Food Handler Training Standards The ARA wants to ensure that food safety curriculum continues to meet the changing needs of our diverse industry. Food training programs should be held to an extremely high standard in order to provide the best training to employees who serve food in Arizona. HB2436 would not only enable counties to accept high-standard food handler curriculum, but would reinstate reciprocity for cards to be accepted from county to county. The ARA-authored legislation is the first of its kind in Arizona at aiming to make a substantial and enduring impact on the state’s food handling industry. 50
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to join the ara visit azrestaurant.org or call 602-307-9134
There’s MORE to Mission
playing the odds
The restaurant industry should take note of a recent case,
Alexander v. Casino Queen Inc., from the United States
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In this case, the Court
revived two former employees’ claims that they had been
discriminated against and retaliated against on the basis
Where you assign your wait staff matters
of their race because, among other things, they
less desirable and
were assigned to
lucrative table sections.
short deck The plaintiffs in Alexander were casino waitresses and
were paid between $7.00 and $8.00 per hour in salary
and earned $40.00 to $160.00 per day in tips. Each
waitress was assigned to a particular area of the casino
floor, some of which were more desirable than others
because of the tips typically received in these areas.
Based on their seniority, the waitresses were supposed
Playing the Odds
to bid on shift assignments. Despite their seniority, which
allowed the plaintiff-waitresses to be awarded their
preferred floor areas, the plaintiff-waitresses alleged
by John J. Balitis, Jr. & Whitney Sedwick Meister
double or nothing The Court also rejected the trial court’s determination that the plaintiff-waitress’ claims were speculative because they did not indicate the value of the tips lost and the favored areas only gave potential for good tips. In rejecting this finding, the Court held that the plaintiff-waitress’ claims were not
that their supervisor frequently reassigned them to less
lucrative areas, while Caucasian waitresses, with less
seniority, were reassigned to cover the more desirable areas.
upping the ante One of the elements of a claim for discrimination is that the
plaintiff suffered an adverse employment action. Adverse
employment actions generally fall into three categories:
(1) termination or reduction in compensation, benefits or
other financial terms;
(2) transfers or changes in job duties that reduce career
speculative because they were based on first-hand experience working at the casino for more than 15 years. Furthermore, although the Court recognized that the plaintiff-waitress’ alleged losses were estimates, the court was persuaded that the estimates were sufficient to get the case to a jury because the estimates were based on the plaintiff-waitress’ ability to quantify their daily tips and estimate the daily impact of these reassignments and the frequency of their reassignments.
(3) unbearable changes in job conditions (e.g., hostile
The court found that the floor area reassignments were
adverse employment actions because of the importance
that tips played in the plaintiff-waitresses’ total compensation—
between 40% and 73% of their total compensation.
John J. Balitis, Jr. & Whitney Sedwick Meister are attorneys at Fennemore Craig
follow the leader
Arizona Restaurant Industry leads country in job growth & sales
Arizona is projected to lead the nation in
restaurant growth in 2014, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast. The forecast
predicts that restaurants will increase sales
by 4.9 percent and achieve gross sales
just less than $11 billion, beating out North
Dakota, Texas, Florida and Colorado. Poised
for continued growth, Arizona also outpaces
the country by a rate of 15.6% in restaurant
jobs and expects to employ 265,400 people
by the end of the year.
Brewing the American Dream
Feature Samuel Adams a Reality is making small business ownership
MUG SHOT 4K Small Business Owners MENTORED $3 Million Mico-Financing PROVIDED TO 320+ Food, Beverage, Hospitality, Craft Brewing Business Nationwide
Thirty years ago, Jim Koch, armed with a generations-old family beer recipe, dreamed of starting his own craft brewery. He applied for bank loans but was repeatedly turned down. He also lacked the ‘nuts-and-bolts know-how’ that’s so important to running a small business. But Jim didn’t give up. He took his beer bar to bar – selling it out of his briefcase – and made his dream a reality. And these days, the founder of The Boston Beer Company is taking his successful “Brewing the American Dream” program nationwide helping entrepreneurs get their upstart businesses off the ground, through a microloan program. “When I started Samuel Adams back in 1984, the odds were stacked against me… not even a small business, we were infinitesimal. We were actually the smallest brewery in America when we started,” saysKoch. “So as the company grew and became more successful we naturally identified with other ‘little guys’ who benefited from a leg up to help achieve their dreams.” As Samuel Adams celebrates its 30-year anniversary, Jim hasn’t forgotten how hard it is to start and run a successful small business. That’s why he created Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a unique program that provides the two
things he wishes he had when starting Sam Adams: financing and real-world business advice. Since its creation in 2008, the program has coached more than 4,000 small business owners, provided more than $3 million in microloans to more than 320 small businesses, and helped create or retain more than 1,910 jobs. The program has also seen an unprecedented loan repayment rate of 98.1 percent – well above the national average for small business loans. In partnership with nonprofit micro-lender Accion , this year, the program will lend another $1 million in the amounts from $500 to $25,000 to food, beverage, and hospitality entrepreneurs. According to Koch, There’s a very serious funding gap in our economy. Banks, Even organizations whose mission is to support the small business community often don’t want to lend less than
The program also offers business owners the chance to ask Samuel Adams employees and local business volunteers for advice on everything from packaging to payroll during speed-coaching events. When it comes to the business of beer, Koch knows some- thing about building a big company out of nothing. Here’s your chance to learn from perhaps the best-known craft brewer in the United States. Visit: btad.samueladams.com / for more information and to apply for a loan. The Great Craft Shakeout will it fail?
$50,000 because at that level, qualified applicants are difficult to come by and are often viewed as too risky.
But those are just the companies are perfect candidates for Brewing the America Dream explains Koch. “The goal of the program is to work with the true small businesses who are at the forefront of job creation and growth within their local communities – and where relatively modest loans and one-one-one coaching can have a meaningful impact.” Loans can be used for a variety of business purposes such a expansion, equipment, and marketing with all loan payments recycled back into the fund so that they can be repurposed into new loans.
As beer drinkers toast the brewery boom, should the industry be celebrating just yet? Everybody just knows that this is the year that the craft bubble bursts and we see breweries closing left and right. Only problem with this theory is that it ain’t gonna happen and here is why.
By Crescent Crown Distributing
initially, by the restaurant side of their business. No need to dominate the market, even small, local operations designed to capture the hearts of those in a five mile radius can succeed. With a big interest in locally sourced food and drink, it is a lot easier. One of the biggest concerns is SKU Proliferation or SKUmageddon as it is being termed. There are a lot more choices, and in many cases almost too many. You can only split a draft tower so many times before you just run out of room. Smart restaurant owners are looking for good value
Folks that are predicting the bubble bursting mostly remember what happened to the much younger craft market in the 1990s when breweries sprang up so fast and anybody with a homebrew recipe and a pulse could get a loan to open up a microbrewery, as they were called. Those days are long gone. Not only are banks much more careful with their money (or the government’s money, depending on your political views…but I digress), the craft brewing industry is more selective than they were before. How can the industry be more selective? Simple, the industry provides a better foundational experience for Breweries in Planning which helps to weed out the prospective craft brewery owners well before they open. The industry is also at the forefront of the beer consuming world, so prospective owners are well aware of what they face in terms of competition before they move forward with their operation. It allows them to open the right brewery in the right location, or even to not open at all. They also know they have to go into it with a solid business plan.
Another factor is the appearance of small brewpubs. Many of the new breweries are able to support their operations,
beers. Good value does not mean cheap, since many of the cheaper brands don’t sell as well. Today’s consumer is looking for reasonable prices of course, but is certainly willing to pay a little more if they get the quality they are craving. Many bar and restaurant owners make the mistake of going with the best price rather than the best beer. That’s when they start to lose their consumers. Breweries will close. There is no doubt about that. But, they will likely be one of two types…those that don’t offer a quality product, but instead try to make the cheapest possible beer; and those that don’t have any business sense or plan. Many times, these two types are the same brewer. The days of the hippie brewer just having fun with his brewery are fading fast. Those guys are growing up with the business and hiring people with the skills to grow a business in a controlled manner. So don’t worry about a craft shakeout. These beers are not going away and are going to continue to show rapid growth. Embrace craft beers and show your customers you understand what they are looking for.
go green, save green
Cook up savings in the kitchen while
preparing your favorite meals. Today’s
natural gas ranges and cooktops are
If you want to shrink your carbon footprint , start by reducing energy use at home and in the workplace. Southwest Gas save money and
energy-efficient, providing instant
on-and-off and precise temperature
control that saves you time and
energy. Some simple energy saving
provides many energy saving tips that can help you
steps include: selecting pots and pans
lower your monthly bills and conserve energy.
that fit your burners, covering pots
Shrink Your carbon footprint and Boost Your Savings
Many of them are do-it-yourself tasks with minimal
when cooking, and only pre-heating
costs and maximum results.
the oven when necessary. For example,
For instance, set the thermostat on your natural gas
if you’re baking breads and cakes,
water heater at the lowest temperature that provides
pre-heating may be essential, but not
you with sufficient hot water. For most households,
necessary for cooking most dinner
120° F water is fine (usually about mid-way between
foods like casseroles and broiled items.
“medium” and “low” settings). And when away from
In addition, avoid opening the oven
home for a week or longer, set your water heater on
door while in use so you don’t
by Southwest Gas
When doing laundry, dryers
cut annual heating bills by as much as 10% per year
with a moisture sensor feature
by turning your thermostat back 10-15% for eight
automatically shut off the
hours per day. Installing a programmable thermostat
machine when the load is dry,
and setting it to accurately follow your schedule will
saving energy and reducing
provide additional savings, as will changing your air
wear and tear on your clothes.
Make it part of your routine to
The same goes for home cooling. During the summer,
clean the lint filter after each
adjust the temperature 1°-2° per week to a higher
load. A dirty lint screen can
setting, allowing your body to adjust to the new
cause your dryer to use
temperature. Raising the temperature just a couple of
30% more energy by reducing
degrees can cut your cooling costs by as much as 5%.
air-flow and appliance
Start by setting your air conditioner thermostat to 78°F
performance. Dry full loads
or higher – health permitting – when you’re at home.
rather than smaller or oversize
These are just a few ways you can boost your savings
loads to maximize efficiency.
and shrink your carbon footprint. Consider these tips
Avoid opening the dryer’s
and join others who are choosing natural for their
door until it stops to prevent
homes and businesses because of its low cost and
air from escaping.
efficiency. To learn more about how natural gas is
When it comes to heating
greener than you think, visit www.swgasliving.com .