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Food for Thought: 3 Key Takeaways from 2022’s RFDC

Read on for three key takeaways restaurateurs can leverage from the 2022 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
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The Restaurant Finance Monitor’s annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference (RFDC) is the industry’s premier event, and FORVIS is a continued proud sponsor. This year’s conference included keynote speakers Austan Goolsbee, Tim Tebow, Peter Cancro, Wolfgang Puck, and John Coleman and had more than 3,200 attendees. Through all of the excitement of the conference, there are three key takeaways restauranteurs can use to help improve their business. 

1. The labor market is evolving

Unions, reduced hours, and the FAST Act! These issues have been giving restaurateurs nightmares as of late, but that is not the case for everyone. Certain aspects that have helped with employee retention are:

  • Providing an opportunity for career progression
  • Opportunities for employees to become owners/operators
  • Phantom equity or years of service-based bonuses

2. Robots are not taking over—they are taking orders

Robots have not destroyed humanity, but they may be working for your competitors. Are you utilizing big data and automation in your restaurants? 

  • There has been a rise in the use of kiosks and AI for taking orders
  • Big data can assist with the development of detailed customer profiles based on various customer touchpoints
  • Automation and big data can be utilized in all facets, from front-of-house to back-of-house operations 

3. Death, taxes, and restaurant expansion

With all of the ups and downs of the last two years, with a difficult labor market and uncertainties on inflation and supply availability, it appears there is now a third thing that is “guaranteed” in life outside of death and taxes—the ability for restaurateurs to grow and expand their brands. You can set up your growth strategy for success by:

  • Making an expansion checklist
  • Determining if your legal structure is helping or hurting your expansion dreams
  • Using your current locations to assist and support new locations and new brands

The future of the restaurant industry is very exciting, and FORVIS has enjoyed the opportunity to participate in RFDC over the years. If you have any questions or would like assistance with uncertainty you or your restaurant are having, do not hesitate to reach out to a member of the Hospitality Team at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below.

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