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This Innovative Bookkeeping Method Helped U.S Restaurants Survive Covid and Beyond

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In its 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report, the National Restaurant Association in the US said that the industry would likely never return to its pre-pandemic state.

The group predicted that restaurants and food service businesses would enter a "new normal" in the coming year as it continues to recover and handle fierce employment competition. A shrinking workforce is only one among the many problems affecting the industry, and some owners are turning to technology and new approaches to solve these rampant challenges.

One of the most effective solutions that have helped many restaurants survive is quick, real-time decision-making, which can come from a complete grasp of the financial numbers and good communication.

The Largo Group's weekly accounting model has been proven to be a difference-maker in businesses across the United States, with almost all its clients surviving COVID-related shutdowns.

This innovative method is the brainchild of Anne Gannon, CPA and Founder of The Largo Group, and her team of experts, who are driven to help the hospitality industry and restaurant owners regain control of their businesses.

"I truly believe our mission is to give back control to business owners of their finances so that they can make better decisions daily. We want to be known as the go-to resource for restaurant owners. We are more than accountants—we are an extension of their businesses to help build long-term sustainable growth," says Ganon.

"Our team has a mix of experienced accountants and industry experts with over 30 years of operational experience for well-known companies," she adds.

Recovery is on track

Restaurant sales have returned to about 75% of their pre-pandemic levels, according to a 2023 report published by a US research firm. Full-service restaurants maintained a relatively stable 10.6% profit margin despite the rising cost of food and other expenses.

One of the most important findings is that restaurants are cutting costs while maintaining a satisfying menu size. Hence, critical decisions are made almost weekly for supplies and menu management. Another emerging trend is the careful calculation of price changes, which can either drive diners away or reveal they're willing to absorb an increase.

A method dedicated to sustainable growth

Knowing how much can change in a week for restaurants, especially in volatile times, The Largo Group created its own Weekly Bookkeeping Service. According to its team of experts, a month is too long for owners to sit and wait before making a crucial decision.

The Largo Group's weekly personalized reports can show how the operation of a restaurant performs and the areas that require adjustments, as well as relevant forecasts that can help restaurants make necessary tweaks in their operations. In a genuine effort to help, the team is also easy to reach for any questions and concerns about a client's income analysis or other detailed reports.

"Our accounting model has made a huge difference, with 95% of our clients surviving past the pandemic. They're even more motivated now by their own success and still want to learn to become better owners," Gannon describes.

Another tool to boost confidence

To help restaurants further succeed, The Largo Group offers its Accelerator Coaching Program, which includes weekly conversations and provides access to accountability concepts and tools on cash flow, budget, projection, and a scorecard.

The coaching program's analysis is backed by experts with experience in both high-volume businesses and franchises. They can perform in-depth research on the menu and the work involved, giving restaurant owners a better understanding of what needs to be done to help their businesses thrive and succeed in the industry's new era.

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