Author Archives: Raffi Yousefian

Avoiding the Hidden Tax Trap of TI Allowances

TI Allowances

Tenant improvement allowances (frequently referred to as “TI”), are an enticing and common incentive that many restaurateurs and landlords incorporate in their lease agreement because it’s a win-win for both parties. The landlord gets the benefit of someone building out their space and committing to rent it, which will in turn attract future tenants and

The Best Tax Classification for Your Restaurant

Restaurants may legally organize in several different forms. Most people are familiar with the Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Corporation, which are all legal classifications. It’s commonly misunderstood that the legal classification is automatically the tax classification, but that’s not quite true. This blog will NOT address the ideal legal entity type for restaurants; you

The Ideal Restaurant Management Incentive Plan in 3 Steps

The rise in operating costs and shortage of restaurant labor has forced restaurant owners to incentivize key employees with performance bonuses and equity by building the ideal restaurant management incentive plan. The ideal incentive or bonus plan should: Incentivize and reward key employees for increasing profitability and improving the hospitality experience; Provide an ROI to

Accounting for Restaurant Gift Cards

You already know the benefits of offering gift cards for your restaurant: bringing in new customers, encouraging customer loyalty, and providing a “guarantee” of revenue for your eatery. Accounting for those gift cards correctly is an important part of maintaining accurate financials. In collaboration with Toast, the Fork CPAs team members Raffi Yousefian, CPA and


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What You Need to Know About Services Charges vs Tips

Animation of a personified service charge chasing a man

On January 1, 2014, the IRS enforced Revenue Ruling 2012-18 which defined tips vs service charges (aka Autograt) and clarified the tax implications of each. Almost 5 years later, it seems there is still some confusion among restaurant owners, employees, and customers. Service charges are usually implemented to ensure the certainty of tips for tipped

How Much Does Restaurant Accounting Cost and Why?

How much does restaurant accounting cost? How much should you be paying? The short answer is, it depends. In this article, I will explain the dependencies that significantly influence the cost of accounting for restaurants. Before we dive in, let’s understand the purpose of restaurant accounting and the options that are out there. The purpose