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Assisting Hospitality Clients with Margins , Financing and NJ Laws

The recipe for success requires various expertise .
Compiled by Miles Z . Epstein Editor , COMMERCE

Knowing your numbers is important in every business and industry , especially for hospitality companies . Thus , reaching out to accountants , bankers and attorneys for assistance really pays dividends for firms in this industry . The key ingredients to the success of every business in this niche include technical knowledge , proper planning and adequate capital , an indefatigable spirit , passion for customer service and total commitment . Here are some examples that show how accounting firms , banks and law firms can assist hospitality clients in achieving long-term business success .

Citrin Cooperman & Company LLP , Citrin Cooperman Advisors LLC By Bob Gilbert , CPA , Partner , Co-Leader , Restaurant & Hospitality Practice
Among the numerous challenges and problems that restaurant and hospitality clients have had to deal with over the past two years , the most common are labor shortages and the uncertainty over cashflow as they try to navigate COVID-related declines in sales . Citrin Cooperman was able to assist clients by helping them navigate the Paycheck Protection Program , Employee Retention Tax Credit , Restaurant Revitalization Fund and any other government assistance made available to them . We were hands-on with clients in navigating these programs , but where we set ourselves apart from other firms was our assistance with the 2021- 2022 labor shortage . Restaurant owners have been forced to spread themselves and their teams quite thin . Citrin Cooperman ’ s Business Process Outsourcing professionals were able to ease the burden of back-office finance functions by staffing a professional with industry-expertise to handle all things finance and tax . Not only did this allow management to focus their time and energy on operations , but having an elevated finance function provided timely and meaningful information that simplified management ’ s decision-making process .
EisnerAmper LLC By Deborah Friedland , Managing Director , Practice Leader , Hospitality Advisory Services Group
One of our clients — a family office real estate investor — is developing a large mixed-use project in northern New Jersey . The development will include two select service hotels , approximately 900 apartments , and more than 80,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space . While the family members are experienced real estate investors and developers , they have never been active in the hospitality sector . EisnerAmper ’ s hospitality team is advising with services that span the entire process of development , from initial project conception to the detailed analysis and recommendations surrounding facility programming , market positioning , architect team engagement , and operator and brand selection . EisnerAmper assisted the client with the selection of the hotel management group that would be aligned with the objectives of the owner . We also worked with the client to select a hotel brand that would build value and guest loyalty . We analyzed the market , competition and opportunities , as well as completed numerous asset valuations including forecasting cash flows under different scenarios , analyzing competitive and market positioning , and evaluating cost / benefits of different brands and operating structures . These analyses aided in the selection of the brand and operator . While we are in the starting phases of this project , it is well underway to success .
Valley Bank By Luis De La Hoz , Regional Director of Community Lending
We worked with GroMex , the largest distributor of food products from Mexico in the Northeast , to provide financing for a $ 6 million food distribution facility at a seven-acre site in Paterson , New Jersey . GroMex had been looking to relocate and expand into a larger space for years . We were able to connect the owner with the mayor of Paterson and the Economic Development Authority to secure a site that will be eligible for millions in tax credits due to its physical location , which is considered a food desert . The company , which has sales of more than $ 50 million annually , brings in thousands of food products from Mexico and distributes them primarily to restaurants , food stores and bodegas .
Brach Eichler LLC By Bob Kasolas , Esq ., Member , Litigation Practice
Brach Eichler represented a plaintiff restaurant operator against its landlord to be relieved of its rent obligations due to Governor Murphy ’ s COVID‐19 Executive Orders . In The Office at Ridgewood , Inc . v . Mouzakitis , et al ., Docket # BER-L-001353-21 , the plaintiff restaurant operator filed a Complaint alleging , among other things , that its rental obligations under the lease should be excused because Governor Murphy ’ s Executive Orders limiting indoor dining frustrated the purpose of the parties ’ lease , and made it both impractical and impossible for the parties to perform as originally intended and envisioned pursuant to the lease . The landlord also filed counterclaims seeking to recover unpaid rent . In an issue of first impression , and while not fully dispositive or final on the merits , the court denied the landlord ’ s motion to dismiss the restaurant tenant ’ s complaint .
Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC By Gemma M . Giantomasi , Esq ., Practice Group Leader , Real Estate , Development & Land Use Group
Population caps limiting the number of liquor licenses a municipality may
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