Frying Green? What does that even mean?

Frying Green?  Is that even a thing?  The simple answer is YES!  But first, some background……. In a location that serves fried food, it is not uncommon to see a commercial kitchen that discards their cooking oil pre-maturely, or without the oil ever being filtered.  This waste is often unintentional and unnecessary, but there are instances where employees, not knowing how expensive each gallon of oil really is, will discard the oil rather than filtering so that they can clock out and get on with their evenings.  Sometimes the effects of this aren’t ever realized or understood by the customer, and other times it is only recognized after the bill has been received and paid (a much higher amount than normal). From the farm to the table, most people never consider what it actually takes to get oil to a fryer and the impact it has on the environment.  On the farm, you see land, lime, pesticide, fuel and water consumption.  During it’s production, we see large amounts of power being used to clean, cook and de-hull the feed stock (soybeans for example), they are then processed and packaged for delivery.  Transport requires energy and fuel consumption as well.  It is easy to see that there is a definitive, and costly, carbon element to creating cooking oil. So again, Frying Green, what does that mean?  At Filta, there is a commitment to not only ensure our customers oil life is being handled as efficiently as possible, but also to be good stewards for the environment.  Reducing the amount of oil that is used in a kitchen can have a... read more

What is a Merchant Cash Advance, and why is a Loan from ARF Financial a Better Choice?

A merchant cash advance (sometimes referred to as a business cash advance) is an alternative form of financing where the cash provider purchases a fixed amount of a merchant’s future credit card sales volume, typically at a discount of up to 38%. The advance is paid back from a percentage of the merchant’s daily credit card receipts until the agreed upon amount has been paid back. The average term of these advances is from 6 to 9 months. The daily repayment ebbs and flows with the business’s credit card sales. The higher the sales, the quicker the advance is paid back thus raising the cost of funds significantly (APR’s can range from 50% up to 200%). If you’re a business owner considering a merchant cash advance, consider a smarter alternative — an Unsecured Business Loan or Line of Credit from ARF Financial. An ARF loan is the preferred choice over a merchant cash advance – rates are lower, payments are fixed, terms are longer and the interest you pay is tax deductible. Repayment has nothing to do with your credit card receipts. As your sales increase, your payments remained fixed. That means you reap the benefits of the increased sales, not the cash advance company. If you’re seeking a merchant cash advance to finance an equipment purchase, inventory, expansion, remodeling or marketing, consider instead a 12 – 36 month loan from ARF Financial. Our longer terms ensure your payments will be considerably lower with less impact to your cash flow. Five Important Reasons Why ARF is Better Rates can be up to 50% lower than a cash advance Unlike a... read more

Can Openers

There’s much more to a can opener than just a sharp blade! Ever notice that even the cleanest kitchens have one thing that may not look so great?  Of course, that would be the can opener! Can openers just seem to attract rust and grime.  Health inspectors love to pick on them.  In addition to looking less than desirable, have you ever experienced the frustration of using a faulty can opener?  Not to mention the safety risk of metal shavings and hazardous can edges. Cozzini has a solution to the can opener dilemma.  The Cozzini Can Opener Exchange Program eliminates the need to ever purchase or replace a can opener again! A dirty and difficult can opener will be the issue of the past. The Cozzini Can Opener Program provides a fully reconditioned can opener replaced on a predetermined frequency. Your reconditioned can opener has all new internal parts:  the blade, spring, gear, and pins. A sharp blade is meaningless if the gears are stripped or the spring is damaged! Next we sandblast the entire can opener and provide a like new finish You have a completely reconditioned can opener that looks and functions like new.   One less thing for you to worry about by removing the guess work.  One more way Cozzini makes your life easier!... read more

Should A Slicer Blade Be Sharpened?

Are you throwing money away using a dull slicer blade? That very well could be the case. A dull blade causes chafing and tailing, so more of your product ends up in the garbage. Product appearance suffers. You need the Cozzini Bros. Slicer Blade Exchange Program! Our service technician will replace your blade on a pre-determined schedule. You can rely on our over 100 years of experience to professionally bevel, taper, and sharpen your blade. You will get better product appearance and significantly reduced waste! Go ahead and slice that prosciutto paper thin! It will look great and you’ll have significantly reduced waste with your razor sharp Cozzini slicer blade. A better question for an operator would be “Can you afford not to maintain a sharp slicer blade?” The program practically pays for itself. You’ll never have to buy another blade. You’ll have less food waste, with the added benefit of improved product appearance.  Spend less time maintaining the slicer blade, because our blade will stay sharper longer.  A sharp blade is a safe blade. One less thing for you to worry about by removing the guess work.  One more way Cozzini makes your life... read more

Sharpening your own Knives vs. Professional Knife Sharpening Service

At Cozzini, we understand the importance of making a budget and doing everything possible to stay within that budget. All good businesses must work within a budget, Cozzini Bros. included. Challenging economic times call for challenging decisions to be made. It comes as no surprise to Cozzini when we hear our customers express their need to cut expenses. However, we are surprised on occasion when one of our customers cancels our service.  “Your service was great”, they tell us. “But we’re buying our own knives and sharpening them ourselves to save a little money”. We also understand how busy you are. From the moment you walk through the door, you’re inundated with demands for your time. Phone calls, emails, people that need to see you, inventory, ordering, problem solving and you haven’t even begun preparing your kitchen for another busy day. The last thing you want to do is add another chore to your plate. So if you’re thinking about cancelling our knife service to save some money, here are some things to consider first: How much will you really save? Let’s consider some of the expenses: Cost of: Knife sharpening equipment & maintenance New knife inventory- on-going due to damaged, lost & worn knives Paying an employee to sharpen the knives – daily or weekly Additional safety risk Employee’s time that removes them from their function. Now consider that for one low price, Cozzini: Provides your kitchen with a custom knife program Delivers knives  sharpened by a skilled professional using state of the art equipment Proactive replacement of worn knives Replacement of broken & lost knives Sharpening your... read more

CyberRisk

The potential liability associated with cyber threats can be mysterious for business leaders in private and non-profit companies. Few understand the breadth of these liabilities or the remedies or protections.  ... read more

What Employees Should Know About Health Care Reform

The goal of The Affordable Care Act, most often referred to as “Obamacare,” is to provide access to affordable health care coverage to everyone in the United States.  The reason for this is that as of 2014, everyone is required to have some form of health insurance, which can be provided through individual plans, employer-sponsored plans, or government programs.  The repercussion of not having an insurance plan is a monetary penalty.  As of 2015, this penalty is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, or 2 percent of your household income, whichever is greater, with a family maximum of $975.  Questions on your tax return will help determine if you are required to pay the penalty, are eligible for a government subsidy, or are exempt from coverage. If you are not able to obtain health insurance through your employer, you will need to purchase health insurance individually from an insurance provider.  To assist with this, the government has established an online exchange called the Health Insurance Marketplace.  This marketplace serves to aggregate all of an individual’s health insurance options into one site to simplify the comparison shopping for the purchaser.  While you are not required to use the marketplace, you may be eligible for tax credits or assistance from the government if you use it. The period of time you can sign up for health insurance through any source as known as the Open Enrollment period.  This time can vary from state to state or employer to employer, but is typically in October or November with the idea that the plan you sign up for will begin January 1st... read more

The Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate

Often referred to as “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act contains a mandate that requires all businesses with 50 or more full time equivalent (FTE) employees to provide health insurance to at least 95% of those employees and their dependents up to age 26.  Businesses with 50 to 99 FTE will need to insure those workers by 2016.  Businesses with 100 or more FTE need to insure at least 70% of those workers by 2015, and 95% by 2016.  Failure to do so will result in a per-month, per-employee monetary tax penalty in the thousands of dollars. Under Obamacare, a full time employee is defined as anyone working an average of 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month who works a minimum of 120 days during the year.  Full time equivalent is determined by adding the number of full-time employees to the combined number of part-time employee hours worked and dividing by 30. There are three different ways in which hours can be counted. Actual Hours Worked– This includes the actual hours an employee worked and was paid for, as well as paid leave hours, per payroll records. For example, if an employee worked for 1000 hours and was paid for 40 hours of vacation, their total would be 1,040. Days Worked Equivalency– With this method, you credit an employee with 8 hours for each day they worked for a minimum of 1 hour. Therefore, if an employee came in Monday-Friday and worked only 4 hours each day, you would still credit them for a full 40 hours that week. Weeks Worked Equivalency– Under this method, an employee... read more

Are Credit Card Processing Fees Negotiable?

Some credit card processing fees are negotiable, and some aren’t. So, please put the spreadsheet aside for a moment and read this article before you call another processor to ask the fateful question, “What’s your rate?” Before you can negotiate credit card processing fees, you have to know which fees are flexible. Credit card processing is like any other industry in that there are fixed costs and markups. Fixed costs are those that a processor can’t change, and markups are open to discussion. Understanding the components of credit card processing cost is the first step toward negotiating competitive fees. The second step, as we will explain in a moment, is to not negotiate fees before negotiating pricing. It may sound like the same thing, but there is an important difference. Components of Credit Card Processing Cost The three components of credit card processing cost are interchange fees, assessments and markups. Interchange Fees (Not Negotiable) Interchange fees remain the same no matter which credit card processor you choose, and no processor can offer you lower interchange rates than another. Interchange fees are charged by the banks that issue credit cards, and only the stakeholders of Visa, MasterCard and Discover (card-issuing banks) can update interchange. Assessments (Not Negotiable): Visa, MasterCard and Discover charge various assessment fees when businesses accept one of their credit or debit cards. Like interchange, a business will pay the exact same assessment charges regardless of which credit card processor it uses. All processors pay the exact same assessment fees to Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Markups (Negotiable): The only area of credit card processing expense that is negotiable... read more

Credit Card Transaction Fees

Credit card transactions fees may only be pennies on the dollar, but costs can really add up. More often than not, credit card transaction fees contribute more to cost than credit card processing rates. A common and costly mistake when shopping for credit card processing services is to focus on a processor’s rate while paying little attention to transaction fees. The financial impact of this mistake is especially damaging for businesses with a low average sale amount. What’s the difference between a transaction fee and a processing rate? Each time a business processes a credit card transaction it pays two types of fees. The first is a single percentage that is based on the volume of a transaction, called the rate or discount rate, and the second is a flat fee generally referred to as a transaction fee. The trouble with transaction fees starts with a misunderstanding of the term itself. The term transaction fee generally refers to any flat fee charged when a business’s credit card machine or software gives or gets information to or from a processor. Authorization fees, return fees, AVS fees and gateway fees are just a few examples of the various transaction fees that processors charge. And, unlike a processor’s discount rate, more than one transaction fee may apply to an individual credit card transaction. What people typically think of as a processor’s transaction fee is actually its authorization fee. Authorization Costs Vs. Discount Rate Cost The authorization fee is charged each time a business authorizes a credit card transaction, and it often contributes more to cost than the discount rate. This is especially... read more