The only immediate change Tony made to the Lakeview Pancake House, besides legitimizing its accounting, was opening on Wednesday. So, Tony was out of the accounting business yet he was now working more hours during tax season than a practicing tax accountant. Except, instead of raking in fees, Tony was bleeding cash. After making his down payment on the restaurant, Tony only had a small cache of cash left, and that was earmarked for the new sign, menus, pizza ovens and advertising for when Tony converted the Lakeview Pancake House into Tony Pepperoni’s Pork Roll & Pizza. Tony grinded his way through the winter and early spring under the Lakeview Pancake House banner, firing over half the staff and only replacing half the employees he had fired. By late April, Tony was sucking wind physically and financially. Tony’s thirty-five year old body had been trained by ten tax seasons to work like a dog all winter, but also expected rest come April 16th on a huge bed of cash from preparing hundreds of tax returns. Now, Tony was flat broke, juggling bills to keep his checking account in the black but his real work was only about to begin - the Jersey Shore summer season.
Armed with an accounting degree, ten years of business experience and a miscellaneous restaurant resume of part-time college jobs, Tony had been convinced he could take a foundering, or marginally profitable restaurant, and turn it into a financial success just by applying sound fiscal and managerial procedures. Tony’s accounting work had given him the opportunity to see many small business operations, including restaurants, up close. Tony was seldom impressed with the business acumen of the hamburger-flippers and dough-rollers that ran the typical New Jersey pizzeria, deli or family-style restaurants.
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