(1) Eileen B. in NJ (WITH AN ACCOUNTING QUESTION): I am stressing over my tax returns 2009. I was audited this week because my accountant guesstimated the miles for car deduction by twice amount. Would you know if I can deduct the cost of I driver for my car for a round trip NYC business trip because my handicap doesn’t allow me to drive more than one hour straight??
(2) Jen W. in NC: This is a great article I had the honor of being interviewed for, if interested: http://www.wncwoman.com/2012/04/03/medicinal-melodies/
(3) Pat H. in PA [on diners]: Yes.. seems to be a sort of national epidemic of diners going out of business or not opening new ones….. Kind of like Drive in Movies?.. :)): No joke.. seems diners are becoming a thing of the past. Why? I suspect its all about tough money management. I think the larger “chain” type of restaurants are able to do things like purchase in bulk and buy from National suppliers thereby they get things cheaper than the little guy restaurant owner. And they usually pay and get the premium $s location that a small diner can’t afford. If you take a macro look at a single diner, I suspect it really is a financial accounting nightmare. Think of all the details.. cooking, ordering food, cleaning, hiring staffing with waitresses, financial management, parking lot management, dealing with people calling in sick or uneven demand in customers, etc. The list goes on and on. I have a friend who owns an older long established bar and restaurant in Philly. In the past it made big money as he had good pizza and it was a neighborhood type bar. But the neighborhood is changing and his business is suffering. Granted, not a diner, but he seems to be in a similar situation as many previous diner owners.
I also think that when most people think of a diner they think of getting a “cheap” meal. And as diners raise prices, people stop going as they can’t seem to justify the bigger bucks for a breakfast or other meal. And by design, most diners are small in comparison to the “chain” restaurants. I think the chain restaurants maximize the # of tables vs. size kitchen. Again, its a financial game of getting the most return for the investment. Where diners are usually smaller. And diner owners usually focus on the quality of their food vs. maximizing profit. It also seems most diners can’t really expand due to size/space/parking considerations/restrictions. So they probably are limited in what money they can actually make.
Additionally, I don’t think people can afford to be a waitress in a diner anymore. Its too low pay. Think about Newtown and the old Goodnoe’s restaurant. How could someone living in or around Newtown afford to work as a waitress? There simply are not any low income housing units to support a waitress making a waitresses low salary and live in this area. So getting help becomes an issue and again, I think people would rather work at at Fridays or other “chain” type restaurant as the tips are larger and they have the potential to make more money elsewhere than at a diner. Plus laughing here.. With all the spoiled brat Bucks or Mercer county kids around they would scoff at working at a diner. Right?
Laughing here and and no disrepect, but maybe this is a neat subject for your newsletter…… My co-workers and I often kid about how we wound up in our careers.. I think a lot of people aspire at an early age to become teachers, or Doctors, or police officers and they eventually follow what they feel are their dream jobs/careers, right? But not everyone…Like a lot of people will say they knew that at an early age they wanted to become a __________. Right? But I wonder how many kids in grade school have dreams of becoming a diner owner? Ha!! We often joke around in our office and do mock interviews asking ourselves questions like. “Pat, at what age did you aspire to become an air conditioning service salesman? Was it in the 6th grade you decided to do this? ” Ha!! Think about it…Ha!! Or when does someone aspire to be a cooling tower repair person? Or how about a meter reader? Or how about an animal fat disposal route truck operator? Think about it!! When you take a step back and think about this, it can be funny.
But really, and no joke, how many parents encourage their kids to be diner owners? Or, what kids today would see this as a dream job? Would a younger person see this as something as innovative to make a living and get rich? Or would they see it as a boring job?
(4) Steve T. in NC: Very cool newsletter, so comprehensive. You know about everything. Did you possibly have a secret career in Intelligence? Here’s a movie your readers might enjoy. Funny Farm with Chevy Chase. They move to the country seeking peace and solace… We were on the floor laughing.
(5) Rich O. in PA: Please follow link to Amazon..and click the like button..even if you are not buying..
Now available! “Undead Tales 2” zombie anthology!
(6) Rob S. in PA: “Footnote” is now playing at the Ritz in Philadelphia. It is about a two Talmud scholars (a father and his son) and their rivalry with each other. It is in Hebrew with English subtitles, and I highly recommend it.
(7) Jim D. in PA: Something very new and exciting – live video chat
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
You’re invited to a special online video “conversation” with me, Wednesday, April 24th at 6:00 PM eastern. And there’s no charge!
Using a brand new technology, we’re able to have two way audio and video communication. This is the coolest service I’ve seen. Not only can we connect, using video but you can connect with everyone else in the room. I’ll be holding a Question and Answer session and more.
Please register early since space is limited.
(8) Mariusz S. in IL(with a FREE OFFER):
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(9) Karen F. in NC: Wanderlust really reminded me of the ex-hippies I worked with at the Wilderness camp. I love to laugh though. I give it a LOL for lots of laughter.