Are the outgoings that you are paying actually due?

Are the outgoings that you are paying actually due?




Its quite common for outgoings to be charged by landlords in addition to rent, the amount charged varies from lease to lease.


Some landlords will pass on charges like business rates, land tax, strata fees etc and some charge for many more items related to the building in which your business operates.


Many people believe that if outgoings are listed in the lease then they have to be paid but this is not the case. Changes to the Retail Leases Act in July 2017 mean that if outgoings are not listed in the Disclosure Document then the landlord cannot legally charge you for them.



What is a disclosure document?

When you were looking to take over the premises you should have been given a copy of this document (via your solicitor). The disclosure document is basically a summary of the key points of the lease, the document is given to you so that you can be sure that you know what you are signing for.




How Lucas just reduced his annual outgoings by $5,000 per year.


I was recently looking through a lease for a client, Lucas, to help him work out the potential value of his business when I noticed that the level of outgoings seemed quite high.

Lucas was not entirely sure what the outgoings that he paid monthly actually covered so the first thing we did was get the managing agent to send through an itemised invoice for all charges.


Looking through the lease along with the invoice for the outgoings we noticed that although the amounts charged seemed to match what was stated in the lease some of the charges did not appear on the disclosure document.


In addition to this the landlord had also miscalculated the way in which the land tax was being calculated.


I asked Lucas to contact his solicitor to check this and he confirmed what we had found and followed up with the landlord’s agent with the letter below.
Without going into too much detail the outcome resulted in a reduction of just over $5000 per year in outgoings and a rebate of the over payment since the lease was signed, not a bad result!


If you are currently paying your outgoings without being 100% sure what they cover it may well be worth checking.
Here is what you should do:


✅ Ask your agent or landlord for an itemised breakdown of what the outgoings on the rent invoice actually cover.

✅ If you do not have a copy ask the solicitor that acted for you when you signed the lease for a copy of the disclosure document.

✅ Make sure that all of the charges on the invoice are listed on the disclosure document and that the amounts being charged match up (allowing for declared annual increases).

✅If you find any differences then it may well be worth double checking these with your solicitor.


This whole exercise took Lucas only a few hours and resulted in a refund, a reduction of ongoing costs and a more saleable and valuable business. The $5000 saved per year drops straight into the overall profit of the business which ultimately will help to increase the value.


I hope that this inspires you to double check your own outgoings, good luck and let me know if you have any questions about this.


If you would like to have a confidential chat about your business anytime feel free to book in a time that suits you here


You are not alone

You are not alone

Last week I spoke to several café owners about where they are currently at and what they need to do to prepare for their sale.

Three of the people that I spoke with were doing it really tough, working long hours and not seeing much return, they were all pretty close to walking away from the business.

The thing that really bothered me about these conversations was that each of these three people felt like it was just them and they felt alone.

If this is you, if you feel like this then I want you to know that it is not just you, there are probably several hundred people in this group that feel the same.

If you are struggling then reach out to the group for help, this community has some highly experienced operators as well as many industry professionals who will all be willing to offer advice and suggestions about your situation.

This is a hard industry, it always has been and always will be, don’t be afraid to ask for help. One of the many things I love about the hospitality trade it is how it brings people together more than any other industry I know of.

If you are struggling at the moment then here are three things that you should be on top of.

Check your Gross Profit

  • • What is your Food Cost Percentage?
  • • When did you last negotiate process with your suppliers?
  • • Are you tracking wastage and loss?
  • • What is your overall COGS %
  • • When did you last cost out your menu?


Check Your Wages vs Sales

  • • What is your current wage percentage?
  • • What are you labour costs per hour?
  • • What are your sales per hour?
  • • Can you trim your operating hours?



  • • Are you proactively marketing the business?
  • • Are you active on your social media accounts?
  • • Are you training your staff how to sell?
  • • Are you out marketing your competition?


The list above is pretty basic but it’s crucial that you are on top of these numbers, metrics and actions. With margins as tight as they are now even a small rise of COGS and wages can wipe out most of your profit.

Focus on YOUR numbers and don’t worry too much about industry averages or what others are doing, work on improving your results every month, a combination of small improvements can make a big difference.

Good luck and remember to reach out to the group if you need help.

How to increase Cafe Profits - Menu Costings

How to increase Cafe Profits – Menu Costings

One of the biggest factors when working out the potential sale price of your café will be the profitability.


Whatever stage you are at whether you are on the market now or just wanting to make plans to sell further down the track then this is a good exercise to go through.


Periodically costing out your individual menu items and dishes puts your mind at rest that each item that you are selling is priced right and making the correct margin.


The process of going through your supplier invoices will also force you to check what you are paying for key ingredients and may help you pick up on price rises that you had not been aware of.


Costing out each item is also a good way to check current portion sizes and make sure that staff are all aware of correct amount of each ingredient that they should be using for each dish.


Being aware of you highest margin lines will also help you when it comes to knowing what you can offer as a promotion or special and which dishes you and your staff should be pushing the hardest.


This video shows how a simple spreadsheet like this can make the process quick and painless, it will also give you a reference to check back against when you make any changes to ingredients, suppliers or prices.


Don’t feel you need to cost out all of your dishes at once, just pace yourself and start with the highest selling lines.


If you have never done this or not done it for some time then I guarantee its going to be an eye opener!


I hope this helps, feel free to comment below or get in touch if you need any help.