May 28, 2020

SIU offering free webinars to assist restaurants and retail businesses

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Small Business Development Center is offering a pair of free webinars next week for restaurant and retail business owners aimed at helping ensure they stay financially viable.

Assisting restaurants

“Restaurant 101: Calculating food costs” is Monday, June 1, from 9 to 9:30 a.m.  John Farrish, assistant professor of hospitality, tourism and event management in SIU’s College of Business and Analytics, will present the session offering advice and information regarding how to plan and calculate food costs in order to maximize profits.

Before entering academia, Farrish gained extensive experience in restaurant/beverage business management in Las Vegas and San Francisco. He managed food and beverage operations in the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco and Bally’s Casino Resort in Las Vegas, as well as managing operations for Memphis Championship Barbecue of Las Vegas, a subsidiary of the acclaimed 17th Street Barbecue.

Sign up online by 8 a.m. the morning of the webinar at

Increasing retail profits

Another session, “Retail Financial Basics: Margin and Inventory” is Tuesday, June 2, from 10 to 11 a.m.

Steve Bailey of Retail KPI Consulting will show participants how to review and analyze their financial statements in order to improve their business' profitability.

With more than 45 years of retail experience and 20 years of consulting experience, Bailey will introduce retailers to various systems and programs he has developed to help them more fully understand how money moves through their company and how they can improve their profits.

Register for the Zoom meeting by the start time at

The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Southern Illinois University.

For more information about either webinar or the Small Business Development Center and the many services it offers to new or expanding businesses, visit the website, call 618/536-2424 or email