Hospitality is the Best Practice at The Rocktide Inn: A Case Study

Organization : Rocktide Inn & Restaurant
Industry/market segment : Hospitality: Lodging, Restaurant, Dock facility
Business description : Providing waterfront dining & vacation accommodations since 1968
Size : 90 guest rooms, 230 seat restaurant serving breakfast lunch & dinner Annual Revenue: $1.7 million, 8 year-round and 66 seasonal employees
Term of client relationship : 2+ years
Services provided : FFull Service Hosted Accounting and Payroll

The Rocktide Inn has been a favorite vacation destination for visitors to Maine’s mid-coast for almost 50 years. As you navigate the richly paneled lobby on the way to the waterfront dining room, you’re surrounded by one of the best collections of ship models this side of a maritime museum. But Rocktide’s management team doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of progress: they’ve hit upon a formula that leverages the latest in best practices, including business process outsourcing, to ensure that this venerated, family-owned operation will be successful season after season for years to come.

Upon joining the organization 3 years ago, General Manager John Sullivan suggested to the owners that outsourcing their accounting and payroll functions to Osman Page would help improve their ability to track expenses (Sullivan had used Osman Page at the resort he managed previously, and was pleased with the results). Rather than continuing the practice of using “bucket” accounts, which made it difficult for managers to identify areas of concern, Osman Page organized classes and categories that improve visibility into financial operations.

The hotel and restaurant each have different requirements in terms of recognizing revenue. While revenue from the restaurant is recorded and recognized daily, hotel room revenue is not recognized until a guest checks out at the end of their stay. The hotel, which represents roughly 70% of the company’s revenue stream, was not taking advance deposits on reservations, largely because of the challenges it represented in accounting. The expertise offered by Osman Page has helped enable Rocktide to properly account for advance deposits, and more accurately manage cash flow.

Managing payroll also presents a challenge for a business that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with schedules that change weekly. Osman Page manages the whole process, including payroll tax filing and generation of year-end tax forms for both US and foreign staff. In addition to outsourcing accounting and payroll to Osman Page, Rocktide also engaged to boost reservations, which helped increase top line growth.

In addition to the assurance that the books now meet GAAP standards (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), Sullivan values having the checks & balances that an outside expert brings, and the time saved in managing the bookkeeping and payroll functions. When combined, this “best practices” approach resulted in income growth of 20-25% over the past 2-3 year period, which has enabled management to complete major property renovations and facility upgrades, continuing the Rocktide tradition of excellence in hospitality.

“The staff at Osman Page is always available to answer my questions or address any concerns. I really appreciate that they not only understand the hospitality industry, but that they’ve taken the time to understand the particular challenges we face in operating a busy, multi-faceted seasonal business. It’s this combination of expertise and personal service that I value most.”

John Sullivan,
General Manager, Rocktide Inn & Restaurantict