NFIB Nevada Member Profile: Restaurant Consultants of Las Vegas

Date: March 14, 2023

Jeff Ecker embodies a classic trait of a small business owner.

Jeff Ecker’s business, Restaurant Consultants of Las Vegas, RCLV, continues to be a guide and resource to other business. Jeff got his start in small business managing multiple restaurants and lounges in Las Vegas.

RCLV continues to be a beacon of light in the industry. Jeff is a vocal activist of small business and continues to fight for what is right. With increasing operating costs, dining establishments remain one of the hardest hit and toughest industries to survive and thrive in.

Grassroots Manager Taylor Criddle spoke with Jeff to learn more about his involvement with NFIB and the challenges that he faces.

Q. What is your business?

A. It’s called Restaurant Consultants of Las Vegas, which is a consulting and management company.

Q. When was it founded?

A. It was founded in February of 2016.

Q. How did you become a small business owner?

A. Wanting to help others in business. I had pretty good experience as I opened four restaurants and a hotel on the Las Vegas strip. In 2000, I opened the very first Hookah Lounge in the country with Paymon. Paymon’s began racking up numerous awards and accolades for restaurants and lounges. I began getting an abundance of calls for advice from business owners.

Q. How many employees do you have?

A. I manage approximately 80 employees.

Q. Why did you become an NFIB member?

A. The NFIB was far more involved in the types of things that affect small business than any other organization I had been involved with. In comparison to other associations/organizations, NFIB is much more influential in protecting us. I have served on the board of a major restaurant organization and have been involved with some of the chambers of commerce and what the NFIB does in comparison is unmatched. And for such a low membership fee, it’s a no-brainer. In our business, we are always focused on value, and in this case the NFIB brings incredible value.

Q. In what ways has NFIB helped your small business?

A. NFIB listens to its members and does its due diligence in knowing what helps and hurts independent businesses. They provide many resources to guide small businesses through difficult times. For instance, when the pandemic occurred and the mass confusion surrounding the various funding and programs to keep small business afloat were presented, NFIB had some incredible webinars that answered all the questions. Because I was participating in the webinars, I was actually able to assist other business owners as a gesture of goodwill. Of course, I urged them to join! That was just one of many webinars that were offered during those difficult times.

Q. What’s the biggest challenge that faces local small business owners like you?

A. I would say the constant barrage of pressure coming from increasing cost. It seems that the overreach of government makes things very difficult, as they seldom understand what it takes to operate a business. Elected officials don’t worry about keeping a huge investment alive each and every day. When they go to work, they don’t have to worry about losing the house they live in, as it was given as collateral for a business loan. They are not threatened with working for free or losing money in any given quarter. Yet the legislation that some of them propose is a real threat to our survival. And it affects so many people.

Q. How are you tackling that challenge in your own business?

A. I have become much more vocal in spreading the word on how important it is to be involved. Business owners often say they don’t have time to be involved, but we can see what lack of involvement has led to. Frankly, it’s been ridiculously expensive to operate and it’s going to take a concerted effort to change things.

Q. What advice would you give new NFIB members to make the most of their membership?

A. My advice is this: If we as small business operators and owners want to continue to be on thousands of small islands, in isolation, with very little say or influence, then do nothing! However, if you want to be connected and be part of a large organization of small business owners, and contribute to the strength and growth of small business, join a prestigious organization such as NFIB, where they will fight the fight on your behalf! With NFIB, you have a voice. That requires participation and contributing time and resources; however, each state and locale have different sets of challenges, and thankfully the NFIB has state directors and offices to provide support for these specific issues.

Q. What could help your industry grow?

A. I believe that the restaurant industry is plagued by so many negative financial forces that it will take a massive effort to unite the business owners to where there is strength in numbers. As it stands, too many business owners are disconnected from the forces that are affecting us. We need to get involved and strengthen our voice as a group so we are taken seriously. Small business does not have the advantages that large businesses have, yet we are bound by the same or even more stringent requirements placed on us via legislation. Our industry could grow by encouraging laws that help us instead of hampering us. The restaurant industry is the largest private employer and small business accounts for about 95% of all businesses, so we need help from our legislators.




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