Culver's, John Laudenbach Franchise: Business Advice, Analysis, and Accounting

John Laudenbach, Owner
“Wipfli’s services and professionalism are top-notch. They have a great understanding of the industry and a strong commitment to do what needs to be done. I have worked with a few accountants in the past, and I can say Wipfli stands among the best.”

For over 30 years, Culver's guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients, served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers more than 600 family-owned and operated restaurants in 24 states. The restaurants' nationally-recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger®, made from fresh, never frozen, beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit or


Franchise owner John Laudenbach and his two daughters own and manage three successful Culver’s restaurants located in Savage, Anoka, and West St. Paul, Minnesota. The Wipfli FAO team met Laudenbach through a fortunate turn of events at the Culver's Franchising System's annual reunion when Laudenbach’s daughter won a drawing for Wipfli’s FAO services at a discount. The timing of the win couldn’t have been better. Laudenbach’s accounting fees were continually on the rise from a Tennessee firm he had never met. He was also in the market for tax planning and consulting assistance for his business.


Wipfli brought a holistic accounting approach to Laudenbach’s business by integrating the accounting for his various restaurant/real estate entities. The team reviewed his past accounting system and established a more sophisticated system that included a means to better monitor his financials. Wipfli discovered some important accounting discrepancies early in the process, creating a strong foundation of trust right off the bat.

In addition, the team’s ready knowledge of Culver’s franchisee requirements allowed Wipfli to quickly establish a system for accurate and timely financial reporting. Among Wipfli’s comprehensive FAO services were:

  • Daily bookkeeping and monthly reconciling of all accounts
  • Timely processing and payment of bills through scanning and e-mail
  • Timely and accurate payroll
  • Preparation of financial and custom reports

Wipfli also provided tax planning assistance, which addressed compliance and issues in income tax, sales and use tax, and payroll taxes.


Laudenbach’s business has been positively impacted in numerous ways. The ease of submitting and approving bills has simplified bill tracking and paying, saving the company time and money, including postage. Laudenbach can now easily monitor financials and cash flow, which creates better business planning abilities. Because of Wipfli’s broad expertise, Laudenbach was also able to gain assistance from several of Wipfli’s business consultants. As a result, he received strategies for minimizing taxes, addressing business operations, pursuing new opportunities, and making prospective changes. Among the benefits was a cost segregation study that resulted in significant tax savings and succession planning for securing his daughters’ ownership in the three restaurants. He continues to have a one-call resource for business advice, analysis, and accounting to help make his companies more successful.

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