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Quick Tips for Restaurant Bookkeeping Molen & Associates

how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant

When it comes to accounts payable, invoices and records are very important. As you look at all the facets of restaurant accounting, it’s important to know about two different accounting methods. Cash flow statements are helpful for restaurants because they let you know whether you have enough money coming in to cover your expenses. When you’re looking at a KPI like prime cost, you can get a better picture of just how profitable your restaurant is. It’s important to reconcile all of your bank accounts on a monthly basis to ensure that your financial records are accurate and that you have a realistic view of your financial performance. This also ensures that there are no accounting errors and that nothing has been left out.

how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant

Outsourcing your bookkeeping is more affordable than you would think. We save you money the moment you hire us by cutting out the expensive cost of hiring an in-house CFO. First, run a profit and loss by going to reports on the left-hand side and selecting reports.

Ways to Keep Your Records

Be sure you’re aware of sales vs. cost of goods sold and that you’re also factoring in labor costs. Also be sure to analyze food costs and aim to keep them at around 60% of total sales. This statement is an effective tool for keeping track of your revenue, food costs, labor costs, and operating expenses. If this is the method with which you choose to organize your books and records, it’s advisable that you provide a detailed breakdown of all your costs and revenue for ease of understanding.

You’ll be able to better communicate with your accountant and get practical ways to run your restaurant more efficiently. And you don’t have to be a bookkeeping expert to master your financials. When analyzing the financial health of your business, something to keep in mind is that no number on its own can tell you everything you need to know. This means your cooks, busboys, servers, hosts, and anyone who’s on your restaurant payroll – from front-of-house to back-of-house.

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Do some research before picking an accounting software for your restaurant. Depending on the software, you can do other things such as manage payroll, sales reports, and methods of payment. A business strategy, organization, and the willpower to keep accurate accounting records are essential factors in determining whether or not your restaurant will get off the ground. Restaurant bookkeeping is one of the most important aspects of running a restaurant. Make sure you have a point-of-sale system that easily integrates with that software. Restaurant profit and loss statements (P&L) or income statements reflect the expenses, costs, and sales of your restaurant during a specific period of time.

What is the best accounting method for a restaurant?

The most common accounting method of restaurants is cash accounting or cash basis. This method allows businesses to record their generated income when cash is received from services rendered or paid for expenses and costs. Since restaurants and bars deal with a lot of cash daily, this method is the preferred method.

Here are some important ratios to study when you review the financial statements for your restaurant. Accounts that require reconciliation include loans, lines of credit, credit cards, bank accounts, and payroll liabilities. It’s a necessary process that ensures that nothing is left unaccounted for. Keep tabs on your revenue and use your accounting records to figure out how much you earn from food sales, merchandise sales, catering jobs, and more. Pinpoint how much revenue you make on a daily basis and then break them further into categories. Restaurant bookkeeping plays a crucial role in effectively managing your restaurant’s finances.

Generate a Sales Report

For instance, your accountant should monitor the percentage of cash tips versus cash sales. This ratio should be similar to the ratio of credit card tips to credit card sales. This is an effective way of discouraging servers from keeping more cash tips than they made. And it saves the average restaurant 9 hours per month managing invoices, inventory, and food cost work.

  • It may be good to stay aware of deposit amounts and invoices so there aren’t any errors there.
  • For every dollar you earn, the prime cost is the amount of that dollar that goes to labor (your staff) and product (food items).
  • And since labor costs are one of the largest expenses for a restaurant, it’s important to know what it is so you can invest money wisely and increase profits.
  • But if you’re striking out on your own, you’ll be responsible for buying ingredients, possibly every day.
  • It comes integrated with Gusto for payroll processing, making it easy to pay employees, and it can be integrated with banking and POS systems.
  • If you need to customize the report to get more detailed information you will need to work through the customization with your POS system.
  • To make a profit, you want your revenue to come in higher than your expenses.
  • According to a report by the National Restaurant Association, there are 14.7 million people working in the restaurant industry.

At first blush, cash-based accounting might seem like the best kind for restaurants. It records income as it enters your bank account and records expenses when they’re paid. “Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization” is used by restaurateurs, investors, and financiers as a proxy for cash flow. EBITDA represents earnings that are a result of operations only, while stripping away the effects of financing, accounting, and capital spending on your restaurant’s earnings. Restaurant accounting is also made up of essential bookkeeping processes that keep your business running.

How to Do Bookkeeping for a Restaurant

This is because the customer didn’t determine the amount — it was required. When the staff receives these payments, they are considered wages and are subject to withholding. Your inventory includes all the ingredients and supplies needed to create your dishes and present them to diners. Inventory management is the process of determining how much of each item needs to be available for each shift, using products before they spoil and reordering as necessary. When dealing with different types of expenses, you need to budget for them properly. This means distributing the cost among the months, not expecting to pay it all in one month.

how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant

These fixed costs typically make up the minority of your restaurant expenses. How you set up your books for a restaurant lays the foundation for how smoothly the rest of the bookkeeping process will go. You can also largely ignore fixed costs such as utilities and lease payments, which are largely beyond your control. Your focus should be on the things that make you successful day by day.

So here are the essentials of restaurant accounting and bookkeeping when it comes to reports, processes, and KPIs. While you won’t leave this article a chartered accountant, we’ll give you the language you need to work with accountants and with restaurant accounting software. In other words, we’ll help you talk the talk, but you’ll still need someone to walk with.

After you pay business-related expenses, the amount of money remaining at the end of every month equals your gross profit. Food costs refer to the cost of preparing a menu item divided by the total revenue earned from the item. This formula is used to make sure that you’re making a profit from each item you sell. When your chart of accounts is set up in this manner all you have to do is modify your profit and loss with the correct settings. Any account that gets a statement with a beginning and ending balance can be reconciled. Account reconciliation ensures that you are looking at accurate financial reports.

Prime cost is an important accounting term to know as a restaurant owner. Operating expenses are not the cost of the people on your payroll OR the cost of the ingredients or rent. Operating how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant expenses are pretty much everything else it takes to run your restaurant on a day-to-day basis. Occupancy expenses are all of the costs related to… well, where you’re at.

  • You would then have a payment approver approve any bills they want to be paid at anytime.
  • Having knowledge about restaurant accounting is important if you are involved in any of the behind-the-scenes activities at a restaurant.
  • It is also important to track total sales and expenses on weekly basis to ensure the restaurant is not losing money and that it is cutting expenses where possible.
  • The only drawback to Toast payroll is that right now they do not have a QuickBooks integration.
  • Every restaurant has overhead, or fixed costs of running your business, such as rent, insurance, and equipment rental.
  • You need to ensure that the information presents the true financial position of the business, and can be used for decision making.