Restaurant Accounting 101: Manage Your Bookkeeping Like a Pro

bookkeeping for a restaurant

When you enter incorrect information into your books, you’re also skewing financial reports and KPIs. “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, Difference between bookkeeping and accounting accounting, and capital spending on your restaurant’s earnings. You and your accountant will work on certain bookkeeping and accounting tasks together. You’ll also want to know enough about accounting to monitor financial KPIs that will help you make business decisions on the fly. Prime cost accounts for all your labor costs and your cost of goods sold.

Regardless of whether your restaurant is big or small, new, or has been in operation for years now, outsourcing your bookkeeping can help your business grow. At CJCPA, we understand the complexity of the food and beverage industry, its operations, and management aspects. Our experienced team helps restaurants with all their unique financial needs through our end-to-end bar and restaurant accounting and bookkeeping services. Over 52% of restaurant owners reported that high operating and food costs are some of the biggest challenges they face in running restaurants.

A Beginner’s Guide to Restaurant Bookkeeping and Accounting

He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Otherwise, consider the pros and cons of using a bookkeeper, either a part-time employee or an outside bookkeeping service. It’s a cost you might be reluctant to take on, but it frees up time you need to actually run your restaurant, and that has a definite value as well. Restaurants with less than $1 million in profits can choose between cash or accrual accounting. Restaurants with profits over $1 million should rely on the accrual method for accuracy and insight. The beginning inventory is the amount of food you have in your kitchens and storage rooms at the beginning of the period.

  • Join over 1 million businesses scanning receipts, creating expense reports, and reclaiming multiple hours every week—with Shoeboxed.
  • For every dollar that comes in, your prime cost is the amount of that dollar that goes to people (your staff) and product (your menu items).
  • It can be integrated with your POS and bank and offers payroll services.
  • Depending on your restaurant’s operations, these categories can be further specialized.
  • It records income as it enters your bank account and records expenses when they’re paid.

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. Lastly, you’ll want to get the word out that you’re open for business. That may include newspaper ads and billboards, in addition to social media.

Download our free inventory template

On the topic of taxes, a restaurant bookkeeper will also tally the sales tax owed by your business so that you don’t accidentally overlook those requirements either. That’s why management may want to consider restaurant bookkeeping to support these duties, especially during the busy seasons or expansion. While those are the basics of restaurant accounting, there are some things to take into consideration that are specific to the restaurant business. You also need to follow business guidelines when talking about restaurant accounting. We chose TouchBistro as the best option for food truck owners because it’s a portable iPad system that can be operated easily on a truck’s wifi.

bookkeeping for a restaurant

On the other hand, missing a declaration of correct revenue can lead to tax penalties and more. Here are a few useful tips to keep your restaurant bookkeeping organized. There are many independent accountants and accounting firms that specialize in restaurant bookkeeping. Since accounting is complicated and the restaurant industry is unique you should choose an accountant expert because they provide in-depth operational analysis of your financials and tax consulting. Restaurant accounting can quickly become too complex for restaurant owners to handle.

How do you create a restaurant P&L?

She is also experienced in setting up corporations with the State Corporation Commission and the IRS. A restaurant bookkeeper oversees the financial reports of the restaurant. They ensure that the figures are accurate, track inventory, and meet tax obligations. The overall goal with bookkeeping is to minimize operating expenses and maximize profits. Keeping track of your revenue is equally important to restaurant bookkeeping as knowing your expenses. Have accounting records on hand to show how much you earn from food sales, merchandise sales, or catering jobs.

How do you account for inventory in a restaurant?

  1. Create a table.
  2. List items.
  3. Add measurement units.
  4. Count or measure all items.
  5. Insert the unit price.
  6. Calculate total cost.
  7. COGS = Beginning Inventory + Purchased Inventory – Ending Inventory.
  8. Net Profit = Gross Profit (Total Sales-COGS) – Labor Cost + Total Operating Cost.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when setting up your restaurant’s bookkeeping process. Insureon has licensed agents who work exclusively with restaurant owners. These dedicated agents know the specific risks restaurant owners face, and can help ensure your business is protected with the right policies and coverage limits. While there are many restaurant accounting solutions, it’s important for you to understand restaurant accounting basics and how it applies to your business.

Expense Tracking

With the ability to slice, dice, and drill into that historical data, you can identify underlying trends in different datasets. For example, cross-reference sales by menu category to determine the best time to run a half-price appetizer promotion. Use this restaurant invoice template to create invoices with ease, saving you time and helping you get paid faster.

What are the duties of a restaurant accountant?

A restaurant accountant is a professional who has specialized in restaurant accounting. They document all the financial transactions of the restaurant, keeping track of the inventory, cash flow, and income statements.

We chose it because of its ability to integrate fully with other systems. It is designed specifically for the industry with beneficial features for restaurant owners. It is affordable and easy to use, and its comprehensive platform can be used for any size eatery.