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Salt Lake City Bookkeeping Blog

Restaurant Bookkeeping 101 - 5 Step Simple Guide

Posted by Matt Roberge on Sep 19, 2019 11:52:00 AM

Long hours, high overhead, wasted ingredients, and difficulty making profits are some of the barriers to success for restaurant owners.

Yet, for those who love the business or who dream of having a place where everyone knows your name, there’s no other opportunity that comes close.

An often neglected aspect of restaurant management is bookkeeping. Unfortunately, once you are behind on your restaurant accounting, it is difficult to get caught up.

The profit margins in the restaurant industry are too tight to let your bookkeeping slip. If you aren't watching your financials closely it may be too late to fix problems by the time you catch them.

This guide will help you understand the basics of what a trained accountant will help with as you develop a reporting and growth plan.

Effective restaurant bookkeeping starts with you. Whether you’re running the accounting services yourself or outsourcing your restaurant accounting, staying on top of the day-to-day bookkeeping is essential to stay ahead of your competition and turn a profit.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Bookkeeping Procedures, Bookkeeping Processes, Simple Bookkeeping, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting

Restaurant Overhead and Setting the Prices

Posted by Thomas Liquori on Nov 30, 2016 9:00:00 AM

One of the most difficult steps to opening a restaurant is calculating your overhead and then setting your prices. Knowing your overhead before you get started can help you to decide if you are opening in the right market, if your target consumer can afford the prices you will set, and if you are going to turn a profit.

Planning and preparing before jumping into an opening can set your foundation for serving happy costumers, while keeping you afloat.

Calculating Your Overhead

The term “overhead” is thrown around a lot in the business world. In short, it refers to the operational costs not related to your direct materials and labor. What are you spending apart from food expenses, waiting and dish staff, and your cooking staff? Some expenses you will want to consider include:

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Management, Restaurant Business

Common Expenses for Restaurants

Posted by Joe Mazur on Nov 9, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Long hours, high overhead, wasted ingredients and difficulty making profits are some of the barriers to success for restaurant owners. Yet, for those who love the business or who dream of having a place where everyone knows your name, there’s no other opportunity that comes close. For the best chance of success, do your research, partner with a mentor and hire experienced employees — and read up on the most common expenses that restaurant owners pay.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant Bookkeeper

6 Qualities Of Restaurant Bookkeeping Experts

Posted by Matt Roberge on Dec 10, 2015 7:00:00 AM

The restaurant industry is a brutally competitive space with very tight margins. If you are going to run a successful business in this industry, you will need a restaurant bookkeeping expert. Below are the qualities that I would expect from restaurant bookkeeping experts. 

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping - 5 Things To Ask Your Restaurant Bookkeeper

Posted by Matt Roberge on Nov 23, 2015 2:39:04 AM

We have a lot of experience with restaurant bookkeeping in Salt Lake City.  I never had a ton of restaurant experience outside of the dishwashing position until I started doing bookkeeping for other small businesses.  When I started doing bookkeeping for restaurants I immediately understood that they were very unique from a bookkeeping perspective.  I ended up managing the front of house of a restaurant for five years in addition to handling the back office tasks.  Through my experience I learned that the front of the house operations has an effect on the bookkeeping and understanding the ins and outs is extremely important.  If you own a restaurant and don't have your bookkeeping dialed in here are 5 questions I would ask your bookkeeper.  

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Aloha POS Bookkeeper For Restaurant Bookkeeping

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jun 19, 2013 7:00:00 AM

One of the major restaurant point of sale systems is NCR Aloha Restaurant POS Software.  We are very familiar with Aloha as we have been using it for our restaurant bookkeeping clients for over a decade.  Aloha has always offered a very user friendly software that also works well from a bookkeeping perspective.  Here is a guide on how to use Aloha for your restaurant bookkeeping.

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping For A Multi-Location Restaurant Group

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jun 14, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Restaurant bookkeeping for a restaurant group that has multiple locations can be tricky.  With several restaurant locations you have quite a bit going on.  You have invoices and bills to deal with as well as credit card and cash deposits for each location.  You must be an experienced restaurant bookkeeper to implement a restaurant specific bookkeeping system that will work.  With over a decade of restaurant bookkeeping and management experience we have developed a pretty solid bookkeeping system for multi-location restaurants.  

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, QuickBooks Restaurant, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping - 5 Things To Consider

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jun 5, 2013 7:00:00 AM

We have developed many restaurant bookkeeping systems over the years.  We have extensive restaurant experience; both front of the house management and back of house accounting.  Restaurants are a tough business, which makes the accounting aspect that much more important.  We have helped several restaurants dial in a tight bookkeeping system and grow.  We have helped owners set up their restaurant concept to scale.  Helping a restaurant owner grow from a few locations to many is exciting, but it takes a tight financial approach.  Having the proper bookkeeping system in place from day one will promote scalability and set you up for growth.  Here are five things to consider when setting up your restaurant bookkeeping.  

POS System

The restaurant POS system that you choose is a very important decision that you should not take lightly.  I have seen clients go through up to three different POS systems by the time they finally have a conversation with us and we point them in the right direction.  We have seen various new POS systems come and go because they can't make it in the competitive market for one reason or another.  Typically they come out with some new hot technology that looks great (example Ipad), but the functionality and basic reporting is garbage.  While I'm not a big business guy I typically recommend going with one of the bigger players when it comes to your restaurant POS system.

The POS system that I most often recommend is Aloha by NCR.  From a front of house perspective Aloha is easy to program and train your staff on using.  It also has great controls which allow you to control theft.  Lastly, Aloha has always offered excellent customer service.  Our local Utah Aloha dealer POS Technologies has never disappointed.  I know the general manager Devin Wright extremely well and am confident he will over deliver his product and services to you.  From a back of house/bookkeeping perspective Aloha also delivers.  Obviously you want good reporting and Aloha has a series of standard reports that you will need.  In addition Aloha makes it easy to build custom reports if you find you need more details.  Your daily sales summary will be an important piece of your restaurant accounting.  You can manually enter the daily sales summary or import you sales data into QuickBooks or another accounting system.  You would want to check with the external software developer for importing options and compatibility.   

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, Outsourced CFO Services, Part Time Bookkeeper, Outsourced Bookkeeping, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

The Best Restaurant POS System For Bookkeeping And Business

Posted by Matt Roberge on May 15, 2013 7:00:00 AM

For a restaurant one of the most important aspects of the business is the restaurant point of sale system they choose to use.   I have had a pretty unique experience in the hospitality industry over the past 10+ years.  I have worked in both the front of the house management role as well as the back end financial reporting and bookkeeping role.  I understand how they are related and how they need to work together in order for the restaurant to succeed.  The restaurant POS system is a very crucial piece of the puzzle for the restaurant to succeed.  As a restaurant bookkeeping specialist I consider the POS system for a restaurant to be a critical aspect of a setting up a tight bookkeeping system.  

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Restaurant P.O.S, QuickBooks For Restaurants, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Bookkeeper, Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Bookkeeping Experts Drive The Bottom Line

Posted by Matt Roberge on Oct 31, 2012 7:35:00 AM

In one way a restaurant is no different than any other business. The owners went into business to not only do
what they love and are passionate about but to also make a profit. With restaurants, however, the owner is dealing with a number of issues that many businesses do not face. 

With some businesses an inventory item might be good for years if you can't move it or if you need more you have the time to order it and get it in before it is needed. In the restaurant business it is necessary to have all the food you need for that night or you may not be able to get it to please your customers. Add to that if you have too much you now have waste. Inventory is all the food, supplies and ingredients that you have on hand. These items need to be counted at regular intervals not just for ordering purposes but also for loss prevention.

Having experienced and expert restaurant bookkeeping can help keep you up on trends and let you know exactly where you stand by managing cash flow, putting controls in place, and helping to manage inventory as well as giving you the financial statements. 

Having controls in place not only makes sure all the sales are accounted for but also to put controls on food inventory so that you know where you stand with your costs as well. Good business bookkeeping records can help you determine when you need more staff and when you can cut back.  

The price you charge can be a factor if the cost of your supplies is rising but your prices are not. A
bookkeeping system that is in place can tell you if what you are charging is covering not just the cost of the food but the overhead as well. Good bookkeeping can calculate what your overhead is for each time you open the door. This is critical information that every restaurant needs to know. 

Restaurants need to know all the bookkeeping is being done correctly and accurately so that the bottom line reflects the true picture. Good bookkeeping cannot guarantee a profit but it will make sure that you know where the problems are and how to address them.  Comprehensive reports that drill down to the information you need can really help the bottom line.   

Restaurant Bookkeeper

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Topics: Restaurant Bookkeeping, Business Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping Help, Bookkeeping Business, Restaurant Bookkeeper