The restaurant business is full of unique challenges and rewards. It’s an especially competitive industry—there’s no doubt about that! But, if you own or manage a restaurant, chances are that you do what you do because you love it, and the results can be highly rewarding. The restaurant business is a capital-, inventory-, and overhead-intensive business with sometimes razor-thin profit margins. Therefore, you need to be able to carefully monitor cash flows. As a manager, having impeccable attention to detail is a well-developed craft that delivers the best possible dining experience to your customers. But what if you had better ways to help you stay on top of all your back office details with the same precision that you put into your customer experience? Better management of your restaurant accounting and bookkeeping can help you find continued success in this challenging industry.

Your staff is part of your restaurant accounting solution

You go to great lengths to hire the best people for your front-facing services: bartenders, servers, shift managers, and hosts. As a manager, you want people who are dedicated to their craft and can deliver great service, food, and drinks. One of the challenges of running a restaurant, however, is that each of these employees carries a high volume of transactions on any given day. Most restaurants have multiple POS stations that are any combination of cash registers, mobile devices, and tablets. What’s worse, they sometimes go down. You accept multiple methods of payments, even including gift cards, which must be entered as a liability, not a sale. At the end of the night, you must batch your receipts and track reconciliations on your sales total. It’s a lot to keep track of, and both human and machine errors are inevitable. 

Inventory and vendor control

Front-of-the-house transactions are only one part of your restaurant’s financial landscape. How easy is it for you to track vendor invoices and get them onto your accounts payable ledger? Are your POSs integrated with purchasing, security, and accounting software? Having these various areas linked on a mobile app enables managers to quickly respond to changing demands in their store and make key decisions in real-time. You will be able to make more accurate inventory adjustments, control food costs, and modify vendor shipments. If alcohol and wine stocks are a concern, there is software available that can even help you to control alcohol and wine dispensing.

Restaurant software integration

A restaurant consultant can help you to clean up all your random spreadsheets and reconcile entries back to your accounting application. Management tools give you full monitoring capabilities, from last quarter’s budget vs. actual spending to last month’s sales reporting. Eventually, you can begin to record payroll accruals and expense other accounts over shorter periods, tying up less cash in the process. However, employee payroll and taxes aren’t a walk in the park and often it makes more sense to track these through an outsourced service. When you begin to integrate older systems in a comprehensive solution, you can continue to benefit from the capital expenditures you already made. You don’t necessarily have to replace the software you are presently using. Oftentimes, the applications can be integrated to make your restaurant accounting and operations more efficient.

As you consider upgrading your software, consider getting feedback from your shift leaders on what would make their jobs easier. What are the chief complaints? What most commonly causes budget overruns? Your staff is the key to changing how efficient your restaurant can become. Experienced consultants recognize this and take the lead on training your staff on any new applications.

After professionally integrating your restaurant systems, you can expect:

  • Time savings
  • Reduced sales errors
  • Reduced accounting errors
  • Better control inventory
  • Real-time sales and reporting tools

The professionals that handle the restaurant consultations at SD Mayer themselves have invested in and or have experience running restaurants. They use their expertise to help restaurants like yours to become more profitable and efficient. Restaurant accounting is unique from other industries because it requires a hands-on, labor-intensive approach to delivering a service that can be entirely subjective for the customer. They understand this and can help you to become more successful at what you do best. 

The professionals at SD Mayer love working with restaurants. Whether you are looking to streamline your bookkeeping, outsource your tax and accounting needs, or are seeking consultation regarding general financial management, we bring our decades of experience to the table to help you succeed in one of the most competitive industries. Contact us today to get started.

Image Credit | johan.lebedevski | Shutterstock
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