Restaurant bookeeping Tips Guide

Restaurant Bookkeeping Tips Guide to Save You Time and Money

Restaurant Bookkeeping is an important part of the success of your New York restaurant and having a back office accounting system set up to handle bill paying, payroll, cash management, accounts payable, profit and loss (P & L) statements, sales reports and inventory management. The problem is that the daily tasks of running a busy restaurant can sometimes cause an owner to neglect or forget about analyzing the finances of your restaurant.  And it is quite easy to fall behind if you don’t have the proper accounting software systems or team helping you.  We have set up a resource tips guide to help clarify what are the important bookkeeping aspects to focus on for your restaurant.        

Daily Transaction Sales Recording  

One of the first things that is vital to proper bookkeeping for any restaurant or bar is setting up a software system to properly record and track all the transactions and sales into software like QuickBooks.  As a restaurant you to have kept track of this everyday since some of the transactions will be cash and some will credit. Your bookkeeping system will need to generate a report that summarizes all sales.  Most restaurants have Point of Sales, (POS) systems in place- syncing your POS system with accounting software will allow to have control over more customized reports and financial information.    


As a restaurant owner, you do not want to try to handle your own payroll because there are too many things that can go wrong.  It is recommended to hire an outsourced payroll service provider to decrease your own liability of filing your payroll taxes late or incorrectly. You do not want to receive any penalties or interest not doing it accurately.  The tax laws are always changing.  There are many benefits to using a cloud-based payroll service, the payroll data can be imported into Quickbooks which can generate digital reports.      

Accounts Payable        

It’s important to have a financial bookkeeping software system set up for your accounts payable in order to automate the process of paying vendors.  Using Quickbooks or other software makes is pretty easy to enter bills and pay them.  To make things even easier you link your bank account to QuickBooks and use online bill payment.  The second aspect of automating your accounts payable is setting up your credit card with QuickBooks. This can be tricky sometimes, that is why we help and offer Quickbooks implementation and training as a service is important.  Having your credit card setup properly will allow for more seamless reconciliation for your account.    

Financial Reporting     

Having financial reports with restaurant specific information included is an important aspect of the restaurant bookkeeping process.  Your business is running blind without having financial reports that you can analyze on a weekly basis.  Any NYC business owner knows that tight profit margins are on many of the food and wine products being sold in your restaurant.   Import metrics to pay attention to are the “labor ratios” and looking at the Sales vs. Cost of goods sold ratios.   Another key metric for determining profitability for restaurants is calculating the “prime cost” which the goals are to keep the total cost of food + beverage + payroll to no more than 65% of your restaurant’s total sales.  Analyzing the current profit and loss (P&L) statements and comparing them to previous periods or years is helpful to look at the financial health and success of your business.     


In accounting terms, reconciliation is the process of making sure that 2 sets of records or balances are in agreement. Reconciling your business accounts is the most important aspect of bookkeeping for restaurants.  Reconciling is the only way to know if you have recorded and accounted for all the transactions associated with your restaurant.  You must reconcile every account, including bank accounts, credit cards, payroll liabilities, business loans, lines of credit and any account that gets a statement with a beginning and ending balance.  The purpose of reconciliation is to make sure you are looking at accurate financial statements of cash flow and revenue each month for your restaurant.   


Bookkeeping Chefs, is a cloud based accounting and bookkeeping service company offers different levels of account packages to suit your restaurant’s needs. We can manage your books, pay your bills and make sense of your revenue.      

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