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Restaurant Accounting Tips For Number-shy Restaurateurs

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Cost-of-living pressures mean everyone is feeling the pinch, especially consumers. And the flow-on effects – both reduced consumer spending and inflation shaving away profit margins – are hitting restaurant owners where it hurts. 

It’s always important to stay on top of your restaurant accounting, but it’s especially so in economically challenging times. Having a clear picture of your numbers allows you to make informed decisions to keep your business moving forward.

We share three tips to wrestle your numbers and gain control of your restaurant accounting.

1. Know Your Numbers

First, you need a good understanding of your sales and costs so you can track the cash flow of your business. This starts with tracking turnover on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and identifying any trends in the data. When you know what a typical day, week or month looks like, you can then catch any declines as soon as they occur.

Equally important is tracking your business costs, including labour, goods, utilities and merchant fees. Knowing these numbers can help you evaluate their value to your business. If you see costs for one supplier trending upwards, you can try to renegotiate rates or shop around to see if there’s a better offer out there for you.
Variable costs can often increase when your turnover increases. A good example of this is merchant fees. The higher your sales in a month, the bigger your merchant bill will be at the end of the month. That’s why customers love our Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS option, which helps eliminate merchant bills altogether. Like the owner of Cafe Zoo, Marc, who is enjoying saving $30,000 a year. 

2. Implement A Restaurant Accounting System

It’s one thing to know your numbers. It’s another to stay on top of them. Find a system that works for you and stick to it, whether it’s a classic option like Excel spreadsheets, or accounting software like Xero, MYOB or FreshBooks. It may take some time to learn the system, but many providers offer free training courses to help get you up to speed.

Once you have your system in place, tracking your key metrics is much easier. Keep an eye on the numbers daily but also track across the calendar year to identify any seasonal trends. Some metrics that are good to track include:

  1. historical sales to forecast and set goals for future sales
  2. break-even point or the revenue your restaurant needs to make to cover your costs
  3. cost of goods sold (CoGS) or the costs that go into making each item on your menu
  4. labour costs, including wages, taxes and employee benefits 
  5. staff turnover rate to understand the indirect labour costs of recruiting and training new staff.

3. Maintain Loyalty To Save

Restaurant accounting is one thing. But without customers, you don’t have a business. Maintaining loyalty across your business is imperative. Always trying to find new customers can end up costing you significantly more in the long run.

How can you develop relationships with your customers to earn loyalty? Foster a community feel in your business. Create a best-in-class experience for your customers, and ask that they leave you a Google review to share their positive experiences. Think about introducing an incentive for repeat business. For example, if you own a cafe, can your customer earn a free coffee after a set number of visits? 

The same goes for your staff. Find and retain quality staff. Create a great working environment and culture around the workplace – investing in them in turn means they will invest in you through good work and loyalty. Constantly recruiting staff can equal big costs for your business, and burn you out.

Want to know more about surcharging?

Save on merchant fees with Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS. It’s one cost you can eliminate from your restaurant accounting. Get in touch with the team at Smartpay to learn more about how it works and how much you can save.

Say Goodbye to EFTPOS Bills or Contact Sales on 1800 531 784

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