The specialists at Padgett have years of experience providing high-quality accounting services for restaurants including:
Outsourced bookkeepingBookkeeping for restaurants can be time-consuming for your back-office staff. Our bookkeeping specialists can handle these administrative chores directly for your restaurant on a weekly or monthly basis — or temporarily if your existing general manager unexpectedly leaves. However, many owners prefer to monitor key performance metrics — such as sales and prime costs — daily to mirror how credit card transactions are processed. We can set up daily reporting processes to help you identify and fix operating problems before they spiral out of control. The use of a trusted specialist in restaurant accounting gives you the peace of mind of knowing that sales, payroll, inventory and supply purchases, leasehold improvements, and other financial transactions will be recorded in the appropriate general ledger accounts with detailed, accurate descriptions. Invoices should also be reconciled to purchase and receiving orders prior to payment to ensure you don’t lose track of short pays and vendor credits. These tasks can alleviate headaches when it’s time to prepare your year-end financial statements and income, sales, and payroll tax returns. If your restaurant operates as a general or limited liability partnership or a limited liability company with multiple owners, effective bookkeeping throughout the year will also make K-1 form preparation easier.
Preparation of monthly and year-end financial statementsComprehensive financial statements include three reports: 1) the income statement, 2) the balance sheet, and 3) the statement of cash flows. These provide an overview of your restaurant’s financial health. We can issue financial statements for your restaurant that comply with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Alternatively, some small food service businesses may prefer to issue cash-basis or tax-basis financial statements. We can help you determine what’s appropriate for your current situation, including any financial reporting requirements called for under franchise agreements (if applicable).
Interim operating reports
Year-end financial reporting isn’t enough for most food service businesses due to the cyclical and seasonal nature of the industry. Effective restaurant accounting requires analyzing financial performance on a regular basis to maximize profits, identify operating inefficiencies, and pivot as needed. Interim reporting can also help you identify the need for a line of credit to temporarily cover operating expenses. We can identify key metrics to help food service operators monitor financial performance on a real-time basis using daily, weekly, needed or monthly flash reports.
Menu pricingRising operating costs have prompted food service operators to increase prices in recent years. Costing data is a key ingredient to setting appropriate prices. Close attention should be given to your restaurant’s prime costs, which include: 1. Direct labor. This is the amount you pay to front-of-house staff and the kitchen crew, including payroll taxes, paid time off, and benefits. 2. Cost of goods sold. This term refers to the food, beverage, and dry supplies that are consumed by your customers. Today, most restaurants invest in computerized inventory systems to track items purchased and used in their daily operations, as well as write-offs. Cost of goods sold equals your beginning inventory plus purchases minus ending inventory. Gross margin is the difference between your restaurant’s sales and its prime costs. However, this metric, which is often reported as a percentage of sales, tells only part of the story. It’s also important to factor overhead costs into your menu prices. Restaurants operate on slim margins. The National Restaurant Association reports that the pre-tax profit margin for a small restaurant typically ranges from 3% to 5%. Each of the two components of prime costs accounts for an average of 33 cents of every dollar in sales. Other expenses — including rent, utilities, marketing, insurance, and other operating costs — generally account for 29 cents of every dollar in sales. Costing studies can help you engineer menu pricing that covers plate costs and other expenses, thereby maximizing your profits. This can help reduce the need to combat inflation by other means, such as taking on additional debt, delaying vendor and supplier payments, cutting staff, or postponing necessary equipment purchases and leasehold improvements.
Payroll and tips managementFood services businesses employ roughly 10% of the U.S. labor force, according to the National Restaurant Association. However, paying workers and reporting payroll taxes and benefits can be tedious for food service businesses, because they have many different types of compensation arrangements. Many workers are hourly and part-time, but managers may be salaried. In addition to paying wages, most restaurants operate on a tipped structure. There are a variety of methods of tip handling, including tip pooling, split tips, or tips by paycheck vs. cash tips. We can help evaluate whether your current tip-handling method makes sense — or whether it should be simplified for your convenience or otherwise revised to keep your front-of-house staff happy. In fact, some restaurants are choosing to increase wages and doing away with tips. It’s important to stay atop developments in national, state, and local labor laws that apply to your business, especially if you operate in more than one location. Many restaurants outsource payroll to a third-party provider, but compliance is ultimately the owner’s responsibility.
Capital investment decisionsThe condition of your restaurant’s property and equipment is critical to its success. Food service operators must continuously evaluate their fixed assets — and make needed replacements and improvements — to stay competitive. More than half of restaurants currently have short-term plans to make capital improvements, according to the National Restaurant Association. Whether you want to update your restrooms, expand your lease to an adjacent space, or buy new tables and chairs, you’ll need to invest a substantial amount of capital to get the job done. Our restaurant accounting specialists can help you evaluate the return on leasehold improvements or expansion plans before work begins. We can also handle accounting for fixed assets and help you claim valuable tax breaks, including Section 179 deductions and bonus depreciation.
Budgets and forecastingHistorical financial results may be used to project how your restaurant will perform in the future. We can prepare budgets and forecasts to help determine whether you have the space, menu options, equipment, and staffing to meet future demand, as well as identify competitive threats and growth opportunities in your local market. These reports can also be useful when applying for bank loans, expanding your existing space, or opening a new location. Throughout the year, we can compare your actual results to your budget. This analysis can ensure your daily/weekly sales and costs stay on track. Major deviations may require revisions to your original budget or corrective actions. It’s always better to find out this information early, rather than to wait until year end!
Financial benchmarkingThe purpose of accounting for food service businesses should extend beyond compliance with lending, tax and franchisor reporting requirements. Most restaurants want to know how they measure up against competitors. We can provide industry benchmarking data, based on your location, size, and specialties, such as those provided by the National Restaurant Association. These benchmarks can be compared to your financial results to determine operational strengths and areas for improvement. Benchmarking can also help you evaluate your restaurant’s workflow, prime costs, menu pricing, and the competitiveness of your compensation programs.
Accounting software selectionEffective bookkeeping and accounting for restaurants requires an investment in technology. This is a costly, but necessary, expenditure for food service businesses as they aim to lower costs, minimize waste and spoilage, and improve efficiency. For starters, you should have an easy-to-use point-of-sale (POS) system for sending or printing receipts, reporting cash and credit card sales, and managing cash. A robust POS system will provide breakdowns of sales to help you identify areas of improvement. Your accounting software should integrate with your POS and other restaurant management systems. It also must handle your unique operational and financial reporting needs. We can help evaluate technology investments, including which tax breaks may be available. Your restaurant needs specialized accounting software to track such items as: