Restaurant Accounting: A Complete Guide For Success

accounting in restaurant industry

In restaurant accounting, paper goods, such as napkins, disposable utensils, and packaging, are typically categorized as non-food inventory expenses. To record them, track their purchase as an expense under the “inventory” or “supplies” category in your accounting system. Then, regularly adjust your inventory records to reflect the usage of these items. Like any other industry, the hospitality field must adhere to financial regulations.

  • It’s an important number for your business, so check out our complete guide to learn more about COGS and grab a formula to help you calculate it.
  • As a consequence, restaurants prefer to use 4-week accounting periods, meaning that annual reports account for 13 periods (as there are 52 weeks in a year).
  • If you’re still using generic accounting, you’re missing out on the opportunity to find leaks in your profitability and opportunities for revenue growth.
  • As a restaurateur, hotel, or food and beverage operator, you know that the guest’s experience with your brand has a direct effect on your success.
  • To record them, track their purchase as an expense under the “inventory” or “supplies” category in your accounting system.
  • Juggling reservations, staff schedules, and daily specials can be overwhelming.

If you’re not looking to spend hours going through spreadsheets and formulas, then this integration will simplify the accounting process for you. The success of restaurant accounting relies on the availability of information. The more information you have, the more accurate your account will be.

How to Choose a Restaurant Accounting Software Vendor

Here at GSS, we’re a partner and are equipped with the technical knowledge and experience to configure the integrations restaurants need for their AR and AP. In addition to initial fees, franchisees are typically required to pay ongoing royalty fees, as well. These vary across different franchises, but typically the fee is a percentage of gross sales. Restaurateurs and investors use EBITDA when they’re looking to sell, buy, or invest in a restaurant to help guide their buying decisions. It’s a tool for a valuing a restaurant and gauges a restaurant’s earning potential.

accounting in restaurant industry

You may only use the cash accounting method when your business’s average gross receipts (a fancy word for average total revenue) for the past three years is less than $25 million. A restaurant’s inventory is food and beverages, both of which have expiration dates. While many industries experience spoilage — when their inventory is no longer usable — restaurants must actively assess their inventory at least once a week. Now that you have a basic understanding of the building blocks and foundational concepts that drive accounting in the restaurant industry, you might be wondering how to get things up and running.

Modernizing your restaurant accounting

A restaurant group can be tasked with processing hundreds or even tens of thousands of invoices each month. Weekly reports are beneficial for tracking sales, expenses, and cash flow, helping you make timely operational how to do bookkeeping for a restaurant decisions. Inventory reports should also be generated regularly — at least monthly — depending on the turnover rate. Yearly reports are essential for overall financial analysis, tax preparation, and strategic planning.

Well, the reality is that many restaurants rely on overlapping, complex integrations of myriad systems. TouchBistro is a prime example of a platform with crossover functionality. At the end of the day, while it’s not designed for accounting, it plays a vital role in accounting for the organizations that use it. Built for iPads, it’s made for ease of use in the restaurant environment. As a consequence, restaurants prefer to use 4-week accounting periods, meaning that annual reports account for 13 periods (as there are 52 weeks in a year). It’s a simple difference, but this reformatting impacts every other facet of the accounting process.


As GOP legislators passed the biggest tax reform bill since 1986, Bookkeeping Chef can give you a complete view of your business’ total tax liability. This includes how the broader business will impact your company financials and strategic decision-making. One of our goals is to allow you to respond and adapt quickly to all the new changes and opportunities. Moss Adams has built a strong team dedicated to the restaurant industry. We know your industry inside and out, thanks to our involvement with industry leaders, associations, and industry-specific training and education. This means we’re up to date with the developments and challenges facing your business every day.

  • Lark revolutionizes inventory management with real-time inventory tracking that’s accessible from anywhere.
  • Get in touch with us today to take the first step in empowering your restaurant business with better restaurant accounting.
  • Running financial reports monthly only tells you what you did right or wrong last month, forcing you to be reactive rather than proactive in your decision making.
  • If you’d like to step up to modern restaurant accounting tools and methods, schedule a demo of Restaurant365.
  • You can use restaurant accounting software to manage all your bookkeeping needs, such as creating professional invoices, managing cash flow, and tracking time.

Each restaurant has a unique rhythm and style, and your software should adapt to your business’s needs. Customization is key to making your management software work for you — not the other way around. Accrual accounting records revenues and expenses when they are earned or incurred, regardless of when the cash transaction occurs.