Aug 11
restaurant bookkeeping

Restaurant Bookkeeping: 5 things you need to know

Running a restaurant or a food truck is probably the most difficult type of business to be involved in. A restaurant owner will typically wear many hats and because of that, doing the restaurant bookkeeping will not be on top of the priority list.

It’s a good thing to be a busy business owner. The busier you are, the more profitable you are and the messier your books will be if you’re not keeping them updated. So, putting off the bookkeeping of your restaurant is probably not the greatest idea.

Many business owners simply don’t have the patience or the will to sit down and update their books. But, unless you want the IRS knocking on your door, its best you set some time aside to make sure that your restaurant bookkeeping is done properly and accurately. If you are the type of business owner looking to handle your own books, we’ve put together 5 things you need to be doing to make sure you don’t fall behind on your books.

Record your sales daily

Yes, daily! How do you do that? I am hoping that before you even open your doors, you invested money in installing some sort of Point of Sales (POS) system that will allow you to track all the transactions. This system should also be linked to a bookkeeping or accounting software where you’ll be able to generate financial reports for the day.

Check out this article on which highlights restaurants using quickbooks.

restaurant bookkeeping

Ideally, as a business owner, the rule of thumb should be to always know what’s coming in and what’s going out. If you’re not aware of these numbers, how will you know if you’re profitable? Perhaps you’re wasting money and you’re not even aware of it. So, knowing your numbers is extremely important.

If you come to the point where you hire a bookkeeper, this software that you have in place will come in very handy since all you’ll have to do is print it out and pass it along so that your bookkeeper or accountant can record the transactions for you.

Outsource your payroll

Today, there are many companies that will process payroll for you. Companies like ADP, or Paychex have made it so simple to pay employees and even handle tax deductions. Unless you know what you’re doing, you probably wouldn’t want to process and handle your own payroll because there are too many thing that could go wrong.

restaurant bookkeeping

The tax laws are always changing, so trying to handle this task on your own will only increase your liability. However, if you are the hands-on type of business owner and you’re familiar with all the laws, rules etc. then no big deal.

Paying your vendors

Vendors play an important role in a restaurant or a food truck’s success. Because vendors do so much for your business, having a great relationship goes a long way. Not only a great relationship goes a long way but paying your vendors on time also is part of building a long-lasting relationship.

restaurant bookkeeping

How does paying your vendors fit in your restaurant bookkeeping. Again, if you have a bookkeeping system in place, this is something you can automate by linking your accounts and using some sort of online bill payment service.

Setting this up will make your hectic restaurant life so much better. You’ll never forget to pay a bill, vendors or anyone.

Analyzing financial reports

This does not apply only for restaurant owners, but any business owners should be analyzing their financial reports frequently. The financial reports will give you an overall look at the financial health of your business.

Without the financial reports, it’s almost impossible to know where you need to make improvements in your restaurants. As you can see, restaurant bookkeeping is more than just keeping records.

restaurant bookkeeping

Once your bookkeeping or accounting software is setup to do what it’s supposed to do, then you’ll be able to get the financial reports needed. If you’re not handling your own bookkeeping, you can always hire an online bookkeeping service where they’ll be able to not only handle your books but also provide the financial reports needed for your business.

Reconciling your transactions

There are a lot of complicated definitions out there for the term “reconciliation”. Simply put, reconciling an account often means proving or documenting that an account balance is correct. So, reconciliation plays an important role in the bookkeeping of your restaurant.

restaurant bookkeeping

Because your restaurant sees a lot of transactions, reconciling will allow you to see that all transactions are accounted for. You should be reconciling all accounts that are involved in the restaurants. This could be: a bank account, credit cards, business loans etc.

Putting off reconciling the transactions will have a tremendous effect on your restaurant bookkeeping. If you’ve fallen behind, it’ll take you a very long time to get caught up. If you hire a bookkeeper, you’ll end up having to pay them to help you catch up. So don’t neglect reconciling.


Restaurant bookkeeping is no fun. Well, bookkeeping is no fun period! There are many benefits however to making sure it’s done daily and accurately. You will be more aware of what’s going on with the overall financial health of your business and you’ll be able to make decisions that’ll impact your bottom line.

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