Asked And Answered – Restaurant Chain Accounting Challenges

Restaurants have had to adapt to wildly different business situations during the past several years. Think about the rise in curbside pickups and contactless delivery. These kinds of adaptations are also forcing new ways to pay and new systems that require integration into the restaurants existing accounting solutions. The basic accounting challenges restaurants face are daunting in addition to the day-to-day management.  

Top Accounting Challenges Restaurants Face

Generating Reports

Reports and insights into what products are selling, what products aren’t, table turnover, staffing, overheads, and inventory are just a few of the many reports managers and owners need to be able to make informed business decisions that affect future growth and profitability. Many of these reports need to be drawn from different systems. An accounting solution that fails to deliver real-time insights and has the API capability to connect to various systems and apps that restaurants use can mean that a restaurant fails to increase sales at the right time. Losing money on inventory or not having the correct insights to make the tough decisions required to keep the business profitable and solvent.  

Identifying Your Prime Cost

Restaurants need to understand and calculate their prime cost to manage their expenses efficiently and smartly. The prime cost is the total between the cost of food and labor costs. You need an accounting solution that can help you calculate your prime cost percentage so you can set your prices correctly and manage your expenses. 

Managing Inventory

Managing inventory can be the trickiest part of restaurant management. The ability to prepare delicious food with great fresh ingredients is at the heart of a restaurant’s success. That depends on maintaining the quality of your ingredients and purchasing those fresh ingredients at the best prices. You need an accounting solution that can help you track and calculate the cost of goods each week, what foods are moving and what foods are going to waste. This gives you control over what and how much you order and what prices you need to be charging. With this information in real-time, you can make informed decisions about scaling your restaurant. 

Deciding Food Prices

The price of ingredients fluctuates due to various reasons, including seasonal factors, availability, and inflationary costs, to name a few. These factors can mean a restaurant has to change its menu offerings or prices. Most successful restaurants use a method called menu engineering to manage their menu price. This requires the data to determine the impact on sales due to the increasing costs of ingredients. 

Reducing Operating Costs and Expenses 

Restaurants are subject to a host of requirements and regulations to operate. These can be a massive challenge in managing business accounts. Not only do you have the basic financial statements such as inventory expense, payroll, and equipment costs, but you also have to account for taxation, health regulations, staffing, and turnover. Managing all those operating expenses requires automated accounting solutions so you can get real-time reports and insights.  

Managing Employee Payroll

Many restaurants are successful and see constant growth based on their outstanding service in addition to their food. Managing salaries at differing levels for different positions present challenges, as well as determining the correct salary levels to attract and retain talented employees. A

Choosing the Right Talent

Being able to track employee turnover is important in understanding what employee attrition is costing you and what type of talent you should be looking to hire. What is the personality of the successful staff, their work habits, and what is the right salary you need to offer to attract and retain them? These are questions the right accounting system can help you answer. 

Multi-Locations and Taxation

You also face local taxation issues and the need for multi-entity consolidations if you operate in multiple locations or own restaurant chains. 

These issues require an automated advanced accounting solution that can give you a complete picture of your restaurant or restaurant’s performance from the lowest detailed levels to the highest oversight levels—allowing you to respond to changes in performance in the industry and the economy quickly and with certainty that your decisions are based on real-time data and analytics. The good news is that Sage Intacct can handle all of your accounting needs. It features a role-based dashboard, a multi-dimensional general ledger that enables restaurants to streamline their chart of accounts and get richer information faster, giving you visibility across and into multiple entities, locations, and brands at the touch of a button. With Sage Intacct, you can consolidate in minutes instead of days, automate inter-entity eliminations and accelerate your close 50% faster. With Sage Intacct’s reporting capabilities, you can make rapid data-driven decisions based on deep real-time visibility into your entities’ performance. You will gain actionable insights and be able to track prime costs, programs, menu profitability, and much more to help you grow and scale sustainably. 

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