an empty restaurant filled with tables and chairs

COVID-19’s Impact and Recovery for the Restaurant Industry — Part 2: Crisis Lights, Cash Forecasting, & Survey Conclusions

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the restaurant industry. In part one of this article, we shared the first three of five major areas revealed in the survey of over two-hundred restaurant finance leaders administered by our national partner, Sage Intacct, and the National Restaurant Association. The results reveal the impact on their restaurant business, the actions they took in response, and the lessons they learned through the process of adapting to the constant changes.

The first three items covered were:

  • In Unprecedented Times, Restaurants Face Tough Decisions About Cash Flow
  • Your Restaurant Business Model Will Evolve Drastically During A Pandemic
  • Most Restaurant Finance Leaders Believe the Worst Part of COVID’s Impact Is Over

In part two, we tell the remaining two areas of the outcome and conclude with solutions revealed in the survey to help the restaurant business emerge stronger.

In Crisis, Light Shines On Operational Areas Needing Improvement

There are daily and weekly changes within the restaurant business. It’s imperative to have greater efficiency and visibility in tracking financial data and operations.

Of the restaurants surveyed, below are areas needing improvement revealed during COVID-19.

  • 67% say financial technology could help
  • 21% still rely on Excel spreadsheets to track financial data
  • 37% say it can be hard to get data needed for decision-making or not to have the most current data

If you are in the 21% who still rely on Excel to track your data, your reporting process is most likely too manual and costing you too much time.

Using Excel leaves you without the capacity and current information to make critical decisions from a well-informed position. It can cause significant delays that will have great effects on profitability.

A Top Action In A Recovery Plan is Cash Forecasting

Below are the top five items appearing in recovery plans:

  • 67% are reviewing cash forecasts and financial performance for operational improvements
  • 47% are making changes to food items or other menu offerings
  • 12% are purchasing other distressed restaurant businesses
  • 12% are investing in new back-office technology to ensure optimal financial recovery
  • 8% are investing in new front-office technology to get ahead of the competition

Cash forecast reviews and keeping a close watch on your financial performance are top action items of recovery planning. To sustain recovery, many restaurants take the opportunity to invest in other restaurants and new technologies.

Suppose you are planning one or some combination of these, performing a model cash forecast for various scenarios considering reopening 3, 6, 12, or 18 months out while factoring in the nuances of each regional market. In that case, you can determine with more precision and confidence the combination of action items to pursue.

Intacct Financial Company Dashboard

Conclusion of The Survey

The 230 finance restaurant leaders who participated in the COVID and Impact survey achieved clarity that cost reduction, optimization of operations by implementing automation, and careful investments will serve them well.

Many are cautiously optimistic about their rebound and realize they need the right tools that offer live data visibility for smart decision-making.

A modern cloud accounting system helps you drill down to the areas where you can cut costs, grow revenue, and increase operational efficiency. With the number one rated cloud accounting system in customer satisfaction, you get:

  • Real-time insights for smart decision-making
  • Fast, easy reporting with drill-down in the system
  • Automation of day-to-day processes such as invoices, payments, consolidations, reconciliations, and other transactions

Sage Intacct has helped hundreds of customers just like you respond favorably and recover quicker.

We at Trusted CFO Solutions invite you to take the next step by connecting with the Trusted team, ready to help you emerge stronger.

Restaurants, TCFOS COVID-19 Task Force

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