Keeping clear and comprehensive accounts can determine the success of any business. Bars and restaurants have especially volatile incomes, as food and drink sales fluctuate so much throughout the day, week and year, so recording and analyzing daily sales and expenditures is particularly important. In order to maximize revenue and minimize waste, restaurant owners must be able to analyze business patterns to predict future needs. Without detailed daily sales tracking, and budget balancing, successful forecasting becomes an impossible task.
Detailed daily reports—or Daily Business Reviews, as they are called—should track sales trends by gross sales (both day part and hourly), menu item, payroll costs, and customer counts, ultimately helping to predict future sales and better payroll management. Knowing short-term trends like which hours, days, sales, events, or weather conditions attract the most business can help you prepare for your greatest business opportunities. Quality analytics can help you estimate long-term business growth will help determine how rapidly and dramatically you should expand, develop, and market your restaurant. Knowing when to stock up on supplies or how many employees are needed at what times will save you buckets of money, as will identifying wasted company expenditures before they become serious leaks in your bank account.
The exact content of your Daily Business Review is up to you and should be customized to the specific drivers of your restaurant’s business trends. You can choose to record daily gross sales and customer counts by hour, day parts (meals), shifts, or happy hour etc. You can take daily note of factors like weather, holidays, and nearby events to analyze and predict their effect on business. It can even be a good idea to record which menu items customers order to determine your most and least popular dishes and whether certain dishes get ordered more under certain conditions (an ice cream sundae on a hot day, for example). Observing these trends will help you order and schedule more efficiently.
Maintaining consistent Daily Business Reviews also makes your bar or restaurant much more attractive to buyers or investors, especially if those reviews show a pattern of positive growth. There are several ways to record this information and the most efficient is a good restaurant POS system such as Aloha, Micros or Dinerware with built in accounting software. If you do not have a POS system, online accounting software like QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Peachtree make business accounting simple and speedy. Still, accounting is arguably the most important part of owning a restaurant, so keep your books solid and safe!
How to use this Information
The Colorado restaurant brokers at Sanborn and Company love seeing Denver area businesses succeed, and we continuously use our industry expertise to help our clients operate at their full potential. If you are a Colorado restaurant owner or are considering getting into the business, don’t underestimate the importance of keeping comprehensive accounting to forecast trends and optimize inventory and staffing decisions. Contact Sanborn and Company at 303-220-7919 for more advice on bar and restaurant management, purchase, or sale. We are dedicated to your success.
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