Making Restaurant Accounting Automated & Effective
The first meeting of the 2019 Restaurant Accounting Innovation Council took place on November 27, 2018. Hosted by Hospitality Technology with sponsorship by Restaurant 365, the council was formed with a charter to improve efficiencies and effectiveness of restaurant accounting systems for other operators.
This initial meeting covered how accounting and processes are part of the broader restaurant IT ecosystem as well as challenges and best practices. The council members agreed that finding ways to decrease manual practices improves both efficiency and accuracy.
Here are some highlights from the discussion:
“We do everything in-house with the exception of manual entries for more time consuming invoices. We partner with an accounting firm that has labor overseas. They have access to our books and populate the manual entries that take my team a disproportionate amount of time that are not really value added things. When I joined the company a few years ago, we were about half the size. I didn't want to increase the amount of volume of work as we increased the number of locations. Using Restaurant 365 allows me to enter information into one file and that has information for all my locations as opposed to entering in 30 files. I am always looking for ways to work in that same vein that allows us to scale without creating a bunch of extra work for the team.” – Steven Song, Chief Financial Officer, Luke’s Lobster
“We use a service that scans our invoices and then the team here just has to review and post. Everything is scanned and they have entries to post, they just have to review it. We’re looking at ways to automate other processes in a similar way without fully outsourcing it. I would love to explore in more depth forecasting my labor. I know a lot of different vendors are starting to do this. Both our accounting software and scheduling software are looking at it. I've got a plan to maybe do it through our data warehouse but I think the best that we can give our general managers more tools and more guidance to help them plan their weeks and plan their time which is going to make the restaurants more effective and efficient.” – Mark Quandt, Chief Financial Officer, Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill
“We do invoice capturing where we'll scan or take the pictures of them and then import the file into our accounting system and basically just review and post. Importing files versus manual entry saves time, but we have seven locations so we are importing files for seven different stores with seven different invoice batches. It still takes a little bit of time, but overall I’m satisfied. – Brandon Keith, Chief Financial Officer, World Famous Fare