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  • Writer's pictureWolstonbury Hospitality Consultant

10 Steps to Keep Your Restaurant Finances Under Control

Running a successful restaurant isn't just about crafting delectable dishes and customer experience; a large part is mastering the art of financial control, prioritisation and organisation.

Here's a few pointers to help hospitalty business owners stay in control:

  1. Data. Every week, ensure you have accurate data on key metrics including: net sales, labour cost vs budget, gross profit, and wastage.

  2. Data accuracy. Be religious and rigorous about your data. Strive to have all information double-checked by 11 am, including staff timesheets and stock take. Where relevant, use worst case numbers instead of best case.

  3. Analyse. Dedicate distraction-free time each week to analyse your results thoroughly. Consider stepping out of your usual environment for a fresh perspective.

  4. Fresh perspective. Approach your results with a fresh perspective. Discuss them with different peers, team members your accountant ot business partner, to gain varied insights, different persepctives and valuable feedback.

  5. Early detection. Bad results in one week are a setback, not the end of the world. Discovering issues weekly allows you to react quickly, preventing long-term damage.

  6. Feed your accountant... with timely information. Provide your accountant with accurate data promptly for monthly reports. It's the foundation for accurate management reports and therefore the basis for informed decision making.

  7. Prepare for the unexpected. Think worst-case scenario. Use accruals to set aside funds for anticipated future expenses or charges.

  8. Pricing. Don't shy away from adjusting your pricing to match the value you provide. Analyse competitors to gauge the market, quarterly works well.

  9. Team training and awareness. Ensure your team understands the importance of managing finances. Foster a culture of cost awareness to collectively contribute to financial success. Use training, meetings and regular feedback for maximum effectiveness. Being proactive, polite, enocuraging and saying thank you for accurate practices will encourage long term sustained buy-in.

  10. Invest in growth. Don't skimp on areas that drive income. Investing strategically, especially in labour, can overcome common barriers to sales growth.

A little-and-often (weekly) financial approach is a key activity to being in control and a fundamental for success.

Hope this helps,


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