In the hectic world of hospitality, staying on top of finances is as important as mastering a secret recipe. And many restaurants offer delicious food but struggle with inadequate financial management. (Hence the many closures!)
Imagine if there was a tool tailored specifically for restaurants that not only streamlined accounting but also provided insights to maximize profits and minimize waste. Dive in and discover the best accounting software and see how the right choice can lead your culinary business to unparalleled success.
QuickLook: Best Accounting Software for Restaurants
How Can Accounting Software Benefit a Restaurant Business?
The financial intricacies of a restaurant can be daunting, but the right tools can make all the difference. Enter accounting software — a game-changer for the culinary world.
- Efficiency in Financial Management: Gone are the days of manual ledger entries. With accounting software, every transaction is automatically recorded, making the financial management process smoother and reducing the chances of errors.
- In-depth Financial Analysis: With the ability to generate detailed financial reports, restaurant owners can gain insights into their revenue streams, identify best-selling items, and detect areas that require cost-cutting.
- Inventory Control: Most restaurant-specific accounting software comes with integrated inventory management. This feature helps track ingredient usage, alerts when stock is low, and aids in preventing wastage.
- Tax Compliance Made Easy: With ever-evolving tax regulations, staying compliant can be challenging. Accounting software keeps up with these changes, automatically calculating the necessary taxes and even generating reports required for tax filings.
- Cash Flow Monitoring: A steady cash flow is the lifeblood of any restaurant. With accounting software, it’s easier to forecast and monitor cash flow, ensuring there’s always enough on hand to cover expenses and invest in growth.
- Enhanced Security: Digital accounting tools often come with advanced encryption, ensuring that sensitive financial data is protected from potential breaches or unauthorized access.
Best Accounting Software for Restaurants
As dining establishments strive to streamline their financial management processes, the choice of the most suitable accounting software becomes a critical decision. Join us as we explore the top seven accounting software solutions specifically designed to cater to the distinct requirements of the restaurant industry.
1. Restaurant 365
Restaurant Software to Power Your Passion, Profit, and Growth
Trusted by more than 40,000 restaurants, Restaurant365's back-office software brings together your accounting, store operations, and workforce to create incredible moments that drive profit and growth.
Restaurant 365 brings the power of all-in-one restaurant management to your fingertips. As a cloud-based software, it offers seamless integration of accounting, inventory, scheduling, and more, standing out for its comprehensive approach tailored specifically to the hospitality industry.
- Centralized Financial Operations: A unified platform where you can manage P&L, balance sheets, and other crucial financial reports in real time.
- Inventory Management: Real-time tracking of ingredient usage, spoilage, and reorder levels.
- Scheduling & Labor Management: Assign shifts, track labor costs, and optimize staffing based on traffic predictions.
- Customizable Dashboards: A visual representation of your restaurant’s performance metrics tailored to your preferences.
- Seamless POS Integration: Directly sync sales data without manual entries, simplifying reconciliation.
- Essential: $435/month
- Pro Plan: $635/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing, built for large chains or franchises.
- Comprehensive tool addressing multiple facets of restaurant management.
- Cloud-based system ensuring access from anywhere.
- User-friendly interface simplifying complex operations.
- Strong customer support with resources and training.
- Robust reporting tools offering detailed insights.
- Might be overkill for small establishments or food trucks.
- Initial setup can be time-intensive due to its comprehensive nature.
- Advanced features might have a learning curve for some.
- Some users might find the pricing a bit on the higher side for basic features.
- Integrations outside its ecosystem could be limited.
2. Quickbooks Online
A household name in the world of accounting, QuickBooks Online has curated features that make it highly adaptable for restaurants. With its user-friendly interface and robust financial reporting tools, it’s no surprise that many establishments lean on this platform for real-time financial insights.
- Expense Tracking: Easily categorize and track your restaurant expenses, from ingredient costs to monthly rent.
- Invoicing & Payments: Create custom, professional invoices, and receive payments online.
- Payroll Integration: Seamlessly manage employee payments, tips, and payroll taxes.
- Custom Financial Reports: Generate tailored reports like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and more, specific to restaurant operations.
- Mobile App: Access your account, track sales, and manage expenses on the go.
- Simple Start: $18/month
- Essentials: $27/month
- Plus: $38/month
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface, even for those new to accounting.
- Strong integration capabilities with a wide array of third-party apps.
- Regular updates and new feature releases based on user feedback.
- Cloud-based system ensuring secure access from anywhere.
- Extensive online resources, tutorials, and community support.
- Some advanced features are available only in the higher-tier plans.
- The mobile app, though functional, might lack some desktop features.
- Occasional sync issues have been reported with certain bank accounts.
- For complex restaurant chains, customization might be limited.
Engineered with the restaurateur in mind, TouchBistro goes beyond just accounting. Its unique feature lies in its robust point-of-sale system that meshes perfectly with its accounting functionalities, ensuring sales and financial data work in harmony.
- Integrated POS System: Streamlined operations where the point-of-sale and accounting systems communicate efficiently.
- Tableside Ordering: Directly input orders at the table, increasing accuracy and speed.
- Floor Plan & Table Management: Organize your floor plan digitally, track which tables are occupied, and manage guest count.
- Inventory Management: Track ingredients, manage vendors, and get low-stock alerts.
- Detailed Reporting: Access insights on sales, payments, menu items, and staff performance.
- Front-of-house solutions starting at $69/month
- Back-of-house solutions for profit management starting at $309/month
- All-in-one solution with both POS and accounting functionalities.
- Mobile-friendly design allows for efficient tableside operations.
- Easily scalable, catering to both small cafes and larger restaurants.
- Robust 24/7 customer support.
- Frequent software updates and feature additions based on the restaurant industry’s needs.
- While the integrated POS is a strength, it might be more than what some small establishments need.
- Some users report a steep learning curve in the beginning.
- Initial setup can be time-consuming, especially for large inventory lists.
- Requires a good internet connection for cloud features.
- Occasional slowdowns reported during peak business hours.
With its cloud-based infrastructure, Xero offers restaurateurs the flexibility to access their financials anytime, anywhere. What truly distinguishes Xero is its open API, allowing for a plethora of third-party integrations to deliver a bespoke accounting experience.
- Open API: Allows seamless integration with various restaurant-specific apps and tools.
- Real-time Cash Flow Overview: Keep an eye on the business’s cash flow with interactive charts and detailed transactions.
- Automated Bank Reconciliation: Connects directly to bank accounts to automatically import and categorize transactions.
- Inventory Management: Track the stock of ingredients and products, understand product margins, and get alerted when stock levels are low.
- Invoicing & Quotes: Create customized invoices and quotes, and get updated when they’re opened by the recipient.
- Early: $13/month
- Growing: $37/month
- Established: $70/month
- User-friendly dashboard with a clean, intuitive design.
- Provides a mobile app to manage financials on the go.
- Highly customizable due to a wide range of integrations available.
- Reliable and timely customer support.
- Regular updates to add new features and improve the user experience.
- The vast array of features might be overwhelming for some users.
- The open API is a strength, but it can also require time to set up and optimize.
- Additional costs can accrue due to third-party integrations.
- Reports, while comprehensive, might have a steeper learning curve for some.
- Some users have mentioned occasional lags and system slowdowns.
Emphasizing rich visual financial reporting, ZinBooks’ crowning jewel is an innovative intelligence module. This feature not only aggregates data but also translates it into actionable financial insights, paving the way for sustained restaurant growth. Every touchpoint in ZipBooks is a testament to its commitment to elevating the accounting journey for restaurateurs.
- Visual Financial Reporting: Transform complex financial data into visual, easy-to-understand reports.
- Built-in Intelligence: Offers smart insights on spending, saving, and growing your restaurant business.
- Time Tracking: Monitor hours worked by staff and easily integrate with payroll systems.
- Online Invoicing: Send customized invoices with options for online payment.
- Expense Management: Capture and categorize expenses on the go, streamlining the reimbursement process.
- Starter: Free
- Smarter: $15/month
- Sophisticated: $35/month
- User-friendly interface that doesn’t compromise on depth.
- Intelligent insights can be game-changers for financial planning.
- Responsive customer service and extensive online resources.
- Value for money, especially for startups or smaller restaurants.
- Seamless integration with many third-party apps, enhancing functionality.
- Limited features in the free version.
- Advanced features might require a learning curve for those new to accounting software.
- The mobile app, while functional, may lack some desktop features.
- Some users have noted the need for more customization in reports.
- Occasionally, there may be delays in the syncing of bank transactions.
DAVO stands out with its specialized approach to sales tax. While it handles the general accounting needs of a restaurant, its flagship feature is its automatic sales tax set-aside and timely tax payments, relieving restaurateurs from the intricacies of sales tax compliance.
- Automated Sales Tax Set-Aside: Automatically sets aside the sales tax daily, so you’re always ready come tax time.
- Timely Tax Payments: Ensures that sales tax is paid on time to the relevant authorities, ensuring compliance and avoiding penalties.
- Sales Data Integration: Seamlessly integrates with point-of-sale systems to extract and manage sales data.
- Cloud-based Access: Access and manage your financial data from anywhere, anytime.
- Daily Reporting: Receive daily reports of sales and set-aside amounts, ensuring transparency.
- Davo Sales Tax: $49.99/month
- Bookkeeper/Accountant: $70-300 an hour per 2-6 hours
- Takes the guesswork and manual labor out of sales tax management.
- Offers peace of mind knowing sales tax is always compliant.
- Simple and intuitive user interface, ideal for those not familiar with sales tax intricacies.
- Reliable and timely reporting ensures transparency.
- Integrates well with most popular POS systems.
- Primarily focused on sales tax, might lack some advanced accounting features.
- Monthly fees, while competitive, may be an additional cost for very small businesses.
- Relies heavily on POS integration, so compatibility is crucial.
- Might be overkill for businesses in areas with no sales tax or minimal sales tax responsibilities.
- Some users might prefer a one-stop solution for all accounting needs rather than a specialized tool.
7. Plate IQ
Powerful AI. Personalized AP.
End-to-End AP Automation Software
Eliminate 90% of manual accounting processes with virtually limitless customization for routing and approvals – all while generating revenue through payments that earn cashback.
Diving deep into the culinary world, Plate IQ is more than just accounting software; it’s a comprehensive back-of-house solution. Its standout feature is the automation of accounts payable, from invoice capture to payment, all tailored for the unique needs of eateries.
- Automated Invoice Processing: Digitize and categorize invoices automatically, saving countless hours of manual data entry.
- Seamless Payment Integrations: Directly pay vendors from the platform, reducing payment errors and improving relationships.
- Inventory Management: Keep track of ingredients and supplies with real-time inventory updates.
- Recipe Costing: Analyze ingredient costs to price dishes competitively while maintaining profit margins.
- Budgeting and Forecasting: Harness the power of data to make informed decisions for the future.
- Request a demo for customized needs.
- Comprehensive automation of accounts payable eliminates human errors and speeds up processes.
- Built with the restaurant industry in mind, ensuring relevant features and tools.
- Intuitive interface that even those unfamiliar with accounting can navigate.
- Streamlines vendor communications and payments, fostering better relationships.
- Provides actionable insights that can help in optimizing operations and increasing profits.
- Might be more feature-rich than needed for very small establishments.
- The pricing can be on the higher side for startups or smaller ventures.
- Reliance on vendor integrations means that any changes on the vendor side can affect functionality.
- Requires some initial setup and training to fully utilize all features.
- Some users might prefer a broader accounting solution rather than one primarily focused on the restaurant industry.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing Accounting Software for Your Restaurant
The list above is just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads of other software you can browse to find the best solution for your business. However, searching for each software can be time-consuming. So, when you’re looking to invest in accounting software, keep these features in mind to expedite the process.
Integration with Point of Sale (POS) System
A seamless connection between your accounting software and POS system can significantly streamline operations. When selecting the software, ensure that it integrates effortlessly with your current (or intended) POS, facilitating real-time updates and reducing the chances of manual errors.
The dynamic nature of restaurant inventory requires software that can keep pace. Ideal accounting software should offer features like live tracking of ingredients, automatic updates to inventory based on sales, and the capability to establish par levels and auto-generate purchase orders.
Cost Tracking and Cost Control
To operate a profitable restaurant, a keen eye on costs is essential. Your accounting software should provide comprehensive tools to monitor and dissect various operational expenses, from raw material costs to employee wages. Features like cost variance analysis and budgeting tools can empower restaurateurs to manage expenses, ensuring that margins remain healthy.
An often overlooked yet crucial aspect of restaurant profitability is menu engineering. When considering software, ensure it provides an analytical lens to view the cost structure and profitability of every dish on your menu. Such insights enable restaurateurs to fine-tune pricing strategies, optimize ingredients, and ensure that every menu item contributes positively to the bottom line.
Top-tier accounting software should offer an array of customizable financial reports tailored to the unique needs of eateries. Whether it’s a monthly profit and loss statement or daily sales data, having these insights at your fingertips allows for agile decision-making.
Restaurants face a unique set of tax challenges, from variable sales tax rates to specific payroll considerations. Ensure that your chosen accounting software can handle these complexities, offering features like accurate sales tax computations and comprehensive payroll tax functionalities.
Investing in Your Restaurant’s Financial Future
A bustling culinary industry requires more than just delightful dishes; it demands diligent financial management. In this article, we’ve explored the best accounting software tailored specifically for restaurants, highlighting their unique features and what sets each one apart.
Keep in mind that the right accounting tool can be the secret ingredient to your restaurant’s long-term success and growth. Choose wisely and let your restaurant flourish, both on the plate and in the books.
Will the accounting software integrate with the current POS system of my restaurant?
Most modern accounting software designed for restaurants offers integration capabilities with popular POS systems. However, always check with the software provider to ensure compatibility with your specific POS.
Can I use the accounting software to generate financial reports for my restaurant?
Absolutely! One of the primary functions of accounting software is to generate financial reports. You can typically produce profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and more, tailored to the restaurant industry’s needs.
Does the software support inventory management for restaurants?
Many accounting software solutions for restaurants come equipped with inventory management features, such as tracking ingredient usage and generating purchase orders.
Is there a mobile app available for the accounting software?
While many accounting software platforms offer mobile app versions for on-the-go access, this varies among providers. It’s a good idea to inquire about a mobile app when considering a software solution, especially if remote access is essential for your operations.
What are the costs associated with using this accounting software?
Costs can vary based on the software’s feature set, the number of users, and other factors. It’s best to consult with the software provider or check their pricing page for a comprehensive breakdown of costs and any additional fees.