Andrew Wooding – Senior Manager
To survive the current competitive landscape, restaurant businesses need to continually evolve, as technology is revolutionising the way they interact and exchange information. To keep on top of performance and drive decision making, financial and business processes have to be fast, reliable and efficient.
Restaurants [and hotels] have multiple systems in place to keep track of stock, place orders for food (the front end EPOS) and potentially separate ones for staff to sign in/out. They often also have multiple locations which will all (hopefully) be using the same systems and potentially keeping their own accounting records as well. Most restaurants will have all of these as computer-based systems with no manual record keeping – but that is by no means a guarantee. We still see restaurants with some of these elements of their system still using a manual process in some way or other.
Retaining the integrity of your business data
While it clearly assists with a restaurant business’ efficiency to replace manual processes and records with computer ones, there is often still a manual link between the various systems that a restaurant business uses. Whether this is a bookkeeper manually entering stock entries into the accounting system or downloading the details end of day reports from the EPOS system and uploading into the accounting system, these methods are also inefficient and increase the likelihood of errors occurring during data transfer. Time is then lost trying to reconcile the systems when they don’t agree, again introducing inefficiencies.
The same is true for reporting from various locations to consolidate results for head office. This is sometimes done as a manual posting by a bookkeeper or manual upload by a member of the team in head office, and again, data integrity can be lost as a result!
The key benefits of integration
Through our systems team we can advise on the best products to use to ensure that information can be seamlessly sent from one system (e.g. sales through EPOS) into another (the accounting system) without the need to download and upload data, guaranteeing the integrity of the data. The use of integrated software means you can remove human input error and ensure that processes cannot be overridden.
We also assist restaurant businesses who operate in multiple locations in ensuring they have joined up systems across their locations and efficient methods for reporting via the cloud for each location. This includes accurate stock management systems, linking EPOS to cloud accounting and reporting by-restaurant KPIs. This allows business owners to make informed decisions about their businesses by promptly highlighting locations which are performing better against others (e.g. comparison of wastage, sales by day). It will allow the owners to identify which locations might require more support from the head office function or help from another restaurant which is performing better.
Outsourcing the finance function
While we can provide one-off advice to restaurant business on their systems and how best to integrate these, we can also assist the business by providing outsourced services on an ongoing basis. In doing this, you receive dedicated support, free from internal administration duties within your organisation, giving you confidence they are focused and efficient in delivery. Outsourcing also means you can be safe in the knowledge you will have continuity of service in case of illness, holiday or study leave.
With improved efficiencies from automation and ‘in sync’ integrated products, outsourcing costs are comparable to employee costs, without the obligations (payroll running, auto-enrolment costs and administrative responsibilities) that come with employee status. In addition, as software experts and with dedicated outsourcing teams, we can process and report your data – in your preferred format -efficiently and accurately, to your timescale.
A common way for restaurants businesses to achieve efficiency in their systems and processes is by moving to online cloud software, with key benefits:
- Visibility of live accounting data from anywhere in the world
- Cutting down on manual jobs, allowing more time to focus on other tasks
- The ability to be completely paperless
- Seamless linking of data between different locations and systems
Cloud software has improved the ability to link with ancillary products, i.e. cash flow forecasting, bank account entries, EPOS systems, invoice scanning and expenses software to create a more integrated back office function.
How can Brighter Thinking help your restaurant business?
We assist restaurants businesses in systems set up and implementation, taking them through the process by reviewing current systems from the ground up to build the best solution tailored for each client – ensuring it works for all parties involved. With a one-off implementation project we ensure that it is right first time, working as desired but providing the required support from ongoing queries if required.
Our outsourcing team work with restaurant businesses to increase efficiency in their accounting function, freeing up the business owner’s time to focus on strategic matters and growing their restaurant business.