With so much going on in a restaurant, it's up to the bookkeeper to keep all the records straight. Bookkeepers must balance budgets, revenue and expenses on a regular basis that include staffing, food costs, capital expenses and maintenance, While some restaurants employ a full-time bookkeeper, smaller establishments may hire a contract accounting professional to maintain the money trails.
While many restaurants utilize software programs that can reconcile the orders taken with the day's receipts, bookkeepers typically review the day's reports to make sure they are accurate. Bookkeepers who work for restaurants must be familiar with restaurant software and be able to recognize the various symbols and abbreviations used in the industry. They must be able to spot inconsistencies with a report after tallying the day's receipts.
In some eating establishments, the manger is in charge of ordering food and supplies. In larger restaurants, the ordering duties may be split between the head chef and the restaurant manager. Bookkeepers keep track of receipts and compare them to the restaurant budget. They also look at inventory counts to make sure that the levels of ordering are appropriate. While bookkeepers primarily concern themselves with the paperwork, they often inspect the coolers and shelves to ensure proper recording.
Bookkeepers often are responsible for payroll and paying outside food and supply accounts. They double check time cards and make sure that employees are recording their hours according to their schedules. Payroll taxes that include social security, income tax and workman's compensation payments are tallied by the bookkeeper and maintained in the general ledger. Checks are often prepared by the bookkeeper for the owner's signature. Bills are reconciled and payments made on schedules to maintain good credit scores for the eatery's management.
Restaurant bookkeepers who work full-time for an establishment may be the ones who make the deposits to the bank each day. They count and reconcile the cash, checks and credit card receipts with the day's totals and prepare the deposit slip. Contract or part-time bookkeepers typically check the bank receipts and maintain the totals in the general ledgers but do not make the deposits personally.
A restaurant bookkeeper may keep odd hours, compared to bookkeepers who work in office settings. Many restaurant mangers need the bookkeeper to be available for closing, which may be very late at night. Weekend and holiday hours also may be required. The most successful restaurant bookkeepers are flexible and make themselves available to the owners or managers whenever they are needed.
The median bookkeeper salary is $37,000. The 25th percentile brings in about $32,500 on average, while the 75th percentile makes about $42,000. As with most salary figures, the range can vary significantly based on a number of factors, like company size, business volume and market, among others.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics