A back office management system can handle time-consuming tasks like inventory management, scheduling, payroll, and if employees generate tips, accurate tip recording. Automating these functions through a back office management system means more time spent out front greeting customers, and less time in the office completing paperwork and other behind-the-scenes tasks.
Restaurant SMBs should have a comprehensive back office management system that performs these four essential tasks for business owners. Automating these jobs will give you peace of mind. You will know they’re done correctly and in compliance with employment laws.
What features should your back office management system include? Here are the four critical functionalities your restaurant shouldn’t be without.
1. Access to real-time data.
A back office management system should give you real-time access to sales reports, inventory counts and labor information, so you can make better business decisions. If data cannot be accessed in real time, you may find yourself in a bad situation, such as out-of-stock menu items or short on staff when the restaurant is busy. Having immediate access to data that can be leveraged for growth, including information about best-selling menu selections or inventory counts, helps reduce waste and saves you money.
2. Labor analysis.
Most back office systems include labor management modules. This functionality makes it easy to schedule labor more efficiently, ensure the right amount of staff is assigned to work at the correct time, switch shifts, and make other adjustments for holidays and parties. A comprehensive snapshot of how many employees are working and what jobs they are performing that shift determines the total restaurant labor costs for each job category. Inefficient labor scheduling is a waste of money, so these expenditures should be reviewed as often as is necessary.
3. Menu item food costs.
Ingredients are one of the largest line items in a restaurant’s budget, so it’s good business to keep tabs on your inventory. Reviewing sales and inventory information in real time allows you to see what items are running low and need to be reordered. You’ll also see any inventory overages, arming you with the information you need to introduce specials that use ingredients that are about to expire. Running sales reports helps restaurant owners and managers identify what menu items are hot, so you aren’t overloaded with unsold ingredients and running out of popular ones. Know what your top-selling menu items are and ensure that customer favorites are always available.
4. Tip reports.
Restaurants are not allowed to profit from employee’ tips, but they are required by law to report on the number of tips earned by their staff. There’s a considerable amount of work that goes into tracking tips, including record keeping, reporting, filing applicable forms, and paying or depositing taxes. It’s easy to fudge the numbers and hope for the best, but this is never advisable.
According to Foodnewsfeed.com, a blog for restaurant owners, “the first records an investigative agency will look for are your payroll records,” so it’s important that they are accurate to avoid fines and unwanted attention from the IRS. The system does it correctly every time, so you don’t need to worry about the IRS knocking on your door. Even if they do, the back office solution gives you peace of mind that employee tips are being properly recorded and reported.
A back office management system with the right features is an invaluable tool for a restaurant. Contact NCC for more information about which back office management solutions are right for your business.