restaurant profit and loss

Restaurant Profit and Loss Statement: How to Read?

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Review by 
Hoang Tran

Full Bio

Ms. Frances Dang is a visionary CPA, Partner at XOATAX, and a Tax Expert for many high-net-worth clients and corporations. She specializes in both minimizing tax liabilities and driving sustainable growth. Over 7 years of dedicated service, Ms. Frances has provided personalized planning for high-net-worth clients including business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs spanning manufacturing, e-commerce, biotechnology, fintech, services, and non-profit sectors. 
Kevin Zhang renowned CPA and Tax Expert with over 15 years working in tax planning and financial optimization for individuals and large businesses. He excels in analytical abilities and innovative problem-solving, identifying tax minimization opportunities, and providing strategic recommendations to leadership teams.
Hoang Tran  is an accomplished CPA and financial advisor with over 8 years of experience. He specializes in providing tailored financial solutions, tax optimization, and strategic guidance to individuals and businesses. With a client-centric philosophy and a commitment to continuous learning, Hoang has earned a reputation as a trusted expert in personalized financial strategy. His expertise has helped businesses across diverse industries, including manufacturing, import & export, and wholesale & distribution, achieve their financial success.

As a restaurant owner, you’re used to juggling multiple daily tasks, from managing staff to overseeing kitchen operations and giving a delightful dining experience.

But in the midst of all these responsibilities, it’s essential to understand your financial health.

You must have heard of the profit and loss statement. That’s when you need to look at the time and effort of the whole team through the overall financial picture.

Wanting his brainchild to grow and develop is almost the wish of many restaurant owners.

I will be with you on how you can help the restaurant go faster and grow far.

Spend a few minutes; you will save tons of time. Keep reading!

Key Takeaways

  • Restaurant Profit and Loss Statement provide a comprehensive overview of your revenues, costs, and expenses, helping you make informed decisions to improve your restaurant’s bottom line.
  • When analyzing various expenses, you can identify areas where you can improve efficiency, cut costs, or boost sales. Regularly reviewing your P&L statement enables you to make data-driven decisions to enhance your restaurant’s profitability and growth.
  • Your restaurant’s success depends on your ability to balance increasing revenue with managing expenses. You’re on the right path toward a thriving and profitable restaurant by implementing cost-saving strategies.
how to read a restaurant p&l

What is a Profit and Loss Statement?

A profit and loss statement, often an income statement, is a financial report that summarizes a business’s revenues and expenses over a specific period. This statement helps business owners track sales, understand the restaurant’s financial health, and make informed decisions to improve profitability.

For restaurants, a profit and loss statement is crucial to monitor the financial performance and identify areas where they can improve their bottom line.

The restaurant income statement typically includes various sections, such as revenue, cost of goods sold (COGS), gross profit, operating expenses, and net income.

Related post: How to Read and Create Balance Sheet for Restaurants?

What Makes The Restaurant Industry Unique?

A restaurant’s profit and loss statements have unique features that set it apart from other businesses. Here are a few key points that make restaurant P&L unique:

  • Perishable Inventory: Restaurants deal with items that spoil quickly, so they must manage stock efficiently to minimize waste.
  • Fluctuating Prime Cost: To maintain profitability, food and labor costs often change, requiring constant monitoring and adjustments.
  • Seasonality: Restaurants experience shifts in demand throughout the year, impacting their financial performance.
  • Revenue Breakdown: A restaurant P&L statement typically separates food and beverage sales, allowing owners to track each segment’s performance and identify improvement areas.
  • Occupancy Expenses: These restaurant costs include rent, property taxes, and insurance, which can be a significant portion of a restaurant’s expenses. Optimizing these costs can have a positive impact on the bottom line.

How Does Profit and Loss Statement Benefit Business Owners?

This essential financial tool provides valuable insights into your business’s performance and helps you make informed decisions. Let’s explore some of the key benefits a P&L statement offers to restaurant owners like you.

understanding restaurant p&l

Keep a Close Eye on Operating Expenses

Operating expenses are the costs of running your restaurant, excluding the cost of goods sold. These expenses generally fall into two categories:

  • Fixed costs (e.g., rent, insurance and etc.)
  • Variable costs (e.g., marketing expenses, utilities, payroll expenses, etc.)

Your P&L statement can help you pinpoint areas where you can trim expenses and boost profits. Staying on top of labor and food costs is vital for keeping your restaurant on budget and averting financial stress.

Discover 10 Ways to Help You in Restaurant Operations Management

Control Your Restaurant’s Labor Costs

Labor costs are one of the most significant expenses for a restaurant. They include both salaried and hourly employees and payroll-related costs (payroll taxes, insurance, and employee benefits). Labor expenses can be challenging to manage, as they are affected by turnover, overtime, and local labor laws.

That’s the reason why you should spend time controlling labor costs. So you can improve your team’s productivity and reduce turnover more easily.

Optimize Food and Beverage Costs

Food and beverage costs, or prime costs, are the materials for preparing your menu items. Keeping these costs in check is critical for maintaining a healthy profit margin, as they directly impact your restaurant’s gross profit.

Regularly reviewing menu prices, portion sizes, and supplier contracts can help you keep these expenses under control. You’ll be able to spot opportunities to cut waste, negotiate better deals, and boost the profitability of your menu items.

Keep Tabs on Your Net Profit

Your net profit, or net income, is the amount remaining after all expenses have been deducted from total sales. This key figure represents your restaurant’s true profitability and is a crucial indicator of restaurant business success.

So you can detect trends, fine-tune your business operations, and pave the way for long-term success.

restaurant profit and loss analysis

7 Simple Steps to Create Profit And Loss Statements

Creating a profit and loss statement doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these seven simple steps to generate an informative and accurate P&L statement for your restaurant:

1. Choose the time period

Start by selecting the time period you want to analyze. This can be a month, quarter, or year depending on your reporting needs. Choosing the right time frame helps you track your restaurant’s financial performance accurately and identify trends or patterns.

2. Gather revenue data

Collect all the revenue data for the selected period, including food sales, beverage sales, and any other income sources. Separate food and beverage revenues to better understand each segment’s performance.

3. Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Calculate the cost of goods sold (COGS) by adding the value of your opening inventory and purchases made during the period and subtracting the value of your closing inventory. COGS represents the cost of producing the food and beverages you sold during the reporting period.

4. Calculate Gross Profit

Subtract COGS from your total revenue to calculate your gross profit. Gross profit represents the profit generated from food and beverage sales before accounting for operating expenses.

You should include the gross profit margin beside each number. This number can show you how these costs affect your margins.

5. Calculate Operating Expenses

List and calculate all operating expenses incurred during the reporting period. Remember to include fixed costs (e.g., rent, insurance) and variable costs (e.g., marketing, credit card processing fees).

6. Calculate Net Profit

Subtract your total operating expenses from the gross profit to determine your net profit. This figure represents the true profitability of your restaurant during the reporting period.

7. Review and Analyze the Statement

Carefully review your profit and loss statement, paying close attention to each line item. Analyze the results to identify areas where you can improve efficiency, cut costs, or boost sales. Use this information to make informed decisions and set realistic goals for your restaurant’s future performance.

Example of How to Calculate Profit and Loss

Let’s say you own a small restaurant and want to analyze your profit and loss statement for the month of March. You gather the following data:

Category Amount
Food Sales $25,000
Beverage Sales $10,000
Opening Inventory $5,000
Purchases $10,000
Closing Inventory $4,000
Fixed Operating Expenses $7,000
Variable Operating Expenses $6,000

First, calculate COGS: $5,000 (opening inventory) + $10,000 (purchases) – $4,000 (closing inventory) = $11,000

Next, calculate Gross Profit: $25,000 (food sales) + $10,000 (beverage sales) – $11,000 (COGS) = $24,000

Finally, calculate Net Profit: $24,000 (gross profit) – $7,000 (fixed expenses) – $6,000 (variable expenses) = $11,000

In this example, restaurant’s net profit for the month of March is $11,000. By reviewing the profit and loss statement, you can identify areas where you can improve efficiency, reduce costs, or increase sales to boost your bottom line.

example of restaurant profit and loss statement

5 Tips for Increasing Your Bottom Line

Boosting your restaurant’s bottom line is a delicate dance between increasing revenue and managing expenses. To help you strike the perfect balance, we’ve put together five friendly tips that will guide you toward a more profitable business:

1. Keep an Eye on Controllable Expenses

Controllable expenses like COGS and labor directly impact your profit margins. Keep a close watch on these costs to enhance your restaurant’s profitability. You might want to consider setting up inventory control systems, refining employee schedules, and renegotiating supplier contracts to keep controllable expenses in check.

2. Don’t Ignore Fixed Costs

Although fixed costs might seem rigid, there’s always room for negotiation. To chip away at these expenses, try negotiating better lease terms, investing in energy-efficient appliances, or bundling services like phone and internet. Each dollar saved on fixed costs goes straight to your bottom line!

3. Trim Overhead Costs Without Compromising Quality

Cutting back on overhead costs such as utilities, office supplies, and maintenance can significantly improve your restaurant’s profitability. Embrace energy-saving practices, streamline administrative tasks, and perform regular equipment maintenance to minimize overhead costs without sacrificing the quality of your operations.

4. Give Your Sales a Friendly Boost

Amping up sales is critical to enhancing your bottom line. Create limited-time promotions, optimize your menu, and launch targeted marketing campaigns to attract new customers and keep regulars returning for more. Plus, don’t forget to train your staff in upselling and cross-selling to make the most of every customer interaction.

5. Buddy Up with Financial Professionals

Managing restaurant finances can be tricky, but working with experienced accountants or financial advisors who know their way around restaurant accounting software can make all the difference.

XOA Tax Team can help you extract meaningful insights from your point-of-sale (POS) data, allowing you to make informed decisions to maximize profitability.

So you’ll have a powerful team on your side to help you trim costs, boost sales, and fine-tune your operations for the best possible financial outcome. So don’t hesitate to seek out dedicated expertise!

In Conclusion

Understanding and managing your restaurant’s profit and loss statement is essential for monitoring your financial performance and making informed decisions to improve your bottom line.

By regularly reviewing your P&L statement and implementing cost-saving strategies, you can ensure the long-term success of your restaurant.

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