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Accounting for Restaurants
& Cafés

Establishing and running a restaurant, bar or café is challenging. Apart from the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation you have to contend with heavy regulations including liquor licensing laws, food handling regulations and council permits. The hospitality industry is also characterised by irregular trading hours, erratic and seasonal trade, casual employees and a combination of dry and wet goods.

Running a hospitality business can be hard work but having an accountant who understands your industry can provide you with a competitive edge. In fact, over the years we have mentored dozens of restaurant, cafe and bar owners through the various stages of their business life cycle,  from start-up right through to sale.  We offer you a range of accounting, tax, marketing and business coaching services designed to support and grow your business. If you need help with your menu pricing, shop fit-out, break even analysis or even the launch we have the experience and knowledge to help you.


If you are looking to open a restaurant, coffee shop, café or bar there are numerous issues to consider. We are recognised as business start-up specialists and can help you with every aspect of starting a business including site selection, business structure, tax registrations, insurances, your retail lease and accounting software selection. In addition, we can assist you with preparing a business plan, set up your payroll and HR requirements plus any finance requirements for a shop fit out, car, van or equipment. On an operational level, we understand what is required for a successful opening and we can even assist you in executing the successful launch of your restaurant, bar, café, bistro, theatre restaurant or coffee shop.

We have developed a range of spreadsheets and tools including a comprehensive start up expense checklist to help you identify every possible start up cost. This checklist is broken down into categories including leasehold improvements, IT, marketing, capital equipment, furniture & fittings, professional services, licenses and permits, initial stock and working capital. These figures then automatically feed into an integrated cash flow budget to help you identify your finance requirements and they can also tuck neatly into your business plan.

Menu pricing is absolutely vital to the success of your café, restaurant, bar or coffee shop. We can help you do some price modelling so you know your break even point and how to maintain your profit margins when suppliers increase their prices. If you run a restaurant, café or fast food outlet we can help you compare your business performance against industry benchmarks so you know what is working in your business and what needs working on.


O ne of our biggest points of difference with traditional accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan) and where required, we can also help you create a corporate brochure and harness the power of social media to win more business.

Unfortunately a lot of restaurant websites are nothing more than electronic billboards that simply lists the who, what and where of the business. On the other hand, over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, lead generation websites with incredible functionality including booking systems, email marketing and landing pages. If you need direction or guidance with any part of your website including your design or content including videos, contact us today.

We'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing, social media advertising and search engine optimization that can drive more visitors to your website. We'll make sure your website is responsive to mobile devices  (click here to check your current website) and we strive to give you a serious competitive edge in your industry. The fact is, if you aren’t using some of these marketing tools and techniques then your hospitality business probably won't reach its full profit potential.

We are different to most accounting firms and we view the tax return as the start of the client process, not the end. Our mission is to help you fast track your business success and we offer our restaurant and hospitality clients a range of tailored financial, tax and accounting solutions including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Bistros
  • Advice regarding the Purchase or Sale of your Restaurant, Café or Bar
  • Spreadsheets like the Start Up Expense Checklist & Price Calculator
  • Advice and Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Business Registrations including ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts & Profit Projections
  • Accounting/Point Of Sale Software Selection and Training
  • Site Location and Advice Regarding your Retail Tenancy Lease
  • Preparation of Finance Applications & Bank Submissions
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Costing of Menu and Bar Items
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Marketing Audit including an evaluation of your branding, website, brochure and menu layout plus diner trends and customer satisfaction questionnaires
  • Advice regarding Website Development, Content and SEO
  • Personal Financial Planning & Wealth Creation Strategies
  • Business & Risk Insurances
  • Vehicle, Equipment and Shop Fit Out Finance
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour costs
  • Recession and Survival Strategies
  • Business Succession Planning

We are so much more than just tax Accountants and we service the accounting and taxation needs of a number of restaurants (Italian, Chinese, Japanese and fine dining) and cafes throughout Melbourne.  Restaurants and cafes are a real niche area within our accounting firm and if you’re looking to get your business off to a flying start or want to get your existing business 'cooking' contact us today.

If you're a committed and ambitious restauranteur looking to accelerate your success we invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You'll get an hour of practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a profound effect on your future business profits. To book a time, call us today on (03) 9575 3800 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.

Upside Accounting - Helping Your Business Achieve Amazing Results