A daily report is a powerful tool for running a successful restaurant business. Why do you ask? Successful and profitable days turn into successful and profitable weeks.
In turn, these weeks turn into successful and profitable months and quarters. By focusing on owning a single day, we can compound this forward. By watching labor and sales, our related restaurant margins, and, most importantly, our profit or loss, we can find success like never before.
The restaurant daily report for profitability free excel download is available at the end of this post. I recommend you read this in its entirety to better understand how to use it for your restaurant business.
You are here because you want to run a better restaurant, bar or café. Likely, you want to understand the critical aspects of your business and how you can improve them. A daily report designed for your restaurant will do just that.
By focusing on sales, payroll expenses, food cost, beverage cost, and other vital expenses – you can easily ensure you are running a profitable restaurant daily. Of course, this excludes miscellaneous one-off expenses, but by managing your normal expenditures better, you are now in a better position for that significant surprise expense.
I am a believer in developing a daily report customized for your specific restaurant business. Focusing on the key drivers of your restaurant establishment is more productive than focusing on the broader restaurant industry operating margins.
This post will cover some critical aspects of the daily report and help you develop the best path forward for your restaurant business.
Table of Contents
Key Daily Report Inputs
Take your daily sales report from your point of sale system (POS) and enter into the report provided at the end of this post. This report should be divided into both food and beverage as each of these profit centers will have a different cost of goods associated with them (food is usually higher than beverage, but this is completely based on your restaurant).
Remember, sales tax is a pass-through and should not be included in the above number.
This can be taken from your point of sale system or payroll tracking software depending on how you track labor expenses. You track your restaurant’s labor expense right? I hope!
Most of the time, this will not include your payroll tax rate, as the payroll software calculates this. We will need to take this from the previous period and use a blended average. This employee payroll expense should be split between the back of house and the front of house so we can ensure your kitchen’s productivity matches their sales output.
Cost of Goods Sold
This metric, the cost of goods expense percent, will be one of the significant factors that decide the success or failure of a restaurant.
This average should be taken from your most recent month or quarter. For those launching a new venture – take your blended estimated cost from your beverage manager and your chef. If that doesn’t work, use 35% for Food and 25% for Beverage – resulting in an average blended around 30% (increase if you know you are running higher).
Ideally, your most significant expense after your cost of goods and labor is your rent – this daily overhead is likely somewhere between 6% to 10% of your revenue.
Those outside large metro areas and suburbs should have a percentage that is on the lower end of that range, and those in the heart of NYC, San Francisco, or London should see it slightly higher.
Take your monthly rental statement (including real estate tax, cam fees, utilities) and divide that by the number of days in the month. This report will help you calculate what you need to cover on a daily basis.
Credit Card Fees (Processing Fees)
This 2.5% merchant processing fee adds up quickly and is easy to track. If your sales are mostly paid with credit cards, use 2.5% for the entirety of your total sales. If it is a split, say 50% – 50% between credit cards and cash, take 1.25% over the total sales (if your blended credit card average is higher than 3% – you have other issues and need to email me ASAP).
P.S. For operators in cities, take a look at your delivery fees and ensure you use that in your daily calculation alongside Credit Card Fees.
For larger operations, they usually outsource cleaning to a third party cleaning service. Sometimes this can add up to a large percentage of sales (3% to 5%).
Similar to rent, take the monthly amount and divide by the number of days in a month. Feel free to substitute the cleaning service with another high fixed cost your restaurant has every month.
Other Fixed Monthly Expenses
Every operation is different and has unique expenses. You likely have some other large expenses that are not covered on this list. If they are monthly – calculate the daily expense. If they are a percentage of sales or labor, take the daily average.
Either way – make sure you include it to ensure you are operating a profitable restaurant.
Let’s Take a Look at an Actual Daily Report
For this example, the daily labor expense was an input – why it was highlighted in yellow. This report can be built to pull all the necessary data from your system exports.
Let’s Break Down the Report
We review all sales – breaking it down as we do on our income statement either by meal period, beverage type, etc. The daily report must total both food and beverage to calculate our correct margin. I like to track discounts or comps as well.
This report can also be converted into a monthly rolling report for those that want to create a running log of their estimated financial performance as well.
The key to a successful daily report for your restaurant is to include all fixed salaries. This report includes but is not limited to the executive chef, floor manager, managing partner, or administrative staff. These are relatively fixed and can be calculated down to a daily expense.
Often when I see reports analyzing daily profitability, fixed salaries are excluded or forgotten – in reality, they are not forgotten when calculating your monthly profit and loss. The other key takeaway for the daily labor cost is the need to ensure you estimate your employer’s tax expense. This tax expense can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars a day for a decent-sized restaurant.
Key Labor Stats
It’s important to know where your expenses are originating. What sales are these expenses driving or what department they are associated with? The key to managing labor is to ensure that food sales are driving the kitchen labor expenses.
Are you just spending dollars on BOH to lose money? Ensure they are productively driving sales by watching critical margins.
Why enter into the restaurant business? For most of us, it is to make a profit, to feed our family, to make a living on our terms. Fortunately, business success is binary, zero or one, profit, or loss. You should be tracking your profitability daily and ensuring you are making money every day of operation.
Profitability is essential in ensuring that you realize your dreams. If you are not profiting or breaking even daily, you need to adjust and better manage your restaurant business. Seeing this play out daily with this restaurant daily report will help you know which levers you can pull to attain profitability.
What Else Can Your Daily Report Track?
There are plenty of additional items to track within your daily report. My goal of this starter report was to give you a brief overview of the key metrics and ensure you are starting on the right foot.
Below are some additional items that you could include if you needed to get a better grasp of your restaurant business.
Knowing how many customers walk in the door every day will help you better understand your restaurant business.
How many visitors did we have today? How many dollars in sales did that become? Was it more or less than our average day? Why was that the case? Was this affected by the weather or season?
Understanding the cause and effect of a profitable day will ensure the long term success of your restaurant business. Know your numbers and know your revenue drivers.
Average Ticket Price
Are your customers spending more or less today? What is causing this? Is your team upselling better? Did your customers love your daily specials? There are so many aspects to increasing that ticket price and getting the most spend and margin out of your customers.
Track this data to ensure you are driving that average ticket price – because all else equal, this is by far the easiest way to drive more revenue.
Year Over Year Performance (Adjusted for Day of the Week)
Is your business growing? Are you performing better than last year? Understanding where your business is trending before you get your monthly or quarterly financials is the key to long term success.
It is the concept of being proactive versus reactive. Tracking this year’s performance over last year’s business performance will help you better understand what is going on and how to anticipate the moves you need to make.
Trailing Monthly Performance
As I said earlier, this report is easy to modify, and tracking a monthly trailing performance can help you ensure you are trending toward profitability for the month. This report is also a helpful tool in iterating and updating your daily sales report so you can guarantee it matches your business.
Download a Daily Report Excel Sample
Want to take the report from above and manipulate it for your own business? Sure – download it here!
Need More Help?
Need help setting up this report for your restaurant business? I am glad to create a customized daily report here – learn more by clicking here.