Restaurant and cafe Bookkeeping: Wage as a Percentage of Sales

Sept. 4, 2019 - PRLog -- Wages are often one of the largest expenses in any business, therefore it is crucial that wages are benchmarked, controlled and monitored through restaurant and cafe bookkeeping. Without controls, without order and without systems your business will fail.

You can use this Roster Coster Calculator to make sure that your wage costs do not exceed your target percentage of sales. For hospitality businesses, wages typically run at about 25% of sales. Wait, bar and game staff often run lower, though. You can also use a specially designed spreadsheet to measure tab income, food sales, bar food sales, bistro sales and so on and break each area down to add all the wages for each area.

You can see on this calculator the total sales for the week – let's say you expect $49,000 of total sales from restaurant and functions sales next week. How many staff hours would you need for your average weekly sales?

Once you find this out, you can add all your salaried staff for the week on the Salary Staff sheet. Add in their annual salary and hours assumed according to their contracts as well.

On the Permanent Staff sheet, you can add all your permanent staff that will work the following week. Add in their hours for Monday to Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday if any, and their corresponding rates. The calculator will automatically add the totals.

Do the same for your casual staff on this sheet.

The most important information here is the labour cost percentage. You can see the total staff cost with workers compensation and superannuation of all the salary, permanent and casual staff. Here, your weekly total labour cost is $14,325.72 or 29.2% of your weekly total sales of $49,000. The labour budget that's set here is 25% so the labour cost exceeded the budget. Your labour cost is over by 4.2% or $2,075.72. In this case, you would need to talk to your area heads so they can cut staff hours or do the necessary adjustments.

Wages should be controlled from the outset and reviewed at least once every quarter through restaurant and café bookkeeping.

If you have any questions or if you want to use this Roster Coster Calculator, simply email or contact us ( and we would be happy to help.
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