Restaurant Finances: Critical Steps to Take Now and Before Reopening

Mar 26, 2020

With so many restaurants taking massive hits to the bottom line in the current crisis, there are a number of financial tactics to put in place now to help control costs, get a handle on inventory, and establish an accurate P&L Sheet. In addition, once dine-in business makes a come-back, you’ll want to take additional steps to be prepared for new business. It’s time to set yourself up for future success and plan for cost adjustments to maximize financial success.

What to Do Today

  • Take a full inventory and place a value on that inventory
  • Track all lost product and assign a cost based on inventory
  • List and calculate all Accounts Payable
  • List and calculate all tax liabilities, including sales, payroll, and property taxes; pay these on time to avoid incurring penalties
  • List and calculate ongoing payroll costs (salaried managers, etc.)
  • List and calculate all Fixed Costs
  • List all short- and long-term debt; product balance sheet
  • Project cash flow through 7/1/2020
  • Review general liability insurance for business interruption provision and determine what is the deductible amount
  • Stop all non-essential services
  • Professionally shut down all non-essential refrigeration
  • Keep all utilities set for 65/78 degrees to conserve costs
  • Ask landlord for rent deferment
  • Ask all vendors for payment delays
  • Curtail all marketing services

Take a full inventory and place a value on that inventory

What to Do Before You Re-Open

  • Take a full inventory
  • Calculate COGS loss
  • Call all vendors to find out:
    • What is owed
    • What they have on-hand
    • When can they restart services and distribution?
    • What are the new terms, if any?
  • Zero out POS
  • Call landlord to discuss rent situation
  • Project cash flow 60 days out, including taxes, rent, distributor costs, and utilities
  • Call all essential vendors to determine status on HVAC, refrigeration, and plumbing
  • Cost out all new schedules; trim where necessary and start with fresh staffing levels. Now is the time to make the changes you wanted to make.
  • Start with new and/or limited menu; ramp up over a 60-day period