If you own or manage a restaurant, bar, or other small food and beverage business, then you’re likely looking for some software that can help manage your accounting. What makes these industries challenging is the variety of transactions that are common in all three areas. Whether it’s inventory control systems, tracking sales, offering promotions, managing employees or vendors, or even payroll management – there is a lot to cover when running a successful restaurant.
In this guide, we review the aspects of Food And Beverage Accounting Software, restaurant management software, best accounting software for bars, and restaurant accounting software comparison.
Food And Beverage Accounting Software
Food and beverage accounting software is an amazing tool that helps you keep track of your spending habits and make smart decisions about how much money you want to spend on groceries, food, and beverages. It’s also great for making sure that you don’t overspend on junk food or unhealthy foods. Many people who use these types of tools find that they save a lot more money than they expected.
Need to get a handle on your food and beverage intake?
If you’re managing a food and beverage operation, one of the most important things that you can do is get a handle on your expenses. This will help you make better decisions about how much food and drink to buy, where to buy it, and even what products are best suited for your establishment.
To do this effectively, many owners use food and beverage accounting software. Food & beverage accounting software is a tool that helps you manage your food & beverage expenses. It allows users to track spending on items like alcohol or other beverages as well as other fixed costs associated with running an operation (such as rent).
A nifty tool that helps you calculate everything you spend on groceries and food items.
Grocery and food tracking software is a nifty tool that helps you keep track of what you spend on groceries and food items.
It lets you track your grocery spending over time, so you can see how much money is going to healthy and unhealthy foods, or whether there are any trends in the types of food that you’re buying.
This information can help guide your future food choices, so if it turns out that most of your spending is going towards junk food and sugary drinks—well, then maybe it’s time for a change!
Quickly see exactly what you spend on food, showing you how much of your money is going to healthy and unhealthy foods.
Food and beverage accounting software is an easy way to view how much money you spend on food. By having this information easily accessible, you can make informed decisions about your habits, ensuring that you’re spending wisely.
This software allows you to quickly see exactly what you spend on food, showing you how much of your money is going to healthy and unhealthy foods. You’ll also be able to see what you spend on groceries, food items or restaurants when eating out. This will show whether or not these purchases match your budget goals based on the amount of money spent per day/week/month/year as well as any additional costs associated with preparing meals at home instead of buying pre-prepared meals from grocery stores or restaurants (i.e., cooking oil).
restaurant management software
Meet the next generation of versatile, secure, restaurant POS systems from Oracle. Run efficient online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery. Expand your menu options through cloud kitchens and virtual brands. Connect your front of house, kitchen, and back-office operations with the industry’s most secure cloud point of sale.
Whether you’re looking to grow, adapt or become more efficient, our POS systems are fast to deploy and ready to work just as hard as you do, right out of the box.
Restaurant POS Hardware
Oracle MICROS restaurant POS hardware is built to last. It stands up to heat, cold, spills, drops, heavy use—everything the industry demands. Our terminals, tablets, kiosks, and kitchen displays offer the best in processing power, speed, reliability and, above all, security.
Workstation 6 Series
Run your restaurant on our flagship large-screen POS hardware. With no moving parts, the Workstation 6 lasts forever. It offers the processing power, payment capabilities, and strength you need to keep your restaurant running during your busiest shifts.
Workstation 3 Series
If space, shade, and electrical outlets are limited, the Workstation 3 is for you. High-volume concession stands, sun-soaked poolside bars, and food trucks are just a few places where the Workstation 3 shines.
Tablet 700 Series
Arm your staff with robust mobile POS tablets. Real-time table management, menu updates, and order status now fit in an apron pocket. Our mobile credit card processing POS tablets are perfect for tableside ordering, and they last a full shift on a single hot-swappable battery.
Run Oracle Simphony POS software on our durable self-service kiosks or on your existing kiosks to cut down lines and wait times. Update menu options, prices, and upsell items across all kiosks at once while reducing staff overhead.
Kitchen Display Systems
Our Oracle MICROS Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) instantly displays color-coded orders from your front of house, website, and mobile app to your kitchen staff for easy order management. Prioritize orders with a touchscreen or bump bar. Reduce ticket times, get orders out faster, and ensure delivery deadlines are met.
POS Hardware Accessories
Receipt printers, EMV readers for credit cards, mobile wallet readers, customer-facing screens, and cash drawers. We’ve got you covered.
Oracle MICROS POS hardware and Simphony
Simphony lets you run your restaurant from the palm of your hand. Optimize inventory, employee performance, menus, and marketing. Quickly adapt to new dining trends, and automate routine tasks with ease. No need to worry about manual maintenance or upgrades. Simphony is user-friendly and evolving in the cloud to ensure its features include everything a restaurant needs to run smoothly.
In-House Order Management and Payment Processing
Take customer orders and process payments in house with durable tablets, terminals, and self-service kiosks.
Online Ordering and Customer Loyalty Programs
Update online menus, take orders from your website and mobile app, and send targeted offers to loyal customers.
Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) and Versatile Integrations
Extend your point-of-sale capabilities with our integrated KDS system and over 85 popular third-party apps and services.
Cloud-Based Analytics, Inventory, and Labor Reports
Use detailed analytics to optimize sales, costs of goods sold, inventory, and labor performance from our mobile app or your web browser.
Optimized for Online Ordering, Curbside Pickup, and Delivery with Restaurant POS Software and Hardware from Oracle
“With a target of 15 minutes to get orders ready, this system ensures our delivery deadlines are met. We deliver accurately, on time, still piping hot, and our customer satisfaction has never been better.”
Mike Palmer, Operating Partner, Outback Steakhouse Australia.
Point of Sale for Restaurants of All Sizes
Whether you run a local coffee shop or a global restaurant chain, Oracle MICROS Simphony is the right restaurant management system for your business. Our software and hardware options give you the freedom to create your ideal restaurant point of sale system. No matter where your restaurant is now, or where it’s going, you can count on 24/7/365 global support from a company you can trust.
Simphony Point of Sale from Oracle is an ideal POS system for restaurateurs looking to deliver an online ordering experience that meets the highest customer service and brand standards.
Key benefits for digital dining:
Quick Service Restaurants
Simphony helps Panini reduce wait times for its customers. Online orders, contactless pick-up and delivery, and mobile pay with QR codes flow through their Simphony POS for optimized order processing.
Casual Dining Restaurants
Efficiency is a key to success for casual dining restaurants like New York Burger. Casual dining restaurateurs choose Simphony to reduce wait times, cost, and food waste with a small IT footprint.
Key benefits for casual dining restaurants:
Fine Dining Restaurants
A premium guest experience in-house and online is essential for full service restaurants like MASH. They use Simphony to connect table service with kitchen operations for flawless and efficient service.
Key benefits for fine dining restaurants:
Franchises like Quiznos run on Simphony. Real-time analytics reports offer insights on each location’s metrics. Launching in new locations is easy. Above all, a consistent customer experience is ensured across multiple countries and languages.
Key benefits for franchise restaurants:
Bars, Cafés, and Nightclubs
Our durable spill-resistant hardware and cloud-based software keeps bars, pubs, cafes, and clubs running around the world. Our portable touchscreens help servers send orders to bars and kitchens instantly, preventing errors and improving speed of service.
Key benefits for bars, cafés, and nightclubs:
Sports and Entertainment
Simphony helps stadiums, arenas, and theme parks serve millions of customers per year. Simphony meets the needs of fine dining restaurants and concession stands alike, giving each venue a simple view of sales and inventory across all points of sale in real time.
Key benefits for sports and entertainment venues:
Hotels, Casinos, and Cruise Ships
Our restaurant POS systems work with property management platforms to provide guests with a seamless experience. You’ll find Oracle MICROS Simphony in iconic hotels, resorts, casinos, and cruise lines across the globe.
best accounting software for bars
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Our in-depth research shows that FreshBooks is the best restaurant accounting software because it offers inventory management and time-tracking across all plans, while maintaining a strong accounts receivable process and reporting tools.
Other accounting services worth considering includes Zoho, for its great support and low prices; and Xero, the top service for budget tracking.
Our researchers tested every feature and ranked every software platform to bring you the best. Due to their work, the reviews below break down all you’ll need to know before taking the next step and checking for the best deals each software platform offers.
In this guide:
We’ve included quick reviews of the features and price for each top restaurant accounting software solution below. Click the provider name to jump to its review, or scroll down to see them all in turn.
FreshBooks offers the best value for its cost out of all the best accounting software we looked at during our research. Our team of researchers found that FreshBooks offers inventory management features on its lowest plan (Lite), even though most accounting software reserves this for higher priced plans. Plus, that low plan includes a time tracking tool and a granular accounts receivable functionality, contributing to our researchers’ 5/5 scores for both accounts receivable features and software attributes.
FreshBooks lets users on all plans track billable hours and include them in invoices, earning a strong 4.2/5 score for financial reporting tools. However, the service’s lowest plan isn’t perfect because it caps clients at five, restricting its use to businesses with limited clients, or with clients they don’t need to track through their accounting software (clients are unlimited across almost all Xero, Zoho, and Sage plans). If client limits are a concern, Zoho Books is a great alternative option because it has a free plan that allows for more invoicing and clients than the FreshBooks Lite plan.
Another plus is that FreshBooks integrates with top ecommerce platforms, including Squarespace, Shopify, and Bigcommerce. This makes it a smart choice for restaurants that use those platforms for their online presence.
Budgeting and cash-flow projection tools are not included across any of its plans.
FreshBooks has three main plans (Lite, Plus, and Premium), as well as an Enterprise plan at a custom quote that you’ll have to contact the company to receive. Each plan has a cap on the number of supported clients, with Premium offering an unlimited number. Lite should be a good fit for many businesses, due to an above-average number of features.
Our researchers found that Xero is the only accounting platform to include an easy-to-use budgeting tool with all of its plans, making it the best software for restaurants that prioritize their budgets.
It’s also one of the few choices that provides a feature for recording fixed assets across all its plans, integrating with multiple leading hospitality POS systems, from Square and EPOS Now to Nobly and Revel. If your restaurant has numerous assets to manage, Xero can help.
Xero stands out with onboarding, earning a score of 4.3/5 in our in-depth research because it offers newbies a demo, relevant knowledge base articles, and a video tutorial. In comparison, FreshBooks earns a 0.8/5 in the same category because it only offers some interface sign-posting to point out features. It must be mentioned that Sage does tie Xero in the category because it has its own knowledge base and video tutorial.
Xero’s live support options were more limited, lacking the phone support that FreshBooks and Zoho offer as well as the live chat option available from Zoho and Sage.
Xero offers three plans: Early, Growing, and Established. Of these, Early is the only plan with a meaningful cap on core functionality, with a maximum of 20 clients and a user limit of up to five bills per month, putting a severe limit on the accounts payable functionality.
Zoho’s accounting service, Zoho Books, provides a cheaper offering that still offers the most core accounts receivable features. In other words, it’s the lowest cost tool for billing a lot of clients or dealing with a lot of suppliers.
Users can send up to 5,000 invoices per year, all to an unlimited number of clients. Zoho can integrate with multiple payment processing services, so users can choose how to process incoming payments.
With Zoho, users are also able to access project accounting features at a lower cost than most accounting platforms. Accounts receivable is well covered, too, with features for invoicing and managing outstanding payments.
In sharp contrast to FreshBooks, you will only gain access to inventory management tools with Zoho’s most expensive plan. Integrations are limited as well, and document scanning will cost an additional each month.
Zoho Books comes with an impressive six plans, ranging in cost from free to $240 per month. We’d recommend starting with Free, and upgrading depending on the specific features you need.
Read our full Zoho Books review for more details on the benefits and downsides to each of Zoho’s accounting plans.
Every other service on this list just offers a cashflow statement, but Sage goes farther to give users a cashflow projection tool, so users can be prepared for future income in order to best maximize their profit.
Sage offers a great accounts receivable featureset. And, since it is inexpensive and does not cap the number of clients or invoices even on its lowest plan, Sage is a great accounting solution for a tiny restaurant that aims to scale up.
Restrictions worth noting: Sage doesn’t offer any project accounting functionality, its lowest plan doesn’t let users give their accountant access to the service, and the highest plan is the only one to offer inventory management (that’s worse than FreshBooks, but better than Zoho, which doesn’t offer inventory management at all).
Sage keeps things simple with just two price plans: Start, for $10 per month, and Standard, for $25 per month. If inventory management or access for an accountant are important to your business needs, go for Standard, but otherwise Start should work.
Zoho offers the best free plan because it comes with a large 1,000-per-year invoice limit, a client portal, automatic payment reminders, and multi-lingual invoicing. All four restaurant software services on this list have 30-day free trials, but only Zoho has a permanently free plan. All the other providers’ plans start at comparable prices, ranging from $10 to $11 per month. Keep in mind that there is a downside to a free plan: the lack of functionality. The paid plans can ultimately save your business money in the mid- to long run.
Zoho Books is also the best offering on this list for help and support options, earning a score of 4/5 from our impartial research team. Zoho provides a knowledge base, a community forum, and live chat support to all users. If you’re on its Advanced plan, you also gain access to 24/7 phone and email support. In contrast, FreshBooks (2.1/5) offers phone and email support, but no live chat or around-the-clock service, while Sage (2.9/5) offers live chat and an above-average onboarding function, but no 24/7 support for phone or email.
Verdict & Next Steps
However, Zoho does have great accounting software for restaurants as well. It offers stellar support and a permanent free plan, which can help a small operation thrive.
But don’t take our word for it, to see all of the best deals on these top accounting services, take a quick look at our well-researched comparison page:
To find the best accounting software for restaurants, Tech.co’s impartial team of testers and researchers created eight different research categories:
After ranking each service in each category, they compiled the results into one overall ranking. And, by weighting the categories that are most useful to a restaurant (bookkeeping; accounts payable; financial reporting; and advanced features, such as budget and forecasting), they created a food service-specific ranking, with FreshBooks at the top.
restaurant accounting software comparison
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Accounting software is used by businesses to track income and expenses. Restaurants use it to do many of the same things, but it can also help track inventory, create invoices, calculate sales tax, price recipes and menus, and integrate with point of sales (POS) systems.
Over 52% of restaurant owners reported that high operating and food costs are some of the biggest challenges they face in running restaurants. Using accounting software can help owners and managers know where their money is going and identify potential savings. The software can also keep track of inventory and profits and properly calculate sales tax to avoid fines.
We reviewed a dozen leading small business accounting software programs and chose the best for restaurants based on features, price, ease of use, and integration options. Here are our top picks.
The 7 Best Accounting Software for Restaurants in 2022
Best Overall : Restaurant365
Released in 2012, Restaurant365 is a cloud-based software solution designed specifically for restaurant owners. It offers a comprehensive platform to meet the needs of restaurants of all sizes, as well as owners ranging from beginners to experienced bookkeepers.
We chose Restaurant365 as our best overall accounting software for restaurants because of its robust features, ease of use, and full integration with other systems. It’s made specifically for the restaurant industry and has specific features beneficial to restaurant owners.
Restaurant365 is an accounting software program that combines bookkeeping with restaurant management tools like invoicing, ordering, and staff scheduling. It doesn’t offer payroll services but can be integrated with the payroll company ADP. It is also easily integrated with vendors, POS systems, and financial institutions for automated banking reconciliation.
Some features of Restaurant365 include:
Pricing for Restaurant365 is broken down into tiers and starts at $399 per location per month and goes up to $489 per location per month. Both the Core Operations Plan and the Core Accounting Plan are $289 per month and are primarily focused on operating or accounting aspects of the business.
The Essential Plan costs $399 per location per month and includes accounting, scheduling, and inventory tracking features. The Professional Plan is the top-tier option and costs $489 per location per month. It includes scheduling, inventory, and accounting features, as well as labor, analytics, and custom financial reports.
If you want to see which plan best suits your needs, you can contact Restaurant365 directly via live chat, email, or phone.
Runner-Up, Best Overall : QuickBooks Online
In 2001, Intuit launched QuickBooks Online as a packaged software. The program is constantly updated and improved and is ideal for restaurant owners with little to no accounting or bookkeeping experience who want to manage their own books. It is easy to use, integrated with your financial institution, and compatible with most major POS systems. However, since it’s not specific to the restaurant industry, it may take a little longer to set it up and customize it to your specific restaurant’s needs.
We chose QuickBooks Online as our runner-up because, while it isn’t designed specifically for restaurants, it offers an impressive lineup of features, including add-on payroll services. It’s also extremely easy to use for owners with no accounting or bookkeeping experience.
QuickBooks Online offers the following features:
Pricing for QuickBooks Online starts at $30 per month and goes up to $200 per month with a 50% discount for the first three months. It offers plans for all types of operations, including sole proprietors, LLCs, partnerships, corporations, and nonprofits.
A Self-Employed plan includes tracking for miles, income, and expenses, capturing and organizing receipts, estimating quarterly taxes, invoicing clients, accepting payments, and running basic reports. However, QuickBooks has a variety of plans that offer different features depending on your business structure. You can contact them via phone or through their site to discuss your business needs and budget.
Best for Food Trucks : TouchBistro
TouchBistro is an iPad-based POS system built by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. The company’s primary goals are to make managing your restaurant easier, make more money, and deliver a positive experience to your customers. It was founded in 2010 and is used in over 100 countries. New and experienced restaurant owners can use it, whether they’re beginners or experts at accounting and bookkeeping. It can also be integrated with payroll companies or QuickBooks for those who need more thorough accounting services.
We chose TouchBistro as the best option for food truck owners because it’s an iPad system that’s portable and can be operated easily on a truck’s wifi. It’s also easy to set up, can be integrated with different systems, and offers robust features specific to food truck owners. However, if you need in-depth accounting services, you will need to integrate with QuickBooks or choose another restaurant accounting software.
Specifically, TouchBistro offers the following features:
TouchBistro offers multiple monthly plans, with pricing that starts at $50 per month and goes up to $229 per month. There aren’t any long-term contracts, and you can contact TouchBistro directly to find out which plan is right for you.
Best Features : Xero
Xero is a cloud-based small business accounting program that’s often considered as an alternative to QuickBooks Online. It was founded in 2006 in New Zealand and is used around the world. It has tools for managing invoices, bank reconciliation, purchases, expenses, inventory, and more. It can be used for different types of small businesses and isn’t specific to restaurants, so you may need to take your time setting up the software and creating restaurant-specific processes.
It can be used by new or experienced restaurant owners and those with no accounting knowledge or bookkeeping pros. It comes integrated with Gusto for payroll processing, making it easy to pay employees, and it can be integrated with banking and POS systems.
We chose Xero as our restaurant software with the best features because of the sheer number of useful tools. The program’s features are easy to use, including integration with payroll services, a mobile app, and real-time reporting. It also can be used on the go and easily integrates with over 800 apps.
Once you get set up, Xero offers:
Pricing for Xero ranges from $12 to $65 per month, and you can try each one with unlimited users free for 30 days. The $12/month plan is called Early and includes 20 invoices, five bill entries, reconciles bank transactions, and captures bills and receipts.
The next step up is the Growing plan for $34 per month, which includes unlimited bank transaction reconciliations, invoices, bills, and receipts. The top-tier plan is the Established plan, which costs $65 per month and also includes multi-currency reports, expenses, and project management. For more information on specific plans and pricing, contact Xero online.
Best Price : ZipBooks
Founded in 2015, ZipBooks is simple accounting software that can be used for any industry. It’s not restaurant-specific, so you will need to set up any customizations that you require. It’s best for restaurant owners who are looking for budget-friendly software. The software helps balance your books so you can spend time doing other things for your restaurant.
It offers a free option with limited features and paid plans that include more robust features. It can be used by owners with beginner-level accounting knowledge and those with a more advanced understanding of accounting. It can be integrated with your POS and bank and offers payroll services.
We chose ZIpBooks as our accounting software for restaurants with the best price because it offers a free option, which is great if you want to try it out or only need limited features. It also offers other monthly plans that are affordable, and some of them come with free trials.
Some of ZipBooks’ features include:
ZipBooks offers a tiered pricing system; the first tier is Starter and is free, while the next tiers are $15 per month, $35 per month, and custom-priced (for the top-tier offering). Each tier includes specific features and a certain number of users, so it’s best to contact ZipBooks directly to see if one of their existing tiers is right for your business or if you want to customize your own plan.
Best for Paying Sales Tax : DAVO
DAVO was created in 2001 as a way to remedy pain points between the payee and the payor. It automates every step of the sales tax process and can be easily integrated with your POS. DAVO is right for owners with limited and advanced accounting knowledge, and it guarantees that your taxes will be paid on time and in full, so you don’t need to worry about any fines involved with missing deadlines.
It takes data from your POS and can automate your sales tax in as little as five minutes. It doesn’t include payroll services or some of the features available in other accounting software, so you may want to use it in addition to one of the other software options. It can be downloaded on your POS or used from the site.
DAVO offers the following:
Your first month with DAVO is free, and then it’s $49.99 per month per location. There aren’t any extra fees or long-term contracts. Live setup assistance and ongoing tech support are included. If you live in one of the states that offer on-time sales tax discounts, DAVO will pass that on to you.
We chose DAVO as our best accounting software for paying sales tax for restaurants. It’s a niche product that is designed to seamlessly calculate and pay your sales tax on time and in full while taking advantage of any applicable discounts. If you need more accounting, bookkeeping, or management services, you may consider using DAVO in addition to other accounting software for restaurants.
Best for Automation : Plate IQ
Founded in 2014 as an automated system for invoice processing and accounts payable, Plate IQ is for both beginner and advanced bookkeepers and accountants, as well as small and large establishments. Plate IQ is used by multiple industries, including restaurants, restaurant accounting firms, groceries, and hotels.