Many businesses will be experiencing a mid-year slump at this time. Drawing up a budget or checking in with your existing one will ensure that you are still on track with your goals.

A clear idea of how much money you will and can spend on your restaurant throughout the year can help you avoid unnecessary losses and improve your annual profits. If it’s done correctly, your annual budget plan can help you map out your restaurant’s future spending without constantly relooking your financial status. Here are a few tips to help you draw up a budget plan that’s right for your establishment:

Break down your budget into shorter periods

Budgeting for 365 days in one go can seem like an overwhelming task and one which will most likely cause you to veer off course. By breaking down your budget plan into more manageable chunks, it will be easier to see where you’re heading and what money is moving in and out of your restaurant. Most restaurants opt for a 12-month or 13 four-week periods when tracking their annual budget.

Estimate your sales for the year ahead

Projecting or forecasting your sales can help you determine how much money your restaurant will bring in during a specific period. There is more than one way to project future sales, you just need to find one that works for your restaurant. Undertaking sufficient research and trying to accurately estimate the number of customers you expect based on the previous year can help you reach a more accurate sales projection.

Accurately anticipate what your costs will be

Budgeting for your restaurant rests on finding a balance between your costs and the money that comes in. Being able to determine what you’re likely to spend on fixed and variable costs throughout the year is crucial to making your budget plan work.

When drawing up your annual budget, be sure to include these costs: rent or bond payments, building and asset insurance, taxes, salaries, utility costs, supplies, produce, repair and maintenance costs and marketing. The biggest chunk of your spending will go towards producing food, followed by paying for labour, rent or loan payments, and the smallest amount will be spent on utility costs.

Analyse your finances frequently

To stay in charge of your money matters and ensure that you’re sticking to your budget, it’s essential to keep your finger on the pulse of your budget plan – weekly and monthly. By evaluating and comparing your forecasted income and expenses with your actual recorded figures, you can readjust your budget to stay on track. You can also use this analysis to pinpoint areas that require attention and cut costs where you’re overspending.

Point of Sale software is one of the best and most accurate ways to capture and monitor your restaurant’s financial affairs.

With Pilot, you can view and compare all sales in a predetermined period to ensure that your budget and forecasting are on course throughout the year. Our Point of Sale system also seamlessly integrates with Sage Pastel accounting software so you can stay on top of all the financial matters in your establishment.

To find out more about how data can be a useful tool to manage your finances, download our free guide Restaurant Data: Everything you need to know .

Author : Rudi Badenhorst