As the founder of girlFRIDAY, a restaurant consulting firm offering bar and restaurant bookkeeping services, I know very well that the business owner / bookkeeper relationship is a special one.

Clients are literally required to open up their financial hearts to the bookkeeper. Bookkeepers are tasked with crunching their clients’ numbers effectively, accurately and for the betterment of their businesses. This requires a significant amount of mutual trust…and a lot of work.

That’s why I made the decision to include xtraCHEF as a feature of my restaurant bookkeeping services. xtraCHEF not only saves me A LOT of time, but it has also given me the tools to transform the relationship I have with my clients and change the way I manage my business.

Why Add xtraCHEF to Your Restaurant Bookkeeping Services

To put it simply…life before xtraCHEF required that I do A LOT of data entry. Too much, really. My hands still hurt thinking about it. However, life after xtraCHEF means A LOT less data entry and A LOT more time to focus on my clients business. And my own!

The extra time I’ve gained by implementing xtraCHEF has allowed me to take on twice the client load before having to hire additional staff. And when I do make the decision to hire staff, it’s easier to train and onboard them. Why? Because xtraCHEF has helped to standardize the procedures of our restaurant bookkeeping services.

The extra time I’ve gained by implementing xtraCHEF has allowed me to take on twice the client load before having to hire additional staff.

With access to invoices or client information on a desktop or mobile device, I can work anywhere – in the office, on-site with my client, or hitting the streets for new business.

I can also choose how to give clients access, when and how to roll out new features, train staff on aspects of the software that they need to know. xtraCHEF allows me the flexibility to engage each client based on their needs and comfort levels.

Implementing xtraCHEF has transformed my restaurant bookkeeping services. Below are five ways that it might just transform yours!

5 Ways Your Firm Can Transform Your Restaurant Bookkeeping Services with xtraCHEF

1. How You Collaborate with Your Clients

In many cases, clients lean on the bookkeeper to do a lot of the heavy lifting. This may include traveling to the restaurant periodically to pick up invoices, deliver reports, do the data entry, etc.

With xtraCHEF, your clients can easily take a photo, email or scan invoices. Unlike other bookkeeping processes that we ask restaurants to engage in, using xtraCHEF is REALLY easy and is minimally disruptive to busy restaurant environments.

Having your clients capture invoices fosters more ownership of the process and therefore more collaboration. You’ll find that when you expect clients to take an active role in the process, they become more engaged in general. They begin to appreciate not only having a better pulse on their business but also the value that your firm provides.

restaurant bookkeeper communicating with clients

2. Deliver Consistency More Consistently

Restaurant and bar operators have a high tolerance for the unknown.

On any given night, they never know who is actually going to walk in (or out) the door – from the staff to the inspector to the customer to the auditor.

There is a great deal of uncertainty and, even, insecurity when running a restaurant business. When it comes to running a business, surprises are not ideal.

Naturally, if you can offer more predicability in your business processes and your profitability, that is a big deal.

Implementing xtraCHEF has allowed me to offer my clients consistency. Predictable processes and timelines, in general, have not only benefitted me but, most of all, my clients.

With xtraCHEF, my clients can rest assured that their numbers are accurate, that the data is timely, and financial reports and dashboards are always up-to-date. Most of all, they know that their restaurant bookkeeping services are driven by their pace, not mine.

3. Help Clients See “What’s In It for Me?”

xtraCHEF is a tool as much for kitchens as it is for the numbers people.

A lot of very busy food and drink people – who don’t have time to dig into the numbers – are now much more likely to use the app consistently, because it actually HELPS them!

Kitchen management can now access a catalogue of all of the products that they’ve ever purchased. It allows them to quickly and easily monitor prices, manage inventory, identify anomalies and keep on a watchful eye on food costs.

While clients, especially restaurant clients, may be averse to change, I’ve found xtraCHEF to be a fairly easy sell. It’s easy to help clients see what’s in it for them and how it can help reduce their workload…from the kitchen to the bookkeeper!

4. Instill an Appreciation for the Numbers

Conventional wisdom dictates that restaurants and bars can be challenging for “numbers people” – and vice versa. xtraCHEF proves that it’s more of a perceived disconnect than an actual disconnect.

By recommending an app like xtraCHEF to your clients and demonstrating the willingness to help them utilize it, you are demonstrating a commitment and a deep understanding of the industry and what’s best for their business. The bonus is that they too come away with a better understanding of what you do and what you need to do to get them good numbers.

You start to build a common language. This leads to a lot less misunderstanding and frustration for both sides.

restaurant operator evalutates numbers

5. Break the Tech Barrier on Behalf of your Clients

By and large, folks in the restaurant and bar industry are late adopters of technology. They are extremely busy people who are constantly putting out fires. They rarely have time to consider process improvement initiatives or research new technologies as an alternative to “the way we’ve always done it.”

Lucky for them, xtraCHEF is incredibly easy to implement and even easier to use!

Your clients can wade in as slowly or as quickly as they want. Once they login and see the wealth of information that’s waiting for them, two things will happen:

  • First, they will be more likely to try improvements you suggest in the future.
  • And second, you will have laid the groundwork for yourself as that trusted advisor to their business.

Your clients will realize that what you were recommending was to make their lives easier, not just yours!

Want to Add xtraCHEF to your Restaurant Bookkeeping Services?

Let’s be honest.  A lot of apps make bold claims to trade in living, breathing accountants and bookkeepers for translation and automation. The problem is…they don’t always back it up. If this is a concern for you, let me assure you…xtraCHEF delivers results.

But, it does not replace the restaurant bookkeeper or accountant.

Instead, it does the opposite. xtraCHEF allows you to transform your relationship with your clients and, ultimately, your business. It gives you the tools to polish your clients’ business processes and, as a result, allows your restaurant bookkeeping services to really shine.

If you use QuickBooks for Restaurant Accounting, you can learn more about how xtraCHEF benefits QB users by requesting to view the webinar: xtraCHEF & QuickBooks – A Powerful Restaurant Accounting Combo.

Or, request a personalized demo here.

Kristen Nies Ciraldo is the founder of girlFRIDAYs Office, Inc.

girlFRIDAY offers a full menu of restaurant back office and financial services ~ everything from monthly reconciliation help to back office training to full-charge bookkeeping / controller services. girlFRIDAY also consults with other service providers and solution developers who wish to serve the independent food & beverage industry better.

Visit the girlFriday website here.