UK Staff & Equipment Hire Sales


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I work for a restaurant who has recently done some outside catering, charging for food, drink, but also for staff and equipment hire.
Normally our sales revenue are just food and drink, therefore do I simply have to create a nominal account for Staff Sales and Equipment Hire Sales and post the revenues here?
 
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bklynboy

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I would so that you can track the source of revenue - this may be more common as other clients use the additional service
 
J

John Baker

These employee and equipment hires are all part of the catering - charging for food, drink. Therefore, this aspect of your bookkeeping has more to it than just the sit-down on the premises. This restaurant now has certain liabilities, risk potentials and such concerns that catering is exposed to.
You're going to want a separate, standalone chart of accounts for this aspect of business. Keep as much as you can separate and accountable to each segment of the business.
Why?
Because, your restaurant- regardless if it carters on site or away, you now have a wide variety of foot traffic, higher consumption levels of alcohol with all the baggage that that entails, and not to mention open flame heating of serving containers and more. Then on top of all that is the increase in your property insurance and any umbrella policies that are added on. If this restaurant is catering offsite, be prepared to issue Certificates of Insurance, covering not only your company vehicles, but any employee vehicles that enter properties.
So when scheduling a catering affair, make sure to assign a control number to it, so all specific use purchases, stock usage of supplies, employee assignments, house and property dedication, officer - private security or municipal police, bartenders and alcohol control, so on and so forth, is documented. These documents - serving plans, "tabs", space allotment and so forth are used for your charging accounts and summarizing profit or loss.
There's a lot to the catering business when restaurants "give it a go." The controls that are everyday in the sit-down servings business is nothing like catering. The learning curve can be extremely steep.
 
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J

John Baker

The reason(s) for all the formality of keeping records separate is:
- thief and pilferage can come out of no were after the fact of hosting catering, either on site or away.
Isolating loss in the accounts is your responsibility and is essential for the audit trails that may end in litigation.
- Cost/benefit relationships can be isolated when the services are unique, regardless if the same products are used.
If your restaurant is family owned and operated, certain loyalty agendas can be awkward to address when the catering business goes south. If a family member has the catering business as "their baby", friends and workers specifically associated with that member can be a force to be reckoned with. As a bookkeeper/accountant, you can let the numbers speak for themselves with being seen as taking sides.
- Perishable stock that comes with a perishable price tag can be hard to equate to the success or failure of a new venture in the restaurant business. You must establish a reasonable line of communications of what goes where, either with a paper trail, setup plan(s), and delegation of authority of what goes on. Try and establish this upfront, now. Any... "Awhhh.. no big deal," is just asking for trouble. Now I don't mean to account for every popover and pad of butter. Just be aware of situations that seem to be a flash point between owners and supervision, and you being asked to "prove it."
I've had a considerable number of these enterprises go under because of the lack of the simplest record keeping and paper trails. For whatever reason(s), secrecy among siblings and other relations seems to be an authority issue of sorts.
 

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