By Rene Artz

Getting started

It can be easy to visualise a point of sale (POS), an EFTPOS terminal and a bank account.

Few going into hospitality picture the wider business needs from cash handling and daily POS reconciliation; to GST, payroll and PAYE, purchase orders and invoicing.

On top of this is reconciliation and reporting through an accounting system. For many new to hospitality, there will be a lot more bookwork than first thought.

Like a vehicle dashboard, measurement of your business provides the feedback you need for diagnostics and expert performance.

Tools of the Trade

Like any trade, it is important to have the right tools.

A hospitality based POS system like PosBOSS is a good place to start, and this will link through to cloud-based accounting platform Xero.

You can then bring in your roster and time clock through a payroll system like Flexitime or simply get the complications of payroll off your hands by outsourcing it for free through Thankyou Payroll.

There are 500+ apps linked to Xero and growing. If you want something more sophisticated than a visual inventory control, there is an app for that too.

Cloud-based systems require minimal IT setup and should be intuitive to learn. The ongoing benefits are live updates without any downloads, accessibility from anywhere to those who are authorised, and real-time data.

The other key benefit is collaboration, so a problem can be easily shared and resolved. As industry specialists, we leverage live Xero data to forecast and benchmark. This way we keep you focused on measuring performance every week of the year.

What should be measured

For a detailed overview of sales measurement refer to menu profit and for costs refer to prime costs.

To measure both we first need to track the broad categories of food and beverage for sales, plus payroll for cost of goods sold.

How to take a measure

PosBoss allows category tags on all menu items sold, so tracking the amount of food or beverage sold each day or week is as simple as selecting a reporting period.

Running daily or weekly reports from your POS allows you to split the value of EFTPOS and cash bank deposits into food or beverage, so we can now track the sales mix as well.

On the other side, food and drink account for 30-35% of the cost of goods sold. These are typically delivered to a café or restaurant through a wholesale distributor like Service Foods.

Purchasing through a wholesaler can usually be completed by phone, fax, email or online. However, give some thought to tracking your cost of goods sold when ordering through a wholesaler. To do this properly, complete a purchase order in Xero each time you make an order with a supplier.

Completing purchase orders in Xero allows you to categorise your direct costs to food or beverage as you go, then you can simply email it to your supplier. The other benefit of completing purchase orders is easy reconciliation against both the delivery invoice and goods received.

The final cost is payroll, this can be simply tracked and reconciled in Xero as wages and PAYE come through on your bank feed.


As hospitality margin can be thin, set yourself up for success and get the right management processes in place so you achieve results.

Hospitality success rests on your regular measurement, this is true for both prime costs and menu profit.

Start by taking a measure of your business today.

Want to expertly measure your hospitality business? Contact Rene Artz, Business Development Manager at Mathieson Chartered Accountants Ltd on 027 66 44 943 or

Mathieson Chartered Accountants Ltd
“your tax and Xero connected business advisers”