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Amy Collett

Balancing Budget and Quality: Tips for Opening and Maintaining a Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is always a gamble, even for a restaurateur with a strong, unique vision. It’s an extremely expensive business to go into: the median cost of opening a restaurant is $375,5000, which amounts to $113 per square foot. The high cost places particular importance on having a budget and doing everything possible to remain within it.

You need to micromanage nearly every aspect of your business, at least in the beginning, to avoid budget overruns and manage payroll and staff effectively. Most new restaurants exceed their budgets by a considerable amount, which may help account for why so many fail to make it past their fifth year.

JBD Bookkeeping Services.has put together the following tips to help you begin thinking of your new business in a truly cost-conscious manner.

Affordable ingredients

So you’ve got this great idea for a restaurant — let’s say, a Scottish-Filipino fusion place — with all kinds of awesome dishes lined up for your menu. As a restaurant owner and food expert, you know very well that great menu items are all about choosing the right ingredients. As the new guy on the block, you want to make a real splash and grab the town’s attention. You go all out on freshness and quality and end up spending too much. It’s understandable — but it’s also unsustainable. You’ll quickly run through your available resources doing business this way. Instead, look to area farmers, food co-ops, and other food sources. You can still get the freshness you’re looking for, but for half as much as you’d pay high-end suppliers. Remember, it’s all about balancing quality and taste with affordable food costs.


Bear in mind that business loans can be difficult to obtain when you’re just starting out. A personal loan is probably a more practical funding option. It’s a form of debt that impacts your bottom line, so make certain you understand how it works and select the best, most affordable option for you.


Like food quality, marketing is an indispensable part of doing business as a new player in the foodservice industry. You could end up blowing through a budget very quickly with an ambitious marketing campaign if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are many ways to get the word out about a restaurant these days; you’re not constrained to paying for magazine ads or radio spots, which can be prohibitively expensive for a new restaurant owner.

Social media was practically made for restaurant owners. It’s a perfect, low-cost way to reach a vast amount of people affordably and quickly — and to generate some good word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, a great many restaurants post menus and other information on Facebook and communicate with clientele via Twitter and Instagram. You can help spread the word by creating a captivating banner on your social media pages. Instead of hiring a graphic designer, a budget-friendly solution is to use a banner generator and customize your banner to include text, video, and your logo.

You can also “go guerilla” by opening a pop-up restaurant in a location or at an event that lets you introduce lots of new people to your food. Public relations is another effective, lost-cost method of marketing yourself. Media interviews, blogs, published articles, and reviews (preferably positive ones) are all good ways to do marketing cost-consciously. It also pays to develop a good presence on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Impactful decor

Decor is another aspect of the restaurant business that can easily get out of hand. You can greet customers with an appealing and memorable design by spending some time researching on Pinterest and other online informational resources. Some of the most inviting restaurant interiors are those that were conceived by people without any training or experience in design, but who had a concept in mind aimed at attracting a certain demographic and reflecting the kind of cuisine in which you specialize.

Out of the box alternative

One of the most effective ways to get a restaurant started is to try a pop-up restaurant. The cost-effectiveness of a pop-up makes it the ideal choice for starting up during an ongoing pandemic. Having the flexibility to choose businesses with safe COVID-19 measures will ensure your pop-ups are safe and successful. Additionally, you’ll be able to use your host’s business to further your social media reach and increase your presence among local restaurants. Just be sure to check your state and local laws to find out how a pop-up should properly operate. Having a business service help your business registration application will ensure you waste no time getting your business off the ground.

Opening a restaurant doesn’t have to mean massive spending. You can make a go of it by looking for less expensive ways to prepare menu items and promote yourself with low-/no-cost marketing tactics, which are readily available. Maintaining a budget-conscious mindset is your best bet for making your restaurant a long-term success.

 Let the pros at JBD Bookkeeping Services handle all your bookkeeping needs so you can focus on running your business. 647-850-7256

 Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Amy Collett

Recurring Costs for Small Businesses in Canada: A Short Guide

It takes money to make money – or grow your business. One of the best ways to free up more funds to fuel your growth is to manage your recurring expenses. better. Recurring expenses, by their very nature, are necessary for ongoing operations. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the same fixed amount on them. With some maneuvering and savvy choices, you can reduce your spending significantly. JBD Bookkeeping Services. offers an overview of recurring expenses, with tips on minimizing them.

Find, track, and categorize your expenses

You should begin by obtaining an overview of your expenses. When you know exactly how you’re spending your money, you can figure out where and how to cut back.

●        Check your expenses over the past year. If you don’t use a bookkeeping app, look at your bank account statements.

●        Find your monthly expenses and add them up. Some common examples are advertising, government-related fees, software subscriptions, professional retainers, and insurance.

●        Categorize expenses by type: fixed, variable, and discretionary.

Eliminate unnecessary expenses 

You may be able to eliminate unnecessary expenses. Figure out the unnecessary ones. Some tips: 

●        Look at the discretionary catergory.  These expenses can almost always be trimmed or eliminated.

●        Check the ROI on large expenses. Is it worth it, and when was the last time you used it?

●        Check the payment arrangement. Can you save more by paying later?

Cut costs on necessary expenses

You can’t cut your necessary expenses but you can reduce them. Some tips:

●        Negotiate with service providers: Call your service providers – vendors, merchants, and even your landlord – and ask them for a better deal.

●        Look for altternatives::  See if you can use a different service provider that offers a better deal or additional perks.

●        Get your debts written off. Some creditors may be willing to write off a portion of what you owe. 

●        Incorporate as an LLC. There are financial benefits to the move, like limited liability and tax advantages.


As your business expands and grows, you can expect your profit margin to shrink and expenses to rise. To survive, you will need to keep tight control of your finances. Perform informal expense audits periodically and do your best to keep your costs down to boost your financial health.

Image via Unsplash

Amy Collett

3 Practical Ways to Build Financial Security

There are two types of people in the world: those who love things like budgets and financial planning, and those who dread all things related to money and numbers. Of course, even if you fall into the second group, we all need to take some time to review and strengthen our finances. The good news is you don’t have to have a degree in finance to do it. Here are three ways you can invest in your financial future, brought to you by JBD Bookkeeping Services.

 Budget Each Month

 Many people don’t always know where their money is going, and during a month or so of tracking their expenses, they realize they overspent in at least one area. To effectively manage your finances, set a monthly budget, and commit to sticking to it. Not only will you be able to map your spending, save more, and plan for the future, but you will also see what key changes you need to make.


●     How much money can I truly afford to spend each month?

●     How do I stick to my monthly budget?

●     Tips for not overspending my budget every month.

●     If you own a business, hire a bookkeeper like JBD Bookkeeping Services to better manage your finances.

 Build Your Savings

 While you’re planning your ongoing budget, you should also strategize how to build your savings. While looking at what you bring in and what you spend, start trimming unnecessary expenses so you can start padding your savings. Start by building up a small emergency fund ($1,000 is a good goal), and then work on increasing it to cover about six months’ worth of expenses.

 ●     Why should I start a savings account in the first place?

●     What are easy ways to save more money without feeling deprived?

●     How much do I need to  put in my savings each month?

●     What side work can I do to supplement my income?

 Save to Buy a House

 In addition to having a home to call your own, real estate is a wonderful financial asset, but property investment isn’t the right move for everyone. Start by examining your income, expenses, and savings to determine what you can reasonably afford. Set a budget early on, and hire a real estate agent who will keep you within the confines of your budget. The last thing you want is to buy a house and end up with payments you can’t make.

 ●     How much home can I afford?

●     How can I start saving up for a home?

●     What do I need to know about mortgage loans?

●     Should I consider purchasing a home as-is?

 You don’t have to be an economist to plan for your future. Spend an hour here and there to review your budget and plan for savings, and make practical adjustments to your spending and saving habits. Before long, you will start to see your hard work pay off.

 JBD Bookkeeping Services provides full bookkeeping services for small- and medium-sized companies. Contact us today to find out more! jbd@jbdbookkeeping.com


Karen Brierley has achieved her QuickBooks Online Certification.  Congratulations Karen!  Well done

Checklist for Starting a Business

Careful planning and following steps in your checklist will ensure starting your business will be a success. The following are ideas for your startup checklist: