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Experienced Member


I have started restaurant business and recently start using Quickbook. I have never use Quickbook before. I want to know how best can I set up the Quickbook to suit the restaurant business? 




Re: Restaurant

Greetings, Dabanani.


Congratulations! We're pleased that you've chosen QuickBooks Online (QBO) for your business.


Let me provide you some helpful articles that'll guide you in setting up QBO.


Here are the articles:



And for your Chart of Accounts, I highly suggest you consult this with your accountant.


Please let me know if you need anything else. Wishing you continued success.

Content Leader

Re: Restaurant

Hey @Dabanani,


Welcome to the community! One of our regular users, @girlFRIDAY, specializes in restaurant accounting and has a tremendous amount of industry knowledge in general. I'd recommend checking out her posts and articles! 


Getting started is always the most exciting part! I do, however, have a question to answer your question - do you know what you want to track in QuickBooks? Are there certain workflows (invoicing, banking, inventory) that are absolutely necessary to your operation? If you're brand new to QuickBooks, I recommend tackling each workflow one at a time.


For restaurants specifically, I think the most important step is learning how to categorize your products and services. Getting the item type is crucial. While service items are straightforward, the difference between inventory vs. non-inventory items is not (@girlFRIDAY can definitely speak more to this).


I'd encourage you to do a bit of research on Google, but essentially the difference is:


  • Inventory items - you buy the item, track it as inventory, and then sell it. You track the exact quantities, value and number of items on-hand and on-order.

  • Non-inventory items - if an item doesn't meet all the above requirements (and it's not a service), it's classified as non-inventory. This includes materials you do not track quantities of, parts you buy but do not sell directly (like nuts and bolts), items you sell but do not buy (a finished food product). 


Here are a few examples to contextualize the non-inventory criteria, since this tends to be a bit more confusing:

  • Materials or items you don't track quantities - individual M&Ms that you sell in bags but don't specify an exact quantity. You wouldn't track each m&m (you wouldn't want to)

  • Materials or items you buy but don't sell - flour, sugar, and raw ingredients you use to make items you sell. 

  • Materials or items you sell but don't buy - cookies you've made in-house that you sell to customers. You'd track the sales of these items, but you don't hold an inventory, and you didn't buy them "as is."


This nuance is particularly challenging for the restaurants because they often refer to "inventory" as "everything in the stockroom." While we may use some of these items and materials to create products we sell, QuickBooks doesn't always refer tp those items the same way


I will include a link you to our Inventory Overview and Setup guide that provides more details, but don't feel overwhelmed! Start slow and build up your accounts piece-by-piece. QuickBooks has specific behaviours and workflows that are key for getting your accounting right (tracking income correctly, staying compliant for tax reasons)


Once you get them down, you'll be flying through your accounting. Please reach out to us if you have any more questions!


What kind of restaurant do you have?


Experienced Member

Re: Restaurant

Thank you for this detailed explanation. Am not particularly sure what to track. We buy, for example, lamb, chips, vegetables and rice. But we do not sell these individually instead, in our menu, for example, we sell Moroccan style lamb with Jollof rice. In this order, will be lamb, vegetables and rice. This makes it difficult for me to track stock because they are not sold individually as we buy them.

Our kind of restaurant is international selling mostly American, Burgers, European, African and but of Asian

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Established Community Backer *

Re: Restaurant

Hi Dabanani


Congrats on your new venture!


Can I ask if you are using a POS system, or some other computerized system when it comes to tracking what customers are ordering?  Depending on the system and its set-up, it may influence what your best set-up of Quickbooks might be.



Established Community Backer ***

Re: Restaurant



ahhhh, need some QAQC

this page you linked,
on the bottom are links for more information

Have you clicked on them? any of them?

Some one should.

Experienced Member

Re: Restaurant

No i do not use any system. we use the report from Just-Eat machine to know our sales report for the day. Also, what we purchase individually, we do not sell those. For example, we buy rice, lamb and vegetables but when selling, we sell for example, Moroccan Lamb, which will be lamb with vegetables  and rice, is the order include rice. So the order will be for Moroccan Lamb and rice and we will make that but we buy lamb, vegetables and rice as raw materials to make this order.


Thank you

Content Leader

Re: Restaurant

Hey @Rustler, thanks for the feedback, could you be more specific as to what needs QA/QC? 


The definitions and examples I've used come right from our affiliate training partners. As for the nomenclature of inventory, restaurants have a unique definition, which is why I recommend @Dabanani ensure they understand what QuickBooks classifies as inventory. 


Any advice you can offer to the OP? 

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Restaurant

As I said

on the bottom are links for more information
Have you clicked on them? any of them?


Restaurants do not have a different definition of retail inventory, inventory definition is the same for all.  What products are maintained as inventory items vs being expensed immediately are a company choice. - I didn't even bring that up though

Content Leader

Re: Restaurant

@Rustler, thanks for the feedback. The point I was trying to make to the OP (@Dabanani) is that when workers or the owner in a store take a physical inventory (which they may or may not simply call "inventory"), they may not distinguish "inventory" from "non-inventory" items the way QuickBooks does.


Those who are new to the program should be aware of this distinction.