Start Up: Properly Keeping Records

restaurant record keeping

Record-keeping is an essential and sometimes tedious aspect of restaurant ownership. Any business, in fact, needs to keep records in an orderly fashion. The feds require most businesses to hang on to certain documents for a specific amount of time. If you’re sweating what to keep and how long to keep it, allow One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment to wipe your brow. Here’s a list of important documents and how long to save them…

• Balance Sheets: permanently
• Bank Statements: 7 years
• Cash Receipts: permanently
• Cash Sales Slips: 3 years
• Credit Card Receipts: 10 years
• Contracts (Employee, Government, and Labor Union): permanently
• Expired Contracts (Vendors): 9 years
• Expired Equipment Leases: 6 years
• Financial Statements: permanently
• Franchise Documents: permanently
• Garnishments: 6 years
• General Ledger: permanently
• Inventory Records: 3 years
• Inspection Reports: 5 to 10 years
• Invoices: 7 years
• Job Applications, Nonemployee: 1 year
• Leases: permanently
• Payroll Records (After Termination): 10 years
• Mortgages: permanently
• Income Statements: 10 years
• Permits & Licenses (Fire, Elevator, Liquor, etc.): current on file
• Tax Records: 7 years

Those are suggested save times. It all depends on your office and storage space of course. When in doubt, save it. Depending on the size of your restaurant office, you may need to store some records off-site. Where it is you find yourself storing them, remember that moisture and temperature can be detrimental to the lifeblood of a piece of paper and a thumb-drive. Make sure your storage space is protected from flood and fire.

You also have to be sure your records are kept out of the hands of folks who have no business oogling them. Here’s some tips, courtesy of One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment, to help keep your records outta the hands of those who shall not be named…

• Secure your office at all times with a heavy-duty lock. If your restaurant uses security cameras indoors, you can position one in front of your office. Security camera recording devices should be kept in a safe so they cannot be tampered with.

• Keep your filing cabinets locked at all times – especially the ones containing employee records, credit card numbers, etc.

• Use passwords on all computers. Make your office computer totally dependent on passwords to do everything from start-up to kitten screensavers. Give the passwords to only trusted employees such as head chefs and managers.

• Install firewalls, which are software applications that protect the restaurant and its patrons from hackers. Hacking into your restaurant’s computer would allow hackers to harvest credit card numbers of patrons, so firewall the heck out of it.

One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment

One Fat Frog • 11473 S. Orange Blossom Trail • Orlando, FL • 407-480-3409
One Fat Frog • 1137 W. Airport Blvd. • Sanford, FL • 407-936-2733

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