5 Best Restaurant Accounting Software for 2023


Restaurant management requires an understanding of the components of restaurant operations and back-office management, such as accounting, inventory checking, cost management, and employee scheduling. The best restaurant accounting software must address the majority, if not all, of these components to help managers and owners track the financial aspect of the business without having to transfer to and from different software.

We’ve evaluated the five best restaurant accounting and bookkeeping software for managing your restaurant business:

  • Restaurant365: Best overall accounting software for restaurants
  • QuickBooks Online: Best for small restaurants, cafes, and startups
  • MarginEdge: Best restaurant integration for QuickBooks Online users who need advanced restaurant features
  • Food Service Ace: Best for food deliveries and caterers
  • Wave: Best free software for pop-up restaurants

Best Restaurant Accounting Software Compared

Which Restaurant Accounting Software is Right for You?

Question 1

Answer a few simple questions to receive a customized suggestion for the best restaurant accounting software for your business.

Do you own or manage a physical restaurant?

Question 2

Answer a few simple questions to receive a customized suggestion for the best restaurant accounting software for your business.

Do you offer food delivery and catering services?

Question 3

Answer a few simple questions to receive a customized suggestion for the best restaurant accounting software for your business.

Do you operate regularly?

Question 4

Answer a few simple questions to receive a customized suggestion for the best restaurant accounting software for your business.

What are your company’s annual gross receipts?

Restaurant365: Best Overall Restaurant Accounting Software


  • Track income and expenses separately by location
  • Integrated payroll and human resources (HR) is available
  • Assistance in finding a Restaurant365 Certified Accounting Partner
  • Sales forecasting based on past data provides projections for staffing and food requirements
  • Manage restaurant fixed assets


  • No monthly billing
  • Caterers cannot track project profitability
  • Employee scheduling is unavailable only in the Professional plan
  • Expensive for restaurants with many small locations

Plans & Pricing

Restaurant365 bills by the quarter. Listed below is the cost per quarter, as well as its monthly cost for comparison.

  • Essential: $1,305 per quarter ($435 per month) per location
  • Professional: $1,905 per quarter ($635 per month) per location
  • Custom: Custom priced based on your needs

Restaurant365 features a lot of functions that can help restaurants manage operations. From ingredients sourcing to the customer’s table, it provides you a full view of everything happening in the kitchen or on the floor. Aside from restaurant management, users have a full view of restaurant finances from budgeting to financial reporting.

We gave Restaurant365 a perfect score for restaurant features because it covers all things we want to see in a restaurant accounting software, such as employee scheduling and recipe management. However, it took a slight dip in pricing.

Smaller restaurants might find it expensive—especially since payments are on a quarterly basis. Moreover, each plan is good for one location only. Hence, more locations mean a more expensive quarterly subscription commitment. A more affordable alternative would be MarginEdge plus QuickBooks Online Plus. MarginEdge is $330 per month while QuickBooks Online Plus is $85, which brings us to a total monthly cost of $415 for unlimited locations.

  • Accounts payable (A/P) automation features with invoice capture
  • Approval workflows with multilevel approvals based on location, location category, or dollar amounts
  • P&L report with variance analysis of cost and revenues
  • Custom report customization
  • Inventory management, stock counting, purchasing, and receiving functions
  • Robust integration options with POS systems: Restaurant365 can integrate with seven out of eight of our choices for best restaurant POS systems and with more than 90 other popular POS systems. It’s an all-in-one back-office system that restaurant owners and managers can use to stay on top of accounting, inventory tracking, scheduling, and sales.
  • Automated bank reconciliation: The R365 Accounting feature of Restaurant365 offers general ledger control, location tracking per account, bank reconciliations, and financial budgets. It even has a fixed asset module to track the lifetime costs of all fixed assets.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): The inventory module of Restaurant365 uses AI to track ingredients with its real-time inventory system. This AI-powered module can help you manage the consumption of raw materials and ensure that they’re used efficiently in operations.
  • Employee scheduling and labor cost management: Employee scheduling is vital to restaurant operations since an understaffed restaurant will impact the quality of service. Restaurant365 integrates employee scheduling within restaurant management to help you plot schedules, manage PTOs, and determine employee shifts. Overall, all of this information will lead to the computation of total labor cost.

Restaurant365 is suitable for:

  • Mid- and large-scale restaurants that need complex inventory and food cost tracking
  • Restaurants looking for a comprehensive and all-in-one restaurant management system
  • Businesses that own multiple restaurants

QuickBooks Online: Best for Small Restaurants, Cafes & Startups


  • Very affordable compared to restaurant-specific software
  • Integrates with all of our choices for the best restaurant POS systems, as well as QuickBooks POS
  • Excellent project accounting for caterers
  • Instantly share your books with an external accountant
  • Track classes and locations separately


  • No recipe costing
  • No assistance with employee scheduling
  • No assistance purchasing food with electronic data interchange (EDI)
  • Lacks restaurant management features in general

Plans & Pricing

QuickBooks Online has four plans: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. For restaurants, we recommend starting with Essentials for bill management features. However, our best recommendation is Plus for project, location, and class tracking:

  • Essentials: $55 per month for three users
  • Plus: $85 per month for five users
  • Advanced: $200 per month for 25 users

Add-on: Payroll Core is $45 per month plus $4 per employee across all plans.

As our best small business accounting software, QuickBooks Online is a flexible pick for restaurant accounting of smaller restaurants, cafes, bistros, and startups. Since these businesses are still establishing themselves, purchasing an exclusive restaurant accounting and management software is expensive and inefficient.

In terms of scoring, QuickBooks Online takes the lead in accounting features since it’s accounting software by default. To some extent, small restaurants can repurpose QuickBooks Online track restaurant operations through its classes and locations features—you can use classes to track certain products and locations to monitor food stalls. But for restaurant-specific features, QuickBooks Online can’t be modified, and this is the reason why it scored poorly in restaurant features.

However, if you’re a restaurant outgrowing QuickBooks Online, you don’t need to switch software because you can integrate with MarginEdge instead. MarginEdge solves QuickBooks Online’s lack of restaurant features, and with this integration, you get to retain all accounting data within QuickBooks Online and continue using its powerful accounting features. If we compare this software combination with Restaurant365, MarginEdge plus QuickBooks Online is way more affordable and doesn’t limit the number of locations you can manage.

  • First-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory costing
  • Class, location, and project tracking
  • Seamless bank feed integration and easy-to-use bank reconciliation module
  • Bank reconciliation through bank feed connection or comma-separated values (CSV) file imports
  • Sales tax calculation and tracking
  • Generation of 1099 tax forms for contractors
  • Inventory tracking: QuickBooks Online tracks the cost of goods sold (COGS) in every invoice and determines the cost of ending inventory for reporting. Its inventory features can be enough for small restaurants that don’t need comprehensive restaurant features like recipe management and theoretical usage.
  • Sales tax tracking: If you sell in different jurisdictions, QuickBooks Online can help you add sales taxes in invoices and track your sales tax liability. However, you can’t file and pay your sales tax using the app.
  • Assisted bookkeeping options: QuickBooks Live is a special bookkeeping assistance service of QuickBooks. A Live Bookkeeper will be assigned to clean up your accounts and do your books while subscribed to the plan. QuickBooks Live can help you focus on managing your restaurants and let expert bookkeepers handle the books.
  • Ecommerce integration: If you’re a restaurant that also happens to sell goodies like baked goods or do-it-yourself (DIY) food kits, QuickBooks Online integrates with multiple ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. You easily manage inventory and sales between QuickBooks Online and your chosen ecommerce platform for a more streamlined reporting process for inventory levels and COGS.

QuickBooks Online is suitable for:

  • Businesses looking for a comprehensive bookkeeping software
  • Small restaurants, cafes, and caterers that don’t need complex restaurant accounting features
  • Restaurants looking for bookkeeping assistance through a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

MarginEdge: Best Restaurant Integration for QuickBooks Online


  • Integrates with QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Sage Intacct, and Xero for general bookkeeping
  • Uses the latest invoice prices to recalculate the cost of recipes automatically
  • Compares actual ingredient usage to what should have been used given the dishes sold
  • Straightforward pricing


  • Must pay for bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks Online
  • Employee scheduling is unavailable
  • Cannot forecast sales and food usage based on prior data

Plans & Pricing

MarginEdge charges a monthly flat fee of $330 per location. By choosing the annual billing, the monthly price equivalent would be $300 per location. However, a subscription to QuickBooks Online Plus is excluded.

The estimated monthly cost of MarginEdge with QuickBooks Online Plus is $415 per month, but you can save more if you choose the annual billing option. For QuickBooks Online Plus, you don’t need to get additional subscriptions for other locations.

MarginEdge lacks accounting features but integrating it with QuickBooks Online will fill that gap. MarginEdge takes full control over invoice processing, budgets, controllable P&L reports, menu analysis, orders, and inventory.

Integrating it with QuickBooks Online will make things more efficient for accounting. This combination is ideal for brick-and-mortar restaurants. With the integration, we gave MarginEdge a perfect mark in accounting features. But standalone, it is just above average since it didn’t have employee scheduling, sales forecasting, and vendor EDI.

If you need logistics features as a caterer or food delivery service, then you might find Food Service Ace a better pick than MarginEdge.

  • Bill pay feature for unlimited electronic and check payments to suppliers and vendors
  • Labor data feeds from POS system for labor costing and estimates
  • Inventory management and stock-taking features
  • Side-by-side budget-to-actual cost comparison charts and graphs
  • Accounting software integration: MarginEdge can integrate with popular accounting software like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Sage Intacct, and Xero. This integration makes it easier to account for income, expenses, A/R, and A/P using accounting assumptions and principles. Although MarginEdge has accounting features, it’s only suitable for tracking restaurant transactions and isn’t a complete accounting solution.
  • Variance analysis: MarginEdge derives actual costs from POS data and compares it with budgeted amounts to provide information about how efficient your restaurant is with using resources. You can also generate theoretical reports to show standard usage based on the assumptions or estimates you’ve made.
  • Daily controllable profit and loss (P&L): MarginEdge can generate a daily controllable P&L statement that will present you with controllable revenues and expenses. So that you can see the bigger picture, the controllable P&L statement will include a common size value as a percentage of sales to show you the impact of different products to total revenues and resource usage to total expenses.
  • Allergen tracking: Some customers may have food allergies, and MarginEdge’s allergen tracking is useful to help you determine which recipes or dishes contain allergens.

MarginEdge is suitable for:

  • Restaurants looking for a more cost-effective restaurant accounting software
  • Existing users of QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage Intacct
  • Restaurant startups

Food Service Ace: Best for Food Delivery & Caterers


  • Includes foodservice distribution software that assists with deliveries to customers
  • Flexible plans based on your needs
  • Manage inventory transfers between commissary and multiple food trucks
  • Forecast sales based on prior data and view required inventory purchases
  • Purchase food through EDI with vendors
  • Integrates with third-party or Food Service Ace POS system


  • No upfront pricing
  • No employee scheduling
  • No payroll features
  • No accounting software integration

Plans & Pricing

Pricing is quote-based, payable monthly. The price includes data backup, unlimited users, and 24/7 access to a help desk.

Food Service Ace is great for restaurants selling food at different locations or delivering directly to customers. Caterers will find Food Service Ace a perfect software for them since it includes catering proposals, planning, execution, and final billing. However, its pricing isn’t properly discussed on its website. At the very least, it could’ve enumerated the features in its custom pricing model to provide users with a general impression about its custom plan.

Its lack of accounting software integration is also something that we can’t overlook. As much as possible, we’d like to see third-party integration for customers who need advanced accounting features. Although Food Service Ace has built-in accounting features, we believe that access to other third-party software will give users more flexibility and better ease of use.

Overall, Food Service Ace offers decent software for restaurant accounting and management. But in our expert analysis, we can’t recommend it as a versatile pick. We suggest you check out Restaurant365 instead since it’s a more complete restaurant accounting solution than Food Service Ace. As our best overall pick, we’re confident that it can cater to the needs of most businesses in the foodservice industry.

  • Offline use of mobile apps
  • Comprehensive A/P and accounts receivable (A/R) modules for tracking invoices, bills, and payments
  • Automated purchase order forwarding to vendors through electronic data interchange
  • Proposal creation and management for catering services
  • Workflow management: Food Service Ace has workflow management that helps back-office personnel efficiently manage orders, receipts, and inventory.
  • Accounting: Food Service Ace has important accounting features like bank reconciliation, A/P, and A/R. POS data is also imported to general ledger accounts every night.
  • Catering management: Food Service Ace has a catering module that enables managers and owners to create proposals for clients. It also accommodates deposits, invoices, and advances. This module can also track inventory and overall catering costs.
  • Logistics: Food Service Ace helps group deliverables to a specific route for faster delivery. It also manages customer orders, creates packing slips and pick tickets, and generates itinerary reports to outline expected delivery times and destinations.

Food Service Ace is suitable for:

  • Food carts, trucks, and mobile restaurants
  • Food businesses geared toward food preparation and delivery
  • Users without internet access

Wave: Best Free Software for Pop-up Restaurants


  • Software is free forever
  • Connect bank and credit card accounts to transfer activity
  • Print basic balance sheet and income statement


  • Not sufficient to manage a restaurant
  • No inventory accounting
  • No tracking by class or location


Wave is free forever for accounting and invoicing.

Our expert analysis is that Wave is more of a niche pick for restaurants that don’t operate daily—and pop-up restaurants are only open when there are food bazaars or local events. Also, Wave can track income and expenses only for a particular event.

It lacks restaurant features, so users can’t repurpose the software for restaurant use. It’s best to use it if you plan to keep your operation as a pop-up restaurant, then you can migrate to paid software once you decide to operate regularly.

We recommend QuickBooks Online as a paid alternative to Wave. As with Wave, QuickBooks Online is accounting software by default, but it can be repurposed for restaurant management through its class and location tracking.

  • Free accounting and invoicing features
  • Receipt scanning via mobile receipt scanning app
  • Unlimited users with user roles tracking
  • Free forever: Wave doesn’t have higher paid plans, unlike other free accounting software. It’s an ideal program for tracking income and expenses for free.
  • A/R and A/P management: Wave is capable enough for tracking A/R and A/P. At a minimum, its invoicing and billing functions can help you account for income and expenses. But since Wave is free software, it lacks advanced and more premium accounting features.

While Wave doesn’t have restaurant-specific features, we believe that its income and expense tracking can be useful for small restaurants and food businesses that don’t need complex restaurant features. However, if your operation needs information about labor and overhead, we recommend checking out another software in this guide.

Wave is suitable for:

  • Restaurants that don’t need complex accounting features
  • Very small food businesses that don’t accept bulk orders or catering services
  • Mom-and-pop food stalls, carts, or shops

How We Evaluated the Best Restaurant Bookkeeping Software

We evaluated the best restaurant accounting software based on basic accounting features and reporting, as well as useful restaurant-specific functions. It’s extremely important that your accounting system integrates with your POS solution, so we evaluated whether the tool integrates with any of our choices for the best restaurant POS systems.

20% of Overall Score

Our pricing score not only includes the cost, but also whether month-to-month contracts are available and if there are any limitations on users, transactions, customers, or vendors.

20% of Overall Score

The general features include accounting features that all industries require, but the weights placed on features are specifically tailored to restaurants. Features particularly important for restaurants are payroll, inventory management, and bill management.

30% of Overall Score

The most heavily weighted restaurant feature is the number of good POS systems available for integration. Other features we considered are the ability to track multiple locations and update the cost of preparing recipes based on daily food prices, employee scheduling, sales forecasting, and electronic data exchange (EDI) with vendors.

10% of Overall Score

Our ease of use score includes both a subjective evaluation by our accounting expert and the customer support options available. Finally, we consider whether the software has any accounting partners that can offer assisted bookkeeping services.

10% of Overall Score

In rating user reviews, we checked user reviews websites to gain user insights and suggestions. We believe that feedback from actual and verified users of the software gives us information about its usability for small businesses.

10% of Overall Score

The expert evaluation is an overall scoring of the software’s features, mobile app, and reports.

*Percentages of overall score

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The easiest and most convenient way to set up a restaurant accounting system is by hiring a professional accountant with experience in restaurant accounting. You can also get accounting software and modify it for restaurant accounting. Such modifications include adding unique accounts, like raw materials, labor, overhead, and other special income and expense accounts for restaurants, such as food sales, food discounts, service fees, and delivery expenses.

Yes, Excel can be useful in preparing certain schedules for restaurants, but we highly recommend using bookkeeping software for tracking income and expenses for the easiest time.

The best way to account for restaurant expenses is to group them by cost components: direct materials, direct labor, and overhead. Direct materials are ingredients that your restaurant uses, like meat and vegetables, while direct labor consists of payroll of all employees. Finally, overhead costs are costs that can’t be traced directly to your products like electricity, use of condiments, and telecommunication expenses.

Bottom Line

Restaurant365 is a complete restaurant management and accounting software in a single platform. While it’s pricier compared to its competitors, it won’t disappoint in restaurant management features. However, if budget is your concern, then MarginEdge plus a QuickBooks Online plan is the best choice for affordability. Food Service Ace is also worth considering if you are a mobile restaurant or specialize in delivery because its apps can be used without an internet connection.

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