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How Toast Books Helped Cut Bookkeeping Costs by 60% While Highlighting Areas to Save*
FRESKO Greek Kitchen was newly on its own for bookkeeping and started resorting to practices that masked the true financial state of their operations. With Toast Books, they’re opening a new chapter focused on cutting costs and eventual expansion.
FRÉSKO Greek Kitchen is a two-location, build-your-own pita/bowl, assembly-line style restaurant. “We’re essentially the Greek, Mediterranean version of Chipotle,” says John Mason, owner of FRESKO.
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, FRESKO initially began under a franchise back in 2019. But when their franchise decided to no longer grow the brand, John broke out on his own to capitalize on his location… and, eventually, expand. “I had the opportunity to go independent and leave the franchise umbrella. So, I did. We made it through the pandemic, we're still here, and we actually grew by an additional location in December 2022.”
However, leaving the franchise umbrella meant leaving behind resources that franchisees have at their disposal, namely bookkeeping support. “It’s one of the major reasons why I signed up for Toast Books. I no longer have those bookkeeping and accounting resources that I was essentially paying for with my franchise fees.”
Toast Books helped lead to 60% savings in annual bookkeeping costs*
Like so many other restaurant owners, John didn’t get into this business to be an accountant. “I had to figure out accounting for a restaurant all by myself. It’s easy when you just have that one location. Now, I have two locations, and I have to benchmark my food and labor costs. I didn't have the data in place to compare one location to the other. I had nothing to build off of.”
In searching for an outsourced bookkeeper, he wanted someone familiar with Toast POS and his invoice automation program, xtraCHEF by Toast, which he began using back in 2021. “I was looking for accounting firms who were competent with xtraCHEF before I even heard of the early Toast Books pilot. I was willing to pay a pretty penny at that time.”
For the same services from an outsourced bookkeeper, John notes shopping around and finding that with Toast Books, he was saving 60% in annual bookkeeping costs.*
“Toast Books is essentially hiring a full-time, in-house accountant at a fraction of the cost. Given that price difference, it was a no-brainer.”
Toast Books offered John cost-effective support to help him configure his chart of accounts, reconcile bank and credit card transactions, provide month-end reporting, and manage his xtraCHEF accounts payables. It also provided support in integrating his COGS data from his scanned invoices in xtraCHEF, his revenue from Toast POS, and even his labor data from Toast Payroll into QuickBooks.
Up-front legwork leads to long-term simplicity
When John first onboarded, the Toast Books services helped him with his month-end reporting tailored to his specific restaurant’s needs. John provided the necessary access to business records as well as his accounting software, QuickBooks Online. According to John, the onboarding process for Toast Books does take some legwork, but ultimately the upfront effort is worth it. “You need to trust the process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a few weeks before you start to see results. But it is important to always be on top of scanning your invoices so the bookkeeper can work efficiently.”
End-of-month reporting: clarity meets savings
Precision in the initial setup is pivotal to reporting on restaurant financials at the end of the month. Accounting reports are rarely easy to decipher, but John can attest that Toast Books helps make it simple.
“Toast Books is legible for basically everyone despite their accounting background. Even if you don't understand the reports, the Toast Books team is more than willing to explain it.”
The reporting has been John’s favorite feature of the service. “I love the financial reporting. I get a very easy P&L. I can't imagine anyone being overwhelmed or not particularly understanding these reports. It’s been killer just to have someone hand that report to me and point out helpful insights.”
John has used this reporting to help find areas of savings, including paper goods. “I found that my paper goods costs were terrible. So now I think to myself, ‘How can I attack that line item to shave a few percentage points off something that wasn't even on my radar prior to Toast Books?’”
Toast Books allows small businesses to operate like larger counterparts
It’s true; Not all restaurants have the same level of resources at their fingertips — especially the smaller operations. But, according to John, “Toast Books is definitely a great option for small operators when you're not large enough to have an in-house account.”
John gets a sense of relief using Toast Books and appreciates the bookkeeping team's responsiveness. “I just know my bookkeeping is being taken care of. It's just a massive weight off my shoulders. Plus, they’re fast to respond.”
According to John, finding the right bookkeeping resources for his small restaurant can be challenging. “There’s only one of me, but to pay what I’m paying for Toast Books, it’s like having an advisor on staff. I'm now discovering opportunities that are being proactively pushed to me. I wish I was doing this two to three years ago.”
*These results are self-reported by this customer and are based on a comparison of the then-current price for Toast Books to other bookkeeping services. Actual results may vary and depend on the unique characteristics of each business.