HomeArrow RightBlogArrow Right

What Is a Cash Flow Forecast and Why Is It Important to Your Food & Drink Business?

April 14, 2023

What Is a Cash Flow Forecast and Why Is It Important to Your Food & Drink Business?

Ariel Gottfeld

Ariel Gottfeld

Few things are more important than cash flow for food and drink businesses. Businesses in the food and drink industry typically have thin margins and must keep a watchful eye on their cash flow to stay in business. To do so, business owners must create cash flow forecasts and projections.

If you’re in the food and drink industry, you should know what a cash flow forecast is and why it’s important.

What Is Cash Flow in the Food & Drink Business?

Cash flow for food and drink businesses is no different from cash flow for any other business. Cash flow is the net balance of money that:

  • Flows into your business
  • Flows out of your business

Cash flow gives food and drink businesses an overview of their financial health. Healthy, positive cash flow means that your business can cover its expenses and maybe even have room for investing in growth.

Negative cash flow, on the other hand, may indicate that your business cannot meet its debt obligations and runs the risk of becoming insolvent.

Why Is It Important to Forecast Your Cash Flow, Especially in the Food & Drink Industry?

A cash flow forecast uses historical income and expense data to predict your cash position in the future.

No one knows what tomorrow holds, but a cash flow forecast can give you a good idea. For businesses in the food and drink industry, cash flow forecasts can help them:

  • Plan for the future
  • Decide whether they’re in a financial position to expand or buy new equipment
  • Determine whether they can hire new staff in the near future
  • Predict cash shortages or surpluses
  • Take corrective action now to avoid cash issues in the future
  • Prepare for slow periods by building up cash reserves

Businesses in the food and drink industry must manage their cash carefully and budget properly. Cash flow forecasting can help them do that. Additionally, forecasts can help with gauging the financial health of the business and even securing investors.

Cash Flow Problems in Food & Drink Business

Determining the projected cash flow for food business is important because it can help you avoid cash flow problems. Like any other business, companies in the food and drink industry can experience a number of cash flow problems.

The most common issues are:

Outdated Pricing and Menus

When food and drink businesses have large menus, they run a great risk of running into cash flow problems because they have to stock so much inventory. Outdated pricing can further lead to cash flow issues and thinner margins.

Updating the menu or offerings regularly can help prevent these issues.

Not Creating Seasonal Budgets

Food and drink businesses go through slow and busy periods throughout the year. Failure to create seasonal budgets could lead to cash flow problems during slow periods, making it more difficult to stay afloat until cash streams return to normal.

Poor Inventory Management

Having too much inventory ties up your cash, and in the food and drink industry, this can be especially risky. Failure to turn over the stock can result in steep losses that cannot be recovered. In addition, once your ingredients or food items spoil, they have to be disposed of.

Proper inventory management can help reduce the risk of cash flow issues.

High Overhead

Overhead costs can easily eat into a business’s profits, especially in the food and drink business. Businesses can easily overlook the cost of staff wages and rent. You may have a great location, but if the rent cost is too high, you may never generate enough sales to make the business solvent.

Labor costs can also cause cash flow issues. Hiring seasonally is common during peak seasons, but if not done in moderation, it can easily hurt margins and affect cash flow negatively.

How Can Managing Your Cash Flow Help Your Business?

As you can see, there are quite a few issues related to cash flow for restaurant business. However, proper management of your cash flow can help avoid these issues.

Cash flow management can help you:

  • Plan ahead for cash shortages. Taking steps now to increase sales can help you build up cash reserves to weather the storm.
  • Ensure that your business has enough cash to cover its operations. If you’re not managing your cash flow, you don’t know if your business is generating enough sales and revenue to cover all of its expenses.
  • Plan for growth. If you know you’re going to have a cash surplus, you can reinvest your cash to help meet your plans for growth.

Without cash flow management, you are operating your business in the dark.

How To Improve Cash Flow in the Restaurant Business?

Along with creating a cash flow forecast for a restaurant, there are several other steps restaurants can take to improve their cash flow, including:

  • Forecasting orders. Being able to predict how many orders you’ll receive can help you better plan your staffing and inventory.
  • Use online ordering. Not only is it convenient for your customers, but online ordering can help reduce overhead costs and increase sales. In addition, today’s consumers expect to be able to order food online.
  • Optimize your inventory management to reduce the amount of cash tied up in stock that hasn’t turned over.

5 Important Cash Management Tips for Food & Drink Companies

Food and drink companies can better manage their cash flow by:

  1. Creating cash flow forecasts. You can find a sample cash flow for a small restaurant to help you better understand how they work and what they can tell you about your business.
  2. Creating seasonal budgets to weather slow periods and make the most of busy seasons.
  3. Leasing equipment instead of buying it to reduce risk and cut down on upfront costs.
  4. Staying current with bookkeeping to keep on top of your finances.
  5. Only buying enough inventory to meet current demand.

How Do You Choose the Best Cash Flow Software for You?

Creating a cash flow projection for new restaurant is easy if you have the right software. But how do you choose the right solution?

It’s important to find software that:

  • Is easy to use and adopt
  • Uses your accounting data to create accurate forecasts
  • Is cloud-based so that it can be used anytime and on any device

Ready To Make Money with Cash Flow Frog - The Best Cash Flow Forecasting Software for Food & Drink Business

Ready to manage your cash flow for your food and drink business? Look no further than Cash Flow Frog.

Cash Flow Frog integrates with your accounting software to create accurate forecasts, projections, what-if scenarios and more in seconds.

Get started today for free!

Related posts:

You may be interested:


Trusted by thousands of business owners
Start free trial now