Canadian Franchise

Canadians seek to save time by eating out; restaurant franchisees seek profits through efficiency

BDO survey reveals less than half (43%) of restaurant owners and operators feel confident current practices provide an accurate picture of financial performance.

When it comes to dining, Canadians are opting for restaurants over the kitchen. As restaurant owners and operators keep up with the increasing demand, they are struggling to stay on top of their finances. A new BDO Canada survey, conducted by Environics Research Group, reveals less than half of restaurant owners and operators (43%) feel confident that their current bookkeeping payroll practices provide an accurate picture of their financial performance.

“Opening a franchise business may be the easy part, as franchises often come with immediate brand recognition and loyalty. But having the proper team, resources and systems in place to keep it thriving takes time and focus,” says Lyn Little, National Franchise Industry Leader, BDO Canada. “Future-proofing your business, with the right technology and services, for example, isn’t just about getting ahead anymore. It’s about survival. And it has to be done from the get-go.”

To find success in an era of razor-thin margins, restaurant owners and operators are seeking to improve efficiency of operations (58%) above increasing annual net sales (51%) over the next five years, according to the survey.
For some owners and operators, time is a great concern. The BDO Franchise Restaurant Report 2019 results show that one-in-five respondents don’t have time to manage bookkeeping and payroll. One-in-four (41%) note personal time constraints would make them consider outsourcing bookkeeping, too.

“Thanks to technology advancements, the opportunity to outsource finance functions that have traditionally been performed in-house represents a far more attractive opportunity for Canadian businesses than ever before,” says Matthew Sturges, Partner and Leader of Outsourcing Services, BDO Canada. “Consumers often notice the benefits, too, as time spent on lower-value added back-office operations can be better used improving restaurant operations, enhancing product quality and overall delivering a better guest experience.”
For those that conduct their own bookkeeping and manage payroll, these pain points top the randomized list of choices:
• Keeping tabs of books accurately (63%)
• Providing timely updates on financial records (51%)
• Understanding tax and regulations (46%)
• Inexperience in bookkeeping and accounting duties (32%)
• Streamlining (23%)

With only 43 per cent of respondents outsourcing their payroll and 41 per cent outsourcing their bookkeeping to an expert, some are likely to struggle with getting a clear financial picture as they navigate a growing industry.
To download the report, visit

About BDO

BDO Canada LLP is a leading provider of professional services to clients of all sizes in virtually all business sectors. Our team delivers a comprehensive range of assurance, accounting, tax, and advisory services, complemented by a deep industry knowledge gained from nearly 100 years of working within local communities. As part of the international BDO network, we are able to provide seamless and consistent cross-border services to clients with global needs. Over 73,000 people work out of more than 1,500 offices in 162 countries, generating worldwide revenue of $8.1 billion.
BDO Canada LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership, is a member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO member Firms.