This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
What We Recommend MarginEdge For
Whether you’re a single operation or a multiunit group, MarginEdge is a tool that can help you run your restaurant more profitably. Anyone who’s looking to save time with data entry and handle all aspects of their restaurant business, such as inventory, recipe management, and invoice processing, should consider this software. We ranked MarginEdge among the best restaurant accounting programs and the best restaurant integration with QuickBooks.
MarginEdge Is Best For
- Existing QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage Intacct users: MarginEdge integrates with all versions of QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, and Xero for general bookkeeping.
- Midsize to large restaurant locations: Recipes are updated with daily food costs, which is especially useful for larger restaurants.
- Restaurants that want to reduce food waste: MarginEdge reports compare actual food usage to what should have been used given recipes and sales, helping you to control costs and eliminate food waste.
MarginEdge Is Not Right For
- Food trucks and food delivery: Because MarginEdge lacks food distribution software, Food Service Ace is a better choice because it provides great mobile apps that assist you with scheduling, preparing, and routing order deliveries to your customers.
- All-in-one restaurant software: While MarginEdge has a comprehensive suite of features, it doesn’t include a bookkeeping system. For this, we suggest Restaurant365, which provides many of the same restaurant features as MarginEdge but also includes bookkeeping in one comprehensive software.
- Caterers: With the lower volume of food, small caterers probably don’t need the advanced features of MarginEdge. QuickBooks Online, even without an integration, provides good inventory management, project tracking, and invoicing that will work well for small caterers and small restaurants.
If you would like to also consider general bookkeeping software for your restaurant, check out our review of the best small business accounting software.
MarginEdge Pros and Cons
|Supports more than 45 popular POS systems||Not a standalone bookkeeping system|
|Integrates with all versions of QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Sage Intacct, and Xero for general bookkeeping||Employee scheduling is not available|
|Unlimited free electronic bill payments||Unable to forecast sales and food usage based on prior data|
|Unlimited tech support|
|Price is all-inclusive: no hidden fees or contracts|
|Mobile app available|
|Inventory and recipe costs stay up to date when a product is purchased from a new vendor|
MarginEdge charges a flat fee of $300 per location per month. You have the option of annual billing for a 10% discount. This price includes access to all of the features, such as invoice processing, bill pay, and recipe costing. However, MarginEdge isn’t intended as a standalone bookkeeping system, and you’ll need to sign up for bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks Online Plus, which costs $80 per month for unlimited locations.
MarginEdge has many features that will help you to streamline your key activities and obtain a glimpse of your restaurant’s financial picture. These include a recipe management system, invoice processing, bill pay, and labor expense management. It also provides powerful tools for live budget and cost tracking as well as inventory management.
Recipe Management System
With this feature, you can manage all of your recipes in one place, and always know the plate costs for everything you serve. You can enter and price recipes, keep them organized, and print them with photos to display within the kitchen. Creating a recipe is one of the central components in tracking the theoretical usage of products, which provides you with valuable data regarding your restaurant’s profit margin. You can also add equipment that will be used in your recipes and indicate whether a product has any allergens.
MarginEdge automates the bill payment process, eliminating time spent doing data entry. By using the mobile app, you or your team can take pictures not only of invoices but also credit memos, service bills, and petty cash receipts. Also, if a vendor emails you a PDF, you can forward it to MarginEdge, and it’ll process it for you. There’s no limit to the number of bills you can pay each month.
Once you sign up for MarginEdge, it generally takes seven to 10 business days to process your invoices. After that, the standard processing time is one to two days. You’ll be able to view the different statuses of your invoice—from pre-processing to closed—as it makes its way through the approval process before being sent to your accounting system.
The Bill Pay feature is included in the cost of MarginEdge, and it allows for unlimited payments, either electronically or by check. You can view all of your invoices on one screen and sort them by vendor, due date, or payment status. Multiple-location restaurant groups can also view and pay invoices across locations from a single screen. Once you have selected the payments you want to make, MarginEdge will send the payment as scheduled. All payments are synced with your accounting system.
MarginEdge connects directly to your POS system to gather everything that you sold and also import wage data. By adding pictures of invoices and sales from your POS, you’ll have real-time access to useful data like recipe pricing, updated inventories, and budgets.
Labor Expense Management
MarginEdge collects labor data automatically from your POS system so that you can view wage data on your P&L and budgets. You can also add salaried employee data for a more complete picture of your labor costs. However, MarginEdge doesn’t have a payroll integration.
This feature is only available for the following POS systems: Toast, Revel, MobileBytes, POSitouch, Upserve, Aldelo Express, Silverware, Touchbistro, Aloha, Brink, NCR Silver, CBS Northstar, Grubbrr, Sapphire, and Micros.
Inventory and Purchasing
With MarginEdge, you can decide which products to inventory and how to count them easily. You can also create and print one or multiple count sheets to use when performing manual inventory counts to update MarginEdge. As invoices are processed, it’ll update product prices as needed automatically. For multiple locations, you can control product names, units, and how they’re coded centrally. Once the inventory has been updated and management has approved it, you can export the data to your accounting system.
Prime Cost Data
MarginEdge provides you with the tools to determine your restaurant’s prime cost or the total sum of your labor costs and cost of goods sold (COGS). This should guide how you manage your day-to-day revenue to ensure a good profit margin for your restaurant. Some of the available reports include:
- Real-time budget tracking: Budgets are designed to track what you’re spending in any category, both during a period and at the end of a period, updated in real-time.
- Theoreticals versus actuals: By combining the POS connection and inventory, MarginEdge can track the variance between what you’re using and what you’re selling. You can also create a theoretical on-hand report, which tells you how much you should have of any product based on the last inventory, amount sold, and amount purchased.
- Recipe costing: MarginEdge allows you to enter all of the ingredients for a recipe and track how fluctuating cost and quantity changes can impact the total recipe.
- Daily Controllable P&L: Evaluate your prime costs on your P&L statement, which is updated daily. This report combines data from sales entries, invoices, and inventory adjustment.
MarginEdge Customer Support
MarginEdge has unlimited tech support available, which can be accessed by completing a support request form on the website. There’s also a help page with several useful resources, including weekly interactive training sessions, video tutorials, product release notes, and articles.
MarginEdge Ease of Use
MarginEdge is highly intuitive and fairly easy to use, with a dashboard that’s simple to navigate. All of the data that you need to access is right at your fingertips, and it can be customized to suit the needs of your restaurant.
When you log in to MarginEdge, you’ll land on the Home dashboard, and the navigation bar on the left side of the screen enables you to access other sections, which are described below:
- Home: This screen displays sales numbers with period to date and year to date summaries, along with budget data.
- Orders: View all of your invoices, place orders, and upload and approve invoices in this section.
- Performance: This is where all of your reports can be found. There are eight total, including Budget, Category Report, Controllable P&L, Food Usage Report, Sales, Price Alerts, Price Movers, and Theoretical Usage.
- Vendors: You can edit vendors here, as well as view orders by vendor and edit their settings.
- Products: View a list of products already entered in MarginEdge’s system here. You can also add and edit a product’s category, unit of measure, or vendor item association.
- Recipes: Access MarginEdge’s powerful recipe management system here, which you can use for recipe organization, staff instructions, dynamic recipe pricing, and kitchen display of recipes for the team to reference easily.
- Inventory: This is where you can enter products into inventory and determine how to count them. You can also create and print multiple count sheets to use when taking inventory in the restaurant.
- Labor: All labor data from your POS is displayed here, which includes wage data. You can also map job titles to labor categories for more detailed report data.
- Bill Pay: Pay your bills directly from within MarginEdge, which allows for both check and electronic payments.
- Accounting: All activities related to accounting can be accessed here. This includes reconciliation, sales entries, setting up budgets, and closing the books.
- Setup: All of MarginEdge’s settings can be configured here, including users, integrations, and point of sale.
- Central: This section gathers data from all restaurant locations―if more than one―and allows for customization based on time period.
- Sales: This report shows daily sales data and compares it to the prior week and prior year, with period to date and year to date summaries.
- Budget: View your budgeted versus actual costs for different categories such as cost of goods sold (COGS) and restaurant supplies.
Best for: Mobile restaurants and food delivery
Best for: Restaurants that want all-in-one bookkeeping and restaurant management
Best for: Caterers that want simple project tracking
Cost: Quote-based, depending on number of locations and services needed
Cost: Starting at $249 per month, per location
Cost: Starting at $80 per month for project tracking
MarginEdge provides you with a real-time view of food and labor costs so your restaurant can be more efficient and profitable. By submitting vendor invoices via the mobile app, email, or by connecting directly to your vendors, MarginEdge will import the data down to the line item detail. It connects to your POS to provide daily reports, which allow you to monitor your labor expenses, sales, and COGS.
You also can set and monitor budgets for a variety of categories and monitor inventory levels to identify waste. The recipe management tool allows you to manage recipes from one central cloud-based system and control your margins in real-time. Because of these capabilities, we recommend MarginEdge as a powerful supplement to your bookkeeping software.