A Taste of Caviar

Perusing the Menu: An Overview of Caviar

For restaurants seeking to distinguish themselves, Caviar is an intriguing option as an online food delivery partner. As indicated by its name, Caviar targets higher quality restaurants and is selective as it chooses its restaurant partners. However, this approach doesn’t mean Caviar is against lower price-point restaurants. To the contrary, Caviar seeks to serve the highest quality restaurants at every price point. Caviar currently operates in major cities in the United States and has approximately 220 restaurant partners. An ideal restaurant partner is for Caviar is likely a more upscale restaurant in a major urban area.

Today, we will be working through a three course meal as we examine what a Caviar partnership means for restaurants in regards to costs and accounting ramifications.  

Appetizer: Reviewing Caviar Fees and Payment Methods

We’ll begin by learning about how Caviar gets paid in addition to how they pay restaurants.

Delivery Fee: For restaurants, there are no upfront costs associated with using Caviar, which is beneficial for restaurants because they are only being charged for additional revenue that is generated from Caviar. Additionally, restaurants can choose whether they want to provide the option for customers to place pickup orders, delivery orders, or both. For all delivery orders, Caviar charges a standard delivery fee of 28% of the order value. This fee accounts for the value of uploading a menu onto Caviar, taking photos for each menu offering, providing delivery services, and providing restaurant support services.

Pickup Fee: For pickup orders, Caviar charges restaurants a fee of 12% of the order value. The difference from the 28% delivery fee arises because Caviar no longer needs to provide the delivery services.

Payments From Caviar: Caviar pays restaurants net of credit card fees and delivery or pickup fees. Thus, restaurants receive cash that is equivalent to the amount of sales less delivery (or pickup) and credit card fees. Caviar charges credit card processing fees that equal 2.75% of the order value. Additionally, Caviar collects sales tax from consumers when they pay for their food. Caviar adds the percentage of the sales tax to the bill, which increases the fee for the consumer. The tax is not remitted to the government, rather the money is given to the restaurant, and then the restaurant sends the money collected from sales tax to the government at a later date.

Discounts: If restaurants offer a discount on an item, the updated discount price will be displayed on Caviar. The fees that are calculated as a percentage of the order will be determined using the discounted price as opposed to the regular price. Caviar does not offer percentage discounts off orders, but they will work with the restaurants to run a discount promotion (ex. $2 off an order). In this case, Caviar and the restaurant will negotiate how much of the discount each party will bear (ex. both the restaurant and Caviar pay $1 of discount expense).

Note: All fees are deducted before tax.

Entree: A Caviar Invoice

Let’s examine an invoice to determine how much cash a restaurant would receive for three transactions amounting to $60 in sales.




With three orders totaling $60, a restaurant would receive $46.15 (which includes $4.60 in sales tax that is collected by Caviar but sent back to the restaurant). If these orders had been placed at the restaurant, it would have received $62.95 (including sales tax collected). The difference in these amounts is due to the $16.80 commission expense that is being paid to Caviar. This expense appears to be quite hefty, so restaurants must conduct further analysis to determine whether or not it can profit on delivery orders placed through Caviar. Perhaps, restaurants can introduce some high margin offerings, especially for delivery, to ensure the profitability of a partnership with Caviar.

Dessert: A Restaurant’s Journal Entries

Now, we’ll demonstrate how a restaurant would enter the journal entries to record the aforementioned transactions.


As you can see, the sales tax is collected by Caviar but sent back to the restaurant, which increases the total value of the transactions from $60 to $64.60. The restaurant receives cash in the amount of $46.15, which includes the $4.60 sales tax that the restaurant will eventually pay to the government.

Restaurants will receive payments from Caviar via direct deposit on the 1st and the 16th of each month. For restaurants that are fighting to make ends meet, Caviar may not be the best option because the two week wait in between payments can be too long for some restaurants to receive the cash from their sales. However, Caviar does help the restaurant by sending back the collected sales tax, which the restaurant can use in the time before it must pay the government.

Now, we finished our meal from three course Caviar meal. Now that you have learned how to account for orders through Caviar, make sure to properly upload these transactions in the POS system and Quickbooks by entering sales revenue through delivery services as a method of payment. This process is much easier when using an automatic daily sales entry program, such as POS Link, which can save time and increase accuracy.