Do Restaurants Keep Receipts?

If you’re here, it’s likely you’re curious about what happens to your receipts after you leave the restaurant and if restaurants keep receipts on record.

Maybe you’re even wondering if there’s a way to obtain a copy of your receipt.

Read on to find out all you need to know about restaurant receipts with expert opinions.

Understanding Restaurant Receipts

Restaurant receipt at a till.
Restaurant receipt at a till.

A restaurant receipt is a document that lists the items you’ve ordered, the price of individual items, the total cost, and the tip.

You may have seen receipts displaying a breakdown of the taxes and gratuity as well.

Most businesses issue receipts as an acknowledgment of payment made, and a restaurant is no different.

Karen Thompson, a Certified Public Accountant told us, “Yes, restaurants do and should keep receipts. Receipts serve as a legal proof of transaction and are crucial for bookkeeping and tax purposes.”

Restaurants, like any other business, keep receipts to maintain proper accounting records and fulfill tax obligations.

Thompson continues, “They help to track income, expenses, and inventory, which can provide valuable insights about the restaurant’s performance.”

Why Do Restaurants Keep Receipts?

Restaurants keep receipts for several reasons, but the primary reason is bookkeeping and taxes.

Alex Pritchard, an experienced restauranteur explains, “Keeping receipts can aid in resolving potential customer disputes. For instance, if there’s a discrepancy over a bill, the original receipt can provide clarification.”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires restaurants, like all other businesses, to keep accurate financial records, including receipts.

Pritchard also makes this point, “From a legal standpoint, retaining receipts is essential as well. If there are tax inquiries or audits, those receipts will serve as proof of the restaurant’s income and expenses.”

In case of any dispute, receipts can be used as valid proof of purchase. Restaurants can use receipts to track and analyze their sales, inventory, menu items, and expenses.

They can also help in monitoring employee productivity.

Can Restaurants Provide A Copy of Receipts?

In most cases, restaurants can provide a copy of your receipt. Just reach out to the restaurant and request a copy of your receipt; this is especially necessary if you need it for reimbursement purposes.

However, some restaurants may not store customer receipts for more than a day or two to comply with data protection laws.

If you have any concerns, it’s best to ask the restaurant directly about their policy regarding receipts.

Generally, you can request a printed copy of the receipt from the restaurant at the time of payment. However, if you paid using a credit card, you can also get an electronic copy of the receipt from your bank or credit card statement.


Do I Need To Keep My Restaurant Receipt For Tax Purposes?

Yes, it’s a good idea to keep your restaurant receipt for tax purposes. You can use it to deduct your dining expenses on your tax returns if you have relevant documentation, including itemized receipts.

Do Restaurants Keep Itemized Receipts?

Yes, most restaurants keep itemized receipts for their records and accounting purposes.

Can Restaurants Enforce Policies Like Reimbursement For An Alcohol Expense?

Yes, restaurants can enforce policies like reimbursement for an alcohol expense. These policies are usually meant for employees submitting reimbursement claims, not customers.

What Do Restaurants Do With Receipts After A Certain Period?

It varies depending on the restaurant. Some may store customer receipts for specific periods, while others may dispose of them after a specific period. Reach out to your restaurant to know their policy.


Do restaurants keep receipts? Yes, they do. Restaurants keep receipts as part of their accounting records and for tax purposes.

As a customer, you may request a copy of your receipt from the restaurant if needed.

Ensure to keep your receipts, even if you’re not planning on claiming any deductions; you never know when you may need them.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.