Running a restaurant isn't like running any other business. It's not just the fact that you're dealing with customers or even that you're dealing with food - it's that restaurant owners have to deal with special employment laws, special service laws, and a host of regulations that are generally not understood by those outside of the business. It's no wonder, then, that so many restaurant owners tend to turn to outside partners to help with payroll services.
Restaurant payroll services
Using payroll services can be a great way to keep a restaurant running smoothly. Some of the most important tools you can use can be found below.
Payroll processing for tipped employees
The good news is that most restaurant payroll services understand the necessity of providing a little bit of extra payroll support. This can be very useful because most restaurants deal with a class of employee that's uncommon elsewhere - tipped employees. Learning how to deal with the financial responsibilities a restaurant has to its tipped employees can be an incredibly costly learning process, one that can be avoided when working with the right partner.
Paying tipped employees is more than just a matter of making sure that minimum wage standards are met. There are also important tax implications that must be considered, some of which can shift the burden of taxation from one party to another. It's also important that tips themselves are properly reported and accounted for, and that a system is in place for the business owner to determine what he or she actually owes the tipped employees. Working with experienced payroll services is often the best way to ensure that your business will avoid any financial penalties that can accrue when you make mistakes.
Financial compliance is a huge issue for any restaurant. You're not just looking at things like local taxes and building codes when it comes to the law, either. You're looking at compliance with issues like reporting tips, dealing with overtime, and even paying your employee benefits. Restaurant owners have to deal with several extra layers of rules and regulations that don't apply elsewhere, and keeping on top of those requirements can be tough.
Luckily, a good company will offer you both services and software to help you stay in compliance. When you can bring your compliance work down to a few button presses and you can offload most of the heavy lifting onto another company, there's a much better chance that you'll manage to avoid mistakes. This, in turn, can help your business to avoid huge financial penalties, and it can also allow you to ensure that you're providing your employees with the compensation that the law requires.
Payroll and POS integration
The POS system is the heart and soul of a restaurant's finances. It keeps track of everything from tips to hours worked, with (theoretically) every dollar your business makes passing through this software. It only makes sense, then, for your business to embrace any kind of service that will integrate your POS with your payroll. This helps to remove the middle man from a process that's already time-consuming and will allow you to better keep track of every penny your business makes.
Integrating your POS also allows you to reduce the likelihood of fraud and loss. Because there's only one point of failure, you can better figure out where the money is being lost and who might be taking advantage of your systems. This kind of extra protection can really help your business to weather many financial storms.
You might not think of expense tracking as part of your payroll process, but it's incredibly important - especially when it comes to tax season. If you've got the right tracking program in place, you'll have an easier time keeping track of outgoing expenditures and you'll be sure that they are classified correctly. Having the right classifications can help you when it's time to deduct things like vendor expenses and employee meals, so you'll want to ensure that you have such a program in place.
Expense tracking is also useful from a budgetary standpoint. It's very easy for a business owner to lose little expenses in the shuffle, but those expenses add up. You already know that the margins can often be slim in the restaurant business, so investing in tools and services that help you to track your spending is always going to be a must.
Time tracking integration
Sometimes it's nice to take a very basic task off of your plate. Time tracking doesn't take any special skills, but it does eat up a lot of otherwise productive time. A good system that integrates time tracking directly with your payroll will allow you to spend less time pouring over time sheets and more time actually managing - helping you to run a more efficient restaurant and giving you the time you need to expand. This is one of those features that very hard to live without once you start using it, even if it doesn't seem like a necessity up front.
Time tracking is also a useful feature for preventing fraud. Payroll fraud is increasingly common in all types of businesses, but the hectic nature of the restaurant world makes things like buddy punching and phantom employees even more likely. A good payroll service will help you to integrate time tracking in a way that will also help keep your employees honest. If you want to make your life just a little easier and your business a bit safer, this is a feature that you'll need.
Rene Broft has not only lived in Arizona most of her life but has also had a great deal of experience in management for many years now. After graduating from Thunderbird High School and eventually Northern Arizona University in 1990, Rene began growing her business career by working at Dillard’s Department stores as an area manager and associate for 2 years. She ultimately was promoted to becoming a buyer of men’s and women’s athletic shoes as well as children’s shoes, overseeing 13 million dollars in purchases for her area per year.