Your Restaurant Payroll: From Chaos to Clarity

Restaurant payroll made easy

Tired of wading through a sea of paperwork and tangled spreadsheets just to pay your restaurant staff?

Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s often more complicated than it needs to be: restaurant payroll.

Let’s talk about what you (or your accountant!) are doing wrong, and how we can make payroll a task that you don’t absolutely hate moving forward every month. 

Running Restaurant Payroll: The Terrible Way

Picture this: a world where you’re drowning in paper, tracking down documents like a relentless detective, and signing check after check until your hand cramps into oblivion. 

It might sound like a medieval fantasy, but shockingly, there are still business owners living this ordeal. 

Does this sound like your business? 

If so, I guess we know why you dread payroll! 

The paper-based, manual payroll process that so many business owners still go through is as painful as it sounds. 

So why are restaurant owners still doing all these manual processes for payroll? 

Well, some of it is perpetuated by business owners simply not knowing any better. 

And some of it is relying on their accounting professional, and receiving terrible, terrible advice. 

If you are a restaurant owner reading this and you are currently doing any of these manual paper processes that I mentioned, then I am scared to know what the rest of your accounting processes look like.

Because from my experience, if your payroll is this bad, your accounting is probably just as bad or even worse. 

Restaurant payroll made easier

How to Quickly Make Your Restaurant Payroll Easier

So, how can you make payroll a task that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out each month? 

Here’s the process that efficient restaurants utilize. 

Step 1: Use Payroll Software Like Gusto to Automate it All For you

Yep, you heard that right. 

Payroll software programs like Gusto can automate hours worked and tips earned for every employee each month. 

There are no paper payroll checks, and it’s all 100% direct deposit. 

You get an automatic remittance of payments to all the taxing authorities. And you get automatic filing of all payroll returns, W-2 forms, and a direct recording of your payroll generated directly into your accounting software.

How does that sound for easy?

Step 2: Onboard Employees With Ease

With Gusto, it doesn’t stop there.

You can easily onboard employees by inviting new hires via email to your payroll program. 

Inside the employee portal is where your employee fills out and signs the W-4 form, accesses the employee handbook, inputs their bank information for direct deposit, and signs any other important documents. 

Again, you don’t have to chase it down. 

Employees fill it in themselves, and it’s automatically in the program. 

This will eliminate any errors setting up the employee’s federal and state withholding or making an error with the employee’s bank account. 

And most importantly, for your sanity, it eliminates chasing your employees for documents.

Step 3: Process Payroll

Best case scenario, your POS and your timekeeping software integrate into your payroll program and it automatically enters in the hours worked and tips earned.

Worst case scenario, and barely the worst case scenario, you export the payroll data from your POS or timekeeping software and you import it into Gusto.

This “worst case” scenario still removes the tedious manual entry and any payroll errors, and is really only a few extra minutes longer compared to the best case scenario of direct integration.

In either scenario, the most important part is that YOU get to pay your employees with ease. 

Step 4: Pay Your Employees

So how do direct deposits and your payroll process work? 

With direct deposits, all you have to do is click “process payroll” and *ta-da*!

Your employees are paid. And there are no checks, no paperwork, and no reissuing of un-cashed payroll checks that your employees lost. 

Here are a few more great things that Gusto does: 

  • You get stress-free tax compliance. 
    • All tax payments are remitted automatically to the federal and state tax authorities, and all of your payroll returns are filed automatically.
  • Your year-end W-2s are filed automatically. 
    • Employees will access their W-2 electronically and import it into a tax preparation program to make filing their personal income tax return much easier and more accurate.
  • You get to automatically record payroll data in your accounting software. 
    • If you are tracking specific front-of-house and back-of-house payroll costs in your accounting software, you can integrate your payroll program with your accounting software, like Xero, to automatically record your payroll in a matter of seconds. 

How simple does that sound!

For our clients at U-Nique Accounting, this is reality. And by using a payroll platform like Gusto, it can be your reality as well.

Get Help With Your Restaurant Payroll

If your payroll stresses you out, it shouldn’t. 

Having the cash flow to pay it? Sure. But processing it, no way.

Here at U-Nique Accounting, we help restaurant owners like you bring their business finances into the 21st century and modernize things like payroll, bookkeeping, taxes, cash flow forecasting, and more. 

If you’d like to see what you could be doing differently, you can book a call to chat with our team anytime

We’re always happy to help. 

Until next time!

Matt C


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