Streamline your restaurant payroll process and maximize your staff’s efficiency with the help of the best payroll software of 2023. Discover the features, benefits and pricing of the top payroll solutions in the industry.
The restaurant industry can be fast-paced, demanding and competitive. However, the right software solutions can ease some of the responsibilities of restaurant management by streamlining payroll processes. Whether you’re a small independent diner or a large chain establishment, payroll software can allow you to dedicate more focus to driving your business’ success.
Choosing the best payroll software for your restaurant business is essential, but assessing the different options on the market can take time. To remove this hassle, we’ve compiled a list of the top payroll software solutions for restaurant businesses in 2023. The software products featured in this article can help you optimize your payroll processing, save time and improve accuracy for your business.
Feature comparison table
|Built-in time and attendance tracking
|International contractor payments
|Built-in expense management
Best top payroll software for restaurants
SurePayroll: Best for reporting
Restaurant businesses are constantly seeking ways to get ahead of the competition. SurePayroll offers extensive reporting capabilities, so managers and business owners can pay their teams while accessing helpful insights to gain a competitive edge.
SurePayroll allows restaurants to quickly and easily automate payroll, tax calculations and filing. The software also provides helpful and comprehensive reports on payroll transactions over specific periods of time. These reporting capabilities allow businesses to gather insights from various datasets regarding payroll, new hires, employee trends, benefits and other vital metrics.
- Automated payroll.
- Tax calculation and filing.
- Accurate tax liability calculation guarantee.
- Federal, state and local taxes filing and deposit (through the Full-Service Plan).
- Tax payment and filing guarantee.
- Extensive reporting capabilities.
- Integrated timeclock.
- Direct deposit.
- Same-day and next-day payroll.
- Payroll cancellation to correct errors (within cancellation window).
- Access to app through mobile, tablet or desktop.
- Employee self-service app access.
- Workers’ compensation coverage with flexible payment options.
- 401(k) Plans.
- Affordable and transparent retirement plans.
- Health Insurance.
- Affordable healthcare for small businesses.
- Pre-employment screening.
- SurePayroll provides an accurate tax liability calculation guarantee — meaning that if mistakes happen regarding tax payments, SurePayroll will cover the expenses at no extra charge to the user organization.
- The solution’s extensive reporting capabilities make reaching actionable insights from a restaurant’s data easy. Businesses can view and download custom reports that are generated using data accessed from integrated systems, like accounting software. In addition, new hire reporting can assist companies in identifying the right candidates for their open roles.
- Users can access live U.S.-based help on evenings and weekends so that they are supported when they need it.
- Many users across online review platforms have expressed issues with the software’s customer service support. Therefore, this may not be the best solution for users that are inexperienced with navigating payroll software technology.
SurePayroll offers Full-Service payroll and No Tax Filing (self-service) payroll solutions. Both plans provide the following features:
- Unlimited payroll runs
- Deductions for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, state and local taxes
- Multiple pay rates and bonuses
- Direct deposit and online pay stubs
- Flexible payroll options, including Auto Payroll
- Customer service
The No Tax Filing Payroll plan is charged at a monthly base rate that is less expensive than the Full-Service plan, at $19.99/month, plus $4/month per employee.This option is suitable for organizations that want to manage tax filing themselves. The plan includes employee paycheck calculations, state-required new hire reporting, a four-day payroll processing window and is covered by the SurePayroll Tax Calculation Guarantee.
The Full-Service Payroll option is priced at $29.99/month, plus $5/month per employee. It includes all the features of the self-service plan, plus extras such as payroll taxes backed by the No Penalty Tax Guarantee, a two-day processing window, access to up-to-date HR resources and coverage by the SurePayroll No Penalty Tax Filing Guarantee.
Restaurant365 Workforce: Best for restaurant workforce management
With a name like Restaurant365, this workforce management software solution promises payroll capabilities tailored to the needs of restaurant businesses and their staff. The platform provides features and capabilities for organizations to source top-quality talent and support them through the entirety of their employee lifecycle.
R365 Workforce enables restaurant employees to view and adjust their shifts and gain more control over their work time. The transparency of the employee self-service shift feature makes shift swaps simple, helping ensure that restaurants don’t end up short-staffed. Restaurant employees will also appreciate the restaurant-specific payroll features that support faster payment processing.
- Payroll calculation, auditing and processing.
- Flexible pay.
- Employees check stub viewing and direct deposit management.
- POS integration.
- Hiring and onboarding.
- Staff scheduling.
- Accurate benefits administration.
- Posting to job boards.
- Applicant reviews.
- Interview scheduling.
- Candidate tracking and communication.
- Professional careers page creation.
- Digitized automated onboarding.
- Tech-driven workflows.
- Consolidated employee information.
- Robust employee self-service portal.
- Secure communication features.
- Automated document distribution.
- Applicant conversion metrics tracking.
- Restaurant365’s payroll features allow businesses to quickly pay their staff through its various flexible payroll options. For example, employees who don’t use traditional banking can still be paid through pay cards. Organizations can even pay staff daily.
- Once payroll administration is complete, management can gain insights from their payroll data by connecting their solution with their POS system. Restaurants can then use this real-time data to track their labor and expenses, and determine ways to increase their labor margin and drive productivity.
- Business managers can feel secure about their employees’ ability to swap shifts and request changes by setting rules and parameters. This way, all shift swaps occur between staff with similar roles and capabilities, ensuring that qualified staff are available to support the restaurant during each shift.
- Software has a steep learning curve and may be challenging for new users.
- Cost may be high for small businesses and users with multiple restaurant locations.
Workforce is one of the three core solutions that Restaurant365 offers and comes with features for employee hiring, payroll processes, benefits administration and labor analyses. Interested shoppers can contact the sales team for pricing information on standalone core products or their bundled solutions.
Square Payroll: Best for restaurant-specific features
Square’s restaurant POS system includes everything food industry companies need to support their teams and grow their business. The platform also provides features and capabilities that are specific to the needs of restaurant businesses.
Of course, an effective payroll solution must come equipped with robust payroll features. Combining the Square for Restaurants solution with the Square Payroll add-on tool allows organizations to access the capabilities necessary to support their staff and ensure the success of their restaurant business. For example, Square Payroll provides full-service multistate payroll, tax filings and payments, timecards, an employee app, and other helpful features for supporting staff members. Meanwhile, the all-in-one restaurant POS system can provide capabilities for ticketing, mobile payments, and features to streamline communication among restaurant staff.
Square for Restaurants Features:
- Restaurant POS.
- Mobile POS.
- Kitchen display system.
- Online ordering capabilities.
- Countertop hardware options.
Square Payroll Add-On Features:
- Payroll tax filings.
- Importing of tips and commissions.
- Automatic tracking and importing of tips and commissions.
- Payroll customer support specialists.
- Automatic syncing to third-party timecard partners.
- Multistate payroll.
- Automatic time tracking.
- Flexible payments: direct deposit, checks or Cash App.
- Workers’ comp insurance.
- Square Payroll App.
- Healthcare and retirement benefits that automatically sync with payroll.
- Up-to-date on HR compliance with Square Payroll’s HR management partner Bambee.
- The restaurant-specific features included within the Square for Restaurants platform enable businesses to reach a broader range of diners. The solution lets them serve diners through a customizable ordering site, or by integrating with top delivery partners and social media platforms. These features increase the likelihood of a restaurant getting discovered by new customers.
- Managing restaurant staff team members can be tricky without a helpful software platform to keep things organized and streamlined. Square for Restaurants takes the hassle out of shift scheduling, shift swapping and time-off requests by letting users manage processes within the system.
- Square Payroll can be used to track and import tips and features a tip pooling feature that allows tips to be split fairly, meaning staff members are appropriately compensated for their work.
- In order to access the perks of both a payroll solution as well as restaurant-specific features, businesses must purchase both the Square for Restaurants solution and the Square Payroll add-on tool. However, the custom-priced premium plan includes a discount on the Payroll add-on for eligible buyers.
The Square for Restaurants software provides a Free plan, which includes basic restaurant service features.
The Plus plan starts at $60/month and provides advanced features and support for multiple restaurant locations.
The Premium plan is the most advanced option, with features that scale to the needs of growing restaurant businesses. Interested shoppers can contact the Square sales team to receive a quote.
Square Payroll can be purchased as an add-on to the Free and Plus plans for $35/month and then $5/month per employee. Custom pricing may be provided to include the Square Payroll add-on to the Premium plan, based on eligibility. Businesses can contact the Square sales team for more pricing information.
Justworks: Best for time tracking
Justworks provides time tracking and payroll software to businesses, allowing them to gain more oversight of their HR and team operations. Its all-in-one platform can process payments to employees in all 50 states and supports teams with remote employees, contractors and both salaried and hourly workers.
This choice is ideal for restaurant businesses that are looking for a solution that will help them manage payments of all kinds. Organizations can use Justworks Hours to pay their contractors, employees and even their vendors. Additionally, the time tracking tool contains robust features like mobile clock-in capabilities, overtime alerts and geo-stamping to ensure accuracy when payday arrives.
- Automated deposits.
- One-off payments.
- Payroll tax filings.
- Time and attendance.
- Mobile-first clock-in experience.
- Automated reminders and notifications.
- Overtime alerts.
- Geo-stamped time-keeping.
- Shift scheduling.
- Integrations to sync time tracking with payroll.
- Weekly and bi-weekly pay frequencies.
- Payments across all 50 states.
- Split deposits across multiple accounts.
- Compliance with payroll tax and employment regulations.
- Filing for payroll taxes, W-2s and 1099s.
- Payroll reports.
- Automated direct deposit.
- One-time payments.
- Overtime payments.
- With Justworks, organizations can deliver payments through weekly and bi-weekly pay frequencies for hourly and salaried non-exempt employees. Additionally, restaurant businesses can pay their teams and vendors how and when they want through features like one-off payments, split deposits and other pay structures.
- Businesses can integrate their Justworks solution with accounting software systems, such as QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks and Xero, for increased payroll functionality.
- Restaurant scheduling can be challenging without the right tools. Justworks Hours allows shift scheduling as an included feature and a helpful perk for managing any restaurant industry team.
- Some important software features may not be included in lower-priced plans. For example, the basic plan does not include medical, dental or vision insurance benefits.
The Basic plan provides payroll, benefits, HR and compliance features for $59/month per employee and $49/month for businesses’ 50th employee and beyond.
The Plus plan includes all the features included in the Basic plan, as well as access to medical, dental and vision insurance. This plan costs $99 per month per employee and $89 per month for your 50th employee and beyond.
ADP RUN: Best for customization
ADP RUN simplifies payroll for businesses of all varieties, including those in the hospitality sector. This solution takes care of payroll with tax and compliance capabilities built in. Additionally, features are included for HR-related tasks like expert hiring and HR support, meaning workforce leaders have the resources necessary to provide a positive employee experience.
Restaurants can choose between four ADP RUN payroll services to secure the best fit for their organization’s payroll and people management needs. And with the ability to create a personalized system dashboard, process payments with flexible payment options and apply add-on features, companies can develop the ideal customized solution to perform their restaurant payroll tasks.
- Personalized dashboard.
- Run & Done® payroll automation.
- 24/7 support from certified payroll experts.
- Tax and compliance built-in.
- Alerts and notifications.
- Expert hiring & HR support.
- Flexible pay options.
- Employee assistance services.
- Consumer discount programs.
- Run powered by ADP® mobile app.
- Business insurance and health benefits.
- Workers’ compensation management.
- Retirement solutions.
- Time and scheduling.
- RUN by ADP provides easy-to-use tools to simplify payroll and HR processes. With 24/7 support from payroll experts, automatic payroll tax calculations and filing, and simple step-by-step screens that guide users through payroll and HR tasks, companies are supported through each stage of their payroll process.
- As an integrated platform, RUN makes integrating seamless add-ons and utilizing valuable connections with other software systems easy. This way, all relevant information and tools are easily accessible through one payroll solution.
- The solution provides support to employees though its employee onboarding features. For instance, organizations can develop their own customized employee handbook to inform employees of their roles and company expectations.
- Many users across multiple review platforms have expressed dissatisfaction with customer support and lengthy wait times receiving responses.
- State Unemployment Insurance management features are only accessible to users with higher-priced plans.
RUN Powered by ADP is provided in four packages, and the price is based on the number of employees. Businesses should contact the RUN by ADP sales team for a free quote.
Gusto: Best for scalability
Gusto is a well-known software provider that offers scalable solutions for payroll, benefits, HR and other related processes. The platform automates payroll tasks and simplifies otherwise tedious and time-consuming business responsibilities through the help of its robust features.
Although Gusto’s payroll software is advertised as a solution for small businesses, this is a great all-round tool that restaurant companies can use to support their operations as their business grows. By automating tasks that come with restaurant management and payroll administration, users can spend more time and energy on taking their business to the next level.
- Unlimited payroll runs.
- Automatic payroll tax filings and payments.
- Direct deposits.
- State tax registration.
- International contractor payments.
- Automatic processing of W2s and 1099s.
- Time off requests and approvals.
- Project tracking and cost reports.
- PTO policies and reporting.
- Mobile time tracking.
- Automatic salary adjustments.
- R&D tax credits.
- Automatic custom reports and insights.
- Benefits administration.
- Talent management.
- Hiring and onboarding.
- Businesses that use Gusto can save time on workforce management by providing platform accounts to their employees. Through the Gusto employee portal, workers can perform onboarding tasks, track their hours and access their pay stubs, W-2s, 1099s and other personal work information.
- Scaling-up business operations with Gusto’s hiring and onboarding solution is simple, as its features enable organizations to source and train reliable staff and grow their restaurant teams.
- Gusto’s payroll software automatically calculates and files payroll taxes according to each employee’s worked hours, time off, holidays and other relevant scheduling factors.
- Only businesses that purchase the highest price plan can access the HR Resource Center features.
- The solution may be too expensive for larger organizations due to Gusto’s high per-employee fee.
Gusto offers three pricing tiers:
- Simple plan: Starts at $40/month, plus $6/month per employee.
- Plus plan: Starts at $80/month, plus $12/month per employee. As a limited time offer for the first six months of service, the Plus plan is priced at $60/month, plus $9/month per employee.
- Premium plan: Pricing available upon request.
This is a technical review that relies on compiled literature researched from relevant databases. The information provided within this article is gathered from vendor websites or based on an aggregate of user feedback to ensure a high-quality review.
How to choose the right payroll software for restaurants
Choosing the best payroll software for a restaurant business requires the careful consideration of several vital factors. Firstly, companies should identify their specific payroll needs, such as compliance with local labor laws, tax filing and automation features. Developing a list of software requirements can help guide shoppers in their search.
From here, organizations can create a shortlist of potential solutions by researching payroll products that possess the features they require. There are many payroll software products available and shoppers should analyze each carefully to determine the best option. For example, while some software solutions are designed specifically for businesses in the restaurant industry and will be tailored to a restaurant business, others may still be a better fit for the organization if they meet its specific payroll needs.
Organizations must also consider the price of payroll software before making a decision. Restaurant businesses should compare each product’s pricing along with the features and customer support provided for each payroll option. By assessing these factors, restaurant businesses can choose the best payroll software to support their staff, improve their accuracy and streamline their payroll processes.
Read next: The best payroll software of 2023