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10 Min. Read

Payroll for Restaurants: Top 8 Payroll Software Programs for Restaurant Owners

Payroll for Restaurants

Choosing the right software for your business’s payroll will save you time and money and support your financial and HR tasks as a restaurant manager.

Here are 8 top software options selected for payroll and account management assistance in the restaurant business.

Table of Contents

FreshBooks

Gusto

QuickBooks Payroll

Paychex Flex

SurePayroll

OnPay

Patriot Payroll Software

ADP RUN

Key Takeaways

Frequently Asked Questions

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting program and the best overall payroll software. It delivers powerful invoicing and project management features.

With FreshBooks, you’ll have the option to create and send unlimited invoices, accept online payments, and manage your restaurant employees and clients. Other robust features include double-entry accounting, mobile payroll, and more.

FreshBooks seamlessly integrates with the easy-to-use payroll app Gusto to bring you automatic federal government tax filings and payments, HR tools, a payroll schedule, and much more. It also integrates with Square Payroll and other top accounting software programs, including SurePayroll, for accurate books and easy automated payroll processing during a set pay period.

FreshBooks is relatively easy to set up and takes only a few minutes to start. Its award-winning customer support comprises a team of highly knowledgeable staff dedicated to resolving your queries.

FreshBooks strives to deliver the features restaurant owners need. However, if you’re looking for restaurant payroll services with inventory and fixed asset management, FreshBooks is not for you.

Pros

  • Includes unlimited invoicing
  • Includes a mobile app and accounting
  • Offers better customer service than most payroll providers offer
  • Provides smooth integration with several top accounting software programs

Cons

  • Does not track inventory
Paying Your Team Is Easier Than Ever

Gusto

Gusto is a popular complete-service payroll software program that many small business owners use to pay their employee wages. It offers automatic payroll runs and unlimited pay runs and can manage maximum tip credit, tipped minimum wage, FICA tip credit eligibility, and all your payroll taxes and filings. Its features include an online boarding tool and various benefits for flexibility and assistance in providing attractive perks to potential new employees.

Gusto’s budget-friendly plans, robust HR tools, and easy-to-use interface make it an ideal payroll software for restaurant owners.

Creating an online Gusto account is easy using its setup wizard, which will also guide you through adding your business, employee, and payroll details. If you need help using the platform, there are how-to guides available via the online Help Center.

Gusto also offers customer support through email and chat. Its live phone support is available 5 days a week.

Pros

  • Offers reasonably priced plans
  • Provides essential HR tools, including health benefits and performance reviews
  • Manages international contractor payments in 95 countries
  • Offers unlimited pay runs and tax filing

Cons

  • Occasional software lags and glitches

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is one of the products in Intuit’s suite of solutions. It delivers full-service payroll, next-day direct deposit, automatic tax filing, and several HR functions. QuickBooks software is ideal if you’re considering moving to a reliable accounting solution with payroll integration.

QuickBooks is generally user-friendly, but you’ll need basic knowledge of running payroll. The payroll pricing is suitable for small businesses as you can process unlimited payroll runs without paying extra.

It has several plan options, all delivering full-service processing for paying your taxes and tipped employees. QuickBooks offers many other helpful features, including the option to add time tracking and access to HR specialists if and when required—all for a cost-effective rate compared to other payroll software providers.

QuickBooks is relatively inexpensive for its offerings. However, it might not be a good fit if you need more straightforward and cheaper payroll software.

Pros

  • Seamless integration with other QuickBooks Intuit products
  • Same and next day deposits
  • Robust tax penalty protection
  • How-to guides and videos

Cons

  • Only basic HR features
  • Inconsistent customer support quality

Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex is cloud-based payroll software that grows as your business does. It’s designed to help small enterprises manage payroll and HR processes, employee benefits, and more.

It’s ideal if your business is in a rapid growth phase, as it offers easy, scalable, and flexible plans to accommodate your growing payroll processing requirements.

Paychex is one of the best restaurant payroll software platforms for restaurants of all sizes. It is robust enough to manage their specific needs, including tip reporting and multiple pay rates. The time and attendance add-on tracks the time of your hourly employees for accurate payments. Paychex also supports payroll and tax processing, plus compliance in several locations, which is ideal if you need to pay employees in different regions.

Pros

  • Multiple employee payment options
  • 24/7 dedicated payroll specialist support
  • Reasonably priced starter tier
  • Easy setup with online wizard guidance

Cons

  • It can get expensive due to add-ons
  • Customer support can be hit-or-miss

SurePayroll

SurePayroll offers inexpensive online payroll software, including year-end reporting, automatic tax filing and payments, and the option to handle tax filings yourself. It provides access to employee subsidies, HR forms, and an HR advisor.

SurePayroll is easy to set up, learn, and use. It has flexible tools to manage the wage-processing requirements of small businesses, including restaurants. It helps restaurant business owners resourcefully manage the particulars of handling multiple pay schedules, minimum wage, tip credit, and employee tips.

SurePayroll pricing is relatively cheap; however, if your restaurant is located in Ohio or Pennsylvania, SurePayroll will charge extra for local tax filings. The monthly fees for add-ons may grow pricey depending on the add-ons you choose.

Pros

  • Affordability
  • Intuitive dashboard
  • Tax calculation and penalty tax filing guarantees
  • Free setup assistance

Cons

  • Lengthy customer support waiting times

OnPay

OnPay offers a suite of user-friendly HR payroll and benefits solutions for small to midsize businesses in several industries. It is cloud-based and allows you to finalize payroll for salaried employees, tipped employees, and contractors. Its essential tools include managing paid time off, minimum wage, and employee information.

OnPay is excellent for human resource payroll with HR-focused tools, including tools for employee offer letters, Social Security and Medicare, and benefits administration.

Overall, it’s considered a flexible and comprehensive payroll software program that’s affordable and easy to use. However, it doesn’t cater to varying business needs with multiple plan tiers.

Pros

  • Ideal for businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • Filing of tax forms at no extra cost
  • Budget-friendly fees
  • Intuitive and feature-rich

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer different tier plans

Patriot Payroll Software

Patriot Payroll software is an online system ideal for an inexpensive way to process payroll quickly. It offers automated payroll, contractor payments, expert support, payroll setup, and more. Its basic and full-service payroll options make it a reasonably priced restaurant payroll software solution.

Patriot has affordable plans, including an economical option for DIY payroll tax filings if you prefer. The full-service plan is where the software submits reports and payroll tax deposits for you. Patriot’s paid add-ons include HR tools, time tracking, and an accounting solution.

Setting up Patriot should be a breeze. It offers a setup wizard and Patriot representatives to walk you through the process. If you start using Patriot Payroll software in the middle of the month or quarter, you’ll receive help recording your employees’ payroll history, whether they are tipped employees or management staff.

Pros

  • Economical pricing with multiple payroll packages
  • U.S. based expert customer support
  • User-friendly platform
  • Easy payroll runs
  • Mobile-responsive

Cons

  • Limited third-party software integrations
  • No basic HR tools

ADP RUN

ADP RUN is a cloud-based payroll and HR system to support restaurant managers in processing payroll, taxes, basic hiring and onboarding, job postings, and more. It provides expert HR support for professional services to help you better manage your staff and navigate complicated HR issues.

In addition, it offers access to basic employee training programs and many other features that other payroll systems don’t provide.

Running your payroll with ADP RUN can take several steps, but overall, the software is straightforward to use. You should be able to set up your business in less than 20 minutes. If you have a lot of data to migrate into ADP, the system will assist you.

ADP RUN payroll software is not the cheapest option and would better suit a restaurant with up to 49 employees and a relaxed budget.

If you’re looking for restaurant payroll software with integrated HR tools and support, ADP RUN is one to consider.

Pros

  • Simplified payroll processes
  • State-specific HR help desk support
  • Integration with several popular accounting solutions
  • Built-in compliance tools to flag potential errors
  • Employee payments with pay card, direct deposit, or checks

Cons

  • A setup fee is required, although it may be waived
  • Prices may go up in the second year
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Key Takeaways

There are several considerations when deciding on the best restaurant payroll software for your establishment. The main factors in your decision are whether its core features will meet your requirements and how you currently manage payroll, tip income, and cash tips. Also, consider whether it offers customizable payroll plans.

How quickly can you get started? Is the software designed to be easy to use, or will you need some finance knowledge? How else does it support you in getting the job done? Other useful features include minimum wage alerts, automatic salary adjustments, and assurance that you meet minimum wage requirements.

How reliable is customer support in helping you get your issues resolved quickly? Is the software responsive for mobile payroll when you’re on the move? Does it integrate with the often-used Square Payroll system?

Out of our top 8 providers, we found FreshBooks is the best restaurant payroll software.

FAQs on Restaurant Payroll Software

How do you calculate payroll for a restaurant?

Restaurant payroll is easier to calculate when dealing with an hourly calculation. The formula is hours worked multiplied by the rate for that position.

35 hours in a week X $10/hour = $350

How do I do payroll for my small business?

The best way to manage payroll for your business is to choose a payroll system. You have the option to do payroll manually, hire an accountant, or use payroll software for your payroll scheduling requirements. Payroll apps generate electronic payroll records, online pay stubs, tip credit, and other features. Payroll software can save you time and money. It reduces mistakes and keeps you compliant.

How do I choose a payroll provider?

Here are 6 points to consider when choosing the best payroll software.

  • Ensure its core features match your requirements. Does the software handle federal minimum wage requirements and laws like the Federal Insurance Contribution Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act?
  • Ensure it offers service integration should you need it to integrate with the apps you’re already using, such as your banking apps and Square Payroll. 
  • Ensure the pricing suits your budget.
  • Ensure it offers excellent customer service.
  • Ensure it offers tax compliance updates and manages federal income tax and annual business taxes.
  • Ensure it offers great reporting for tipped employees and a tip sign-off report.

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