10 February 20

Payroll in Hospitality Industry

Payroll in hospitality business

Saria | Hospitality Business

As if the life of a restaurateur was not difficult enough, along comes “the payroll issue.” With many companies owning up to having under paid their staff for overtime – we know the majors like Bunnings, Woolworths, 7-Eleven – all coming out and establishing they “may have” underpaid staff. Believe me, no one wants to under pay staff. It is not worth while. And when you get such a big organisation as Woolworths making a claim to under paying staff, I believe them, that it was a mistake.

A mistake caused by the complexity of our payroll terms and conditions. In trying to “protect” staff from under payment, we have made the cost of compliance too difficult to maintain. Café owners have worked tirelessly at recording staff hours, when they are rostered on/off etc. Generally, they keep track as best as possible the hours worked.

We all know that a restaurant/café operates on a third for food /third for rent /third for labour. If you can manipulate these percentages you can change the bottom line.

Perhaps a rostering system will help? Or a Payroll system. If you elect to pursue anyone of these alternatives you will require a means by which staff can “Log on and log off” easily. Most customers do NOT install a payroll system as it is too complex to be able to maintain. But in light of the penalties involved it may become an essential requirement of the new café POS Solution.

Riva has released an interface to Wages Easy as a means of helping capture the correct payroll data . However, it is only relevant for “easy” payroll applications. If awards are being followed, then it may be appropriate to look at a different Wages solution.

“Rosters are made to be broken”

This is an adage that applies to many shop owners. Swapping rosters, staff not turning up, changing a persons job specification all can affect the amount of money a wait staff person is due to be paid.

Time and Half or double time is another issue, that needs to be managed. If Belle swaps her session with Judy, does she get paid her hourly rate or Judy’s hourly rate. If she works 10 minutes over time does she get paid at Judy’s rate? These are all questions that will affect what Judy is due to be paid.

Not an easy task to maintain, which is why the number of cafes using a Payroll system have diminished over the last few years. Systems like Xero have been developed to make Payroll easier and Time recording easier. But you still have to start with a roster of hours worked.

“Give the owner a break “

We would recommend that you do give the owner a break and try and maintain payroll costs as simply as possible. The simpler the better. Don’t cheat! Pay what is due! you will get the befit in the long run.