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Best Restaurant Payroll Software Reviewed by Crazy Egg

Best Restaurant Payroll Software Reviewed by Crazy Egg

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Restaurant payroll software helps to process salaries and offers tools to manage your payroll taxes, tips, and attendance. We spent 10 days reviewing over 15 pieces of restaurant payroll software to choose the best. As a result, we decided that Gusto is the best for most due to its intuitive interface, two-day direct deposits, and unlimited pay runs. 

The Best Restaurant Payroll Software for Most 


Best for Most

Looking for the complete package? Gusto offers unlimited pay runs with tax payments, filings, and year-end reports. You get automatic salary adjustments, key benefits to choose from, and a host of useful integrations. Gusto starts at $6 per month per person.

The best restaurant payroll software for most is Gusto. It offers unlimited and automated pay runs with tax payments, filings, and year-end reports. Not to mention the software generates and files W-2 and 1099 forms automatically. In total, the payroll platform covers 50 US states.

We also like the automatic salary adjustments and helpful integrations with Xero, TSheets, QuickBooks, Trainual, Clover, and more. Gusto starts at $6 per month per person with a $39 per month base price. Read on for more about this excellent restaurant payroll software and our other top picks.

The Best Restaurant Payroll Software To Consider 

Gusto – Best for MostPaychex – Best All-In-One HR and PayrollADP Run – Best for Customizable Payroll PlansSurePayroll – Best for Restaurants Needing Weekend SupportPaycor – Best for Franchises

When It Makes Sense To Invest In Restaurant Payroll Software

If you’re wondering whether you should invest in restaurant payroll software and can’t decide, this section is for you.

Let’s be honest: it can be stressful to calculate restaurant payroll. Making mistakes each month is costly and can become a serious long-term problem. Worse still, if you’re running payroll across multiple states, the eligibility and calculation vary between them. You may also need help making sure your restaurant is fully compliant with payroll compliance rules.

Payroll software can help. It improves your payroll and tax accuracy to ensure employees get paid on time and correctly each month. Automated wage calculations include statutory holiday pay, overtime, and split shifts and remove the need for manual calculations altogether.

Data security is an increasing concern for restaurant managers too. You may have been a victim of data theft and worry about keeping private employee and payroll data safe. Small business owners, in particular, are the target of cyber-attacks because hackers know you’re unlikely to have top security in place.

Most payroll software prevents attacks by running regular security tests and uses high-end encryption to secure data. Expert teams monitor accounts to help prevent fraudulent transactions, and multi-factor authentication and single sign-on functions are often available.

Alternatively, you may be a restaurant manager finding it hard to sort out benefits for your employees. Whether it’s 401(k), medical, or worker’s compensation insurance, it can get unnecessarily complex to implement these benefits across your team.

Payroll software streamlines the process and can offer various employee benefits—particularly helpful for restaurants that are manually sorting them. Most services provide intuitive interfaces and make it easy to stay compliant. They act as a central storehouse for all your benefits information.

If you need to improve payroll accuracy, increase your data security, or require help sorting employee benefits, payroll software is a solid choice for these reasons alone.

#1 – Gusto – The Best for Most


Best for Most

Looking for the complete package? Gusto offers unlimited pay runs with tax payments, filings, and year-end reports. You get automatic salary adjustments, key benefits to choose from, and a host of useful integrations. Gusto starts at $6 per month per person.

Gusto offers an array of key features to help you pay your restaurant staff, including unlimited and automated pay runs that boost the value through the roof.

What we’re looking at is a complete package here: a full-service payroll with time tracking, benefits management, dedicated hiring and onboarding, and finance tools for your employees.

There are handy customizable onboarding checklists, and you can send offer letters, e-sign, and store new-hire paperwork with ease.

On top of that, the software will calculate and file your payroll taxes automatically and offers key benefits such as medical, dental, vision, health reimbursements, and flexible spending accounts.

Gusto tracks your team’s hours, time off, and holidays, adding them to the payroll without fuss. Even better is that employees and contractors can track their hours themselves from their accounts, and you can review and approve their requests as required.

You can receive personal support from certified HR experts on the highest plan to take your business further.

Gusto is a restaurant payroll software that covers everything you need, and that’s why we like it so much.

It comes in four main plans: Core, Complete, Concierge, and a separate contractor plan. The Core plan starts at $6 per month per person with a $39 per month base price and goes up to $12 per month per person with a $149 per month base price in the Concierge plan. A free demo is also available.

#2 – Paychex – Best All-In-One HR and Payroll


Best for Payroll + HR

Paychex is for those that need both simple processing and high-level HR support. With automatic calculations, multiple payment options, and tax filing, it’s quick and easy to process payroll. Add a team of HR pros available 24/7, and you’ve got quite the offer.

Paychex is for restaurant managers who need a strong focus on HR and complete payroll service to boot—it offers accurate payroll processing and simplifies HR down to the essentials.

The software calculates and files your taxes automatically and offers a simple way to process your payroll. Nothing changed since your last pay period? You can submit payroll in an impressive two clicks.

You can customize earnings and deductions as needed from an intuitive interface, and run reports to help you see how your business is progressing.

Employees can log in to complete activities and can quickly update their personal information and tax withholding.

Multiple payment options are available, too, including direct deposits, paper checks, and pay cards.

You’ll find dedicated HR professionals that provide in-app help, with full chat and phone support 24/7. These pros have an average of eight years of experience and help with everything from management to compliance.

Paychex doesn’t publicly list its prices, so you’ll need to request a free quote here.

#3 – ADP Run – Best for Customizable Payroll Plans

Run by ADP

Best Customizable Payroll

Need some flexibility with your payroll? ADP Run has you covered. Choose what you want from a group of effective plans that offer tax filing, direct deposits, HR reports, and mobile payroll. There’s even a self-service app just for employees.

ADP Run offers payroll processing that’s fast, easy, and best of all, you get to decide how much or how little functionality you need.

The software provides automated payroll processing helping you to avoid expensive errors and focus your time elsewhere.

Even better is that ADP Run stays updated with continuously changing rules and regulations, ensuring you keep compliant at every stage and offers direct deposit and mobile payroll payment options.

There’s a full self-service app for employees that they can use to log in and check their financial information and straightforward integration with time-tracking and HR functionality.

We particularly like the flexible packages on offer. For example, you’ll be able to cherry-pick the services you need and bolster your package with add-ons. Need time-tracking but don’t want to pay for retirement plans? Your plan can reflect those needs.

Essentially there are four main plans for 1-49 employees and another four for businesses with 50+ employees. The features in the plans steadily increase. Unfortunately, ADP doesn’t list its prices, and you’ll have to contact them for a quote.

#4 – SurePayroll – Best for Restaurants Needing Weekend Support


Best for Weekend Support

Who doesn’t like cheap and transparent pricing? SurePayroll gives you both. It offers great customer service with extended support in the evenings and at weekends, when you might need it the most. W-2 employees and 1099 contractors are covered, and there are even unlimited pay runs.

SurePayroll is affordable payroll software with transparent pricing and top-notch US-based customer service.

It offers unlimited and automated pay runs, tax filing, and extended weekday evening and weekend support for those that need it.

The software stays up to date with the latest tax laws, and if mistakes happen, SurePayroll will cover the costs at no extra charge.

There’s support for W-2 employees and 1099 contractors, and the software takes care of 401(k) deductions with ease. Not to mention there’s complete management of flexible spending and health savings accounts.

Pricing starts at $19.99 per month plus $4 per employee for the “Self-Service” plan, and the “Full-Service” plan is $29.99 per month plus $5 per employee.

Both plans have no set-up fees or contracts, direct deposit, online pay stubs, and multiple pay rates. Small businesses get two months for free and can sign up here.

#5 – Paycor – Best for Franchises


Best for Franchises

From the slick employee self-service portal to the powerful reports and dedicated HR resources, Paycor is a mighty piece of software for large operations. If you’re growing your restaurant franchise and need some help, you won’t find much better than this.

Paycor is easy-to-use and robust payroll software that will save restaurant managers that all-important thing called time.

It’s a human capital management (HCM) solution ideal for restaurant owners growing their franchises and offers much-needed compliance expertise.

There’s everything here, including an employee self-service portal, reporting tools, and comprehensive HR resources such as templates, how-to guides, and even alerts when the law changes. You’ll be able to customize your payroll with entire workflows, pay on-demand features, and wage garnishment services.

The powerful real-time reports give insights into how things are going, and visualization tools help you stay ahead of the game. HR can even schedule and share reports with executives automatically.

Make no mistake: this is software for large operations and won’t be best suited for smaller businesses.

The core payroll plan starts at $99 a month and goes up to $199 per month on the highest plan, although for the complete list of prices, you’ll have to contact Paycor for a quote.

Methodology for Choosing the Best Restaurant Payroll Software

Here you’ll find some key factors you need to consider when picking the best restaurant payroll software.

Tax Management

Restaurant payroll software can offer built-in tax management tools allowing you to manage taxes without the need for additional software.

Some payroll software automatically generates and files state and federal taxes, helping you with the intricacies of deductions and filing. For example, they can create and file W-2 and 1099 forms automatically, eliminating a lot of hassle and improving accuracy.

Not all payroll software will offer the same tax management tools, though, so think carefully about what’s right for you and your business.

Payment Capabilities

Restaurant payroll software differs when it comes to payment functionality. Specifically, not all software offers both direct deposit and checks.

The ability to use direct deposits streamlines the entire process as you must create and distribute paper checks.

That said, having both check printing along with direct deposits gives employees options. Not all employees want to use direct deposits and still prefer checks—others may not have a bank account.

Ideally, look for payroll software that offers both forms of payment.

Employee Self-Service Portal

An employee self-service portal allows members of your team to access their payroll information. It’s a convenient solution that will enable them to feel more involved.

Employees will be able to view their pay stubs, time off balances, year-end tax forms, and more. However, what they’ll be able to see varies across different payroll software, so keep that in mind.

Furthermore, self-service portals are a part of some restaurant payroll software, but not all. Having employee portals as a feature is more than a bonus, and we recommend looking for payroll software with them.


Best for Most

Looking for the complete package? Gusto offers unlimited pay runs with tax payments, filings, and year-end reports. You get automatic salary adjustments, key benefits to choose from, and a host of useful integrations. Gusto starts at $6 per month per person.


Restaurant payroll software can be a lifesaver with tools that streamline processes and cut down on unnecessary stress.

On our list, Gusto is the best for most with its complete package, while Paychex is the best all-in-one HR and payroll software.

For customizable payroll plans, check out ADP Run, while those needing extra weekend support should look no further than SurePayroll. If you want to expand your restaurant franchise, Paycor is a solid choice.

Take your time to pick the best for you, and be sure to factor in the tax management, self-service, and payment capabilities of each.

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