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How Toast Payroll & Team Management helped Barkhaus open their doors in 2020
“Opening doors in October 2020 was insane, if we didn’t have Toast I don’t think we would have been able to open.” - Alex Benbassat, co-founder of Barkhaus
Alex Benbassat and Justin LeGore first met as roommates while studying at Virginia Tech and quickly became best friends. After starting new jobs in 2017, the friends would spend their after-work hours taking Alex’s dog to dog parks, and they’d often head to a pet-friendly bar afterwards. This routine led to the idea for their restaurant, Barkhaus. Fast forward three years and their dream concept — a dog-friendly park, bar, and restaurant — had become a reality.
But opening during a pandemic wasn’t exactly what they’d envisioned back in 2017. Barkhaus, located in Alexandria, VA, opened its doors in October 2020, in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. It required constant flexibility and a willingness to always be adapting to every iteration of “the new normal.”
With the help of Toast POS and Toast Payroll & Team Management, the duo was able to get Barkhaus up and running in no time. “If we didn’t have Toast I don’t think we would have been able to open,” says Alex.
How Toast’s all-in-one platform helped Barkhaus meet the moment
Opening a restaurant is always tricky, but opening a new restaurant in 2020 presented a number of additional challenges. Creating a seamless employee experience and simplifying their business were two of Alex and Justin’s top priorities, so they worked to streamline their vendors and processes. They chose Toast to tackle payments processing, employee onboarding, payroll, and more, which helped them open their doors as quickly as possible.
“In about 24 hours we went from boxes to processing payments at our soft opening that evening,” says Justin.
Toast’s platform reduces the complexity of day-to-day operations and allows the team to focus on what they do best: spending time developing new recipes, sourcing craft beer, and building an inclusive community for guests and their furry friends.
Quick employee onboarding, even faster payroll processing
Hiring staff and keeping them happy is a critical part of any restaurant business, and it’s been more challenging than even in the past two years. The digital employee onboarding functionality of Toast Payroll & Team Management proved to be invaluable to the Barkhaus team upon opening, as it allowed employees to complete all the necessary paperwork electronically and get started right away.
And getting Toast Payroll & Team Management ready to use proved to be even easier: “Toast Payroll only took a day to set up overall, probably one of the easiest things to opening weekend,” says Alex.
With Toast Payroll & Team Management, timesheets sync between the POS and Payroll, eliminating the need to toggle between multiple systems and ultimately saving time. “Literally to process my first payroll, it probably took 15 minutes,” says Alex.
"To process my first payroll, it probably took 15 minutes." - Alex Benbassat
Looking to the future with Toast
Toast Payroll & Team Management has helped set up new restaurateurs like Alex and Justin for success. But many of Toast’s established POS customers have also found success by switching to Toast Payroll & Team Management, reducing the number of vendors needed to get things done.
With local, state, and federal taxes calculated, filed and paid on your behalf, and the ability to manage blended overtime and hourly rates across multiple locations, Toast Payroll & Team Management is built with the flexibility to support restaurants of all sizes.
With the initial success of Barkhaus, Alex and Justin expect to grow their canine (and human!) customer base in the near future. As restaurants continue to reopen and businesses start to grow, an integrated platform like Toast will be at the heart of Barkhaus’ operations, keeping everything running as smoothly as possible.
“Having Toast all in one system - it’s almost like having three additional employees,” says Justin. “Just being able to have something I trust so much makes me actually extremely grateful for having this product.”