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Best Restaurant Payroll Software: Top 10 Best Restaurant Payroll Software (2022)

Payroll

Keep your employees’ trust by paying them on time, every time, and save your managers hours each week with a great restaurant payroll software.

How to Choose the Best Restaurant Payroll Software

Running payroll is one of the most time-consuming recurring tasks in a restaurant manager’s to-do list — and it’s also one of the most important. 

If staff are consistently paid on time, they’ll enjoy a more reliable, predictable financial situation and feel supported by their workplace. Conversely, if payment isn’t always processed on time, or if there are pay errors, resentment builds quickly. 

And paying restaurant employees is often more complex than the average small business, because pay structures can vary among front of house, back of house, and management teams. Restaurant operators need to account for local and federal laws, taxes, tips, and document everything — so a payroll processing solution that accounts for these nuances (and automates 

The Restaurant POS Comparison Tool
A free, customizable Restaurant POS Comparison Tool to research and compare point of sale systems in one Excel spreadsheet or editable PDF.

Best Restaurant Payroll Software Options in 2022

  1. Toast Payroll

  2. Gusto

  3. QuickBooks Payroll

  4. Homebase Payroll

  5. Paychex

  6. SurePayroll

  7. OnPay

  8. ADP Run

  9. Wave Payroll

  10. Inova Payroll 

Choosing the Best Restaurant Payroll Software

 When choosing your restaurant payroll software, consider the following factors: 

  1. How many employees you have and how many you plan to hire

  2. How often you process payroll

  3. How much budget you can allocate to the system (balanced with how many hours your management team will no longer need to spend running payroll)

  4. Which systems your peers in the industry are using and enjoying

Here are some of the best restaurant payroll solutions, their benefits and drawbacks, and their price, compiled from FitSmallBusiness and Business.org.

Toast Payroll

Toast Payroll is an easy-to-use payroll solution built for restaurants. Customers who use Toast Payroll & Team Management process payroll in 30 minutes or less on average with a third processing in less than 10 minutes. It’s a robust system that can grow along with your business.

Pros of Toast Payroll

  1. Syncs seamlessly with POS data including clock-ins and clock-outs.

  2. Ease of use and streamlined interface makes payroll a half-hour job, not hours every pay period.

  3. Lets you onboard new employees quickly — New team members can set up their profile, fill out I-9 and W-2 forms, and choose how they’d like to get paid, all from their phones.

  4. Toast will remit and file your federal, state, and local payroll taxes [local may not be available in some jurisdictions].

  5. Pay employees on time and however they want, through direct deposit, printed check, or Toast pay card 

  6. Add Toast Tips Manager to sync pooled tips from POS directly to Toast Payroll, reducing reliance on spreadsheets.

Cons of Toast Payroll

  1. You have to be a Toast customer to use it.

Price of Toast Payroll

Toast Payroll is an add-on to Toast POS, so getting a demo and a custom quote is the best way to figure out your restaurant’s price. Toast POS service starts at $0 a month for the most basic package, and the Essentials package is available at $165 a month. Pricing increases from there with custom prices depending on which functionalities and hardware you need.


Gusto

Great for small restaurants, Gusto is a one-stop shop for restaurant employee management, combining payroll, HR, benefits, onboarding, time and attendance, and insights and reporting all in one place.

Pros of Gusto 

  1. All in one employee management, from onboarding to payroll to HR.

  2. Generate reports like payroll histories and time-off reports, as well as tax forms like W2s and 1099s.

  3. You can opt to provide Gusto-brokered health insurance for employees.

Cons of Gusto

  1. Per-employee pricing on top of the base fee can add up quickly for larger restaurants and restaurant groups.

Price of Gusto

Gusto’s Simple package, which covers payroll and benefits integrations, is $40 a month plus $6 a month per employee. The Plus package includes comprehensive payroll, benefits, and HR tools is $80 a month plus $12 a month per employee. Their Premium package is priced upon request. 


QuickBooks Payroll

As mentioned in our breakdown of the best restaurant accounting softwares, QuickBooks is a popular accounting and management system for small businesses across industries. Their payroll solution, QuickBooks Payroll, integrates seamlessly with the rest of the system, which simplifies operations for small businesses. 

Pros of QuickBooks Payroll

  1. Having accounting and payroll in one software makes every aspect of money management and people management quicker and easier.

  2. Do it all: Run payroll, track time, file taxes, onboard new employees, manage worker’s comp, and create and analyze reports at any time.

  3. Can be used on its own or in conjunction with QuickBooks Accounting.

Cons of QuickBooks Payroll

  1. Mobile app is much less robust than desktop platform.

  2. Per-employee pricing on top of the base fee can add up quickly for larger restaurants and restaurant groups.

Price of QuickBooks Payroll

All tiers that combine QuickBooks Accounting with QuickBooks Payroll have a base fee and charge an additional $4 a month per employee as outlined on the QuickBooks Payroll pricing page. The three available packages (and their respective base fees) are Payroll Core + QuickBooks Simple Start at $70 a month, Payroll Core + QuickBooks Essentials at $95 a month, and Payroll Premium + QuickBooks Plus at $155 a month. 

For just payroll, the three tiers cost $45 +$4 per employee, $75 + $8 per employee, and $125 + $10 per employee.


Homebase Payroll

Homebase is well-known for its great employee scheduling platform, so it makes sense that they’d do Payroll well, too.

Pros of Homebase Payroll

  1. Automated payroll tax payments and filings, including W-2s and 1099s.

  2. Made for restaurants, so it can handle complexities like overtime and wage calculations, multiple wage rates and blended overtime, and bonus and commission payments.

  3. Easy-to-use, robust employee app that includes everything from scheduling to early wage access.

Cons of Homebase Payroll

  1. Per-employee pricing on top of the base fee can add up quickly for larger restaurants and restaurant groups.

Price of Homebase Payroll

Homebase Payroll is $6/month per active employee + a $39/month base fee.


Paychex

Paychex was designed for large restaurants and growing restaurant groups. This platform specializes in teams with hundreds of employees who need to operate efficiently.

Pros of Paychex

  1. Used by over 730,000 businesses of all sizes, Paychex’s platform can handle HR, payroll, compliance, and benefits for restaurants from mom and pop to enterprise.

  2. Calculates, files, and submits payroll taxes.

  3. Keeps the payroll process accurate and quick.

Cons of Paychex

  1. Not industry-specific, so it may need to be configured to work seamlessly in a complex restaurant environment.

Price of Paychex

Pricing is available by requesting a quote on the Paychex website, but offerings are divided by number of employees.


SurePayroll

SurePayroll, now operated by Paychex, is a payroll platform designed specifically for small businesses. 

Pros of SurePayroll

  1. Online payroll is easy to set up and learn, and runs from a desktop or mobile device in minutes.

  2. Reporting capabilities let you keep track of your labor costs. 

  3. Benefits & HR add-on lets you offer benefits like 401k, worker’s comp, and health insurance.

Cons of SurePayroll

  1. Fees can add up quickly, and have increased in recent years, so look into every line item of your quoted price to ensure your business can afford it.

Price of SurePayroll

SurePayroll’s pricing is only available via quote, which you can request on the SurePayroll Website.


OnPay

OnPay does Payroll, Benefits, and HR in one platform and one price, which is extremely appealing to small businesses of all kinds — and restaurants in particular. 

  1. OnPay’s flexible permissions system allows employees of various roles to take on the payroll tasks required of them.

  2. Run payroll from anywhere, as it only takes a few clicks to enter hours, review, and approve each pay run.

  3. Experience — the OnPay team has been working in payroll for 30 years. 

  4. OnPay can handle all federal, state, and local taxes, and they guarantee their calculations.

Price of OnPay 

All of OnPay’s services are bundled together at the reasonable price of $36 per month plus $4 per person — and restaurants are only charged for employees paid in each month, not for every employee in the system.


ADP Run

ADP Run is ADP’s product for small businesses. It has next-level tax and financial capabilities that make management's life easier.

Pros of ADP Run

  1. Payroll can be done manually in minutes, from anywhere, or set to run automatically. 

  2. It has robust financial capabilities, like dealing with payroll taxes, managing IRS inquiries and SUI claims, and generating reports. 

  3. Compliance tools that flag possible errors are built into the platform.

  4. Offer employee perks like flexible pay options.

  5. 24/7 phone and chat support.

Cons of ADP Run

  1. Year-end reporting, like W2s and 1099s, costs extra.

  2. Not restaurant-specific, so it may require some customization upon setup.

Price of ADP Run

ADP Run’s packages are Essential Payroll, Enhanced Payroll, Complete Payroll & HR Plus, and HR Pro Payroll & HR. Pricing for each package is available by request on their website.


Wave Payroll

Wave is an accounting and payroll company for small businesses looking for an affordable, easy way to pay employees and balance their books. Their accounting tools are free and Payroll is a very affordable paid add-on, making it very appealing to new businesses.

Pros of Wave Payroll

  1. Pay employees easily and accurately with one click every payday.

  2. Employees have online access to pay stubs and tax forms.

  3. Payroll automatically integrates with Wave Accounting, Invoicing, and Payments.

  4. Affordability!

Cons of Wave Payroll

  1. In 14 states listed here, restaurants can rest easy knowing that Wave can handle their payroll taxes automatically, but in all other 36 states, Wave can only guide users through the process, not do it automatically.

Price of Wave Payroll

Because of the discrepancy in tax capabilities, Wave Payroll has two pricing tiers. In tax service states, it’s $35 USD monthly base fee + $6 USD per active employee. In self service states it’s $20 USD monthly base fee + $6 USD per active employee.


Inova Payroll

Inova Payroll is a payroll and HR services provider with the expertise to serve industries with challenging payroll setups, including restaurants.

Pros of Inova Payroll

  1. Quick online payroll, including time system import and GL export.

  2. In all packages, Inova does all U.S. federal, state, and local tax filing for you, and processes W-2s and 1099s at year-end.

  3. Restaurant-specific features like POS integrations and multiple pay codes based on job function.

Cons of Inova Payroll

  1. Some users report the interface isn’t very user-friendly and requires cumbersome steps to complete simple tasks.

Price of Inova Payroll

Inova Payroll is priced based on the number of checks processed and the payroll frequency. For details, request a quote on their site. 

The Restaurant POS Comparison Tool
A free, customizable Restaurant POS Comparison Tool to research and compare point of sale systems in one Excel spreadsheet or editable PDF.

Save Hours and Keep Employees Paid and Happy with a Great Restaurant Payroll Software

Payroll used to be an incredibly manual and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. With a restaurant-specific payroll platform like 

Toast Payroll, managers can process payroll quicker than ever, reduce headaches around tax season, and maintain employee trust every single pay period. 

Best Restaurant Technology Resources

The Restaurant POS Comparison Tool
A free, customizable Restaurant POS Comparison Tool to research and compare point of sale systems in one Excel spreadsheet or editable PDF.