3 Must Read Tips for Managing and Retaining Millennials at Your Restaurant

Managing millennials is very different than managing other generations.

They have  a strong sense of purpose - when they feel as though their efforts are genuinely appreciated and their ideas are actually taken into account, they're more than likely to excel at their work. In the age of instant gratification, millenials tend to be less committed to their job if they are unhappy.  But empowerment brings loyalty, and with loyalty, employees are much more productive in a fun workplace.

Happy employees leads to happy customers, which ultimately leads to a more profitable business. With the restaurant industry constantly struggling with high turnover and employing a large amount of millennials, here a three ways to manage this young, tech savvy generation. 

1. Engagement

One of the most important values for millienials employees, is engagement with their workplace. 

Just look at social media - it's no coincidence that employee highlights from businesses are taking social media by the storm.  Most restaurant businesses don't just highlight their products, or dishes, but they also promote their team members and staff.

Millienials value recognition and they want to be heard and feel like they are part of something bigger. Money is usually a secondary when it comes to a making a difference with their work role. They want to feel like the work they do matters.

Find ways to get your staff to participate with decision making. Many restaurant employees have worked in other industries like retail. Take their experiences into account and ask them what worked and what didn’t work.

They bear a wealth of knowledge - and since more restaurants target millennials; it's key to get your team involved with tasks like menu building, music selection, or decor. The more you do so, the more passionate they are as they take ownership of being part of the decision making!

Employee feedback is also another great way to engage employees!

For example:

A restaurant group using  Push Operations, an employee time tracking tool, ran a survey when employees clocked in, inquiring about their favorite beer selections. To collect their answers, staff left a comment in their clock in entry to vote on which beer they should bring in next and answered why.

Engaging employees was easy when the survey was added to their usual shift routine, and the experience was personalized. With passion at the forefront, the company ended having sky rocketed beer sales. For servers and bartenders, upselling their favorite beers was easy they were able to invest their own genuine opinions.

2. Technology 

Many companies hold back on seeing an return-on-investments (ROI) in technology; as most owners are part of older generations. But one of many things millennials are rockstars are in, is technology.  Technology for millenials is almost second nature to them - almost as much as breathing.

And just because you don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring. In restaurants, service is key - introducing technology to your business can aid in increasing the efficiency for your work flow. And in turn,  the less you focus on mundane tasks that can be automated, the more you can focus on training employees to give great service to customers or create a delicious meals.

There are plenty of areas where you, as owners, will see a ROI. Technologies such as online reservations system like Opentable will speed up your reservation tracking; automated texting systems for wait list ques (like a SMS message when your table is ready) can improve your guest experiences; modern point-of-sales systems like ToastPOS and Touch Bistro will ease the order communication from your front-of-house to back-of-house teams; and workforce management software like Push Operations can streamline employee management for you, and make your employees' work life easier.

Make work easy for your tech saavy employees. Instead of having them stress about their work life (requesting time off, viewing schedule changes, changing availabilities), introduce technology to their work flow to ease the madness of the restaurant environment.

This'll allow happy staff to focus on what they love the most in a service industry- touching tables and interacting with guests.

3. Transparency

Millennials want to trust their employers and nothing attests to trust than having transparency. Transparency in leadership, and transparency of their work schedule, and pay is what millennials yearn for. Give them real-time access to their work schedules provides convenience and empowerment to their personal life.

With time clock management software you can grant access to their time cards and allow staff to verify their hours before pay-day. This equals to major brownie points. How often does the staff have missing hours and they only discover this on pay day? That’s annoying!  Millennials are all about instant gratification. So finding an easy way to give them access to their pay statements is helpful!

Restaurant Payroll Management Software

4 Key Traits to Look For in Restaurant Payroll Management Software

Looking for a solution for your restaurant payroll management woes?

Payroll management software sounds like an easy enough solution right? But not quite. When looking for restaurant payroll management software, a cookie cutter payroll software isn't going to cut it. You need something that caters to the restaurant industry.

So I've put together a quick checklist for you! When looking for a new restaurant payroll management software provider, you need to look for 4 key traits:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Intuitiveness
  3. Streamlined
  4. Automated


Restaurant businesses are dynamic and contain tons of variables like labor cost, overtime, and multi-wage positions. Off the shelf payroll systems just don’t work.

You may have a staff member that has an averaging agreement where their hours structure (like overtime) is different than other staff. Employee setup, payroll processing, and adding earnings should be like second nature to you.

Software can only be as good as its user - if the system isn't flexible to your business and you're not getting any value from it, it's likely that the system does not suit you or your business' needs.

The type of payroll software you invest in should be flexible to the complex environment of your restaurant.


A system that is intuitive to send you useful information without spending hours analyzing data? Yes please!

Let’s be real - we’ve all had systems that collect a ton of data; except all it does is give you a big data dump. Data can't be valuable to you, if you can't decipher what you're looking at.

Having a rigid software that gives you ALL or nothing just won’t work without you spending HOURS making adjustments.

Find a system that gives your meaningful data without the heavy lifting on your end, is where the value can be found with restaurant payroll management software.

And alerts are always a bonus! They'll give you a nudge on things you need to flag such as an employees forgetting to clock out, reaching overtime, or staff working over certain number of hours for Affordable Care Act (ACA) tracking.


A system that has a time & attendance module or point-of-sale integration will help you eliminate the step of transferring hours.

If you're using a point-of-sales software to track time, integrations with your payroll provider can also aid in speeding up data transfers of hours and sales!

You’re busy enough. Introducing payroll software to your restaurant should allow you more time to grow your business - instead of working on tedious items (like data transfers).

Yes, your provider may be processing your payroll faster but payroll reports are RICH in data.

When it comes to compiling reports, your restaurant payroll management software provider should be doing all the heavy lifting.

With the ability to look at meaningful reports, that are tailored to your business' specific needs, you'll be able to properly analyze your business at face value.


The whole point of investing in restaurant payroll management software is to make the process easier and faster.

In Canada alone, restaurants employee 520 000 people under the age of 25. Most restaurant employees are students who are hourly employees. And keeping track of cross trained employees who can hold 2-5 positions is a handful - or a headache if you have a retainer of 200+ employees.  That's a lot of vacation time to track!

Restaurant payroll management software should automate everything. Anything that is manually calculated, transferred, or tracked should be automated. That means no more statutory holiday and tip out calculations or vacation and benefit tracking!


Understanding Restaurant Payroll

Understanding Restaurant Payroll

As a restaurant owner, you were many different hats. You’re in charge of managing employees, making sure your guests enjoy their experience, and running your business operations. And one of the biggest pains, especially if you are not an accounting professional – is restaurant payroll.

Its crucial for restaurant owners to understand the complexity of restaurant payroll to fully succeed in managing their business.  Its different than the average payroll for a corporate office or retail store.

Looking at complexity of the restaurant environment

Restaurants are part of an unique industry. It takes into account a vast amount of employee turnover, multiple positions and wages (tipped wages – yikes!).

The work environment of a restaurant is fast paced, and the busyness of a restaurant is highly dependent on the number of guests and sales.

According to the National Restaurant Association, 14.7 million people are employed in the restaurant industry, and 10% of the United States workforce is made of restaurant employees. And in that 10%, the restaurant industry employs the most hourly and part-time staff.

On average, less than 10% of restaurants employees are salary employees. With a vast majority of people employed as part time staff, the turn over rate is extremely high, and the cost of training and re-training significantly adds up.

Unlike industries like retail, where only 2-4 positions exist (like sales associates and cashiers), the restaurant industry is made up of many different positions within different departments.

Within one restaurant, you’re managing 2-4 departments under one roof. You have the management department, the kitchen department, the support department, the serving department and you may even take it a step further and break them down into hourly and salary sub-departments.

Recognizing the importance of labor costs

Multiple wages and positions is the norm in the restaurant industry and the ability to accommodate different rates is key.

Staff are usually cross trained to work in different positions to accommodate sudden schedule adjustments. This type of training is crucial in maximizing labor costs and answering the disruptive nature of schedule changes. Especially with millennials; events and occasions come up, and shifts are always being switched around.

Most restaurants are open 7 days a week. There’s no regular 9-5 schedule for restaurant management and especially for hourly employees. Most staff are students who don’t have a set schedule or normal work days like office jobs.

Restaurant employees don’t work standard 8 hour shifts. There’s split shifts, and OT shifts, and this, in combination of irregular schedules, results in a lot more tracking of actual worked hours. Its difficult to keep track of who has taken breaks, or who clocked in late, especially with manual methods of pen and paper.

The process of tracking hours is far more complicated. When you employee 50+ employees, its likely that two to three employees will forget to clock in or out. In an industry with a large workforce that’s largely made up of part-time employees, inaccurate time tracking is inevitable. It's impossible for manager to keep track of every single employee working.

If you're a national brand operating in multiple states or provinces, smart scheduling also needs to be taken into consideration as statutory holiday pay can be costly.

Staying on top of employee compliance

Restaurants are highly driven by seasonality. Some months are busier than others; hence staff that were previously listed as part-time can easily be running into full time hours.

This can affect your role as an employer, particularly in the case of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Making sure you’re on top of benefits for the ACA is highly important as the penalties are ridiculously punitive.

Tracking tips is also important, as some states like Florida, Massachusetts, and Arizona, use tips to make up the minimum wage top off.

For example:

  • A server makes $2.13 / hour and utilizes tips to make up the difference to minimum wage ($7.30/ hr).
  • If staff’s combined $2.13 + tips is under the minimum wage threshold, then the employer needs to top of the difference.

This makes tracking tips crucial. As an employer, you need to ensure staff are reporting accurate tips, especially with cash. You should only be paying employees for their time worked, and inaccurate tracking may result in you over-paying.

Restaurant payroll differs from other industries as it considers different factors like multi-positions, irregular work schedules, and different types of pay (tipped wages vs. minimum wage).

Running a business is hard enough in itself. In the age of technology, the introduction of restaurant management software is quickly making its way into restaurant operations. But it's more than simply finding software to do the work for you. It's about software that carry key qualities of your restaurant's unique needs.


Push vs. Ceridian

Why Choose Push Operations Over Ceridian for Your Restaurant Payroll Software

Push vs. Ceridian

Restaurant owners and management speak to us every day about either switching over from Ceridian or looking for reasons as to why they should choose Push Operations over Ceridian for their restaurant payroll software. Because of this, we thought we'd share our answer with you here. You can have a look at our similar response to Push vs. ADP as well.

Ceridian is a great platform if you run a business that has standard operating hours such as a retail outlet in a mall. If things are more dynamic and you need to make schedule changes that affect payroll (which is very common in a restaurant), this changes things quite a bit, making Ceridian much more difficult to use.

  1. Ceridian doesn’t have an integration with a POS system, which is essential for restaurant managers to make proactive and effective decisions.
  2. Reports are not restaurant focused.

In the restaurant business, things move fast so managers need to have the ability to adapt quickly. That’s why having real-time data allows managers to be proactive versus reactive.

Push Operations - Software Crafted for Restaurants

  • We focus our business on restaurants and offer key reports that are tailored to the restaurant industry.
  • Push is the only payroll solution that integrates with major POS systems to pull in real-time sales results.
  • Our payroll system is crafted to restaurants.
  • We track multiple pay rates and positions.
  • Users can view pay stubs via the same iOS or Android app that they access their schedule.
  • We focus on details like the ability to input meals and uniform deductions.
  • Our software provides real-time KPI’s such as labor/sales % threshold via mobile phone and desktop.
  • Alarms will alert you if staff are getting close to daily or weekly overtime.
  • The camera feature will ensure that staff are in uniform and work ready.
  • Send memos to staff when they clock in/out - a perfect way to communicate with part-time workers.
  • Push gives the ability for restaurant staff to sign into multiple positions.

Labor, Time & Attendance

We believe that in order to effectively control your labor, it starts with effectively planning your labor. Planning can be a time consuming task; however Push really helps automate this component by automatically setting up your sales forecast based on your historical sales data through the POS integration. Projected costs are updated live when scheduling your staff, along with restaurant KPI’s such as labor %, hours, and dollar per staff hour. Enter information once and it is used for both payroll and planning.

Want to learn more? Book a demo today and ask for Tina. I'd love to give you a demo of our system personally!

Book a Demo
Push vs. ADP

Why Choose Push Operations Over ADP for Your Restaurant Payroll Software.

Push vs. ADP

Restaurant owners and management speak to us every day about either switching over from ADP or looking for reasons why they should choose Push Operations over ADP Workforce for their restaurant payroll software. Because of this, we thought we'd share our answer with you here.

First, to be clear, if you are a law or accounting firm, or run a company with mainly salaried employees and minimal hourly staff, then ADP is great. The software is designed for these types of static environments and will certainly save you time. Running a restaurant (as I'm sure you know) is a much different beast , though, for the following two reasons: 

  1. Hourly staff working multiple shifts bring in a completely different dynamic (complexity) that can be a major time suck.
  2. The restaurant environment (specifically) is a very unique environment including things like lots of part time staff, longer operating hours and labor being one of the biggest costs.

So, when you looking for a system to run your restaurant payroll, it has to be flexible for your environment and provide service that is knowledgeable and industry specific. Understanding labor costs and laws as well as meaningful KPI’s like labor to sales are key to running a profitable restaurant, and these are some of the reasons that Push Operations exists. 

Push Operations

Benefits for Restaurants

  • Flexibility with scheduling
  • Multiple pay rates/ positions
  • Labor cost controls - on the schedule and in reports
  • Triggered alarms that alert you if labor/sales is above target
  • Overtime warning alarms that let you know before it happens
  • Tailored reporting for your business.
  • We make payroll easy to complete without any accounting or payroll know-how. Push automates all the scary parts.

We also have an interface that is beautiful and easy to use. Let’s face it, restaurant staff are beauty-oriented and they pay attention to detail, beauty, and presentation …why wouldn’t you want a beautiful payroll system?

But not only that. Yes, our software is great, but we pride ourselves on the service we provide. We operate the same hours as you do … you don’t close on weekends or holidays, so neither do we. 

Want to learn more? Book a demo today and ask for Tina. I'd love to give you a demo of our system personally!

Book a Demo