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Is Your Restaurant Attracting Quality Staff by Offering Competitive Benefits?

  • Human Resources
  • Article
  • 6 min. Read
  • Last Updated: 03/14/2022

A restaurant employee
In today’s tight labor market, it is increasingly difficult to attract qualified staff. By offering competitive benefits, you can give your restaurant the edge it needs when competing for and retaining staff.

Table of Contents

Paychex recently surveyed 130 U.S. small business owners and managers who operate in the restaurant industry. From the results, it appears that many restaurant owners are doing a good job of attracting and retaining staff by paying higher contributions when it comes to benefits and retirement. We found that 20% of restaurant owners have “higher employee benefit contributions than at other companies,” and an additional 34% said they “contribute about the same as similar companies.” Employee participation levels vary.

What Is Your Contribution Strategy?

(Participants could select more than one response)

  • Minimum - 42%
  • 100% for employees - 25%
  • Separate by classes - 15%
  • Café style -12%
  • Management carve-out - 11%

What Is Your Participation?

  • None - 19%
  • Less than 60% - 32%
  • 61% to 75% - 18%
  • 76% to 90% - 11%
  • 91% to 100% - 21%

How Do You Feel You Rank With Respect to Employer Benefits Contributions?

  • Not applicable – we do not pay for employee benefits - 25%
  • We are contributing about the same as similar companies - 34%
  • We have higher contributions than other companies - 20%
  • We are paying the minimum - 16%
  • We are paying less than similar companies - 5%

A full-scale, Fortune 500-worthy benefits package can help provide the edge you need to attract and retain the best staff, particularly when it comes to full-time staff or management positions. Although benefits such as healthcare and retirement plans require upfront costs, this type of investment can have a very strong impact on employee loyalty and differentiate your brand as an employer. Using the services of a knowledgeable Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can allow you to compete with much larger employers by tapping expertise in employee benefits, health insurance, 401(k)s, and much more.

If You Are a Restaurant Owner or Manager and Are Looking To Boost Your Employee Retention, Consider:

  • How competitive are your health benefits?
  • Have you lost good people to larger restaurants because of an inferior benefits package or lack of training?
  • If you have more than 50 full-time employees, are you staying on top of changes in healthcare regulations?

Paychex provides comprehensive, customized human resource (HR) solutions for restaurants to help manage these duties and handle many or the administrative headaches that can distract from your priorities. We understand that the restaurant industry has many unique HR challenges due to large workforces, potential employee turnover, complex scheduling, and wage and tip reporting requirements. Payroll, benefits, HR, tax administration, and regulatory compliance assistance are some of the most frequent services we provide.

About the Study

This survey was conducted with 130 U.S. small business owners and managers who operate in the restaurant industry and who employ between 10 and 99 employees. Fifty-two percent of the respondents were male and 48% were female. Eighty-nine percent of the businesses were privately owned, and 58% operated from one location. Most companies were well-established with 36% operating for over 20 years and a further 25% of respondents said they had been in operation for 11 to 20 years. Interviewing took place online, between March 26 and April 9, 2019, using a National Web Panel by SSRS, an independent market research company located in Glen Mills, PA.


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* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

About Paychex

Paychex was founded over four decades ago to relieve the complexity of running a business and make our clients' lives easier, so they can focus on what matters most.

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