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Client Profile – Sea Ketch

Why did Kevin Brown from Sea Ketch choose Paymaster Hospitality?
Outsourcing has been touted as the business solution for everything from information technology management to human resources. And it may well be your best solution for payroll. Before you make that decision, take a hard look at these four questions:

  • Can you always wait for payroll services? Or are there times when you need the ability to cut a check, adjust tax status, or make other changes without delay?
  • Do you need flexibility? Do your employees often work different jobs or shifts within your business? Do you have seasonal changes in personnel and payroll?
  • Do you like to involve others in your finances? Or do you prefer to retain control — and privacy — when it comes to payroll?
  • Can you afford an outside service? Are the monthly rates, transaction charges and other fees actually saving you money compared with doing things in-house?

Kevin Brown, owner of the Sea Ketch Seafood Restaurant in Hampton Beach, NH, recently compared outside Automated Data Processing (ADP) to keeping things in-house.

Kevin had been managing his employees using an internal spreadsheet and wanted a far more efficient solution — and a better way to keep tip reporting and other issues from causing him trouble with the IRS and Department of Labor. He couldn’t find an outsourced solution that could satisfy his needs. He turned to ADP and found them to be too expensive. He also found it too cumbersome. The “fixes” ADP companies would have to put in place to handle Kevin’s specific tips, allocation, and wage adjustment requirements added up to a lot more fees than Kevin felt he needed to spend. Plus, he’d be spending that money and still having to spend his own time getting data formatted and organized to send to ADP. The final factor against outsourcing was giving up control. Kevin had run Sea Ketch successfully for 35 years and didn’t want an outside firm suddenly getting into all his business.

So, Kevin decided to look for an internal payroll solution. But that was just the first step. Because while keeping payroll in-house lets you save money and hang onto control, it also presents challenges. From tip reporting and review, to calculations, rules, and deadlines for everything from overtime to Social Security, there is an incredible amount to know and do — and so many different deadlines to meet.

While the good news is that many programs allow you to automate payroll and bring it in-house, not just any program can meet your specialized tracking and reporting needs. In fact, when Kevin Brown first started looking for in-house payroll software, he found that Quick books, Peachtree and other programs he looked at did not handle tips and wage adjustments.

Many hospitality businesses find themselves in the same situation.