Best Restaurant Payroll Software Compared

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Restaurant payroll software helps to process salaries and offers tools to manage your payroll taxes, tips, and attendance. We spent 10 days reviewing 15 of the leading options for restaurant payroll software. As a result, we decided that Gusto is the best for most due to its intuitive interface, two-day direct deposits, and unlimited payroll runs. 

The Best Restaurant Payroll Software for Most 

Gusto logo


Best for Most

Looking for the complete package? Gusto offers automated payroll in all 50 states. Unlimited payroll runs, minimum wage adjustments, time tracking, and the best employee self-service experience we have seen yet. Affordable monthly pricing starts at $40 plus $6 per employee.

The best restaurant payroll software for most is Gusto. It offers unlimited and automated pay runs with tax payments, filings, and year-end reports. Not to mention the software generates and files W-2 and 1099 forms automatically. In total, the payroll platform covers 50 US states.

We also like the automatic salary adjustments and helpful integrations with Xero, UpServe, QuickBooks, Trainual, Clover, and more. Gusto starts at $6 per month per person with a $40 per month base price. Read on for more about this excellent restaurant payroll software and our other top picks.

The Best Restaurant Payroll Software To Consider 

  1. Gusto – Best for Most
  2. Deel – Best for restaurants operating globally
  3. Paycor – Best for Franchises
  4. Paychex – Best All-In-One HR and Payroll
  5. ADP Run – Best for Customizable Payroll Plans
  6. SurePayroll – Best for Restaurants Needing Weekend Support

When It Makes Sense To Invest In Restaurant Payroll Software

Is restaurant payroll software worth the investment for your business? Many restaurant owners struggle to weigh the benefits against the cost.

With that said, calculating restaurant payroll on your own can be a stressful, difficult, and time-consuming task. Any mistakes could prove to be a costly and long-term problem. 

If you’re running a restaurant across multiple states, the calculations and eligibility requirements will vary for full and part-time employees across those lines. Your own taxes may also change for each location. It’s common for restaurant owners in this situation to need help with payroll compliance rules. 

Payroll software solves these problems. It improves your payroll and tax accuracy to ensure employees get paid on time and correctly each month. Things like wage calculations, statutory holiday pay, overtime, and split shifts can all be handled automatically. 

Data security is an increasing concern for restaurant managers too. You may have been a victim of data theft and worry about keeping private employee and payroll data safe. It’s common for hackers to target small businesses because they know it’s unlikely you have top-notch security standards in place. 

Payroll software can help prevent security breaches and attacks through regular testing and high-end encryption standards. Your accounts will be monitored to help prevent fraudulent transactions. Features like multi-factor authentication and single sign-on functions are often available as well. 

You also might be a restaurant owner that’s having trouble sorting out employee benefits for your staff. From 401(k) to medical and worker’s compensation insurance, it can get tough to track and implement these benefits across your restaurant team.

Payroll software streamlines employee benefits administration. This is particularly useful if you’re currently relying on manual administration. Most payroll services provide intuitive interfaces and make it easy to stay compliant. They act as a central storehouse for all your benefits information.

Improving payroll accuracy, increasing security standards, and improving employee benefits administration are all great reasons why you should consider investing in restaurant payroll software. 

While payroll software is worth it for the vast majority of restaurants, there are a few small exceptions to this. 

Let’s say you’re running a small food truck, with just yourself and maybe one or two part-time employees. You could probably save yourself some money and skip the software, as long as you’re willing to put in the extra time and effort to ensure your manual calculations are being done properly.

#1 – Gusto – The Best for Most

Gusto logo


Best for Most

Looking for the complete package? Gusto offers automated payroll in all 50 states. Unlimited payroll runs, minimum wage adjustments, time tracking, and the best employee self-service experience we have seen yet. Affordable monthly pricing starts at $40 plus $6 per employee.

Gusto offers an array of key features to help you pay your restaurant staff, including unlimited and automated pay runs that boost the value through the roof.

What we’re looking at is a complete package here: a full-service payroll with time tracking, benefits management, dedicated hiring and onboarding, and finance tools for your employees.

Gusto homepage with full-service payroll information

There are handy customizable onboarding checklists, and you can send offer letters, e-sign, and store new-hire paperwork with ease.

On top of that, the software will calculate and file your payroll taxes automatically and offers key benefits such as medical, dental, vision, health reimbursements, and flexible spending accounts.

Gusto tracks your team’s hours, time off, and holidays, adding them to the payroll without fuss. Even better is that employees and contractors can track their hours themselves from their accounts, and you can review and approve their requests as required.

You can receive personal support from certified HR experts on the highest plan to take your business further.

Gusto is a restaurant payroll software that covers everything you need, and that’s why we like it so much.

There are three plans designed for small business: Simple, Plus, Premium, and a separate contractor plan. The Simple plan starts at $6 per month per person with a $40 per month base price. This allows you to run payroll in a single state and includes the core set of HR services.

Plus plans allow you to run payroll in multiple states and includes features such as time tracking and workforce costing that restaurant owners may find helpful. Plus plans cost $12 per month per person with a $80 per month base price.

If you only hire and pay contractors, there is no base fee and a price of $6 per month. We have more information on Gusto plans and pricing in our in-depth Gusto review.

Gusto is a very modern payroll solution that makes your employees and managers lives easier. Start sending out checks with less stress. Create a Gusto account today.

#2 – Deel – Best for Restaurants Operating Globally

Deel logo


Best for Restaurants Operating Globally

If your restaurant has employees in multiple countries, Deel makes the process of running a global payroll far easier than many other software packages. Deel supports currencies in several dozen countries, and it automates many aspects of running payroll, helping to reduce errors.

Managing a restaurant workforce spread across multiple countries can be quite a challenge, thanks to local currencies, taxes, and regulations. If you need to manage restaurant employees around the world, Deel has the ability to make managing payroll far easier. 

Deel automates many aspects of running your payroll, which helps to reduce errors. When you must properly follow local regulations and manage tax calculations in local currencies, avoiding errors becomes key.

Just update the employee records with new hourly wages or with new benefits as required to have Deel automatically make the new calculations for you. 

Deel home page.

You can operate in several dozen different currencies with Deel, so it’s easy to add new countries and currencies as you expand the locations of your restaurants. 

Deel can track time worked for your remote employees, further simplifying the payroll calculations, including when you must pay overtime.

Should you run into problems while trying to generate your restaurant payroll, Deel offers an on-demand support team in certain pay tiers that can help you work through the issues, so your payroll goes out on time and remains accurate.

You can request a free demo from Deel to learn more about how its payroll generation features may benefit your restaurant.

#3 – Paycor – Best for Franchises

Paycor logo


Best for Franchises

From the slick employee self-service portal to the powerful reports and dedicated HR resources, Paycor is a mighty piece of software for large operations. If you’re growing your restaurant franchise and need some help, you won’t find much better than this.

Paycor is easy-to-use and robust payroll software that will save restaurant managers that all-important thing called time.

It’s a human capital management (HCM) solution ideal for restaurant owners growing their franchises and offers much-needed compliance expertise.

A screenshot of Paycor's website, showing the payroll software interface

There’s everything here, including an employee self-service portal, reporting tools, and comprehensive HR resources such as templates, how-to guides, and even alerts when the law changes. You’ll be able to customize your payroll with entire workflows, pay on-demand features, and wage garnishment services.

The powerful real-time reports give insights into how things are going, and visualization tools help you stay ahead of the game. HR can even schedule and share reports with executives automatically.

Make no mistake: this is software for large operations and won’t be best suited for smaller businesses.

Paycor has four plans to accommodate for every budget, company size, and business need.

  • Basic – $99 + $5 per employee per month
  • Essential – $149 + $7 per employee per month
  • Core – $199 + $8 per employee per month
  • Complete – $199 + $14 per employee per month

You can check out our complete Paycor review for more information or sign up here to get started.

#4 – Paychex – Best All-In-One HR and Payroll

Paychex logo


Best for Payroll + HR

Paychex is for those that need both simple processing and high-level HR support. With automatic calculations, multiple payment options, and tax filing, it’s quick and easy to process payroll. Add a team of HR pros available 24/7, and you’ve got quite the offer.

Paychex is for restaurant managers who need a strong focus on HR and complete payroll service to boot—it offers accurate payroll processing and simplifies HR down to the essentials.

The software calculates and files your taxes automatically and offers a simple way to process your payroll. Nothing changed since your last pay period? You can submit payroll in an impressive two clicks.

Paychex payroll page with a bullet list of highlights

You can customize earnings and deductions as needed from an intuitive interface, and run reports to help you see how your business is progressing.

Employees can log in to complete activities and can quickly update their personal information and tax withholding.

Multiple payment options are available, too, including direct deposits, paper checks, and pay cards.

You’ll find dedicated HR professionals that provide in-app help, with full chat and phone support 24/7. These pros have an average of eight years of experience and help with everything from management to compliance.

Paychex entry-level plan, Paychex Flex, starts at $39 plus $5 per employee per month. The pricing for the other plans aren’t publicly listed online, so you’ll need to request a free quote here.

You can read our full Paychex review to learn more and find out if Paychex is right for you.

#5 – ADP Run – Best for Customizable Payroll Plans

ADP logo

Run by ADP

Best Customizable Payroll

Need some flexibility with your payroll? ADP Run has you covered. Choose what you want from a group of effective plans that offer tax filing, direct deposits, HR reports, and mobile payroll. There’s even a self-service app just for employees.

ADP Run offers payroll processing that’s fast, easy, and best of all, you get to decide how much or how little functionality you need.

The software provides automated payroll processing helping you to avoid expensive errors and focus your time elsewhere.

ADP restaurant payroll page with a chef working in the kitchen

Even better is that ADP Run stays updated with continuously changing rules and regulations, ensuring you keep compliant at every stage and offers direct deposit and mobile payroll payment options.

There’s a full self-service app for employees that they can use to log in and check their financial information and straightforward integration with time-tracking and HR functionality.

We particularly like the flexible packages on offer. For example, you’ll be able to cherry-pick the services you need and bolster your package with add-ons. Need time-tracking but don’t want to pay for retirement plans? Your plan can reflect those needs.

Another significant advantage of ADP Run is its built-in tax compliance feature. It uses an AI-powered error detection method to identify and flag tax errors before submission. The tax compliance tool also has an excellent feature for managing and tracking overtime hours, overtime scheduling, and overtime pay. This is something that’s crucial for your restaurant.

Essentially there are four main plans for 1-49 employees and another four for businesses with 50+ employees. The features in the plans steadily increase. To learn more about ADP’s plans, check out our detailed ADP review.

Unfortunately, ADP doesn’t list its prices, and you’ll have to contact them for a quote.

#6 – SurePayroll – Best for Restaurants Needing Weekend Support

SurePayroll logo


Best for Weekend Support

Who doesn’t like cheap and transparent pricing? SurePayroll gives you both. It offers great customer service with extended support in the evenings and at weekends, when you might need it the most. W-2 employees and 1099 contractors are covered, and there are even unlimited pay runs.

SurePayroll is affordable payroll software with transparent pricing and top-notch US-based customer service.

It offers unlimited and automated pay runs, tax filing, and extended weekday evening and weekend support for those that need it.

The software stays up to date with the latest tax laws, and if mistakes happen, SurePayroll will cover the costs at no extra charge.

SurePayroll homepage highlighting small businesses

There’s support for W-2 employees and 1099 contractors, and the software takes care of 401(k) deductions with ease. Not to mention there’s complete management of flexible spending and health savings accounts.

All plans support direct deposit, online pay stubs, and multiple pay rates. There are no set-up fees or contracts either.

Pricing is not available online. So you’ll need to reach out for a quote. Small businesses get three months for free and can sign up here.

Methodology for Choosing the Best Restaurant Payroll Software

All of the tools reviewed in this guide are solid options to consider. But if you’re on the fence between them, you can use the key factors below to evaluate different payroll solutions side-by-side.

Tax Management

Restaurant payroll software can offer built-in tax management tools allowing you to manage taxes without the need for additional software.

Some payroll software automatically generates and files state and federal taxes, helping you with the intricacies of deductions and filing. For example, they can create and file W-2 and 1099 forms automatically, eliminating a lot of hassle and improving accuracy.

Not all payroll software will offer the same tax management tools, though, so think carefully about what’s right for you and your business.

Payment Capabilities

Restaurant payroll software differs when it comes to payment functionality. Specifically, not all software offers both direct deposit and checks.

The ability to use direct deposits streamlines the entire process as you must create and distribute paper checks.

That said, having both check printing along with direct deposits gives employees options. Not all employees want to use direct deposits and still prefer checks—others may not have a bank account.

Ideally, look for payroll software that offers both forms of payment.

Employee Self-Service Portal

An employee self-service portal allows members of your team to access their payroll information. It’s a convenient solution that will enable them to feel more involved.

Employees will be able to view their pay stubs, time off balances, year-end tax forms, and more. In some cases, these self-service portals can even provide access to schedules and help facilitate time-off requests. However, what they’ll be able to see varies across different payroll software, so keep that in mind.

Furthermore, self-service portals are a part of some restaurant payroll software, but not all. This feature will also help save you time, as your staff can find answers to questions on their own without having to ask you directly.

Having employee portals as a feature is more than a bonus, and we recommend looking for payroll software with them.

Gusto logo


Best for Most

Looking for the complete package? Gusto offers automated payroll in all 50 states. Unlimited payroll runs, minimum wage adjustments, time tracking, and the best employee self-service experience we have seen yet. Affordable monthly pricing starts at $40 plus $6 per employee.

Expanding Your Knowledge: Best Restaurant Payroll Software

Further Reading

For more information on running payroll for your restaurant, check out these helpful and informative resources below:


Restaurant payroll software can be a lifesaver with tools that streamline processes and cut down on unnecessary stress.

On our list, Gusto is the best for most with its complete package, while Paycor is the best choice if you want to expand your restaurant franchise.

Paychex is the best all-in-one HR and payroll software. For customizable payroll plans, check out ADP Run, while those needing extra weekend support should look no further than SurePayroll.

Take your time to pick the best for you, and be sure to factor in the tax management, self-service, and payment capabilities of each.

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