P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Reducing the time and effort store managers needed to spend on payroll

Key Benefits
  • Produced more than 54,000 perfect pay advices after deployment
  • Integrated easily with the point-of-sale system — reducing the time and effort store managers needed to spend on payroll
  • Provided managers and executives with strategic insight into workforce data

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc. owns and operates two restaurant concepts in the Asian niche. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro features a blend of high-quality, Chinese-inspired cuisine and American hospitality in a sophisticated, contemporary bistro setting. Pei Wei Asian Diner offers a modest menu of freshly prepared pan-Asian cuisine in a relaxed environment offering attentive counter service and take-out flexibility. In addition, P.F. Chang’s has extended its brand to international markets and retail products.

27,000 employees

With more than 360 locations and 27,000 employees, P.F. Chang’s experienced a range of limitations by using a payroll service bureau. To support both its large, diverse workforce and its overall business, P.F. Chang’s needed a cohesive human capital management solution that would cost-effectively optimize HR administration as well as enable its HR and payroll teams to operate more strategically.


After evaluating the scope of UltiPro’s unified HCM functionality and its high-level capabilities for business intelligence, the company then made the switch to the cloud-based solution. Today, P.F. Chang’s is pleased with the range of business efficiencies as well as Ultimate Software’s high level of customer service.

“We absolutely believe we chose the best HR technology provider, not just for the software, but also for Ultimate Software’s people,” said Nancy Mailhot, chief people officer for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc. “It’s clear that Ultimate’s employees are committed to the customer. Change can be uncomfortable, especially for a large, complex business like ours, but the talented people we have worked with at Ultimate Software have made a huge difference with our successful transition.”

Because P.F. Chang’s is leveraging UltiPro, the HR and payroll teams now have a comprehensive view of critical information related to the company’s people-oriented processes, including costs. One testament to the success of the deployment was the production of more than 54,000 perfect pay advices. P.F. Chang’s also has a 360-degree view of its workforce data as well as greater transparency and control of these processes. Additionally, P.F. Chang’s has been able to make a range of operational enhancements that have resulted in improvements in costs, efficiencies, and accuracy.

“I understand why some companies may shy away from the responsibility of handling their own payroll, but without this capability, a lot of details are invisible to them,” said Eric Niman, director of HR administration for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. “Since we made the switch to UltiPro, we have gained new insight into our information, improved our processes, and taken our operations to a new level of precision and efficiency. UltiPro has been very good for our business.”

Because UltiPro is integrated with its point-of-sale system, P.F. Chang’s has been able to reduce the time and effort that store managers need to spend on payroll. Using the UltiPro portal, branded by P.F. Chang’s as “PeopleXpress,” managers can quickly handle new hires, rehires, and transfers over the Web. Business results have included streamlined communication, better quality of workforce data, eliminated delays when processing changes, and reduced calls to the HR team. The restaurant franchise also is in the process of rolling out UltiPro to its employees and plans to launch more of UltiPro’s people-centric functionality later this year.

“The beauty of UltiPro is not just in how we are using it today but also in the huge potential that it gives us for tomorrow as we continue to roll out more of UltiPro’s functionality and reporting capabilities,” said Niman. “We now have the technology foundation to build our HR program for long-term results, and UltiPro is our channel to deliver value across the organization to every one of our employees.”

Share this case study