CRO Case Study | Payroll, ROI/Cost Savings

Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.

Key Benefits

  • Reduced employee-related administrative staff by more than 50%
  • Slashed W-2 outsourcing costs by 50%
  • Unified HR and payroll processes for all locations

Number of Employees

  • 5,500

Company Profile

Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) operates more than 91 full-service and 24 franchise restaurants in the U.S. the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. CRO employs approximately 5,500 full and part-time employees. Company brands include Cantina Laredo, III Forks Steakhouse, Cool River Cafe, Silver Fox Steakhouse, El Chico, Good Eats, and Luckys Café.

The Challenges

Consolidated Restaurant Operations had one dedicated IT staff member and 11 people responsible for managing payroll and human resources for all of its employees. Because the restaurant operator acquired several eateries, it was saddled with three separate HR and payroll systems.

In addition, each of CRO’s stores uses a third-party point-of-sale (POS) system to capture time and attendance data and store employee master file information. Because much of this information is critical for payroll processing, the company had to manually fill out employee change forms and fax these documents to the corporate office where the data was manually keyed before payroll.

By unifying its HR and payroll information, the company could save money, reduce many manual processes, and become more productive. The restaurant operator reviewed the offerings from both service bureaus and in-house vendors, and then selected Ultimate’s UltiPro in 1999.

The Solutions

Once CRO activated UltiPro, the company decreased its HR/payroll personnel to five, decreased its IT staff to one person working 10% of the time on HR and payroll, and cut W-2 processing costs by 50% In addition, information now passes between UltiPro and the POS without redundant data entry and with fewer opportunities for error.

The restaurant operator also increased efficiencies and savings by using internal manpower to annually print its 16,000 to 20,000 W-2s instead of relying on a service bureau. By moving the process in-house with UltiPro, CRO reduced that annual cost by approximately 50%.

UltiPro also meets key business requirements of the hospitality industry, helping CRO streamline its HR-related processes. For example, UltiPro easily handles tips and their associated taxes and is adept at processing the complex and constantly changing payroll requirements of the restaurant industry.

“I had worked for the Spaghetti Warehouse when it was an independent, publicly traded restaurant chain. Before this restaurant became a member of the CRO family, we had used UltiPro there, so I was familiar with the solution’s unique advantages,” said Dave Seebeck, vice president of information technology for Consolidated Restaurant Operations. “My history with UltiPro and Ultimate was a key factor in our selection criteria because I had been very pleased with the way the solution functions for the hospitality industry’s specifications and with Ultimate’s excellent customer support.”