CASE STUDY:  Hooters of America

KEY BENEFITS

  • Streamlining processes for talent management
  • Saving time and costs through automating critical HR processes with Web functionality
  • Easily managing various payroll complexities across the business

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

  • 6,000

COMPANY PROFILE

Hooters of America operates and franchises more than 450 Hooters restaurants across the U.S. and 27 additional countries. The beach-themed bar-and-grills cater to sports fans and are known for their spicy chicken wings as well as their hostesses, who dress in the chain’s trademark bright orange shorts and white T-shirts. The company was founded in 1983 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

THE CHALLENGES

Prior to activating Ultimate Software’s UltiPro solution in 1996, Hooters of America had used a combination of multiple service bureau accounts and a small in-house system to manage its payroll and human resource operations. Needing a more scalable and easier-to-maintain solution, the HR team decided to consolidate the company’s people management into one centralized platform.

THE SOLUTION

Since partnering with Ultimate Software, Hooters of America has been achieving strategic benefits and efficiencies through UltiPro’s functionality for workforce analytics, online open enrollment, and role-based access for executives, managers, and employees. Today, the company has grown to more than 6,000 employees working in nearly 450 locations. Because of this ongoing expansion, staying on top of key workforce analytics has become critical. Executives and store managers have used UltiPro routinely for business intelligence reporting to analyze labor trends that impact the bottom line.

“Restaurants must carefully monitor metrics related to overtime and reasons for termination because manpower is a significant part of our budget. Our industry has a relatively high turnover rate that we need to try to control as much as we can,” said Tina Lance, payroll director at Hooters of America. “UltiPro allows us to get a better perspective on turnover by helping our leadership evaluate the common reasons for termination. As a result, we can better determine if we are hiring the right people and managing performance effectively. UltiPro’s reports often point to issues that we can turn around by making relatively minor changes. With role-based access, managers have quick access to a range of reports, dashboards, and analytics so they can get information whenever needed.”

One way that restaurants take advantage of UltiPro for additional gains is by standardizing and streamlining employee-related processes by leveraging Web functionality. Ultimate Software offers the full scope range of human resource, payroll, and talent management solutions that handle the entire employee life cycle, including the typically cumbersome benefits enrollment process.

“Our employees love the ease of open enrollment with UltiPro, and the benefits team can spend their energy on strategic projects rather than devoting days to manually entering data,” said Sheila Walker, benefits director for Hooters of America. “It used to take us eight days to manually enter benefits information each year, but with UltiPro, employee changes are fed directly into the solution and we can quickly export the information to benefits providers. The process is so much faster, we’ve reduced the risk of errors, and we have significantly reduced paper usage—great advantages for our business and for the environment.”

Hooters also migrated to a paperless payroll using the UltiPro portal and pay cards for employees who do not wish to enroll in direct deposit. Using UltiPro’s role-based access, employees have immediate access to their individual HR details and can easily make any updates or changes to information. “The number of calls coming into our department continues to drop as we use more of UltiPro’s functionality,” said Lance. “The UltiPro portal and our paperless payroll have been big hits with everyone.”

For many restaurants another time-consuming process is handling tips. Like many restaurant enterprises, Hooters of America includes tips as part of server wages. When gratuities are low and the hourly minimum wage isn’t met, employers pay workers the difference. Referred to as 'makeup pay,' this type of compensation must be carefully monitored. UltiPro automatically handles the calculation of tips for Hooters of America and other business challenges, such as correctly compensating employees who work in multiple jobs within a single pay period.

“I’ve used UltiPro for so many years, and I love it. The solution manages the unique payroll complexities of our business very well. Plus, UltiPro provides excellent functionality for the full range of our company’s people management, so we can do our job better and smarter,” said Lance.