Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Increasing business agility, reducing costs with cloud HCM

Key Benefits
  • Provides cost savings through increased business agility
  • Delivers seamless integration with third-party systems
  • Empowers managers with the right functionality to better serve employees

Founded in New Orleans in 1965, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. is a leading restaurant company focused exclusively on the upscale dining segment. In addition to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the company owns Mitchell’s Fish Market, Mitchell’s Steakhouse, and Cameron’s Steakhouse concepts. Headquartered in Heathrow, Florida, Ruth’s Hospitality Group operates more than 150 company- and franchisee-owned locations around the world.

6,000 employees

Payroll for company-owned stores at Ruth’s Chris had become an increasingly expensive and time-consuming challenge because the restaurant chain relied upon a payroll service bureau’s outdated systems. Ruth’s Chris wanted to reduce costs and have more internal control over its data. The company also wanted to centralize payroll operations at its corporate headquarters rather than expect restaurant managers to shoulder the preparations, verifications, and payroll transmissions at the restaurant level. With the previous service bureau, restaurant managers had to individually communicate with their local service provider through decentralized proprietary modems—a costly and inefficient process. The service bureau also had inflexible deadlines. If a deadline was missed, a late payroll often resulted.


Ruth’s Chris selected Ultimate Software because it demonstrated a superior technological vision as well as end-to-end functionality that would grow as Ruth’s Chris expanded. After evaluating various HR solutions in the industry, the company’s vendor selection team discovered that UltiPro’s unique agility to manage employees’ tips was an exceptional business advantage. Ruth’s Chris went live on UltiPro in December 2001, just six months after choosing the solution, and analyses revealed that Ruth’s Chris could expect a rapid return on investment. Factors in this return were an expedient, cost-effective activation; unified processes for HR and payroll; and a sharp reduction in paper usage.

“Over the life of the solution, UltiPro is a lot less expensive than the payroll service bureau and adds strategic value to our company,” said Kellie McQuillin, senior systems analyst at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. “UltiPro is continuing to save us more money as we grow because the costs don’t increase, like when we paid per-check charges with the payroll service bureau.”

The payroll team now can quickly calculate earnings from regular wages and tips and then apply these to the appropriate departments or jobs, even if one person switched jobs within a pay period. In addition, UltiPro’s tools for enterprise integration make it easy for Ruth’s Chris to pass data between UltiPro and other systems—most notably the restaurant chain’s systems for time and attendance, scheduling, and labor forecasting. This seamless integration allows restaurant managers to focus on mission-critical operations within the company instead of entering data multiple times or creating time-consuming export files. Ruth’s Chris is also leveraging UltiPro’s Web self-service to give managers instant online access to claim forms, handbooks, and other company policy documents, including the ability to review their employees’ address and contact information.

McQuillin also has noted that the company is experiencing a turnover rate that is lower than the industry average, and she believes UltiPro is contributing to the restaurant chain’s unique culture of employee loyalty.

“One of our business goals is to make the management process very efficient,” said McQuillin. “Our restaurants and employees now spend their energy where they need to—keeping our food and service the best in the industry.”

Share this case study