Hospitality Group Improves Employee Experience Across 27 Locations

November 16, 2022

HMC Hospitality, the parent organization of The Original Hooters restaurants, switched from ADP to Paylocity and uncovered time savings, cost savings, and better employee engagement.

HMC Hospitality Group, the parent organization of The Original Hooters restaurants, continues a decades-long legacy of worldwide name recognition, top-tier service, and craveable food. In 2019, it set its sights on a best-in-class employee experience.

Despite its public legacy, the organization lacked a streamlined HR and payroll solution behind the scenes. It needed a more modern solution that could match its evolving needs. There were filing cabinets full of paperwork, and the disjointed system added dozens of unnecessary steps to complete essential tasks. But most of all, the existing HR solution was transactional and did little to keep employees unified and engaged across 27 restaurant locations.

In 2018, HMC Hospitality Group Controller Kim Bennett was leading the process of switching from their payroll provider of 25 years — ADP — to a modern HCM platform built to deliver the experience employees wanted and expected from their employer.

With Paylocity at its side, HMC Hospitality has spent the last four years co-creating an engaging employee experience that has saved HR hours and reduced costs. The switch has enabled them to focus on what matters most: building a culture where employees feel valued and supported.

“Having an all-in-one HCM platform is important for us. It brings incredible value to HR, payroll, operations, restaurant managers, and most important, our employees. It saves everyone time and makes all our locations more efficient and effective.”

Kim Bennett, Controller


The Challenge

Multiple Systems Bogged Down Employees and HR

Operating in multiple systems made it hard for HR to add value and did little to engage employees.

Before Paylocity, HMC Hospitality used multiple people management systems. Kim explains, “Employees would apply using a paper-based application. Once we hired them, we had someone manually do the E-Verify. Next, we had another department add them to ADP. Then, the managers had to key them into the POS system.” There were few opportunities to highlight organizational culture, customize the process, or for HR to make quick hiring decisions in a fast-paced industry. Even if the system was functional, it was not helping HMC Hospitality attract talent and onboard new hires quickly and efficiently.

Too Much Paperwork and Manual Processes Impacted Open Enrollment

Open enrollment was another problem area for HR. Without integrated platforms, enrollments had to be manually entered and manually approved. The different benefit carriers—health, 401K, etc.—did not communicate or feed seamlessly into payroll. The process was tedious and time-consuming for HR, making year-end processes a huge source of stress. But most importantly, the system lacked the capabilities for employees to receive status updates, make adjustments, or ask questions. And if an employee forgot the enrollment date, it meant reopening the benefits window — and more work for HR.

Communication Suffered Without a Centralized Hub

Before Paylocity, HMC Hospitality lacked a centralized communication platform for corporate and restaurant employees. Communication was not real time; it was after the fact, so managers could not notify each other about timely matters, such as upcoming inspections or an employee calling in sick. There was no way to unify employees across locations, let alone connect them based on restaurant, state, role, etc. Plus, without mobile access, video, and interactive elements, it was near impossible to engage employees or spread the organization’s culture of appreciation across locations.

Employee Feedback Was Unstructured and Inconsistent

With no way to consistently gather employee feedback, HMC Hospitality Group didn’t know what was working and what wasn’t. Though the HR team made sure to schedule and document annual reviews, there was no way for employees to share their input, limiting HR’s ability to put headcount, turnover, and retention rates into context in the employee journey. It was hard to gather meaningful insights and make improvements.

“The employees didn't have much interaction with ADP. We just used it for payroll processing. Everything else was separate. The systems didn't work together. We wanted one system for everything."

Kim Bennett, Controller


The Solution

Improved Employee Engagement Drives Automation and Reduces HR Workload

Streamlining everything from payroll to benefits to communication through Paylocity helps engage employees and makes for a seamless HR experience across 27 locations.


Single Employee System of Record Changes the Game

Switching to Paylocity gave HMC Hospitality an all-in-one platform that made it easier than ever for HR to do its essential job and help employees to feel like part of the organization. Kim says, “The beauty of Paylocity is that we can recruit, move them over to Onboarding, and it's one seamless action. There’s no hand keying of anything.” Paylocity’s integrations move new hires directly into Payroll, and the data moves seamlessly into the POS system. Task redundancy is no longer an issue for Kim and her team, nor is manual data entry and all the compliance risks that come with it.

Benefits Administration Eliminates Administrative Burden

Modernized Benefits Administration has alleviated the dread HR used to feel every year end. But it also makes it easier for employees to feel more autonomous when selecting benefits. For example, Kim shares, “If I wanted to update my 401K contribution, I can do that quickly in the app and it just flows between our provider and Paylocity. It's just beautiful.” Paylocity's open APIs provide choice and flexibility to integrate with preferred benefits providers. Keeping it all in one integrated system makes it easier for employees to access — and more likely to sign up — especially since they can view, adjust, and verify benefits from any mobile device.

Community Centralizes Communication Across Departments and Locations

HMC Hospitality’s employees enjoy the perks of a social collaboration hub that everybody can use. Community’s customizable interface has led to innovative communication methods across HMC Hospitality for leadership and employees. Managers at different locations can use Community groups to keep tabs on employee wins or areas for improvement. They can collaborate on vendor orders or notify each other of what’s new onsite. And best of all, they receive push notifications on their mobile phones — no logging into a separate system or receiving information too late to take action. Kim explains the value of configuring Community to suit organizational needs: “Managers use Community as their digital logbook with pictures and comments back and forth. And if there are any issues in a specific store, HR and Operations can go back and see what was going on."


The Results

HMC Hospitality Tallies Up Savings With All-in-One HCM

Prioritizing communication, collaboration, and connection enables HMC Hospitality to save big.


HR Automation Saves $100K Per Year

By making HR effortless through a one-stop-shop HCM platform, HMC Hospitality has eliminated redundancies and filing cabinets full of paperwork. And over a few years, the savings have added up from automating manual processes. Plus, employees are excited to engage with their employer in the ways they engage with the rest of their lives—video, text, and mobile interfaces. Kim adds, “With the recruiting module alone, employees are doing all the work for you right then and there. That alone saves time and is valuable for every department.”

HR Saves 1,120 Hours Per Year By Moving Off Legacy Systems

HR doesn’t have to lift a finger to make sure annual reviews stay on track; Paylocity sends automatic reminders 45 days before one-year anniversaries to kick start the self-review process. Ditching disjointed benefits administration — and eliminating unnecessary steps — saves HR 60 hours during year-end crunch time. And automated reminders safeguard the benefits process, so nobody slips through the cracks. Kim adds, “We have all the feeds to all the different carriers built, and the deductions automatically pushed to Payroll. That’s a huge saver for me. Open enrollment is a piece of cake. December was awful for the HR department, but now it's a smoother process.”

HMC Engages Employees At Every Step of the Employee Journey

Kim recognizes that legacy systems come with limitations. In Paylocity, HMC Hospitality found a system that exceeds expectations and works for the whole organization. By sending surveys out during growth and development milestones such as stay interview surveys, HMC Hospitality has boosted employee engagement and created a steady stream of invaluable feedback. Transitioning to Paylocity has eliminated barriers, and now HMC Hospitality can collect true 360-degree feedback. It’s easier than ever to track employees during their journey and include them in the process. That way, more employees can engage early and grow with the organization, as Kim has.

As Kim explains, "I can't say enough about Paylocity. It's always a step ahead. Not only with the things you would like to see happen but the things happening in the world and what's to come." HMC Hospitality is an example of what's possible when employees go beyond simple transactions and connect with their organizations.

“There is no more redundancy with Paylocity. We're much more efficient and effective as an organization. That's why I say it's just a beautiful thing for everybody to use. There's value in Paylocity for every employee at our company.”

Kim Bennett, Controller


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