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Iconic Restaurant Chain Serves Up Excellent Employee Collaboration

January 20, 2023

Beloved New England-based restaurants Papa Gino's and D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches leverage Paylocity to strengthen their culture and propel growth in a competitive industry.

Case Study

As the parent company of two of New England’s favorite restaurant chains—Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches—New England Authentic Eats knows what it takes to succeed in a highly competitive environment. Today, the company operates 167 corporate and franchisee restaurants across New England, and employs more than 2,200 people.

A strong focus on teamwork has been key to the restaurant group’s success. If one restaurant is short staffed, team members in other locations can help out. Or if one team finds a more efficient way to serve customers, they’re encouraged to share those improvements with the rest of the organization.

Like many businesses in the hospitality sector, the company has a large number of employees joining, leaving, and rejoining its workforce. In the past, this turnaround made it difficult to facilitate effective teamwork and strong communication at scale.

“We had an in-house payroll system that just wasn’t keeping up with the times,” explains Ritch Price, Operational Controller at New England Authentic Eats. “We wanted a more modern, fully featured HR and payroll platform that would help us communicate and give our employees a one-stop shop for all the information they need. That’s where Paylocity came in.”

 

“We wanted a more modern, fully featured HR & payroll platform that would help us communicate and give our employees a one-stop shop for all the information they need. That’s where Paylocity came in.”

Ritch Price, Operational Controller

 

The Challenge

Paper-Based Onboarding and Ineffective Communication Hampered Team Growth

Using email and postal mail to communicate with employees was slow, expensive, and unreliable for New England Authentic Eats.

 

Slow, Outdated Communications Couldn’t Reach all Employees

Because the company’s payroll system didn’t provide tools for communicating with employees, New England Authentic Eats relied on email or manager word-of-mouth as the primary channel for sharing information. This was problematic because important emails would often get overlooked, trapped by spam filters, or sent to outdated email addresses. As a result, company leaders could never be completely sure that all employees were receiving the latest news and updates.

For some types of messages, such as 401k communications, the company also sent out quarterly letters through the US Postal Service—an expensive and time-consuming process.

Questions About W-2 Processes Took Too Much of Payroll's Time

Between January 1 and April 15 each year, around 5,000 current and former employees need to obtain a W-2 form from the company to help them file their taxes. While it was possible for employees to access their W-2s through an online tool, employees often lost their login details or forgot how to use it from one year to the next. This meant that the payroll helpdesk had to handle thousands of calls and emails from employees seeking urgent support. This process took hundreds of hours for the team each year, preventing them from working on higher-value activities.

Slow Onboarding Invited Competitors to Poach New Employees

New hires join the company all the time, and New England Authentic Eats wants to ensure that they can hit the ground running. However, paper-based processes meant that onboarding a new employee and getting them on the payroll could take up to seven days. In an increasingly tight labor market, this long onboarding cycle let competitors lure away talented candidates before they started.

 

“Today, all communications from leadership go through Paylocity, because if we send the message through Community, we know that every team member is going to get it. And the responses from our teams have been even better than we expected, because people are glad to have that one clear channel and reliable source of information.”

Ritch Price, Operational Controller

 

The Solution

A Modern HCM System Helps Build a Collaborative Culture and Propels Massive Growth

Switching to Paylocity empowered New England Authentic Eats to get employees up and running, keep them connected and encourage teamwork at scale.

 

Centralized Communication Keeps Employees in the Loop

Replacing its outdated HR and payroll platform with Paylocity has given New England Authentic Eats a single communication and collaboration platform, which is helping strengthen relationships across the company. Employees now log into Paylocity’s Community platform each day to view messages from team leaders, catch up with their coworkers, share information, and use Paylocity’s Peer Recognition tool to celebrate each other’s achievements.

Employee Self-Service Improves Transparency, Saves Time

Employees now have instant access to a host of Self-Service HR and payroll tools, such as viewing pay stubs, accessing tax information, and managing their benefits. The secure platform even gives former employees access to a limited set of tools, such as allowing them to download their W-2 form without needing to reach out to the payroll helpdesk. Moreover, the platform’s Document Library has enabled the company’s HR and payroll teams to phase out a whole range of paper-based processes; today, they can access and manage employee information online, enabling them to work remotely.

Digitized Hiring Boosts Productivity and Minimizes Poaching

Paylocity has transformed the company’s hiring process with fully digital Recruiting and Onboarding. Instead of generating mountains of paperwork for every candidate, the streamlined process eliminates delays and reduces the risk of losing new hires before they start. It also allows the HR recruiting team to welcome new employees into the business so they can work confidently and productively from day one.

 

The Results

Transforming the Employee Experience to Boost Loyalty and Accelerate Growth

Paylocity helps New England Authentic Eats foster team spirit, communicate more effectively and improve employee retention.

 

Automation Enables 99%+ Faster Onboarding

With Paylocity’s streamlined hiring process, New England Authentic Eats can onboard and register an employee on its payroll system in just ten minutes—a process that previously took five to seven days. This helps new employees get a good first impression of the company from day one. “To go from a week down to 10 minutes is really a substantial amount of time,” Ritch explains. “When a good candidate walks through the door, you want them to start right away—you don't want them to walk out and go somewhere else.”

Social Interaction Fosters Effective Teamwork

New employees instantly become part of the New England Authentic Eats team through Community, where they can be welcomed by their teammates and recognized for their contributions to team success. Ritch recalls: “I was highly skeptical of Community at first. I thought people might be negative. I’m glad to admit I was wrong. It’s a great tool that helps team members connect and be recognized, and a huge source of positivity for the business.”

Paperless Processes Eliminate 8,000+ Mailings

Now that the platform has become the company’s trusted communication channel, New England Authentic Eats no longer needs to rely on email or send out costly paper letters about its 401k plan and other programs. This reduces costs significantly, while ensuring that employees are fully informed and in control of their benefits.

Self-Service Saves 5,000+ Helpdesk Calls Per Year

Paylocity is a single source for all employees’ HR and payroll needs, which improves their day-to-day experience. It also pays dividends for the HR and payroll team during tax season. Since introducing Paylocity, the number of calls and emails regarding W-2s has fallen from thousands to a much more manageable number, as employees know what to do and where to go to access it.

Ritch concludes: “Thanks to Community, our employees log into and interact with Paylocity every day. That means they’re very familiar with the platform, so when those once-a-year tasks come up, like downloading a W-2, they can immediately see what they need to do. It really encourages self-service, because Paylocity gives them everything they need in one place.”

 

“Of all the Paylocity features, Peer Recognition has made the biggest impact. Our operations teams love it because it’s a quick and easy way to reward our team members. Everyone likes to be recognized for their hard work and dedication, and it’s a real morale booster."

Ritch Price, Operational Controller

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