BenefitMall and Avero Brings a Much Sought After POS & Payroll Integration Solution to the Hospitality Community Nationwide

What would you do if you could take all the data from every point-of-sale (POS) unit you have, no matter what provider, and automatically integrate it all right into your payroll system?

Save time, money and have better transparency into your daily reporting (and the now mandatory) tracking of Spread of Hours and New York Sick Leave Act.

Sound good?  Leigh Wilson, Senior District Manager of BenefitMall, believes a lot of restaurateurs will agree.

Thanks to his company's recent partnership with Avero, a restaurant analytics firm, this can now be done…all via the cloud.

“BenefitMall has been in the Payroll, HR and Benefits business for over 34 years,” says Wilson.  “We are the largest general agency of health insurance in the country, and we can offer a way to manage all of these additional services seamlessly under one roof.”

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Wilson says he had been looking for many years for a way to integrate POS information into payroll and make an easy bridge while minimizing the end cost to his clients.  Then, several years ago, he met executives of Avero when he was attending the Restaurant Finance Conference in Las Vegas.  During that visit he learned that their organization, which offers several operational management services to the hospitality industry, was not only able to make “POS info sexy…,” but from a payroll perspective, they were also able to basically sit on top of most POS systems to create a way to interface the data each week.  Lots of times a large restaurant group may own several different POS terminals in each state across the country (depending on region) and now with the “Avero Payroll Link”- they can create a direct synch among all the different terminals that can import that data into BenefitMall’s Online Payroll and HR system to be processed on a per payroll basis.

“Take a big group like B&B, (Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s chain with over 25 locations), they could have different POS systems at every location, and for us we can now access all of their payroll data,” says Wilson.  “We don't need an exclusive partnership with a POS company; we just work with any POS companies that Avero has already partnered with over the years- which is most of them.”

If restaurants were to build an integration into their payroll the traditional way, he says, the set-up fee at the front-end is anywhere from $1400 to $3500 per location.  “What we offer is a one-time set-up fee of $300 at the front end, and then $35 per month after that which is a substantial cost-savings to get your locations started and to be able to have access to this technology.”

Prior to this recent integration, restaurants had to dial in to the POS systems, using different software for just about every location which would take hours to finally feed it into payroll.  Wilson notes that some payroll companies may even have exclusive partnerships with larger POS companies such as Micros or Aloha.  However what makes our integration different is that our technology is all cloud based.

This is one of our biggest competitive advantages.  “A restaurant group with 30 locations who, five years ago, did an integration solution so it can get the information from all its POS systems into payroll would still have to dial into each POS terminal,” says Wilson.  “With the Avero Payroll Link, we can do it through the cloud in real time, without having to wait which saves the operator time and money.”

This solution can also give restaurant owners the ability to actually track their spread of hours and stay in compliance with the New York City Sick Leave Act. 

“Our Spread of Hours calculation will calculate the infractions by employee, and that uploads directly into our online payroll system. It will also say in the Payroll Link whether or not a Spread of Hours violation has occurred in a column labeled “Spread of Hours.”

It gives owners a running history of the entire year, as well.  “They can go into the Avero module, look at any given week throughout the year and see what hours were worked, that week- on request.  It gives them real technology in the cloud, which is a game-changer when you're talking about multi-state and multi-unit restaurant groups whose time is already nonexistent.  It gives them the ability to have accurate reporting, stay in compliance all while saving time and money…mission accomplished.”

The company even has success stories already.  Mario Batali's group of restaurants has cut its payroll expenses in half, according to Wilson. “Plus, there's no re-keying of data or reformatting.  In their case we cut down the time spent on payroll from 120 hours a week to 60 hours a week and eliminated manually keying entries to significantly reduce errors.”

BenefitMall has launched this application across the country with several major restaurant groups and hopes to continue expanding in the coming year to take on larger restaurant chains, hotels and casinos.