What is a PEO?

Everything restaurants need to know about partnering with a Professional Employer Organization.

By Jenna Murrell|Sep 1, 2023|11:38 am CDT

Dining rooms are bustling again. Business is booming. The time for expansion is now. But instead of putting your efforts into growing your business, you’re bogged down in paperwork, red tape, and mind-numbing administrative tasks. Sound familiar?

We’ve heard it a thousand times before. It seems that just when things are really taking off, the HR side of running a restaurant business gets really complicated. That’s where Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) come in.

More and more restaurants are turning to PEOs to help them retain top talent, reduce overhead, and mitigate risk. But that’s not even the best part. With a PEO in place, restaurant owners and operators can put their focus where it belongs, on growing the business.

Before we dive into all the reasons why PEOs are great for growing restaurants, let’s take a step back and talk about what a PEO is anyway.

How PEOs Can Boost Restaurant Ops Success

The ROI of using a PEO in cost savings alone is 27.2%. See how leveraging HR & payroll partnerships can support your restaurant’s growth and streamline operations.

What is a Professional Employer Organization and what does it do?

It’s pretty simple, actually. A PEO company provides human resource services for small and medium-sized businesses. PEOs can serve businesses in any industry, but at Fourth, we specialize in the hospitality industry.

When you outsource your HR to a PEO company, it takes on all of the responsibilities typically associated with a robust HR department. The PEO handles everything from paying wages and taxes to assisting with compliance to providing competitive benefits to employees.

With the PEO taking care of all of the HR-related tasks, your management team is free to focus on the areas of the business that drive growth. This only becomes more critical as you grow your employee headcount and expand into new cities and states where regulations may be different.

Fast Fact: PEOs help businesses grow faster

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, businesses that work with PEOs grow 7-9% faster and are 50% less likely to go out of business.

How co-employment works for PEOs and restaurants

Typically, when a restaurant outsources HR to a PEO, they enter into a co-employment relationship. This essentially means that the restaurant and the PEO enter into an agreement that divvies up the employer-related duties. The PEO shares the risk with the employer and becomes the co-employer of the restaurant employees.

The PEO typically manages payroll, handles HR-related tax matters, issues W-2 forms, addresses workers’ compensation claims, and provides employee benefits. The restaurant maintains control over business operations and things like hiring and firing, promotions, and scheduling. A Client Service Agreement (CSA) determines the employer duties the PEO takes on and the duties that remain the restaurant’s responsibility.

Essential PEOs services for growing restaurants

If you find yourself asking what services a PEO provides, the answer is pretty much everything related to human resources. One of the biggest benefits to restaurant employers is that even as you grow, you can keep a tight rein on overhead costs by maintaining a streamlined HR team — or even eliminating internal HR entirely. Some of the HR services PEOs can provide for your restaurant include:

Employee benefits management

Workers’ Compensation Claims

Tax filing and administration

Fast Fact: A PEO can help you reduce employee turnover by 10-14%

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, businesses that work with PEOs experience lower turnover than businesses that don’t.

Fourth PEO services: your secret sauce to success

Running a restaurant means constantly moving at top speed and racing to stay at the top of your game. As owners and operators, you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating delectable experiences for your customers. The administrative side of running your business shouldn’t stall your momentum. That’s where partnering with a PEO becomes not just a time saver but a business accelerator. With dedicated HR expertise, streamlined operations, and the opportunity to grow without the cumbersome red tape, it’s clear why so many in the restaurant industry are turning to PEOs.

“Fourth’s Platform has helped us in all levels of our organization. It allows us to go from recruiting and applicant tracking all the way through payroll while having support on the Human Resource side and compliance…it allows us to reduce probably 20-30% of that administrative time and get back on the floor and taking care of our guests.”

— Michael Johnson, VP of Operations, Ford’s Garage

View the Case Study

At Fourth, we’re not just any PEO company — we specialize in hospitality. Our HR teams know the unique compliance and tax challenges restaurants face inside and out. As you set your sights on continued growth and expansion, you can count on us to lift the administrative burden from your shoulders.

Our team would love to hear from you

Give us a call today +1 (877) 539-5156, or click the button below.