About Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is a popular restaurant group that employs more than 8,000 people in the UK. Their team includes around 7,000 restaurant staff, who are paid fortnightly, and another 1,000 centralised staff, who are paid monthly.

Payroll manager Tracy Summers and her four-person team is responsible for making sure everyone receives their wages, bonuses and expenses on time.

Pizza Hut’s challenge

Tracy’s team are always looking for ways they can improve the service they provide, by enhancing employee experiences and delivering crucial data to senior management faster.

For example, they wanted to provide executives with quicker access to labour cost information, so they could understand the impact on cashflow sooner. They also wanted to give employees easier access to their pay information – payslips, P45s, etc – via an online portal.

The team, already under pressure from existing demands, had limited time to look at new solutions, however. So, Tracy and her team called in their payroll systems provider Zellis to see if they could suggest changes that would improve efficiency, save time and, in turn, free them up to focus on projects that could help them achieve their objectives.

The Zellis solution

“We didn’t know exactly what was possible but Zellis offered to conduct a health check on our current system, so we asked them in to carry out a review,” explains Tracy.

After observing how the Pizza Hut team were using their payroll systems, Zellis recommended three changes that would speed up their processes.

Firstly, because the business has a high turnover of restaurant staff, ‘housekeeping’ measures would ensure time wasn’t spent checking the records of people who no longer worked in the business.

Secondly, payroll processing would be uploaded to Zellis’ servers in the cloud, taking away the need to bounce data back and forth between Pizza Hut systems and Zellis systems.

Finally, records would be processed concurrently, rather than consecutively. Zellis would update the system so five streams of pay, bonuses and expenses data could run simultaneously.

Pizza Hut asked Zellis to proceed, but the payroll team were cautious initially: “There was a nervousness as problems with payroll can have a big impact on businesses like Pizza Hut. But as soon as we saw the positive impact this was having, we gained confidence and asked them to push on,” says Tracy.

The results

As a result of the work, Pizza Hut has reduced the amount of time it spends on payroll processing by 82 per cent.

“Instead of finishing our processing halfway through a Tuesday, we’re already moving on to other things on a Monday – and that’s been significant. It has reduced the pressure on our team and allowed them to take on tasks that make a big difference to the business,” Explains Tracy

The team can now provide senior management with important payroll data within a couple of hours. This is giving key decision makers access to information on the cost of labour, company expenses and cashflow – allowing them to react faster.

The time-saving has also allowed the team to work with Zellis on other projects, such as deploying an online employee portal. Employees can now access their pay information at any time and payroll staff have more time to handle any questions or requests that staff have.

“It’s amazing that something that started out as essentially a time-saving project has actually helped us to achieve some significant company objectives. It has had such a big impact on our organisation and the service we provide to employees,” Tracy said.

“And we’re not done yet. We now have an appetite to find ways to speed processes up further, become even more efficient and continue to improve the way we work.”