One of my first jobs was at the Real Canadian Superstore in the Joe Fresh clothing department, where they offered a program that allowed me to buy clothes and have the amount that I spent deducted from my pay cheque. As an irresponsible teenager, you can imagine how this option dramatically expanded my wardrobe, and quickly depleted my bi-weekly pay to barely enough for a Subway sandwich.
Still, the benefits of payroll deduction programs are evident for both employees and employers, making it a wise choice to investigate – particularly in food service.
From helping reduce cafeteria lines, to encouraging contactless payments, to promoting absolute convenience, this fast-growing payment option is being implemented across a range of industries from education to healthcare.
How does payroll deduction increase your sales?
- Payroll deduction can reduce lines and shorten average transaction time.
Having a long line in your cafeteria can steer guests away, particularly because perceived wait times feel longer than actual wait times – which is going to reduce your sales.
Implementing a program that allows employees to pay with their badge encourages a faster average transaction time and check-out experience than cash or credit cards. Even better – they can use their existing employee badge to make payment. If your employee cards have a magnetic stripe, are RFID-enabled, or have a barcode, the POS terminal or self-serve kiosk can be equipped with the peripherals to allow employees to simply swipe, tap, or scan and go.
Some companies, like Volanté, offer offline processing for payroll deduction, which means that even if your food service area loses internet connectivity, employees can still pay for their meals without worry. This helps you as an operator rest assured that even if your network fails, you won’t lose sales.
- Payroll deduction provides employees with unparalleled convenience and encourages on-site dining.
An employee payroll deduction plan encourages staff to purchase meals from the cafeteria instead of taking their business to the café across the street, generating sales for your dining venue.
In addition, about 21% of the population in Canada utilize proximity mobile payments, meaning people are less likely to carry payment cards or cash with them. Enabling payroll deduction allows employees the freedom to avoid bringing their wallet or phone to the meal area – ideal for hospitals and educational facilities, where employees are required to wear their badge at all times.
As an added bonus, because transactions are associated with employee names and accounts, operators can gain access to data showing what meals their employees are purchasing – providing valuable information to your chefs on what items they should include on the menu.
- Payments with employee cards or badges can be contactless, which has become more critical than ever.
It’s no secret that cash is covered in germs, which doesn’t mix well with meal time. Many employee badges are equipped with RFID technology or barcodes that do not require the card to change hands in order for payment to be processed. RFID readers and barcode scanners are quite universal, so you likely won’t need to worry about purchasing new employee badges to get started, either.
Now that we’ve evaluated some of the benefits, let’s address some of the common concerns raised about payroll deduction programs.
- This program is going to be too expensive to adopt.
Before worrying about the cost of implementation, reach out to your POS provider and request a proposal. If the project’s adoption costs are out of budget, maybe it is time to re-evaluate your POS provider and see there is a better fit for you. In addition, with increased transactions coming through your cafeteria, you may find the module pays for itself more quickly than you think.
- Employee payroll deduction will create more work for my team.
There are waivers and forms associated with getting employees registered for payroll deduction, which takes time and resources. Some solutions, like Volanté, reduce this administrative work by building waivers and program opt-in/opt-out capability directly into an online portal. This means less paperwork, easier adoption, and better program maintenance.
These programs can also be fully automated, ensuring that when new employees are added to your payroll system, they can quickly and easily subscribe to the program and use their badge at the POS. At the end of the payroll period, charges are automatically exported back to your team for review or directly into your payroll system – reducing duplicate data entry and providing a seamless experience.
Without an employee payroll deduction program, you are leaving money on the table and preventing employees from accessing an incredibly easy and convenient method of payment. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a reckless spender like me at your cafeteria, you’ll notice the benefits by the end of the first pay period.