Do bar payroll higher: Finest practices + bar payroll companies to contemplate


For a small enterprise proprietor managing a bar, working payroll for bartenders and the remainder of your workers comes with its personal set of challenges. Worker wages are sometimes calculated in another way due to suggestions, and finishing your payroll tax submitting appropriately could be sophisticated with the modified hourly wages below federal and state minimal wage necessities.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to deal with worker paychecks the correct means so you’ll be able to keep compliant and keep away from stepping into bother with the IRS.

Let’s break down every thing you must learn about enhancing the performance of your bar payroll system and guaranteeing a clean course of each payday.

What you must know when managing bar payroll

From worker contracts to setting the correct pay interval in your workers, right here’s a listing of what goes into managing your bar payroll.

Worker contracts

As quickly as you rent new workers in your bar, you’ll have to file a new rent report along with your state. You and your new crew member can even submit just a few kinds as a part of the onboarding course of:

Type W-4

IRS Type W-4 helps decide how a lot federal earnings tax to withhold out of your worker’s paycheck. They’ll want to finish this manner earlier than they present up for his or her first shift.

Type I-9

Your crew member should additionally submit the I-9 earlier than beginning their first shift. The shape verifies that the particular person is legally approved to work in america. You don’t must file this one with the federal government, however you’re required to retain it in your employment data.

Check out our article on how you can fill out Type I-9s for extra data.

Varieties W-2 and W-3

Type W-2 stories how a lot you’re withholding in payroll taxes from every crew member. You’ll have to file this paperwork with the Social Safety Administration yearly by February 1, when additionally, you will have to ship copies to your crew.

Type W-3 is submitted on the identical time. This one stories the full quantity of withheld payroll taxes out of your complete crew and the full quantity of paid worker wages. You don’t have to ship a replica of the W-3 to your workers.

Study extra about payroll taxes (together with a rundown on FICA, Social Safety, and extra) on this article.

Compensation insurance policies

Hourly vs. wage workers

Workers who’re paid a wage obtain the identical quantity every pay interval primarily based on an annual wage. Nevertheless, your bar or restaurant workers doubtless receives a commission hourly wages, which means you pay them primarily based on the hours they work.

Full time vs. part-time workers

In keeping with the Truthful Labor Requirements Act (FLSA), a full-time worker works 40 hours per week. That is the one regulation that stipulates common workweek hours earlier than extra time pay kicks in.

You may outline what full-time work and part-time employment seem like at your small business. Many bar and restaurant house owners use the everyday 40-hour workweek to outline a full-time worker, however others take into account a full-time schedule to be 35 and even 30 hours in a single week.

Your part-time workers are those who work lower than your outlined full-time hours. The imprecise authorized definition means you have got the flexibleness to construct your crew nonetheless you see match.

The primary distinction between part-time and full-time is that part-time crew members aren’t certified to obtain sure worker advantages you might provide. So remember to designate every worker clearly.

Fortunately, Homebase scheduling works for each part-time and full-time workers. You may schedule as many workers as you want for the week and ship the set schedule to your crew instantly, giving them loads of time to swap and commerce shifts.

Tipped workers

Many bar workers earn tipped wages throughout their shifts as their major supply of earnings. You may actually have a tip pooling system in place, which you’ll study extra about on this article.

A tipped worker is a crew member who often earns greater than $30 in recommendations on a month-to-month foundation. The IRS requires that your workers report and report any tipped earnings of $20 or extra monthly.

Below the FLSA, you might depend a proportion of the ideas {that a} tipped worker earns towards the minimal wage requirement. That is referred to as a tip credit score. Nevertheless, state guidelines fluctuate — check out your state labor regulation information to study extra.

Type of cost

You will have a few choices for the way you pay your crew members. Let’s take a look at the professionals and cons of every.

Paper verify

Some enterprise house owners select to pay workers with paper checks as a result of it permits for extra privateness and management. Workers don’t must share their banking data, giving them extra management over who may be capable of entry their accounts. Workers are additionally capable of management once they deposit their checks and the place.

Nevertheless, workers have a better likelihood of shedding or damaging paper checks, which could be harmful for your small business because it lists data like account and routing numbers. Paper checks additionally require extra supplies for printing, which suggests more cash lacking out of your backside line.

Direct deposit

Paying workers by direct deposit — or the digital switch of a cost on to their checking account — is simple and provides your crew the advantage of accessing their wages quicker.

Direct deposit funds are additionally good as a result of there’s no likelihood of the cost getting misplaced on the best way to the financial institution.

One con of direct deposit is that you simply’ll must pay a setup payment to get began — they usually vary from $50-$149. You might also be charged per worker for every deposit (anyplace from $1.50 to $1.90).

Moreover, your worker’s financial institution might have charges hooked up to the service — or they might not have a checking account in any respect. They must open one earlier than getting paid, which may additionally value cash.

Payroll interval

Bar house owners ought to comply with a weekly or bi-weekly cost interval for a bar, particularly if workers are paid per hour. There are execs and cons to each schedules.


Paying workers on a weekly foundation can construct belief and enhance morale as a result of they’re getting paid extra typically and have simpler entry to wages. Moreover, hourly workers typically have inconsistent shift schedules and a weekly pay interval could make paying them simpler.

Weekly payroll can even assist arrange your payroll system simply — you’ll be able to merely select someday of the week and keep on with it each payroll interval.

Nevertheless, weekly checks can show to be costlier. Keep in mind these direct deposit charges? Relying in your worker depend, they’ll add up should you’re paying your crew extra typically.


Paying workers bi-weekly, or twice a month, saves time because you’re solely working payroll twice a month as a substitute of 4 occasions. It additionally saves cash since you gained’t must pay the processing charges as typically.

Nonetheless, your workers are getting paid much less often which might cut back morale. Fortunately there’s a cheerful medium: Homebase provides the chance to offer your crew entry to their wages as they earn them. Study extra right here.

Financial institution accounts

It’s necessary so that you can open two separate financial institution accounts when working a bar: an working account and a payroll account.

Working account

Your working account capabilities as your major enterprise account. Use this one for bank card transactions and money deposits. It’s additionally used to pay your payments and invoices.

Payroll account

Your payroll account is used just for payroll functions — and nothing else. Solely transfer cash out of your working account to your payroll account earlier than every pay interval, and by no means transfer cash the opposite means round.

7 steps in a fundamental bar payroll course of

Because the bar and restaurant payroll course of could be tedious and sophisticated, it helps to have a set guidelines which you can refer to every pay interval so that you don’t miss any steps.

1. Calculate the variety of hours for every worker

First, calculate every worker’s work hours for the pay interval. That is completed simply should you use an automated time monitoring software like Homebase.

2. Gather tip stories

You should accumulate tipped earnings stories from workers and bank card transactions out of your POS and embrace all tipped wages for every pay interval. In your calculation of wage funds, you should withhold earnings taxes and FICA taxes on tip earnings.

Embody the tip earnings and withholding on all payroll tax stories, you’ll must make deposits as required on tip withholding and FICA taxes. You’ll additionally want to take care of data of worker suggestions in case you’re audited.

3. Calculate gross wages for every worker

Gross wages in your bar payroll means the full quantity of earnings for every worker earlier than any taxes or deductions are withheld. To calculate it, merely multiply their hourly pay fee by the variety of hours they labored for the pay interval.

You’ll base all different calculations on gross pay earlier than reaching the web pay — extra on that later.

4. Issue within the taxes

First, calculate any voluntary pre-tax deductions that must be taken out of the gross wages. These can embrace:

  • Well being advantages
  • Retirement contributions
  • Commuter advantages
  • Life insurance coverage

Subtract these quantities (if any), after which calculate taxes due. The quantity of tax withheld varies primarily based on every worker’s withholding allowances from their Type W-4. 

It’s time to calculate, withhold, and submit tax funds for you and your workers.

We laid out the need-to-knows on this article, however right here’s the rundown of how a lot you must take out of gross wages primarily based on the kind of payroll tax:

Employer-paid taxes

  • FICA: Social safety is 6.2%, and Medicare is 1.45%
  • FUTA: Usually 0.6% on the primary $7,000 of wages paid within the yr
  • SUI: Price is assigned by the state

Worker-paid taxes

  • Revenue tax: Federal and state earnings tax (the place relevant) fluctuate primarily based on earnings and withholding allowances
  • FICA: Social safety is 6.2%, and Medicare is 1.45%

5. Tally the web pay

Your worker’s web pay is the cash left over in any case obligatory deductions are withheld. These embrace pre-tax deductions, native, state, and federal taxes, and tip credit.

When you’ve deducted all the mandatory funds, the remaining belongs to the worker and is what they obtain on payday.

6. Distribute payroll

Lastly, it’s time to chop and distribute checks or deposit funds to your workers. Keep in mind to first arrange a plan for the way you need to pay your crew to make this step as clean as attainable.

7. Safely retailer the payroll data

You’re required below the FLSA to retailer all payroll data for not less than three years. Moreover, the FLSA requires you to take care of data of the way you calculated wages for 2 years.

In keeping with the IRS, data of employment taxes have to be maintained for not less than 4 years after submitting the fourth quarter for the yr. These embrace your workers’ Type W-4s and dates of employment.

stage up your bar payroll

Following the following pointers will assist guarantee a clean course of and take away undesirable complications come payday.

Examine native minimal wage insurance policies

The federal minimal wage is $7.25 for non-tipped workers and $2.13 for tipped workers with a tip credit score, however these numbers fluctuate broadly primarily based on the state and metropolis you reside in. Check out your state labor regulation information to double-check that you simply’re following the correct guidelines.

Don’t go overboard with extra time

An excessive amount of extra time can damage your backside line, so use it properly. Homebase helps you make smarter scheduling choices by alerting you when workers are about to succeed in extra time, permitting you to maneuver just a few shifts round and construct schedules in keeping with your labor value targets.

Arrange direct deposit 

Direct deposit is the best solution to pay your crew and prevents you from having to print checks each pay interval. Get began by gathering consent and banking data from every worker and submitting it to your direct deposit supplier. This fashion your crew can relaxation simple figuring out their funds will likely be delivered to their checking account seamlessly every pay interval.

Doc every thing

Once more, all payroll data have to be correctly maintained and saved to keep away from any undesirable run-ins with the federal government. Be sure to have a strong system in place to take action.

Automate payroll administration

One of the best ways to make sure a clean course of each pay interval is to automate it! Use a payroll software program like Homebase to cut back errors and get every thing completed on time.

How Homebase simplifies bar payroll administration

Homebase makes payroll administration for bar house owners simple. Right here’s how.

Handle worker schedules

With Homebase scheduling, you’ll be able to keep away from extra time with useful alerts, construct schedules in keeping with your gross sales forecasts and labor targets, and extra.

Calculate work hours robotically

Tallying work hours? Piece of cake. The Homebase time clock does it for you by immediately changing your timesheets into hours and wages in payroll. It’ll additionally enable you to cut back time theft, and set labor to gross sales targets so you’ll be able to defend your backside line whereas concurrently breezing by step one of many payroll course of.

Keep compliant

Homebase takes away the headache of sweating sophisticated compliance duties. We’ll enable you to arrange breaks and extra time in your state, and even calculate, pay, and file your payroll taxes for you.

Moreover, we’ll robotically submit your new rent reporting and file and distribute obligatory paperwork and likewise retailer your data that will help you keep compliant with the FLSA.

Bar payroll FAQs

What proportion ought to payroll be in a bar?

Whereas each bar is exclusive and comes with its personal labor proportion, rule of thumb is that labor prices usually vary from a low of 25% to a excessive of 40% of gross sales.

What’s the distinction between paycheck suggestions and money suggestions?

Money suggestions are given to an worker instantly by your clients as a substitute of by a paycheck. Paycheck suggestions are costs that your clients add to bank cards that you simply then embrace in your worker’s paycheck.

What occurs should you don’t report money suggestions?

In case your worker doesn’t report tricks to you, they may very well be topic to a penalty of one-half of the FICA taxes owed on these unreported suggestions. Nevertheless, the penalty may very well be prevented in case your worker reveals “affordable trigger” for not reporting them. Study extra concerning the IRS penalties right here.


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