Fourth Acquires HR Services Provider Choice HR
Fourth, a hospitality operations platform, announced the acquisition of Choice HR, a full-service Payroll, Benefits and HR Services business that meets the complex needs of the hospitality sector. Choice HR’s comprehensive suite of solutions are currently used by 400+ organizations, including PDQ, Metro Diner, Beef o’ Brady’s, Ford’s Garage and World of Beer.
In an ever-changing regulatory and legislative environment, it can be challenging for restaurant operators to juggle payroll, employee benefits and taxes while achieving compliance and ensuring employees are paid accurately and on time.
"For the past year, we’ve heard restaurant operators discuss uncertainty around the future of the minimum wage and tip pooling," said Ben Hood, CEO, Fourth. "These rules and regulations have an immense impact on the restaurant industry, as they directly impact employees’ take-home pay. To ensure operators are compliant and paying employees on time and accurately, they need a system in place that allows for transparency and accurate tip pooling."
Choice HR supplements Fourth’s workforce management capabilities, creating a merged system that provides restauranteurs with the only end-to-end service of its kind. Together, Fourth and Choice HR streamline processes to reduce costs, labor turnover and the risk of non-compliance.
With the acquisition of Choice HR, Fourth will now allow for on-demand access to human resources professionals that are familiar with the nuances of the complex hospitality industry, giving managers the freedom to focus on the customer, rather than on tedious HR matters.
“Freeing managers from time-consuming administrative work is an important step toward perfecting the customer experience,” added Hood.
Effective immediately, ChoiceHR will add over 400 new customers to Fourth’s roster, as well as bring the number of U.S.-based Fourth employees to 80, with most serving as customer support and solutions experts. Fourth’s new Tampa headquarters — an expanded location to better support Fourth’s growing U.S. footprint — will be located at 9007 Brittany Way, Tampa Florida 3619.
The merger of ChoiceHR and Fourth is just one example of how streamlining operations can improve back of house operations. Improving technology advancements will also improve efficiencies.
"We’re seeing more operators utilize automation—driven by IoT—to streamline mundane tasks, like staffing, checking inventory stock, waste management and more," Hood notes. "Integrated, richly merged technologies open operators up to many previously disparate and disconnected data points that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights. This gives business the wherewithal and knowledge of how to improve their operations. However, there is still a lot of untapped potential in restaurant automation."
Fourth predicts that the following priorities will remain top-of-mind for operators during the next few years:
- Using machine learning to improve forecasting and the customer experience.
- Prioritizing sustainable business practices.
- Accommodating customers with food sensitivities and allergies.
- Prioritizing security and data privacy concerns.