How a Streamlined Payroll Process Eased the Burden of One Catering Company

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This is the second blog in our industry payroll mini-series. This mini-series will look at payroll across multiple industries and provide insight on the impact it can have on an organization. 

In February 2020, M Culinary Concepts, one of the largest catering companies in the Southwest, was celebrating the completion of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Their team of hundreds provides hospitality services for daily crowds of more than 200,000. 

Just 30 days later, COVID-19 hit the business incredibly hard. While they were able to pivot to alternative services, like providing grocery kits for corporate dining clients and outdoor dining, headcount reduction was unavoidable across the business and impacted their payroll and HR. This left the Human Resources Director doing many tasks, like payroll, for the first time in a long time by herself. The stakes to keep everything going smoothly in turbulent times were high for her, and for the people and business she supports. Fortunately, M Culinary Concepts had a single solution that integrated time and attendance, payroll, payroll services, and HR, so she only had to learn one unified program and could receive support in these crucial areas: 

Paycheck protection program 

M Culinary Concepts utilized the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) funding. PPP loans allowed small businesses to receive a forgivable loan to cover expenses and losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything that needed to be done for their PPP loan was handled by UKG™ (Ultimate Kronos Group), which gave M Culinary Concepts the freedom to not be burdened with extra paperwork processes.

Minimize compliance risk

The payroll process is overwhelming in detail and compliance issues, and liability occurs when details are not tracked correctly. Having a payroll services partner that understands this and is focused on ensuring that you have an ally in the process is invaluable. With UKG Payroll Solutions, M Culinary Concepts was able to leverage comprehensive tax filing and post-payroll processing services to reduce the time spent on administrative work while minimizing legislative and tax compliance risk.

UKG also offers M Culinary Concepts checklists that recommend best-practices for each payroll process to ensure compliance and tax health has been maintained. Checklist examples include verifying wages and taxes and rotating important Data Validation Reports to keep payroll data healthy.

Mobile integration

With a workforce constantly moving from one catering job to the next, having a mobile-ready platform was crucial to keeping everything up to date and accurate. Mobile access was extended to employees and managers so they could view their schedules, accrual balances, and make any time off requests when necessary. Having this mobile platform allowed employees the freedom they needed to focus on the job at hand.

Simple training and onboarding

Now that M Culinary Concepts is hiring again, all new-hire onboarding is completed in the UKG mobile app, which includes checklists and workflows for both new hires and HR staff. This makes bringing back employees and getting new hires in the system simple. Once hired, employees can check pay stubs and change their personal information easily from a mobile device, which provides crucial flexibility for a team who works primarily off-site. M Culinary Concepts was able to maintain complete control of payroll at every step of the process. They can now manage payroll complexity with ease and deliver timely and accurate direct deposit payments to employees with every paycheck.

In early 2021, M Culinary Concepts was able to bring a new payroll administrator onboard. Now the Director of Human Resources is transitioning those payroll responsibilities she once held back to where they belong. She is using the built-in support features like live in-product support chat, the readyConnect panel, and checklists to get the new administrator up and running. The checklist has easy to use, familiar language, such as “time sheet” and “time off request,” with no need to learn complex and hard to understand terms.


After months of uncertainty, business is once again booming with pent up demand for events with fine dining. The amount of time afforded back to M Culinary Concepts’ employees has helped improve employee morale and job satisfaction across the board. The team at M Culinary Concepts can now focus on providing a great guest experience for their clients and be able to take care of their people who make it all happen.

Learn more about UKG's Payroll solutions.