SWBC PEO Success Story | Salata

A PEO Success Story: Salata

Learn how SWBC PEO helped a Salata franchise streamline operations and increase business.

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Salata had an average of 42.7% in growth from 2014, the year of its inception, though 2018, and continues to show strong growth year after year!

Objectives:

  • Create an employee handbook
  • Develop an efficient payroll system
  • Build an efficient online and paperless onboarding process for employees
  • Handle workers' compensation claims thoroughly

Accomplishments

  • Created a thorough employee handbook
  • Implemented a new streamlined and paperless onboarding process
  • Saved money by minimizing mistakes on payroll processing
  • Increased understanding of workers' compensation claims and how to better handle them

Carrying on the Tradition of Business Ownership

Kasey Hanlon, Salata Franchise Owner and Operator, was no stranger to the restaurant business since her family owned a well-known Tex-Mex eatery for over 35 years in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up in the family business, Hanlon knew from an early age she was going to do something in the hospitality industry. She chose to attend Oklahoma State University for their hospitality management program but shifted her focus to restaurants after one year in the program. Hanlon graduated in 2009 with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and began working as an event planner in Dallas, Texas—which prepared her for the next chapter in her life.

In 2012, Hanlon signed her franchise agreement with Salata and in 2013, opened her first location in San Antonio at the Huebner Oaks Shopping Center. Today, Kasey owns and operates seven Salata locations throughout the San Antonio and Austin markets and employs more than 175 employees.

Hanlon and her employees stand by Salata’s commitment to offer its customers salads and salad wrap options made with the freshest ingredients that are gluten-free certified and customizable. Salata’s motto, “if you eat good, you’ll look good, and you’ll feel good,” continues to drive its customers to eat healthier and make its mark as the next generation salad bar.

Finding a Crisp and Fresh Start

Hanlon’s Salata franchise teamed up with SWBC PEO in 2013, and they continue to be an intricate part of her business. As a new franchisee and business owner, Hanlon faced a few challenges. The first challenge for Hanlon was building a standardized employee handbook that adhered to current employment laws and could be implemented across all current and future Salata locations.

The second challenge was establishing an efficient and paperless payroll system that could save Hanlon and her management team time and money so the team could stay focused on their customers and Salata’s mission. To do this, Hanlon knew she needed a trusted partner she could rely on to keep the company up-to-date with the latest payroll and employment-tax laws and help the company avoid costly payroll mistakes and fines.

Third, Hanlon’s Salata locations needed to establish a quick and efficient onboarding process for new hires that was seamless and could get them working in the store quickly.

Finally, as she expanded, hired more employees, and opened additional locations, Hanlon had to find a way to properly manage work-related injuries. Growing up around the restaurant business, Hanlon understood how important it was to properly handle workers’ compensation claims because one mishandled claim could jeopardize the business.

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“As a young entrepreneur, I highly recommend SWBC PEO. Their guidance, mentorship, patience, and dedication to ensure all procedures are running smoothly is the reason I will continue to utilize them. They make you feel like family and I know my company is well cared for and that they have my best interest in mind.”

–-Kasey Hanlon, Franchise Owner and Operator, Salata.

The Perfect Ingredient

Hanlon and her family’s long-time restaurant, Alamo Café in San Antonio, already had an established relationship with SWBC PEO, so Hanlon knew she could trust Chief Executive Officer, Norman Paul and SWBC PEO’s team of experts. The day Hanlon signed her Salata franchise contract, she knew she needed to make one important phone call—and that call was to SWBC PEO. The SWBC PEO team began working immediately with Hanlon to address all her challenges.

SWBC PEO hit the ground running with Hanlon and drafted an employee handbook using existing templates and a mix of Hanlon’s family-owned business’ handbook from Alamo Café. Hanlon began working with a dedicated account representative that assisted her in posting numerous new-hire positions on various job boards. Working with one specific person at the PEO office to manage these job posts made it easy for Hanlon to quickly and efficiently reach as many candidates as possible. She also began working with a dedicated payroll representative to build new payroll documents that are still used today and established proper procedures according to the latest payroll laws. These documents improved accuracy and helped her staff save countless hours processing payroll. And as Hanlon’s Salata business grew, she began to rely heavily on SWBC PEO’s expertise and guidance to properly handle all workers’ compensation claims so that she could better serve her employees when accidents did happen.

The Recipe for Success

It’s no big surprise that running a small business is risky, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s a 20% chance a new small business will fail in the first year and a 50% chance the business will not celebrate its fifth anniversary. This certainly wasn’t the case for Hanlon. From the day she opened her first location in 2013 to today with seven Salata locations, Hanlon is truly an inspiration to other young female entrepreneurs.

Since implementing SWBC PEO services in all seven Salata locations, Hanlon and her management team have more time to stay true to Salata’s mission and better serve each customer because they spend less time on burdensome paperwork and other back-office functions. All of Hanlon’s Salata locations have experienced lower turnover because she is able to offer competitive benefits to her employees—helping to attract and retain top talent. Working with SWBC PEO has helped Hanlon’s Salata locations save thousands of dollars and countless hours by streamlining their onboarding process and moving to a paperless system where everything is done online. SWBC PEO’s HR guidance also played a key role in guiding Hanlon through situations she did not know how to handle as a young entrepreneur. One of the biggest benefits Hanlon praises is that she can offer her employees access to SWBC PEO’s easy and convenient HR portal so they can receive the answers they need about their paychecks, benefits, and all other HR-related questions.

“It’s nice to be able to give employees access to SWBC PEO’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS) representatives and have them answer all my employees’ questions. Having SWBC PEO as an extension of our team allows me to give my employees what they need, spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time engaging with customers,” said Hanlon.


By partnering with SWBC PEO, Kasey has been able to spend less time focused on administrative tasks so that she can be laser-focused on the growth of her company, as illustrated by her positive sales growth since the inception of her company in 2014.

To learn more about how SWBC PEO can help your business and see if it’s a perfect fit for you, request a free consultation.

Conclusion

SWBC PEO has allowed Hanlon to spend more time out in the front lines of her business, focusing on her customers and employees. Like many business owners, Hanlon enjoys working side-by-side along her staff and is able to because she knows all the back-office operations will continue to run smoothly with SWBC PEO’s help. Hanlon knows the importance of focusing on her employees. In fact, the majority of managers currently working throughout the seven Salata locations started as hourly employees. Hanlon believes in promoting from within and teaching every employee all aspects of running a restaurant.




“I like being in the day-to-day. I feel disconnected if I’m not checking in and talking with the team. I want to be there for them and support them,” Kasey says.

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