How Gusto helps Prix Fixe Accounting drive revenue growth, while helping restaurants thrive

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With Gusto, Prix Fixe Accounting has been able to:

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Drive 25% year-over-year revenue growth, over the past six years

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Provide proactive, strategic guidance on wages and benefits – ensuring clients succeed in an industry with tight margins

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Save 5 to 10 hours of work per client during end-of-year workers’ compensation audits

About Prix Fixe Accounting


Where:
North Adams, MA
Industry: Accounting
Employees: 10
Clients on Gusto: 30
Joined Gusto: January 2018

When Chris Macksey started his accounting firm, he knew he needed a name that fit the firm’s mission: To help restaurants and hospitality businesses thrive financially. “Prix fixe” jumped to mind – a French term referring to a menu with a chef-curated list of dishes at a set price. That matched up perfectly with the firm’s focus on providing a selection of technology and services, at a fixed price, while dramatically improving clients’ efficiency. 

Before becoming an accountant, Chris spent years in the restaurant industry. All throughout high school and college, he worked in restaurants, first starting as a busser and eventually moving to back-of-house. So he knows first-hand the joys – and challenges – of running a restaurant. 

He’s carried that experience and passion into his firm. Today, Prix Fixe supports restaurants, hotels, and food-based retailers with full-service bookkeeping, payroll and accounting, and financial advisory. In a fast-paced industry that is still grappling with change after COVID, Chris and the Prix Fixe team ensure their clients have all the financial guidance they need to make smart decisions. 

By offering user-friendly payroll and benefits, and by making it easy for clients to understand their costs, Gusto has helped Prix Fixe proactively advise its clients on compensation and benefits. This frees up Prix Fixe’s clients to do what they love – providing incredible dining and hospitality experiences.

Why Prix Fixe partners with Gusto

For Prix Fixe Accounting, using Gusto’s simple, user-friendly all-in-one platform for payroll and benefits has been vital to its clients’ success. Chris shares:

  • “The number one thing that I like to use with Gusto is the user interface … We have a lot of people where this is their first job, or they don’t have a super strong command of English, or they may not have ever been on payroll before. So making that experience really easy for them and not super technical is really important for us.”
  • “We’re working in an industry where there’s a lot of turnover, so onboarding and offboarding employees is probably one of the single largest pain points that we have. Gusto makes that really easy for us … it is easily the biggest differentiator.”
  • “In the hospitality space, we have what’s called ‘steps of service.’ When you are serving a table, it’s not just putting the food down, taking the order, and putting the food down. There’s a process … Using one platform makes your steps of service really easy so that you can consistently deliver the same service to every single person … Gusto has allowed us to do that very easily.”

How Gusto’s compensation benchmarking tool helps Prix Fixe advise clients

In the past few years following the pandemic, the hospitality industry has been rocked with labor shortages and high turnover – leading more businesses to boost employees’ compensation. With Gusto’s compensation benchmarking tool, Prix Fixe is able to strategically advise its clients on wages. Chris shares:

  • “The industry at large has a very narrow margin at the end of the day, and there’s not a lot of profit in this industry. It’s an industry of love, not of filling a bank account – so we have to be really careful in what our compensation is going to be.”
  • “Compensation benchmarking has been one of the most useful tools for us as advisors … Being able to zero in not only on how much an executive chef is making, but how much an executive chef in a rural area is making versus an urban environment is so important to us. Those numbers were very different pre-COVID … Without Gusto’s benchmarking tool, we probably wouldn’t have really been able to zero down on that data point quite as easily as we have been able to.”

How Gusto helps Prix Fixe simplify workers’ compensation

In the hospitality industry, workers’ compensation is critical in protecting both businesses and employees in case they are injured on the job. But before Prix Fixe partnered with Gusto, it was incredibly challenging and time-consuming to determine what clients would need to pay. Chris shares:

  • “One of the reasons that we really love Gusto is because for us, workers’ compensation is such a burden to deal with … Using Gusto and the integrated workers’ comp makes it a lot easier for us because we’re paying workers’ comp every single week when we run payroll. We are able to set up exactly what their class codes are – so we don’t have these big true-up [payments] at the end of the year that can cost our clients thousands of dollars because they put in the wrong information.”
  • “It has made our lives infinitely better as accountants because we don’t have to deal with the workers’ comp audit at the end of the year, which is an easy five to 10 hours [of work] depending on the size of the client. There is no mysterious magic number they’re going to have to come up with or sweat coming up with – so it’s one less stressor that’s out there in the world and it makes it much easier for us.”

How Prix Fixe and Gusto help clients offer the right benefits

In addition to raising compensation, many restaurants are now offering benefits to their staff. This can dramatically reduce turnover – according to Gusto research, when hospitality businesses offer retirement benefits, on average they reduce an employee’s likelihood of quitting by 54% in their first year. 

But with tight margins, restaurants need to be careful about choosing the right insurance plans. That’s where Prix Fixe comes in. Through Gusto, Prix Fixe helps clients calculate the costs of offering benefits, while making it easy to administer them. As Chris shares: 

  • “[Offering benefits] is a necessity in this modern day and age, and if you’re staying outside of that decision-making, then there’s the potential that your client could be making a bad decision. For a restaurant, choosing the wrong health insurance policy could be the death of that restaurant … What is useful is that when you go through the enrollment process or the questionnaire in Gusto, it tells you what the expense range is per employee. So it helps to put those numbers into very real numbers for employers, because they have no clue how much health insurance is going to cost them.”
  • “The reason that historically [restaurants] haven’t offered [benefits] as an industry is because the administration has been such a pain … The advice I’d give to other firms looking to offer benefits through Gusto is that it’s not as much of a burden as you would think it would be … It makes the enrollment and unenrollment of insurance really easy.”
  • “Because Gusto makes it so easy for employers to add benefits, it will become much more commonplace … We plan to expand benefits offerings in the future because this current environment of change for the restaurant industry is not going to change anytime soon. People are going to want health insurance. They’re going to want 401(k). They’re going to want all of the other benefits that they could get with any other job, so that they don’t have to go out and get ‘a real job.’ They can stay working in the restaurant industry and continue to live a happy and fulfilling life.”
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