It was a childhood friendship forged over flag football that would eventually lead to the successful partnership of Rick Nakashima and Ted Davenport. Today, with business interests that include Ruby Tuesday Hawaii— and with additional partners, Gyu-Kaku Hawaii and the Rainbow Drive-In location in Kalihi—the restaurateur team employs nearly 700 people locally.
On the heels of the Mililani launch, the partners were looking to expand Ruby Tuesday to two more locations within two years under a franchise agreement. Yet at a period when employee onboarding, payroll management and benefit packages were going to become increasingly important for the business — especially with their own time becoming limited — the restaurateurs found out they didn’t have a reliable support network.
“We were working with another PEO that lacked transparency and accountability. With the start of a critical growth period ahead, we needed an immediate change.”
Rick had acquaintances that worked at ProService Hawaii and he shared the situation with them. After learning more about ProService’s integrity and reputation for service, the partners made the switch. “We understood that smooth employee administration would be key to our rapidly growing business,” says Rick.
ProService Hawaii’s HR experts then managed the mounting paperwork, fielded employee questions and created custom payroll reports—seamlessly taking all this work and more off the restaurateurs’ already full plates.
“As soon as we started with ProService, it really became noticeable how professional they were. They took care of things in a timely manner and helped us get things cleared up right away. They took the bull by the horns and got everything fixed and in complete compliance for us. That was a big load off our shoulders.”
With the ProService experts ensuring their employee payroll, health insurance, workers’ compensation and taxes were in compliance, the partners had the time they needed to focus on opening and operating their restaurants.
“High turnover rates are often a part of the nature of the restaurant industry, and ProService ensures that any unemployment claims are documented correctly and that we’re always on top of the latest regulations,” notes Nakashima. “There are also the longer-term employees, particularly in managerial roles, where our being able to provide attractive benefits to retain a well-trained team is incredibly valuable.”
That timely switch to ProService shortly after the launch of the first Ruby Tuesday Hawaii addressed the business’ rapidly growing human resources needs and continues to fuel its growth through comprehensive benefits administration, low-cost health insurance and seamless employee onboarding.
The power of partnership at the core of Rick and Ted’s success is also reflected in the role ProService plays to support the restaurateurs’ ever-evolving business needs.
Ruby Tuesday Hawaii now has five locations statewide on Oahu and Maui. And when Rick and Ted saw an opportunity to expand Gyu-Kaku in Hawaii starting in 2010—and then to partner with the owners of the Waikiki Rainbow Drive-In in 2017 to open a second location—ProService was there at each new venture, enabling the partners and their team to be able to keep a focus on their priorities.
Rick notes that they are also now taking advantage of ProService’s employee onboarding tool to elevate hiring and management processes. “The onboarding tool makes getting our employees up to speed so simple and streamlined. More and more, and as we continue to grow, it’s about efficiency. ProService just makes life easier.”
A partnership with ProService empowered Rick and Ted to realize their vision, and continue to build their empire of quality restaurants across Hawaii.
“Having a great PEO company like ProService allows my managers to manage the restaurants, and that’s exactly what you want. You never want your manager in the office doing paperwork—you want them out in the kitchen, out in the front of house taking care of guests, out making sure the restaurants are clean and tidy. If they were to have to do the things ProService does for us, our restaurants would not run as smoothly as they do.”