Why Should Restaurants and Retailers Go Paperless?

A woman waits on a man sitting at a table with a tablet in her hand. The man has a laptop.

Interview with Gary Yip, founder of PaperlessNOW

As we covered in our last blog post, What is Digital Transformation? Why Try It?, there are many interesting reasons for businesses to go paperless.

But one thing we wanted to chat about today is the fact that, for restaurants and retailers, there are unique challenges faced that make the digital transformation process specifically helpful.

And who better to talk with on the subject than PaperlessNOW founder, Gary Yip? He’s been serving those industries for years with SAFEcheck Systems, which has recently been successfully rebranded under the PaperlessNOW name.

Back in November 2022, we sat down with Gary to ask him about this important topic. Here are his thoughts…

Q: Why should restaurants and retailers go paperless?

A: “It’s pretty clear these days that a lot of folks in these industries are overworked. There’s a shortage of folks that are interested in working in these places. There’s a recruiting issue.

As a result, everybody has to bite off more of a piece of the main piece of work. And I think that really affects folks with their workloads. So, the question is, how do we make these people be able to survive and not burn out in the workplace, and have these folks stay in the industry?

I think that’s the most critical thing. And I think that’s why it’s just so important to make things as efficient as we can. Because people are wearing 25 different hats already. Eventually, it’s not sustainable and people are going to burn out. And it’s a lose-lose for everybody involved.”

Q: What are the unique advantages of going paperless for retailers and restaurants? 

A: “Going paperless is absolutely huge. There are definitely physical benefits.

In most cases, in Ontario, you have to retain records — employee records — for seven years under the Ministry of Labour laws.

Imagine, kind of a high-turnover environment, where people are coming and going, especially in this day and age. And you’re just going to keep files for every single one of them for seven years?

Sure, you could not do it. But you know, if ever somebody comes across and sends you a legal notice, and there’s a lawsuit, and you don’t have your ducks in a row, you’re in big trouble.

So, there’s clear physical benefits to that. And, outside of the physical sphere, though, you know…being able to harness data, and to use it electronically, is absolutely huge. 

Let me explain. A lot of folks now do their payroll outside — they outsource it. They send it to a team here and they send it to a team there. Or, the restaurant might be in Toronto, but the payroll person might be in Welland, for example, right?

If it’s paper-based, how do you get that information over to the payroll person? We’ve seen people scan things. They do it paper-based, and then they scan it into a computer, and they email off the scanned document. That’s so cumbersome and you’re adding more work to the process.

But if you start everything from paper and you’re able to transmit something electronically, you know, or maybe even in real-time, like how we do it here, it’s going to open up even more time for everybody. And it’s a much better experience. 

So, I think, you know, there’s obviously physical benefits, but it’s taking the data online, and there’s so many unique ways you can use that information — whether it’s analytics, whether it’s information sharing, whether it’s storage. You can really store it for way more than seven years if you really wanted to. And it’ll be at an immaterial cost.”


In summary, there are many specific reasons for restaurants and retailers to consider digital transformation, like:

  • Reducing/balancing workloads for already-overworked employees
  • Increasing efficiency to reduce burnout
  • Physical benefits, like maintaining employee records
  • Harnessing data and using it electronically
  • Simplifying cumbersome processes
  • Improving the electronic processing experience
  • Analytics, information sharing, or storage
  • In certain cases, reduced costs

Hopefully, now you’ve got a better handle on just why digital transformation is so crucial for businesses today — but especially for hourly workplaces.

Follow us on LinkedIn to be the first to hear about new blog posts, and if you’re interested in going paperless for your restaurant or retailer, claim your 30-day free trial of PaperlessNOW by getting in touch today.

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