PAR Technology Corp.

Par Technology

PAR Technology is successfully evolving into a software-driven company.

By Alan Dorich, Knighthouse Media

If there is anything that is frustrating to a customer, it is not receiving the correct change after they pay. PAR was founded to solve that problem, Chief Strategy Officer Paul Rubin says.

One of the company’s founders was an owner of a McDonald’s franchise experiencing a problem with cashiers calculating order totals on paper bags. “What would happen is they were not often correct with what they came up with,” Rubin explains.

This led PAR to creating an electronic cash register in 1978. Since then, the company has grown into a leading provider of restaurant and retail technology, with point of sale (POS) systems in nearly 100,000 restaurants and over 110 countries.PAR info box

“The hardware products we offer are in use with a lot of quick-service and fast-casual chains,” Rubin says. These include McDonalds, Yum! Brands, Jack in the Box Inc., Five Guys Burgers & Fries, and Pita Pit, to name a few. 

Software Focused

“PAR has transitioned in recent years from a hardware-focused company to one led by software,” Rubin says. “PAR realizes that being good at hardware makes the software experience better and both are important to have a robust, tightly integrated solution.” 

But the solutions PAR provides, he notes, are far different from the days when people bought software that came in a box. Back then, “What we knew when we acquired software is that it would suffer a planned obsolescence,” Rubin recalls.

PAR avoids that by maintaining a subscription model that allows clients to constantly receive upgrades “that disrupt that notion of planned obsolescence,” he says. “The customers receive new innovations and PAR is spending time concentrating on advanced cloud and IoT technologies.”

Growing Together

One of PAR’s innovations came from Rubin himself, who has more than 23 years of development experience and has spent over 18 years in the hospitality POS market. Over time, he created technology for Kinko’s, Jenny Craig, Starbucks and Jack in the Box.

Rubin founded Brink POS® Software when presented with the challenge of creating a POS solution for a multi-restaurant system. “In 2008, we got started with the Brink Software product,” he recalls, noting that the system operated in the cloud before it was even known as “the cloud.”

“It would work with or without an Internet connection,” he continues, adding that PAR acquired Brink POS  Software in 2014. Rubin had long admired the company before becoming a member of its team. 

“We already endorsed and believed in PAR,” he recalls. “It seemed there was a lot of synergy in the customers we were working towards and the ones that PAR had worked with historically.”

The growth of Brink POS is accelerating. “We’ve grown dramatically together,” he says. “The number of chains we’ve served has grown pretty dramatically and the number of stores we have in our portfolio is continuing to increase.”

Another PAR innovation Rubin highlights is SureCheck, a food safety and checklist management product it introduced in 2009. The product replaces paper-based methods with a cloud-enabled system.

SureCheck is currently conducting nearly 1 million temperature checks across user locations each day. “It really is strong in the areas of HACCP compliance in ensuring all the checks are getting done,” Rubin says. 

Looking Ahead

As PAR transitions into a software-led company, it is focused strongly on its culture. “It’s been fun and exciting, but there are always challenges in taking a company that has had the long life PAR has had and codifying the core values and purpose,” Rubin says.

“Our customers look for new mentalities,” he continues. “Millennials demand to know you’re making a difference and a good one. They seek business that push the envelope in terms of the food they serve and their purpose. They also seek more digital interaction with the brand and we enable this innovation in interaction with our open API.”

The company also looks ahead to see how technology will evolve. “We ask ourselves what ordering will look like in the future,” Rubin says.

This might not only involve mobile devices and touch-driven kiosks, but speech-driven kiosks as well. “It’s probably some combination of all of those possibilities,” he predicts.   

But even if counter terminals and order stations become obsolete, PAR is not worried about losing business. “A restaurant still has the burden to do taxes and food prep in their kitchen,” Rubin says. “We touch many parts of the restaurant.”

PAR Pride

PAR employees work in an exciting environment, which is due to new innovations and the excitement that has accompanied growth. “Each employee at PAR is valued and has a role in contributing to the success of our customers whether assembling terminals, developing software or servicing the customer,” Rubin says. “We take pride in and celebrate our teams.

“There’s just a buzz and activity in all parts of the company,” he continues, adding that employees are excited about PAR’s client growth.  “It doesn’t matter if you’re on the assembly line producing hardware or if you work at our support desk,” he says. “Everyone has a hand in making sure our customers are successful.”

He predicts a bright future for PAR. “We’ve got a backlog of stores to get installed,” he says, adding that the market will continue to see more innovation as well.

“Digital technology is changing very quickly,” he states. “Restaurants benefit from the appropriate application of that technology. Our responsibility is to find those innovative ways to bring that technology to the restaurant.”

Sidebar: 

Access Anywhere

PAR recently introduced PAR Pay, a SaaS-based EMV-enabled transaction-processing system for processing credit, debit and store value cards. “PAR Pay is seamlessly integrated as an extension of all PAR POS software solutions and supported by the PAR service infrastructure,” the company says.

The solution, it notes, will be available to Brink and PixelPoint clients this June. “PAR Pay’s gateway architecture provides real-time transaction visibility through a cloud-based portal, allowing anywhere access to view non-sensitive transaction and settlement details, analyze payment trends, reconcile payments and manage chargebacks across all stores securely from the cloud,” PAR says.

 

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