PAR Technology Corporation: Innovations for the Modern Customer

PAR Technology Corporation: Innovations for the Modern Customer

Chas Wurster, CTO, PAR Technology CorporationChas Wurster, CTO
To deliver innovative solutions that optimize the guest experience." With this mantra, PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR) is redefining the point of sale to bring technological innovation to all corners of the enterprise. Over the last nearly 40years, PAR Technology Corporation has gone on to become an industry leader in systems and service solutions for the hospitality industry--restaurants, retail, entertainment venues and cruise ships.

Journey of PAR

The idea of a POS system has gone through various iterations ever since its inception, and now, with the connection to the cloud, the POS system has taken on a whole new identity. PAR Technology entered the industry to provide POS systems to ensure accuracy. The company then began producing hardware and software components, having introduced some of the first systems of that kind in the quick service restaurant (QSR) space.

In 2014, PAR acquired a startup called Brink POS® that was making innovative cloud-based POS systems that ran on PAR’s hardware. With that acquisition and further development on that product line and continued investment, PAR is now a leader in cloud-based POS systems, providing both the back-end software for the cloud under the Brink brand name, as well as its hardware.

The Shift to Cloud

“One of the drivers for selecting cloud-based systems is to leave behind the back-office computer that usually holds all the localized data for that store. By offering a cloud-based solution, we keep the data safe and secure in the cloud and accessible at all times,” says Chas Wurster, CTO of PAR. When using a cloud-based POS system, users can manage more than one restaurant at a time from a central location, with all the menus, prices and analytics synchronized. One of the most significant advantages of running these systems is that in the event of a disaster at the local store, there is no data loss; clients can replace the broken hardware and keep running. If the internet service is down, the individual site continues to operate and re-synchronizes when the network comes back online.

Brink is designed not only to scale and grow with businesses, but to manage operations as easily with 1 store as with 1,000. Upgrades are included and performed automatically and can filter down to all locations as needed in real-time. With features like loyalty, online and mobile ordering, kitchen video system, and labor management built into the POS, Brink offers a truly seamless solution driving a powerful customer experience. Brink also enables robust integrations with partners and APIs, such as loyalty programs and mobile ordering.

A leader in cloud-based POS systems, providing, both, the back-end software for the cloud under the Brink brand name, as well as its own hardware

These APIs allow clients to connect to other systems that provide different feature sets.

“The platform is open and extensible, so we run on our hardware, software, and we allow them to choose other modules if they find that those will be better suited for them,” explains Wurster. As PAR has a long-standing history with Tier 1 accounts, it also offers services that go beyond general POS, like field service calls and support staff— whether it is installation or customer support.

When on boarding new clients, PAR’s sales team gives a presentation to potential clients, after which, the engineering team goes through the process of determining the main pain-points of the customers. As POS systems are central and complicated, PAR often has conversations about EMV processing, how clients operate their kitchen systems, among others.

After implementation, the company works with the clients to ensure that they remain happy and are always informed about upgrades, features, and optimizations. PAR also takes into account client feedback on the features and areas of growth they see in the industry.

Customer Relationships and the Future

CAVA, a Mediterranean restaurant chain was interested in leveraging technology to both optimize the user experience and to be able to get insights into their business. The company selected PAR’s Brink as its POS system because of its ability to leverage open APIs to drive more engaging customer experiences. Also, the potential of PAR to integrate with different online ordering platforms and to get real-time views of how the business is doing attracted CAVA. “The firm is a great partner, and it is pushing us into new areas around data gathering and analytics. We partnered with CAVA to fulfill its needs in a way to create an excellent consumer experience for its customers,” asserts Wurster.

PAR is in the process of running through some transformative initiatives as it moves towards becoming a software-driven solution provider, where the POS software becomes a focus instead of the other way around. With Brink, the company is primarily focused on the US and North American markets, specifically in quick service and fast casual restaurants. In the future, Brink will see more international deployments since PAR already sells hardware globally. PAR is undertaking strong internal efforts to transform the culture of the company and to focus on empowering its employees and pushing through its core values around people, authenticity, awareness, perseverance, and dreaming. “We strive to be servant leaders and stakeholders with a responsibility ethos that is well understood across the whole company,” concludes Wurster.