Rob – Hi Rob Grimes with the IFBTA and I have the pleasure this afternoon a being with Kevin Jaskolka, Vice President of Marketing for PAR Technologies. So welcome.
Kevin – Thanks Rob, appreciate it.
R – What are the trends that you guys follow? And when you spot a trend how do you move in that direction?
K – It’s informed in a couple different ways and obviously, digital is big. By digital, I mean on the restaurant side where we’re looking at the culmination of online or mobile ordering combined with in-house ordering and how that ties into loyalty and then how that ties into payment. There’s a big piece of that now. Looking at that as one piece, and it’s really informed by industry trends by folks like your group and other allied groups out there. We’re also hearing back the response from our customers and understanding what their current roadmap is and where they want to go in the future. So we take that into account and then incorporating that into our road maps.
R – Are those all product applications that PAR itself provides? Or do you do that through partners?
K – The great answer is that it can be both. So PAR does have currently a product around loyalty, payments, around online ordering. But we can also partner in the ecosystem as well. So if you already have something like Olo or Punchh or Hot Schedules, we can tie into those as well as many other types of allied systems.
R – I suppose that because you are so international as well. As you look at countries around the world, you’re going to come across other players and partners you may need to work with as well – in order to provide localizations within the market.
K – That comes about two ways. Customer defined localization but also working through our channel to expand our development group and be able to do localization through our channel partners as well.
R – So as we think about the things for the future…Because you’ve talked about what the trends are and you’re talking about meeting the trends, are there some development things that are coming up in the next 12 to 18 months that PAR has its focus on right now and will see some new products coming out to cover? I mean, I think the health safety thing, in itself, not being covered by most suppliers within the marketplace….
K – You look at food safety, specifically, it’s such a manual process. The biggest competition in the food safety space is in other software companies, which is interesting, but it’s really the old mindset of using pen and paper to handle food safety logging…
R – (Like a thermometer in the pocket)
K – exactly and with a spiral-bound notebook! So it’s hard to get global visibility much less 5 to 10 store visibility. It’s hard to prove that, just because it’s documented as being done – a check at 5:15 – did it really happen at 5:15 if it’s a manual process? The forward-looking companies, we see it in grocery, we see it in C- store, and will probably see more in restaurant, they’re looking at how do you use technology to be better compliant in the food safety modernization act and automate and digitize hazard analysis and critical control point processes.
R – Now this is under the SureCheck product line? (Right) so how did par decide to get into that specific space? Was it an open need? Was it an acquisition that you did? Was it a customer request? How did you identify that?
K – Kind of obvious in some respects, right? First of all, you’ve got to have it and it needs to be done right. And PAR has always digitized processes. We’re the first standalone POS system – a computerize based system and then we take that into food safety and we bring our knowledge and ability to find patterns and analyze them and then bring that data visible to the organization for action. It’s a great allied market for a restaurant space. It just makes a lot of sense for us to be in there and what we understand, and how we can leverage software, hardware, sensors in the cloud, it’s all in our wheelhouse and becomes a really strong solution for us.