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Par Technology could be a dominant force after $500 million acquisition, Panera founder says


Restaurant tech company Par Technology could become a dominant force after its acquisition of guest engagement platform Punchh, Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

“This company has the potential to really dominate in enterprise-class restaurants offering what is the holy grail of technology in this industry, which is essentially unified commerce,” Shaich, who is joining Par as a board observer, said on “Mad Money.”

“With this acquisition, we’re bolting it together,” Shaich said. “The reality is that this is one of the most powerful opportunities that exist in restaurant technologies.”

Par announced last week it would buy Punchh for $500 million. Since then, Par shares are up about 25%.

The stock has gained traction in recent years as the New Hartford, New York-based company turned its attention to hiring a strong workforce and improving its enterprise product offerings, CEO Savneet Singh said in the joint interview.

“Much of the last 18 months to two years has been focusing our capital allocation on software and then really rebuilding the entire management team from, you know, the likes of Google [and] Uber,” he said.

The company’s latest move comes as restaurants juggle customers placing more orders through services such as Uber Eats due to the pandemic while at the same time taking some in-store orders. Shaich said Par’s platform can help restaurant operators centralize their systems.

“What Par is now offering is the potential for an integrated system that’s plug and play and works far more effectively,” he said. “To have one system the heart of the system that flows throughout the restaurant. It’s what we’ve been searching for in building digital systems.”

Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, White Castle and Arby’s among Par’s clients.

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