Par buys loyalty provider Punchh with help from Ron Shaich

The $500 million deal bolsters Par's extensive restaurant software platform.
Par Punchh
Photo courtesy of Par Technology

Restaurant technology giant Par Technology Corp. has acquired Punchh, a provider of loyalty and customer engagement software, for about $500 million in cash and stock.

The transaction included a $160 million investment from Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich's Act III Holdings, generated by the sale of Par stock to Act III.

With Punchh, Par adds loyalty capabilities to its POS, back office and payment services for chain restaurants, creating an end-to-end, cloud-based platform. Par said the fully integrated product will allow restaurants to avoid having to build a tech stack piece by piece.

"This eliminates the need for juggling disjointed vendors, developing cumbersome point-to-point integrations and relying on third-party dependencies," said Savneet Singh, Par CEO and president, in a statement.

Shaich, who helped Panera develop a first-class tech stack, echoed that sentiment.

"I understand first-hand the struggles of trying to power a large enterprise by gluing together disparate technologies from multiple vendors," he said in a statement. "Those restaurant brands that can create a differentiated guest experience, aided by seamless omnichannel technology and a superior understanding of their guests’ preferences and behaviors, will be best positioned to win."

As part of the deal, Act III Partner Keith Pascal will join Par's board of directors, and Shaich will become a board observer.

Punchh is one of the leading providers of loyalty and engagement software for restaurants, counting more than 30 of the top 100 chains among its clients. It focuses on 1:1 marketing, using artificial intelligence to help restaurants create personalized experiences for individual customers.

It has long integrated with Par's Brink POS system. "We’re excited to join the PAR team and further our offerings to the hospitality industry," said Punchh co-founder and President Shyam Rao.

Par works with more than 100,000 restaurants in 110 countries. 

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