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PAR Technology Corp., the restaurant software company, has acquired Punchh Inc., the loyalty and guest-engagement provider.

PAR acquires Punchh loyalty platform in $500M deal

Equity funding to restaurant software company provided by Panera founder Ron Shaich’s Act III Holdings

PAR Technology Corp., the restaurant software company, has acquired Punchh Inc., the loyalty and guest-engagement provider, for $500 million in cash and shares of PAR common stock, PAR announced Thursday.

New Hartford, N.Y.-based PAR said it financed the deal, in part, with a sale of $160 million of PAR stock to Ron Shaich’s Act III Holdings and to funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.

The company said Keith Pascal, Act III partner, would join its board of directors and Shaich, Act III’s managing partner and founder of Panera Bread, would take a board observer seat.

“As a founder and long-time CEO of a large restaurant company,” Shaich said in a statement, “I understand first-hand the struggles of trying to power a large enterprise by gluing together disparate technologies from multiple vendors, which results in silos of data, increased management costs and barriers to agile innovation.”

The Punchh deal adds guest-engagement capabilities to PAR’s cloud platform of point-of-sale, back office and payment services, the company said.

“I believe PAR’s vision of a unified commerce cloud will enable more restaurant enterprises to compete effectively and efficiently in the digital arms race,” Shaich said.

“Today there is a conflict between restaurants and technology,” said Savneet Singh, PAR Technology CEO and president, in a statement. “The quantity of new software applications is making it difficult for restaurants to navigate complex integration networks and taking away from focusing on their guests.”

Singh added that “with the Punchh acquisition, we are building a platform that enables restaurants to scale quickly, own their path to innovation and take back their guest relationship.”

Shyam Rao, Punchh co-founder and president of Punchh, said his company had worked with PAR and its Brink POS product for many years.

“We’ve gotten to know them while jointly servicing customers and have always been impressed with their focus on their customer’s success,” Rao said. “PAR’s point-of-sale and back-office solutions combined with our loyalty and engagement platform give customers an end-to-end solution for top-line growth, profitable guest relationships and operational efficiencies.”

In addition to financing the purchase price through the proceeds from sock to Act II and T. Rowe Price, PAR secured a $180 million senior secured term loan under a credit agreement with Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund L.P.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial adviser to PAR Technology, and as sole placement agent in connection with the financing transactions. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal counsel to PAR Technology in connection with the acquisition and financing transactions.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as exclusive financial adviser and Fenwick & West LLP as legal counsel to Punchh.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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