Taco Bell Franchisee Takes POS Track Record Seriously

For more than 20 years, Taco Bell franchisee Lockwood/McKinnon Group has used ParTech (PAR) point-of-sale (POS) solutions to operate its restaurants in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The company launched its first Taco Bell operation in 1989 with a PAR 2000 system, and has turned to PAR each time it opened a new restaurant. According to Gordon McKinnon, general manager, the system is the operational hub of our business – delivering vital data about each transaction so we can analyze trends, solve issues, oversee daily operations and drive long-term strategic decisions. 
From day one, Lockwood/McKinnon wanted a POS partner that could meet current and future needs while providing round-the-clock service and reliability. Over the years, the PAR team had become an integral part of Lockwood/McKinnon’s franchise operations. As the PAR POS systems aged, they continued to provide rock-solid performance but lacked many capabilities of newer-generation systems. When it was time to upgrade, Lockwood/McKinnon knew it could rely on its long-time partner for a quick and efficient transition across all 19 restaurants in the region.
A no-brainer
According to McKinnon, the decision to move to PAR EverServ 6000 POS terminals was very easy to make. The company had experienced more than two decades of dependable service from ParTech’s earlier PAR 2000 and PAR 3000 models, and knew that the new terminals would perform flawlessly.
“I can’t emphasize strongly enough how important POS system reliability is to our operation,” McKinnon says. “Detailed data about the size, makeup and time of every transaction is generated by our POS system for use in the reports that we depend to effectively run our restaurants. These systems operate over the better part of each 24-hour cycle. If the register system goes down we are, for all intents and purposes, out of business. And yet, there is no need for an expensive, fully redundant backup system because the PAR systems are simply that reliable. In the rare instances when a register goes down or a system crashes, PAR responds quickly with trouble-shooting via telephone and when needed, sends a technician to the restaurant in a timely manner.”
McKinnon had been a part of the original Taco Bell franchise technology evaluation process, and knew that PAR hardware and software was already fully approved and that the two companies had been working closely on technology roadmaps. He knew PAR’s latest offering would enable Lockwood/McKinnon to continue following in lock-step with Taco Bell menu formats and layouts while maintaining database and reporting compliance. 
“When it came time to upgrade, I was extremely confident that I would have the latest and greatest solution for my operations, and that it would be precisely as Taco Bell had defined it and exactly what I needed to run my company,” says McKinnon.
In addition to upgrading its franchise hardware, Lockwood/McKinnon also moved its restaurants to the latest version of PAR GT software with integrated credit/debit capability. The new PAR hardware and software solutions enable Lockwood/McKinnon’s restaurant operations to deliver simplified and more accurate ordering. Any questions related to the upgrades were answered promptly and problems were solved immediately.  
“One of the things that I look for with any vendor -- and particularly major vendors like PAR – is the ability to pick up the phone and get an immediate response from them,” says McKinnon. “I need to know that the vendor will make the very best effort to resolve my situation. With no exceptions, this is what PAR has delivered for more than 20 years, and I can’t recall even a single time when I have been disappointed. My needs are always answered effectively and in a timely manner.”
Zero-downtime deployment
Lockwood/McKinnon has been extremely happy with its new POS deployment from PAR. The system ordering process was completed with a simple phone call, and very little setup or staff training was required because of how simple it is to install and use PAR’s equipment. Any problems during the deployment process were handled quickly and effectively.
“Even though this was a major deployment across 19 restaurants, it was a very quick and efficient process because of how familiar PAR is with our operations and the larger Taco Bell organization,” says McKinnon. “PAR knows my business and understands my needs. The PAR team speaks our language and knows what questions to ask – often even before we do. We will continue to rely on PAR for the company’s combination of reliable, easy-to-use products and highly responsive service and support, just like we have for the past two decades.”

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