This article was written by Paul Rubin, PAR’s Chief Strategy Officer, as part of PAR’s ongoing Thought Leadership series.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a milestone as quite literally being “a stone by the side of a road showing the distance in miles to a given place.” A milestone is also described as “an important point in progress or development.”
Some people are inspired by the milestones still in front of them and choose to devote their energy toward achieving those goals. These are the folks who know where they are going, and you can see it from across the room. Others are more focused on celebrating achieved milestones and this shows up as gratitude.
I typically spend more of my time focused on what lies ahead, but we surpassed several significant milestones recently and I thought it would be worthwhile to stop for a deep breath and reflect.
It has been 13 years since I had the idea for Brink POS®. Since then, I have devoted significant time and energy, along with many other talented people, toward making this product what it is today. In the very early days, I had two goals for Brink. One was to achieve 10,000 active locations and the other was to eventually reach 100,000 active locations.
We achieved the first milestone of 10,000 active Brink locations during the early months of 2020 and are now at nearly 12,000 locations only one year later. Ironically, it will probably take less time to reach 100,000 active restaurants than it took for us to get to the first 10,000! How we achieve 100,000 active locations permeates my activities each day – which is consistent with the notion that I am generally future-focused.
Brink POS passed another milestone recently, but I have to confess that this is not a milestone I was paying particular attention to. I founded Brink with the ethos that our platform should be extensible via API and open and available for use by all our stakeholders – particularly our customers and partners. To this day, we continue with that ethos and believe it is a big differentiator. We are API-first, and we are an open platform. The proof is in the pudding.
“Walking our talk” of being open and offering our customers choice was not easy in the early days. As I reached out to various companies about integrating our two products, I was often put on hold or simply told we were too small to integrate with. These companies never seemed moved by my proclamations that we would be growing into a giant provider! This led to several of my goofy expressions, including “Imitation is not the highest form of flattery, integration is!” I told you it was goofy, but it’s true.
As time marched on and we added more integrations, my goofy expression evolved. I eventually began telling others that having a high-quality integration is like having friends in high school – the more you have, the more parties you get invited to. And we liked getting invited to the parties!
Perhaps more importantly, I had evidence that we were correct in offering an open API at a time when most of our competitors were either closed, charged for access, or both. Over time, we have helped many of our integration partners grow, and they likewise have fueled our growth. The best part is that each new integration brings more choice for our customers. After all, they know their businesses better than we do.
After 13 years of investing in as many integrations as possible, I am proud to announce that we have exceeded 200 active integrations. In fact, not only have we surpassed 200 integrations, that number is growing faster than ever. It is a true testament that our ethos of being fast and open is what restaurant operators crave. They don’t want to be told how to run their business or that they do not have a choice. They want to be offered education and as many choices as possible. And while we are consistently adding other offerings to our portfolio, we never insist that customers pick our offerings over our ecosystem partners.
So, here’s to taking a moment to reflect and celebrate our achievements of breaking through the 10,000 active location mark and growing our integration partner ecosystem to over 200 partners! Just don’t spend too long celebrating – we still have more milestones in front of us!