Why IHOP chose a little known restaurant tech provider in TRAY

Kelsey W. Popham


Editor’s Notice: AFN’s father or mother business AgFunder is an trader in TRAY.

IHOP — the cafe chain recognized for its breakfast and pancakes specifically — these days introduced a multi-yr deal with cafe tech provider TRAY.

Presented the problems brought about the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw 110,000 dining places closed down quickly or forever and ongoing labor shortages, IHOP, like lots of restaurant operators, has been compelled to innovate to keep afloat, these kinds of as by including on the net and supply solutions to their offerings.

Which is not often straightforward if you’re a substantial-scale restaurant chain with entrenched procedures and methods, but in an hard work to streamline its functions and payments procedures, the Dine Manufacturers Global-owned organization is adopting a new cloud-based issue of sale (POS) and restaurant administration software, at all of its 1,600+ locations throughout the US, from Arizona-centered startup TRAY.

In a three-calendar year marathon, TRAY’s engineering was pegged from 82 of the world’s leading POS units. The final stage of the choice system, a grueling yr-long multi-retailer pilot, ended in Oct 2021, and TRAY was picked as the winner.

A vital attribute of the startup’s technological innovation is that it can combine with ideal-of-breed reporting, inventory, and payments techniques made use of by substantial cafe brand names, and importantly, it can operate on present hardware. The new system permits IHOP franchisees to employ present hardware, delivering an added charge-price savings possibility for franchisees and enabling for fast conversion with small cafe disruption.

Meet up with TRAY, our to start with expenditure in Restaurant Tech

“TRAY meets the stringent specifications for our organization and the enterprise of our franchisees now and in the long run,” mentioned Justin Skelton, main data officer of DINE Brands. “TRAY’s potential for customization makes it possible for for continued progress and innovation. “

In accordance to TRAY’s founder & CEO, Peter Kellis, “We realized we experienced a terrific Organization answer for Family members Amusement Centers, which was our initial concentrate, but we did not have anything complete-support and quick-informal dining places essential. About a number of a long time, doing the job with the brilliant crew at DINE served us best our supplying. This new enterprise with IHOP  confirms our engineering and our capability to aid significant cafe models.

New tips

To say that most of the restaurant market in the US requirements an improve is an understatement in accordance to Kellis, most huge cafe models like IHOP are making use of old technologies that have been about 30+ decades. Kellis has found other significant technology changes as an MIT graduate and former Google PM in many other sectors, but “nothing at this scale.”

“Restaurant POS methods used to demand a bodily server on location, which included a level of failure and diminished the prospective of the technology,” he provides. “Our system is cloud-centered and is a a great deal far more fashionable procedure, which can deal with the new prerequisites for eating places like server tablets, app-centered purchasing, kiosks, on the net and 3rd-bash buying, and integration with other Organization Application for reporting, payments, and so on we are the two processor and hardware-agnostic generating us a flexible choice for Brands hunting to make a alter.”

And, till the pandemic, substantially of the restaurant industry was resistant to transform, specifically these larger chains, according to Kellis. “It is a major deal for a big manufacturer at the company degree to make a decision to do anything fully different and it requires time,” he additional.

When Covid-19 strike, the cafe industry had to offer with the two customer and labor shortages and so wanted to make far more overall flexibility in its workflow, requiring a improve of engineering guard.

This have to have for improve has been a boon to the POS market total Kellis argues that helped drive the greatest, most effective-acknowledged POS participant to its multi-billion-greenback valuation.


About the earlier 9 a long time, TRAY has quietly been creating an Business product that’s suitable with multiple varieties of components and processors — so eating places can hold employing their POS components units, processors, and other systems. It can also manage various sections of a multi-restaurant business.

From a user-helpful POS and strong kitchen display screen capabilities that can deliver orders to distinctive sides of a kitchen area, to menu management at the organization level and self-provider on the web, table or kiosk ordering, TRAY delivers a prolonged listing of functions for places to eat at an enterprise level. It also will work on bespoke or custom made options with consumers. In simple fact, all through the silent sales cycle of the pandemic, the workforce was active introducing practically 500 new functions to its technological innovation, specifically for comprehensive provider and fast-informal business cafe shoppers.

IHOP is element of the Dine Brands Global group, which also owns Applebee’s and flip’d by IHOP.


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