An Open Letter to the Dinerware Community

As you may know, Dinerware was recently acquired by Heartland (NYSE:HPY).

Most people know Heartland as a leader in the payments and payroll service industries.  Intent on expanding their offerings to include a wide range of turnkey business services, Heartland has made several other acquisitions in the POS category, including Xpient and pcAmerica.

Dinerware was founded in 2000, with the goal of bringing modern software to independent restaurants.  Our focus has always been on ease of use and reliability, and that has proven successful.  We serve tens of thousands of restaurants, their staff and most importantly, millions of guests every day.  We not only revolutionized how people think about POS, we also innovated the market by offering “white label” brands through partners in alternative channels such as payment processing.  In the Pacific Northwest, we introduced Dinerware as a Service (DaaS), designed to remove the hassle and unpredictable expense associated with traditional purchase or lease options.  Many of our partners in other regions have followed suit with similar programs.

Our industry is changing rapidly with the introduction of tablet-based systems, cloud-hosted systems, mobile payments, guest affinity programs, mobile orders and many other novel ideas. We have always presented our product as an open system.  A decade ago, we formally embraced and bid welcome to those who want to build on top of our foundation.

Dinerware has been included on the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing companies each of the last four years, yet we face a constant challenge to strengthen our leadership position. From the beginning, we knew these days would come. The moment to make a seismic shift is here, as witnessed by major capital investments in our segment of the software industry.

When Heartland approached us about this acquisition, we were skeptical. But as we learned more about Heartland’s vision and goals, it became clear that Heartland is a fantastic company whose values very much align with our own. We are better, faster and stronger as a team.

Last year, “Heartland Payment Systems” became “Heartland.”  Names have meaning, and this simplification is a dramatic expansion of potential.  Perhaps not many people noticed or thought about it, but we did.  Heartland’s NYSE symbol is HPY. Which is kind of awesome.

We have always focused on our customer first, and so does Heartland.

What does this mean to the Dinerware community?  Dinerware remains Dinerware.  The people you know will still be here.  Obviously there will be some changes, but only for the better.  Dinerware will continue to grow our excellent dealer network and our family of white label brand partners.

We have spent years cultivating international partnerships, and now have installations in 18 countries. This is somewhat unique to Heartland. Dinerware will continue to serve restaurants around the world and focus on their unique needs.

As a member of the Heartland Commerce family, we will coordinate with our sibling teams to accelerate product development and deliver tools to help you thrive in our changing world.

You will not be required to switch your payment processing to Heartland.  We have excellent relationships with most of the major payment companies.  In fact, we are the software behind several other brands.  Every day, we engage with our partners in the payments industry to support their offerings to you.  We will continue to grow with them.

Heartland’s payments team must earn your business on their merits.  That being said, we have always regarded Heartland as amongst the best and we look forward to offering uniquely innovative solutions in concert with them.

Questions and uncertainty always accompany a transition of this nature.  We hope that this letter finds you well, and helps to address your concerns.  Many of you, especially in the Pacific Northwest, took a chance on a fledgling POS company during the early years.  We can’t thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to earn your trust. We will work diligently to keep it.

The journey is hardly over.  In fact, we feel as though it’s just beginning.  We are very excited about the future and hope you are too!

If you have any concerns, please feel free to reach out.  We are right here, where we’ve always been.

Sincerely,

Carl English – Founder and CTO

Jeff Riley – CEO

And the entire Dinerware Team