We caught up with our IT Operations Manager Jon Castro in Cabo where he was enjoying his first ever all-inclusive Champions’ Club reward trip. Jon has been with DRG since he was 15 when he started out as restaurant cashier. Now stationed at our Restaurant Support Center (RSC), he’s been our tech expert since 2007 (similar to Karlo whose career took him from cashier to financial analyst).

“It’s rewardingto be recognized,” Jon says of his recent company-paid travel. “And fulfilling, after all the challenges of the last few years, [to] finally be invited.”

Today, Jon oversees IT operations for both our Taco Bell and Arby’s businesses. He oversees internal and external support requests, and manages the installation, support and integration of restaurant technology. He says he’s also recently started dabbling in project management for new builds and remodels.


Early Exposure to IT

Before securing a position in IT, Jon says his tech experience was very informal and included graphic design, experimenting with audiovisual skills and music video creation. He had some relevant electives in high school and college, and once built his own PC. He was also exposed to IT at home: His dad was a software programmer and his mom did a lot of data entry.

While Jon didn’t spend a ton of time in the restaurant setting, his two years as a cashier were essential for understanding our business and all of the pain points behind the counter. He speaks of the evolution of technology from then to now.

“A couple years ago, we were only doing front counter and drivethru transactions,” he shares. Now there’s those two PLUS kiosk[s]. You have digital, you have mobile orders, you have thirdparty delivery. So there’s now six to seven channels that we didn’t have before.

The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) has been exciting for the QSR industry, especially in the form of voice AI. Jon says his team is currently testing this concept in a few Taco Bells in the Southern California market. Also in the works is a new DRG app called MyDRG, a one-stop shop for team members’ job-related tools, including payroll, HR, benefits, company announcements and applications.

“We make technology importantwe want to make it shine.” Jon Castro, IT Operations Manager

It’s no secret that DRG has plans to grow. With expansion, we believe innovation and technology have to evolve in tandem.

From the order point to hitting the kitchen to printing the receipts … technology is the backbone,” Jon says. “We need these things to succeed if we want to double in size and grow successfully.”

Jon says he loves working for DRG and gushes about the people. He claims the secret to his own success has been the loyalty and trust reciprocated between him and our company over the years, at every level.

Looking for loyalty? Look no more — apply today.