Why Olo is the Best Foundation for Your Restaurant Chain’s Mobile Ordering Platform
Over the past few years, Olo has revolutionized the restaurant industry, becoming an essential ‘ingredient’ in top restaurateurs’ recipes for success.
Olo has become a restaurant staple today with more than 150 restaurant chains in the US leveraging Olo’s ordering platform. These include some big names like Chipotle, Starbucks, Shake Shack, The Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Veggie Grill, Fazoli’s and many others.
Olo: Origin & Evolution
Olo evolved from GoMobo, launched by Noah Glass – the founder – back when smartphones weren’t really that smart and had quite a ways to climb up the evolutionary ladder. Fast forward to 2010, as mobile technology advanced far from being ‘just’ concepts dreamed of in 2005, GoMobo took a leap, shapeshifting into ‘Olo’. Here in the present day, mobile ordering and delivery have most definitely become a ‘thing’.
Olo has refashioned the entire digital ordering landscape for many of the top restaurant brands. As the largest POS/ordering service in the market, Olo ensured ‘skip the line’ became a trend. Starbucks is a popular instance, leveraging Olo’s ‘order ahead’ they implemented ‘skip the line’ to stay on top of their game. Today, we just place an order, pay ahead, and pick our coffee on our way to work.
Early on, Olo CEO and Founder Noah Glass described his vision succinctly:
‘We want to be the Amazon of food.’
Olo said and served. And in retrospect, this new business model and its exemplary execution has been well-received by chain restaurants all around the country.
Why Restaurants Choose Olo for Mobile Ordering & Delivery
Olo serves a platter of diverse features to ensure an easier and seamless order and delivery management for restaurants.
Hands-down the best option for your multi-location restaurant brand
This works both as a pro and a con. Olo’s software-as-a-service only delivers advanced digital ordering for restaurants with many locations. As a small-scale restaurant (with just one location), Olo wouldn’t make sense.
However, as a restaurateur running a large chain, you don’t have to take the pains of handling the day-to-day technical side of things involving online and mobile ordering. Olo takes this off of your plate, so as a restaurant manager you can concentrate on their key responsibilities like ensuring quality food, ambiance, and creating a loyal and happy customer-base.
As far as control and visibility into location management goes, its administrative dashboard takes care of that in a restauranteur-friendly way. But there’s more to Olo than a user-friendly interface.
All your orders, from your restaurant mobile ordering app as well as any integrated aggregators are directly and seamlessly streamed into your POS system making it easier to manage orders. Olo allows easy management of digital order and delivery.
Easy ‘Order API’ integration with your restaurant’s custom mobile ordering app
With the rise of mobile ordering, restaurants have prioritized their mobile apps to allow customers to easily order ahead. With Olo’s robust API, restaurants on Olo can easily create a custom mobile ordering app that extends their digital restaurant to customers wherever they might be.
As an example, restaurants can team up with a mobile app development company like CitrusBits to design and develop a mobile ordering app that captures the look and feel of the physical restaurant into a highly optimized mobile application. In this case, CitrusBits will connect the mobile app to Olo via the API to seamlessly transact orders into your existing systems, while integrating with delivery, loyalty, and other systems as appropriate.
As your partner mobile app development company, CitrusBits will work with you to create a digital restaurant experience that will delight you and your customers.
Olo Dispatch makes delivery simple and scalable
While taking orders digitally has become a new normal for restaurant businesses to compete in this increasingly competitive market, scaling restaurant delivery is actually very challenging, even for large chains.
Olo takes care of this problem as well by helping provide restaurants with the required competitive edge with its ‘Dispatch’ capability. With Dispatch integrated in your online order and delivery system, your customers order from ‘your restaurant app/site’ but Olo helps ‘your’ restaurant deliver that order using third party services. With this method, you can benefit from the scale of these third party delivery partners without having to fork over the substantial commissions you’d otherwise be subject to.
The best part, Olo’s Dispatch covers pretty much every area, metro areas as well as the smaller suburbans, and rural markets. It helps improve coordination, control, scale, offering transparency for restaurant operators, delivery rider, delivery times, accommodating even consumers with real-time pricing for food delivery.
It even integrates with today’s growing number of Digital Service Providers (DSPs) including UberEats, Postmates, Doordash offering an extensive delivery network to restaurateurs.
It’s why multi-location restaurant brands like Which Wich, Noodles & Company, Taylor Gourmet, LYFE Kitchen, Planet Sub, Fields Good Chicken, Busboys and Poets, and VERTS Mediterranean Grill are all leveraging Olo for managing their digital orders flowing in from food aggregators as well as their own proprietary apps.
Why does it work so well?
Here’s what happens: a guest visits your restaurant’s website or mobile ordering app, places the order and makes payment. At checkout, the guest will likely pick the “Delivery” option. After they go through the required steps (adding address etc), they receive the best-matched quote from local available DSPs. Here, they pick the best option.
The customer can then track their delivery from the rider traveling to the restaurant, to the handoff of the order, and finally to delivery at their doorstep. This all takes place on a restaurant’s digital ordering website or app, seamlessly.
Olo’s Rails allows for easy and efficient third-party order processing
Most people ‘Google’ a good place to eat or order online. Actually, about 90% of people look for restaurants online before placing an order or even for dine-in. In fact, more than any other business type, a great deal of restaurant web searches begin on Google.
By teaming up with Google, as Olo’s Rails is integrated with Google Maps, Search, and Assistant – there will be an increased search traffic volume and orders coming in from these channels. Orders placed through the aforementioned Google properties will be sent directly to the restaurant’s POS and ordering stream.
It’s compatible with your restaurant’s existing app and technology
Olo takes the worry off of the restaurateur’s plate. You no longer have to agonize over an order that was missed or a menu that is inaccurate. With its open architecture, Olo allows you to integrate with any restaurant’s existing technology. Its user friendly software integrates seamlessly with any restaurant POS technology, CRM systems, loyalty programs, even when a restaurant has many different POS suppliers and off-POS software.
What’s more, the software is compatible with any KDS and back-of-house systems. Importantly, restaurants don’t have to set up a separate workflow for orders that come in through a mobile app or website. This is an important reason why Olo is the best order and delivery management system in the market. Olo’s software platform integrates digital orders from various channels (web, kiosk, smartphone, and so on) into a single restaurant ticket source, syncing all your operations to prevent loss in your digital infrastructure.
Olo is reliable, secure, and fast
With over 40 million customers, it’s critical for Olo to provide best-in-class security in its services.
Most Olo clients own and use custom domains for their ordering websites. According to Andrew Murray, Olo’s CTO, Olo wanted to provide HTTPS on these custom domains without the hassle of customers having to validate certificates and us having to setup new IP addresses or load balancers for each domain.
Olo took the necessary measures, securing their white labeled webshops with SSL for SaaS and upgrading to Cloudflare. The provision of HTTPS on these custom domains ensured that communications from these white-labeled sites to their respective customers were encrypted. What’s more, with Olo leveraging Cloudflare’s WAF (Web Application Firewall) and DDoS mitigation, its sites are more secure and are protected against many forms of online attacks.
One of the greatest things about Olo is that they invest in the latest technology like PCI DSS Level-1 certification, horizontally scalable architectures, self healing redundancy, and 24/7 monitoring to keep your restaurant ordering platform up and running and safe.
And that’s Why Restaurants Love Olo!
Having built awesome restaurant ordering apps and having worked with many third party service providers including Olo, CitrusBits highly recommends Olo for digital and mobile ordering. With Olo’s diverse menu of capabilities, ranging from its POS interface to APIs for building a custom ordering app as well as integrating food aggregators, Olo is the perfect canvas on which to paint a digital restaurant masterpiece.
If your restaurant business is looking to create or enhance its mobile app, we invite you to reach out to CitrusBits for a free consultation. We’ve worked extensively with Olo and other popular third party service providers, and we’ve built best-of-breed digital restaurant solutions for many of the best restaurant chains in the US.
CitrusBits is an award-winning mobile app development agency with deep expertise in the restaurant industry. Having previously built mobile apps for Urban Plates, Burger King, Zen Classics, and FullyRaw, CitrusBits is well-versed in the entire spectrum of digital restaurant experiences, including: menu systems, location-based services and geofencing, mobile ordering, POS integration/creation, delivery/logistics integration, and loyalty/rewards. If you represent a QSR or restaurant chain and are interested in learning more, please get in touch for a free consultation.