How Olo Climbed to the Top of the Digital-Ordering World

Consumers may not know it, but they are likely interacting with Olo on a regular basis. The digital ordering and delivery platform boasts a clientele of 250-plus restaurant brands and 50,000 units. It started as a way to place a coffee order over text back when smartphones were just an idea on the drawing board. But, anticipating how consumer devices would change the retail experience, Noah Glass, founder and CEO, led the team to quickly build out an app-capable platform.

Fast-forward more than a dozen years, and the brand leads the restaurant industry in secure ordering. It also connects those operators to third-party delivery companies.

…The vast majority of restaurant orders are take-out, drive thru, and delivery. The question of our time is, Will consumers choose to order through third-party marketplaces or will they choose to order directly with the restaurant? I think the answer is both, and the question is, What’s that split going to be?

Our job is to help our restaurants optimize for that future, and that means getting as many customers as they can to keep ordering directly through them, where they can have a profitable transaction. They should be making direct digital business priority No. 1, but they should also go where customers are. If consumers prefer to order through third-party marketplaces, our restaurants should list their menus there. It’s a great place to go to attract new customers, as long as you can keep things in order, coming directly into your point-of-sale system in a way that’s operationally systematized at the restaurant and not chaotic.


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