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Olo takes bigger bite of restaurant transactions with new features

Illustration of repeating dinner plate emojis with smiley faces on them.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Olo (NYSE:OLO), a restaurant technology provider, added new features including card-present payment processing and the ability to integrate Borderless with loyalty programs.

Why it matters: The New York-based SaaS business wants to gain a greater share of the 60 billion transactions conducted annually by the restaurant industry.

Details: Borderless allows customers to pay via their account profiles without having to enter a password, CEO Noah Glass tells Axios.

  • Customers enter their email addresses, and Olo's platform recognizes their preferred payment method and delivery address.
  • Borderless can now be integrated with brands' loyalty programs.
  • Card-present payment processing is another key offering that allows Olo, which has been focused on facilitating digital payments, to service kiosks.
  • The restaurant tech company is also using machine learning to calculate accurate ready times for customers and delivery providers with a product it calls OrderReady AI.

What they're saying: Olo thinks of itself as a restaurant technology platform that facilitates orders, payments and diner engagement, Glass explains.

  • In addition to digital, the company is now facilitating transactions inside the four walls of a restaurant with QR code ordering and payment.
  • "The restaurant can really manage their entire digital business in one place and that's our platform," Glass says.
  • "We're then syndicating that content out to third parties such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub," he adds.

By the numbers: Olo's revenue increased 22% year over year to about $52 million in the first quarter, while gross profit increased 13% to nearly $34 million.

The big picture: American diners are allocating more of their dollars to restaurants and away from cooking, aligning with a broader trend of outsourcing, Glass says.

  • The restaurant industry itself has evolved from sit-down service to off-premise via delivery, drive-thru and takeout or pickup.
  • Even within grocery, hot or fresh prepared food on-demand has increased its share.

The bottom line: Restaurants comprise a massive trillion-dollar industry that is still under-penetrated digitally, the CEO says.

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