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Olo in the Digital SaaS Era: Service Model and Alternatives Explained

By Gursumeet Kaur 3rd September 2021

Nowadays, SaaS platforms are in pure trend. Small and enterprise businesses have started relying on the SaaS platforms completely, to digitize their businesses & boost them. Let’s have a look at the Olo SaaS platform, and a recommended alternative available to it.

Olo- Introduction

Olo stands for “Online Ordering”. It is a New York-based B2B SaaS company. The brand develops digital ordering and delivery programs for restaurants. Further, the company’s platform allows customers to place restaurant orders from multiple location points, from a brand’s own website or app, third-party marketplaces, social media platforms, smart speakers, and home assistants. Additionally, it offers restaurants analysis of orders and other services.

Over 100 technology partners offer Olo customers the most flexible and complete restaurant commerce platform on the market. With the Olo SaaS platform, over 400 restaurant brands are growing digital sales, maximizing profitability, and preserving direct consumer relationships.

olo logo

Olo- History and Timeline

  • Olo was founded as GoMobo in 2005 by Noah Glass in New Haven. Its initial product was a mobile phone app that allowed users to pre-order food via text message from coffee shops for pick-up.
  • In 2010, the company changed its name to Olo to reflect its change from being a customer-facing application to being a B2B software company, used by restaurants to manage mobile device orders.
  • Fortune Magazine reported in 2015 that restaurants using Olo SaaS platform had served approximately 10 million customers.
  • In 2017, Shake Shack launched the Shake App created by Olo. Also, it was reported that Olo had served 40 million users that year.
  • In 2019, Olo became a partner of Google to provide a way for customers to place orders directly with local restaurants by connecting them to Google Search and other Google applications.
  • Olo launched its IPO on March 17, 2021.

Olo- Financials and Funding

  • The company has raised funds from Founder Collective, RRE Ventures, Core Capital, PayPal, Staley Capital, the Raine Group, Danny Meyer (CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group), and private investors.
  • Olo was reported to be seeking an IPO in January 2020 with a valuation of $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Due to COVID, the plans were suspended. Later, the company went public with a valuation of $3.6 billion in March 2021.
  • Olo has raised a total of $81.3M in funding over 6 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Jan 9, 2019 from a Secondary Market round.
  • In accordance with PrivCo, Olo has a post-money valuation in the $100M to $500M range and was listed on Jan 11, 2019.
  • In its IPO, Olo raised $450 million capital.

Know how Yelo can add value to your Business


Olo- SaaS service model

Olo SaaS platform is an interface between restaurants and the on-demand world. Moreover, brands are digitizing themselves through Olo to allow efficient customer ordering. A typical point-to-point transit time from the moment the order is collected is less than 12 minutes, so the food arrives hot and fresh from approved providers.

The Olo SaaS platform revolves around:

  • Ordering: Enabling direct digital ordering for the restaurant brand. Accordingly, the platforms supported are: Mobile, Web, Social and messaging, In-car, Voice, Personal assistants and Kiosk.
  • Delivery: Enabling delivery from the restaurant brand’s sites and apps.
    • Dispatch: Allotting a single network to multiple delivery providers that covers over 90% of the population of the United States, from the suburbs to the big cities.
    • Rails: Connect and control third-party marketplaces. Also, integrate nationally and regionally with certified bi-directional delivery marketplaces.
  • Platform: Operational and analytical management for orders. In the same way, 100+ integrations keep orders in sync with popular POS, Payment, Delivery, Loyalty, and CRM systems.
olo blog

Olo- Clients & Case Studies

  • Cold Stone Creamery: Cold Stone Creamery is an ice cream brand with 1100 locations which was looking to reach its full potential for advanced cake order sales. But, without increasing staff to balance in-store traffic with phone orders and thus, opted for Olo.
  • Denny’s: For over 60 years, Denny’s has been known as America’s Diner; serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner favorites at over 1,700 locations. Realizing the industry shift to digital ordering, Denny’s turned to Olo to gain direct access to more customers and to enable off-premise sales.
  • Din Tai Fung: Specializing in Xiao Long Bao – steamed pork soup dumplings, Din Tai Fung was founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 1972 . Indeed, through pairing of Rails and Expo, Olo has proven to be an ideal combination to support Din Tai Fung’s business needs.
  • Five Guys: Five Guys Burgers and Fries is a fast casual restaurant brand. It turned to Olo digital ordering as an equalizer for convenience and speed of service.
  • Laughing Planet: Laughing Planet is a fast-casual chain of restaurants operating in Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. Truly, the integration of the Olo digital ordering platform with the POS freed up restaurant employees’ time previously spent processing orders.

Olo- Competitors

  • ChowNow: ChowNow is an online food ordering platform. It connects customers with local restaurants. Christopher Webb and Eric Jaffe, American entrepreneurs, founded the company in 2011 with headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
  • MenuDrive: MenuDrive empowers restaurants and caterers to provide their own branded online and mobile food ordering systems. Their cutting-edge technology allows restaurant operators to seamlessly add e-commerce to their businesses, so that customers can order remotely, driving sales beyond the four walls of their stores.
  • GloriaFood: GloriaFood is an online ordering and food delivery platform. It helps restaurant owners streamline point-of-sale operations and manage orders, table reservations, promotional activities, and more.
  • Ordering.Co: Ordering.Co is an online ordering system. It allows restaurant owners to set-up their online presence within minutes. 
  • Deliveroo: Will Shu and Greg Orlowski founded Deliveroo in 2013. It is a British online food delivery company. Also, it operates in over two hundred locations across the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Choose the Best Online Food Ordering System in 2020: Yelo, Menu Drive, ChowNow, GloriaFood or ToastPOS

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The emerging alternative to Olo SaaS platform: Yelo

Yelo is a direct-to-consumer and hyperlocal marketplace SaaS platform. It helps you set up your store and digitize your brand online and to your surprise, just without any coding or hiring a developer. In a matter of hours, you can be all ready to outgrow in the market. Indeed, Yelo provides an end-to-end ordering solution along with in-house integrations such as Tookan for delivery management, Hippo for customer engagement, Bulbul for CRM activities, and many more third-party integrations as well.

olo vs yelo

Looking for a reliable SaaS platform to start your own on-demand business? Now, no more second thoughts. Yelo lets you create your own technology suite for your online business needs catering both to ordering and delivery, seamlessly. Moreover, unlike Olo, where you can just cater to your food & restaurant business, start with any use case of your choice without any boundaries.

From food to grocery, beauty to laundry, cannabis to alcohol, just have your business conveyed to Yelo and get started with your digital business. In fact, Yelo is a no-code SaaS platform that lets you operate your business in the Direct-to-Consumer Model as well as the Hyperlocal Marketplace as well.

olo blog & yelo
  • Quick And Easy To Brand: Customizable and fully-responsive mobile apps and websites. Allow customers to order on the go.
  • Advanced and Robust: Robust inventory management. Ensures you’re never out of food items that are on-demand at a given time.
  • Attractive customer interface: Stunning software themes that can be modified as per your requirements.
  • Online Payments: Safe and secure payment process. Includes over 100 external payment gateways from around the world.

Try out the free Yelo trial today!

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