By Taylor Garre
Uber Eats is hoping to make food delivery easier for customers by forming a new partnership with digital food-ordering platform Olo.
Olo founder and CEO Noah Glass says millions are already using the platform to pick and choose from online menus and pay in advance, so it's well-positioned to help streamline the food-ordering process. "We are the digital ordering platform for over 60,000 restaurants across 300 different brands," said Glass
The new partnership is an attempt to simplify third-party delivery for thousands of restaurants. Olo's partnership with Uber Eats ($UBER) will directly inject online orders into the order lineup at restaurants. The companies hope this will streamline the takeout process.
“We’re excited to partner with Olo,” said Liz Meyerdirk, Uber Eats Global Head of Business Development in a statement. “This integration will streamline the Eats ordering experience and help restaurants benefit from the strength and reach of our platforms.”
This partnership comes as the $800 billion food industry hits a boom. "You have analysts predicting that by the end of 2022 the industry will shift to digital ordering for takeout and delivery. That's the biggest shift that the industry has seen. That's bigger than all of drive-thru combined," said Glass.
But restaurants have to change the way they operate to keep up with demand. "It's a moment of time in the restaurant industry for great excitement and anxiety," Glass said. "We are thinking of the on-demand experience for consumers that are used to getting a car to pick them up and bring them from point A to point B. So we are helping restaurants see what that looks like for an on-demand restaurant experience."
Olo has seen a lot change in the restaurant industry over its 14-year lifespan. "We started the company pre-smart phone. We started mobile ordering with text message ordering, with the vision that consumers were going to get smartphones," said the Olo CEO.
Now the food ordering platform is hitting its stride. "We had 100 million transactions last year and are now seeing 100 million transactions in the first half of this year," said the CEO. "We see order volume more than doubling on a regular basis."
When asked about the headlines surrounding fair driver pay such as the [controversial tipping model of Doordash,] (https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/27/doordash-double-downs-on-controversial-pay-model/) Glass said, "It's an important part of the equation. How do you give these drivers a living wage and make sure they can do enough deliveries per hour that, between what they make in delivery fees and tips, it is enough that they can make a good hourly wage."
The Olo CEO thinks the company can lend a hand to all parties involved in the demanding food delivery process, "A lot of our system is about taking inefficiencies out and enabling the order to go directly into point of sale. It's about timing the driver's arrival right when the food is ready so there is no latency at the restaurant. That helps drivers to do more orders per hour."