Olo's 'Uber for restaurants' boosted this chain's orders by 132 percent

Source: Olo

Eight years ago, Casey Patten had a problem.

The co-founder of Taylor Gourmet, a restaurant chain with 11 stores spread across Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland, didn't have an effective delivery system to get food to customers.

"There was no delivery option in the city outside of the national pizza chains," Patten said of working in Washington, D.C. "You couldn't get anything delivered."

Despite building out his own fleet of drivers across multiple chains, Patten saw that orders weren't being delivered in a timely manner and there wasn't enough staff to cover the influx of orders the restaurants were receiving.

"We needed a delivery solution, because we are making more people upset than happy at the end of the day," he said.

Enter Olo.

The digital ordering heavyweight, which services 160 restaurant brands nationwide, was hired by Patten to launch a new online ordering platform for the restaurant. Noah Glass, Olo's founder and CEO, let slip that he was thinking about launching a product that would essentially eliminate restaurants' delivery fleets and allow owners and chefs to just focus on the food.

Patten said he "begged [Glass] to create it."

Glass, who shares the name of a co-founder of Twitter, launched Dispatch, a platform that utilizes Uber and Postmates to deliver food on behalf of restaurants, in September 2015. The company revealed on Wednesday that it has also partnered with DeliverLogic and Favor to further expand its services nationwide.

"Today's consumer is demanding fast and transparent food delivery, but scaling restaurant delivery is challenging for large restaurant brands," Glass said. "Dispatch's technology tackles these challenges head-on by integrating a vast network of delivery providers to better coordinate and synchronize food orders from point A to point B."

For Patten, Dispatch allowed his company to decrease its delivery fleet size and focus on what it does best: make food. Now instead of delivery orders taking more than an hour to arrive, Patten has shrunk that time down to about 37 minutes.

Taylor Gourmet has seen orders skyrocket 132 percent across all stores since adopting Dispatch. In addition, he has seen ticket averages jump 19 percent.

"It's a double win," he said.

In addition, Dispatch has allowed Patten to collect data about what his customers are ordering and in what frequency. Taylor Gourmet, which does small batches of its food, can also pinpoint what customers are going to ask for and in what quantities.

Before adopting online ordering and Dispatch, Patten's restaurants logged most of its delivery orders on Post-It notes.

"It's all seamlessly integrated with our [point of sale] system," he said, noting that all the kitchen tickets, both online and in-store, now look the same. "For our employees, there's no stopping to pivot because everything is identical and seamless."

The only hiccup? Customers can be a bit surprised when an Uber driver pulls into the driveway with their delivery order. But at least their order arrived on time.