Retail

ShopKeep Acquires ChowBOT, Enables Mobile Order-Ahead

It can be a challenge for restaurants to integrate the latest technologies given the tight margins under which most operate. The challenge is even greater for independent and SMB food service providers.

To enable the restaurant space, cloud-based technology solution ShopKeep just announced the acquisition of online ordering software ChowBOT from Meerchant.

Today, ShopKeep’s solution transforms iPads into smart, connected registers for some 23,000 small businesses. Of those small businesses, some 8,500 are quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and full-service restaurant and bars (FSRBs). The acquisition of ChowBOT indicates, among other things, the growing importance of online and mobile order, delivery and in-store pick-up in the QSR and FSRB space.

Michael DeSimone, CEO of ShopKeep, said that restaurants in the SMB category looking to offer online order and delivery options “are often stuck choosing between paying steep costs for the capability, relinquishing control of the customer experience or not having an online presence at all.”

“The integration of ChowBOT to our platform,” DeSimone continued, “allows them to easily offer these features, cutting down the barriers to entry by helping them effectively and successfully bridge their online presence with the physical experience they provide customers.”

ChowBOT’s features will be integrated into ShopKeep’s point-of-sale (POS) system, allowing QSR and FSRB merchants to sync their POS menu to their online order site. Online order details will automatically submit to the restaurant and further enabling merchants to work with third-party on-demand delivery service providers. The ChowBOT software will be available for ShopKeep customers in 2018.

ShopKeep’s platform additionally optimizes staffing, inventory management, sales and customer information and accessing sales reports and customer information. The acquisition of ChowBOT is the latest investment in a larger effort by the ShopKeep to enable SMBs via commerce tools and solutions, acquisitions and partnerships

Last February, for instance, ShopKeep and commerce-enabling technology company First Data expanded their existing relationship. Shopkeep’s POS software will be made available via First Data’s distribution network, which includes banks, retailers and independent sales organizations. ShopKeep will also incorporate First Data’s payment processing and security tools, along with its Clover Go SDK and hardware portfolio.

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