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Smaller Restaurant Brands Adopt Digital Solutions

Smaller restaurant brands are increasingly adopting digital solutions to optimize their operations.

Restaurant technology provider Olo reported Wednesday (Feb. 21) that the “emerging enterprise segment,” which it defines as brands with five to 99 locations, has become a “meaningful contributor” to the company’s growth.

“Emerging enterprise has become a meaningful contributor to location count since we’ve doubled down on our go-to-market strategy for this brand category about 18 months ago,” Olo CEO Noah Glass said Wednesday during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

These smaller restaurant brands now account for 14,000 of the 80,000 restaurant locations at which Olo solutions are being actively used, Glass said.

Among the latest brands in this segment to adopt solutions from Olo are BarberitosCarrot ExpressSmalls Sliders and Texas de Brazil, the company said in an earnings release issued Wednesday.

Restaurant brands are adopting digital solutions to meet customer demands for online ordering and to boost efficiency and offset rising costs in an uncertain macroeconomic environment, Olo Chief Financial Officer Peter Benevides said during the call.

The restaurant industry has been under pressure from commodity prices, labor and other input costs, Glass said. The sector has also seen customer traffic drop in response to higher prices.

Olo aims to help brands meet these challenges with digital solutions that enable them to do more with less, becoming more efficient and more profitable while maintaining and upgrading their hospitality, Glass added.

“I think it’s one of the things that we’re hearing in every conversation: How do we become more profitable? How do we become more efficient? And how do we identify our best guests and think about what we can do to get them to order one more time per quarter?”

To meet these needs, enhancements made to the Olo platform during the fourth quarter included split check capabilities, guest survey integration with the company’s pay-at-table solution, and expanded availability of seamless, password-less checkout for online ordering, according to the company’s 2023 Winter Release.

“To scale successfully, emerging enterprise brands need a secure, reliable and scalable platform with flexibility to integrate across multiple vendors — and that’s exactly why Olo is winning here,” Glass said during the call.