Google has entered a partnership with digital ordering platform Olo that is expected to benefit restaurants looking to keep valuable consumer data while minimizing profit hurting third-party delivery fees.
Under a partnership announced Tuesday, Olo’s network of more than 70,000 restaurants can opt-in to have their brands integrated with Google Search, Maps and Google Assistant for digital food orders. The partnership means any brand working with Olo can now “plug into” this frictionless ordering system without being re-directed to a third-party site.
Initial chains involved in the launch include Checker’s and Portillo’s Hot Dogs.
“It’s much cleaner for the consumer, the restaurant is paying a lot less and they’re getting the customer data,” Noah Glass, founder and CEO of Olo, told NRN in a phone interview.
Glass is referring to Google’s other partnerships with third-party delivery operators such as DoorDash and Postmates. In May, Google launched a service where users could order food when searching for restaurants or a type of cuisine. If a user selects a specific restaurant, they will see an “order online” button on the restaurant's Google listing.
But restaurants are charged a commission if those orders are powered by a third-party company such as DoorDash or Postmates.
Olo customers using the company’s Rail platform, which enables digital orders from third-party marketplaces, directly receive food orders. Glass said Olo clients get the traffic volume of Google without paying hefty third-party fees.
ChowNow, a rival online ordering platform, also offers ordering through Google.
Google users can see photos and reviews of restaurants. The search engine has also developed partnerships with delivery and reservation services. Google Lens, the company’s image recognition technology, allows users to scan over menus and see images of dishes.
Glass said Google is “the mother of all discovery platforms” and is helping to potentially “shift the balance” of power back to restaurants when it comes to digital orders.
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