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Noah Glass on smartphones, partnerships and ending "tablet hell"

Olo's founder spoke to Nation's Restaurant News' podcast Extra Serving

Listen to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or SoundCloud.

The smartphone has radically changed the way restaurants operate. That statement may seem obvious now, but back in 2005 when Noah Glass founded Olo, the iPhone hadn't even been released yet. Glass, though, saw the potential for restaurants early on. He started Olo with a text to order service. And as restaurants have become more intertwined with technology, Olo has grown to serve and champion the restaurant industry. 

"The smartphone has become a remote control for buying food," said Glass on NRN’s podcast Extra Serving. "That's really where Olo comes in. It's kind of retrofitting restaurants as they have existed in this brick and mortar world, to be able to become players in this on-demand economy and enable consumers to have that on-demand experience of being able to order ahead, pay ahead, have their food ready and waiting for them at the restaurant or get it delivered to them."  

This year, in recognition of his influence on the industry, Nation's Restaurant News named Glass to the number one spot on our Power List. 

The 2020 Power List focused on food tech and innovation, and Glass was an obvious choice. Since its inception, Olo has transformed and continues to shape restaurants and foodservice. 

The digital ordering and delivery enabling platform works with over 300 restaurant brands and has partnerships with third-party delivery systems, point-of-sale systems, and a multitude of tech companies. Working with all those systems puts an end to what Glass lovingly calls "tablet hell" and brings "some order to the madness that is the on-demand ecosystem." 

Glass has taken a complicated and sometimes frustrating part of modern restaurant ownership—off-premise dining—and helped guide operators toward a sustainable and profitable future. 

Contact Gloria at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

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