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Ordering platform Olo launches upgraded customer interface

Serve is designed to streamline the experience for guests, and is widely available for the first time.
Photo courtesy of Olo

Food ordering technology company Olo has upgraded its customer-facing web platform, and the new interface is now available to all of its restaurant clients.

Serve, designed to provide a more streamlined ordering experience, is the result of years of R&D and testing, the company said Wednesday in a press release. Features include faster ordering and checkout, new menu design and new ways to customize products, such as sliders and dropdowns to make complex interactions easier. Serve is fully responsive, meaning the display will adapt to any device a customer uses to order, from phone to desktop computer. It replaces Olo’s legacy front-end experience.

“We built Serve with the knowledge of studying how millions of people place their food orders every week,” said Theresa Schaefer, SVP of product and design at Olo, in a statement. “The prevailing consumer insight we’ve always come back to is that speed and menu navigation top the list for a successful transaction.”

Brands using Serve have seen higher subtotal and conversion rates, and the platform has reduced the time it takes to place an order by 5 seconds, Olo said. Restaurants praised the improved customer experience and responsive design.

“This update will make it even faster and easier for our guests to get their favorite freshly-made juice, smoothie or acai bowl, wherever they are and whatever device they are using,” said Jon Asher, VP of digital marketing for 166-unit Nekter Juice Bar, in a statement.

New York-based Olo is one of the leading food ordering platforms, working with more than 300 brands including Applebee’s, Chili’s, Sweetgreen and Wingstop. 

The upgrade comes at a time when restaurants are increasingly focused on their digital ordering channels. On Wednesday, for instance, Arby’s parent Inspire Brands announced it has invested in ItsaCheckmate, a company that integrates third-party services with restaurants’ POS systems. Inspire plans to roll it out in thousands of restaurants, citing a desire to improve its digital capabilities. 

Native online ordering can help restaurants capture customers who are increasingly ordering from their phones, as well as avoid fees and commissions for orders that might otherwise flow through third-party services. 

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