- Restaurant software technology company Olo has expanded its platform to Kroger’s sushi and floral delivery offering, marking the company’s first grocery partnership, according to Olo’s fourth-quarter and full-year financial results announcement on Feb. 22.
- The Olo Rails module creates a single interface tablet solution that streamlines the ordering process on the grocer’s end. The technology is now implemented in 1,600 Kroger locations across the U.S.
- Olo executives said during the earnings call that they see a runway to expand further in the grocery industry: “In total, we see 30,000 locations within grocery that are addressable for Olo,” Noah Glass, Olo’s founder and CEO, told investors.
Kroger deployed its on-demand sushi and floral delivery service through a partnership with DoorDash in mid-December 2022 and will now add Olo’s software as a service platform to bring the offering nationwide, according to the announcement.
Already serving around 87,000 restaurant locations, Olo’s software is an end-to-end platform that addresses all guest touch points, including ordering, payments and delivery, as well as restaurant management and guest engagement, Glass said in an interview.
“We want to have a single interface where orders can be placed in the marketplace but then all show up in one single stream at the sushi location or the floral location within Kroger,” Glass said about how the technology works in the grocer’s stores.
The Olo Expo tool, which runs on an iPad, and the Olo Rails software platform work to streamline the ordering process and manage menu and price content for third-party marketplaces, Glass said.
By adding Kroger as a partner, Olo is tapping into a new food service sector as well as a new product category — florals.
“There are common characteristics with prepared food and flowers in that these are highly perishable products. They have to be, as a result of that, made just in time if they’re going to be made to order,” Glass said.
In expanding Olo’s platform beyond restaurants to c-stores and now grocery stores, Glass said the company is following a hospitality mindset within these new segments, focusing on customer experience and personalization.
Glass told investors that Olo Pay, the integrated payment platform it announced in February 2022, is attractive to restaurant, grocery and c-store partners.
“We do think that as a component of a larger guest centricity and guest-centric approach that that holds a lot of appeal to really any merchant to understand that guest and to be able to unlock hospitality in this shift over to digital, and Olo Pay is a big part of that,” Glass said on the earnings call.
In the interview, Glass declined to provide more information about the company’s grocery expansion plans.
Olo’s expansion comes as grocery companies continue to lean into prepared food and delivery offerings three years after the height of the pandemic prompted efforts for them to steal consumers’ meal dollars from restaurants.
Last week, Olo and Flybuy, a location-based customer experience platform from Radius Network, announced two new integrations, making Flybuy Pickup fully integrated into Olo Expo and Order Fire to help optimize and automate arrival times for in-store, curbside and drive-thru rapid service. The companies already have a partnership serving nearly three dozen brands.
Catherine Douglas Moran contributed reporting.
Correction: A previous version of this article included an inaccurate count of the number of c-stores Olo's technology is in.