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People
Feb 7, 2024
3
 min read

Get to know the Oloites of Color employee resource group (ERG). Learn how the ERG creates a space for Olo employees to come together—and different ways allies can show support.

Oloites of Color, Team Olo, ERG

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Like many remote employees, Giselle Francisco joined Olo in late 2021 with the hope of connecting with coworkers beyond daily Zoom calls and Slack notifications. She quickly found her community in the Oloites of Color employee resource group (ERG).

Founded in 2020, Oloites of Color is one of several ERGs at Olo. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. Each group organizes events and initiatives to advance professional development, strengthen internal relations, and build communities and allyship.

Oloites of Color was specifically created to provide a safe space for members and allies to discuss inclusion, opportunity, and education in the workplace and local communities.

For Giselle, Oloites of Color represented an opportunity to incorporate her passion for activism into her day job, learn from coworkers with different backgrounds, bond over shared experiences, and promote the value of DEI. So when a leadership position opened up within the ERG, she jumped at it.

We sat down with Giselle to get her take on why ERGs like Oloites of Color are so important in the workplace and how allies can demonstrate support year-round.

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How do ERGs like Oloites of Color enrich employees’ lives?


Giselle Francisco:
I come from the restaurant and hotel industries where you’re constantly interacting with people. When you transition to a remote position, messaging apps and email can feel limiting. ERGs give you that much-needed exposure to others at the company.

I look at it this way: You're on the job for 8+ hours per day. If you can carve out 30 minutes to an hour, once a month or once a quarter to unplug, connect with your coworkers, and learn something new, you'll be the better for it.

For example, when the Oloites of Color ERG meets up, members can discuss any adversity they may face because of their identity, share about their career progression, and learn more about others. Our events also create a space for allies to gain understanding. 

The 20% of my time that I spend with the ERG makes the 80% of time I spend on my regular work so much more worthwhile.

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Why is it important to promote a better understanding of colleagues from diverse backgrounds?


GF:
Learning is a good thing for everyone—regardless of how you identify. When we start a dialogue with coworkers from multicultural backgrounds, we can better understand how they approach situations and their way of thinking. 

Many people don’t realize that your background can impact how others see you, and vice versa. We can eliminate a lot of assumptions and mental gymnastics with open conversation. 

Additionally, diversity enriches everyone. Learning from other cultures and backgrounds exposes us to things like new foods, languages, and perspectives.

How can allies show support for communities of color year-round?


GF:
A big part of demonstrating support is doing the hard, internal work of recognizing your privileges. Those privileges can be minute or on a grander scale. 

Once we can appreciate our privileges, we can better understand why others may not be as privileged—and how we can elevate them. It could be as simple as giving bus fare to someone struggling or packing an extra lunch for a child in need. 

Small actions and repetition are better than no action at all. For example, during Black History Month, allies can demonstrate support through small actions like reading books by Black authors, visiting Black-owned businesses, and purchasing or viewing art by Black artists.

It’s also important to have conversations with communities of color and listen intently. Try to understand their perspective and the differences in experiences. There is a lot of uncomfortable history. But we have to get uncomfortable to be comfortable.

Learn more about Olo’s ESG efforts, get to know our employee resource groups (ERGs), and join our team.

People
Dec 21, 2023
2
 min read

Read a special holiday message from Olo Founder and CEO Noah Glass.

Holiday Message

Dear Friends of Olo -

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Continuing the momentum of the last few years, 2023 marked another pivotal year for restaurant technology and the restaurant industry. Online ordering for pick-up, where Olo started 18 years ago, is now table stakes for restaurant brands of all sizes. And there’s increasing interest in new digital realms like on-premise and drive-thru digital orders, personalized guest engagement, frictionless checkout, AI, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. Exciting, isn't it?

On the other hand, some people express reservations. Are we sacrificing the human touch that makes dining out special? Do we risk turning our beloved restaurants into impersonal, automated spaces? These concerns are valid and they stem from our deep-seated love for the unique experiences restaurants offer.

Restaurants are more than just places to savor a meal—they're where memories are made, and connections are forged. We especially cherish the familiarity of our local spots and the warmth of a team member who remembers our name or order. It's the Cheers effect. It's been very hard—nearly impossible—to replicate at scale. 

Olo's mission is to change that: to enable Hospitality at Scale™  and live at the intersection of technology and hospitality. Where high-tech can be more high-touch, not less. A world where every guest can feel like a regular. I believe we can achieve that vision together and Olo is in a unique position to help restaurants do so.

Olo processes over 2 million transactions per day across our portfolio of 600+ restaurant brands, generating a treasure trove of data. We know if someone always removes cheese from their burger. We know if someone orders three shots of espresso in the morning and only one if it’s after noon. We know if they’ve been to a brand dozens of times but never to this location. All of those pieces, with the guest’s permission, can be shared to craft personalized experiences for regulars and first-timers alike, irrespective of the brand, the number of employees, the service model, or the handoff mode.

Our promise to you is clear: we're here to Accelerate the Future of restaurant technology—a concept that’s brought to life in our new brand narrative video. In 2 short minutes, you can learn how we got to where we are today, and where we’re headed.  

From our pioneering role two decades ago to our ongoing commitment, we look forward to partnering with each of you to deliver meaningful, cutting-edge solutions through our open ecosystem and three solution suites: Order, Pay, and Engage. Innovations like Borderless, which provides a secure and passwordless sign-in and check-out experience across participating Olo brands, exemplify our ongoing dedication to Hospitality at Scale. 

When I think about Olo’s mission, I consider the vital and urgent role of hospitality in today's world. Amidst disheartening news cycles, it's evident that respect, curiosity, and empathy are often in short supply. Here, I see hospitality as an antidote—a force for positive change. As we approach the new year, let's carry the spirit of our mission, and may we usher in a more hospitable world together.

I express my sincere gratitude for your partnership and wish you a joyous holiday season. We're proud to be on this journey together. Let’s go!

My best, Noah

Olo | Hospitality at Scale™

People
Nov 21, 2023
3
 min read

Meet Mingming Zhang, our Principal Data Scientist. Get her take on the biggest challenges and opportunities for restaurant data—plus, the role of AI and machine learning in the restaurant industry.

Team Olo, Data Science, Data

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Our Principal Data Scientist, Mingming Zhang, joined Olo two years ago as part of our acquisition of Wisely. There she led the data science team and earned a 2021 Top Women in Restaurant Technology Award for her work on algorithms that accurately predict restaurant wait times and proprietary natural language processing (NLP) that annotates the sentiment of online restaurant reviews.

Before Wisely, Mingming was a Data Science Manager at Domino’s, where she was tasked with projects like combating fraud with machine learning.

Scroll to learn how all of that experience informs her team’s work at Olo, what she considers to be the biggest challenge and opportunity for restaurant data, and her thoughts on the role of AI and machine learning in the industry.

Reflecting on the last two years at Olo, what are you most proud of?  

Mingming Zhang: I’m most proud of the machine learning and data science platform we’ve built. In less than two years, we’ve rolled out a few algorithmic products based on these platforms to our customers.

I’m also proud of the culture shift toward data-driven decision-making. The A/B testing framework we built has enabled our product managers to measure impact and iterate quickly based on data. We can also build case studies backed by rigorous data methods to demonstrate the metrics improvement for better product adoption.

How does the work of our Data Science team benefit restaurant brands?

MZ: The work of our Data Science and Engineering teams allows brands to reap the benefits of AI with minimal investment. For example, the OrderReady AI machine-learning solution we delivered to help restaurants manage their capacity is built on a modern data and machine-learning stack that Olo invested heavily in building and maintaining. We did it so our customers don’t have to build their own capacity solutions and can invest in their core business.

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What is the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity for restaurant data?

MZ: Restaurant data is usually generated across multiple vendors or touchpoints such as online ordering, waitlist, POS, payments, marketing campaigns, KDS, guest feedback, etc. It requires deep business process knowledge to understand how these data points interact with each other and how they impact the key metrics. Without an understanding of restaurant business processes, it can be challenging to turn massive amounts of data into actionable insights.

The biggest opportunity for restaurant data lies in two aspects: driving a personalized guest experience and driving higher operational efficiency. Restaurants can use data to tailor their services, whether on- or off-premise, to individual guest preferences. Personalization could also extend to targeted marketing strategies and loyalty programs based on individual dining history.

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The potential for restaurant data to drive higher operational efficiency is equally transformative. Capacity management with an AI solution is a great example. We have also seen restaurant brands successfully use machine learning solutions to manage supply chain and labor schedules. With the emergence of generative AI, restaurants can use voice AI to reduce the cost of taking orders and level up their service.

Machine learning and AI will play a much bigger role in the restaurant industry in the next five years. This is the time to leap in.

How can restaurants use data to enable hospitality at scale?

MZ: Data can revolutionize every aspect of a restaurant business—from personalizing the guest experience to building targeted marketing campaigns, optimizing the menu, and improving day-to-day operations. But for this revolution to happen, restaurants need to foster a culture of data thinking within the company, starting with educating the team on what data can do. Any transformation starts with people’s mindset.

To learn more about Team Olo and apply for one of our job openings, visit our careers page

People
Oct 6, 2023
3
 min read

Get to know Ray Gallagher, VP & GM Engage, and learn how his team works to solve the pain points of busy restaurant marketers and operators every day.

Team Olo

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This week, we’re spotlighting Ray Gallagher, VP & GM Engage. Ray joined Olo as Vice President of Customer Experience in 2021 through our acquisition of Wisely.

Ray has over 20 years of experience in strategic leadership and operational excellence on both the brand and technology sides of the restaurant industry. He has a track record of fostering cross-functional collaboration and executing dynamic strategies across product, data, customer success, sales, and marketing.

As VP & GM, Ray is focused on driving the growth and success of Olo’s Engage product suite.

Keep reading to get to know Ray and learn how his team works to solve the pain points of busy restaurant marketers and operators every day.

Looking back on your first two years at Olo, what are you most proud of?  

Ray Gallagher: I’m incredibly proud of our team and what we accomplish together daily to provide excellent products and services to our brands. The Engage team at Olo is hard-working, intelligent, and an incredible group of talented individuals. As our team continues to grow, we are thrilled to enhance the product suite based on evolving market needs and brand feedback. 

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How has the Engage suite evolved since the Wisely acquisition?

RG: There have been meaningful benefits from joining Olo, including significant resources and support available to our teams as we scale the platform.

Our Guest Data Platform (GDP) launched Computed Properties this year, which allows brands to create customized attributes for advanced guest segmentation and ultimately improve personalized marketing communication.

We also recently launched generative AI features in our Marketing and Sentiment products, which support busy marketers and operators.

In your conversations with restaurants, what are brands looking to accomplish?

RG: Brands are doing more with less and expectations to drive incremental revenue are higher than ever. Also, brands are looking to reduce complexity and consolidate their tech stack to drive efficiency. We are always listening and looking to drive our products forward with this feedback in mind.

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As more restaurants recognize the value of data, how will guest lifetime value come into play?

RG: A framework we like to talk about is Collect / Analyze / Act. Once brands have their guest data collection dialed in, we guide them toward thoughtful analysis before batching and blasting the same marketing message to all guests. 

The Engage product suite makes it easy to segment guests based on enriched data attributes, including AI/ML smart properties such as Predictive Guest Lifetime Value (LTV) and Six-Month Churn Risk. Once you identify high-value guests, you can drive various strategies to act on the data, including automated journeys to win back lapsed or high churn-risk guests, or drive high-potential guests to a higher sustained LTV. 

We encourage brands to leverage LTV data for any key decisions in marketing, menu engineering, staffing, feedback, and real estate site selection. 

What is one piece of advice for restaurants today? 

RG: Get control of your first-party guest data. Third-party marketplaces can be a meaningful revenue stream. However, brands do not own that data or the guest relationship. 

Prioritizing your direct channels for both on- and off-premise allows you to truly own your guest data, which unlocks your ability to personalize interactions and drive LTV by making every guest feel like a regular.

To learn more about Team Olo and apply for one of our job openings, visit our careers page

People
Aug 28, 2023
2
 min read

Meet our new Chief People Officer, Sherri Manning. Learn why she chose Olo, her takeaways from working at other rapid-growth tech companies, and her thoughts on fostering community in a remote work environment.

Team Olo

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This week, we’re spotlighting the newest addition to our Executive Team, Chief People Officer Sherri Manning.

Sherri brings 20 years of experience leading People and Culture initiatives for globally recognized companies and late-stage startups, including, most recently, BigCommerce.

Keep reading to learn what drew her to the role, the lessons she learned while working in HR at other fast-growing tech companies, and how she aims to enhance Olo’s company culture.

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What attracted you to this role?  

I was drawn to Olo—and, specifically, the position of Chief People Officer—for a few reasons. For one, the company culture is caring, engaged, and collaborative. I’m also energized by the leadership team, the business opportunity, and Noah’s exciting and disruptive vision.

Have you identified any areas for growth in Olo's company culture? 

I’m interested in keeping and enhancing Olo’s wonderful culture and foundation of values. To do that, I want to partner with the People + Culture team and other employees to determine how we scale our culture and values in this changing environment of operating as a public, high-growth, geographically distributed company.

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How will you apply your learnings from previous roles to Olo?  

Leading HR at rapid-growth SaaS tech companies has been an exhilarating career experience. Some of the lessons learned that I look forward to sharing with the Olo team include agility in scaling, crisis management, cultural preservation, employee retention in high-pressure environments, adaptive compensation strategies, and enhanced cross-functional collaboration.

What's your vision for the People + Culture team?

The P+C team promises to support and guide as we attract, retain, develop, and inspire a diverse group of employees who execute Olo’s vision and business plans.

How can remote-friendly companies like Olo foster community among employees? 

Fostering a community in a remote-friendly environment requires intentionality, creativity, and consistent effort. However, when done well, the results can be as impactful as those in traditional office settings. 

There are many ways to do that, including holding regular virtual meetings, virtual team-building activities, dedicated chat channels, mentorship programs, feedback mechanisms, peer recognition programs, collaboration tools, and shared values and goals. 

I'm confident that we have the right people involved to help us continue to “up our game” at Olo in this new era of remote and hybrid work.

To learn more about Team Olo and apply for one of our remote-friendly job openings, visit our careers page.

People
Aug 10, 2023
1
 min read

Olo’s 2022 ESG Report outlines our goals and efforts to drive positive change in the communities where we live, work, and serve.

ESG, Team Olo, Sustainability, DEI

We are excited to release Olo’s first ESG Report, which shares our environmental, social, and governance impact efforts.

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Our ESG journey began in 2022 when we underwent our first materiality assessment to better understand the ESG topics most central to our company and stakeholders. 

We identified the following pillars that serve as a guide for our ESG program, strategy, and reporting: People & Culture, Community Impact, Environmental Sustainability, and Responsible & Ethical Growth.

Our first report details Olo’s overall approach to ESG and our progress during the period of Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2022, unless otherwise noted. 

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Highlights include: 

  • Our first published goals across each pillar
  • Detailed workplace demographics
  • The launch of Olo Ties, a mentorship program that supports women and people of color
  • More than 900 employees attended 20+ events hosted by our six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
  • Full Scope 1, 2, and 3 carbon emissions disclosure, 2019-2022
  • Olo for Good donated $2.1 million to nine nonprofit organizations
  • Oloites used 811 hours of Volunteer Time Off (VTO)
  • Olo signed onto the Don’t Ban Equality initiative to demonstrate our support for access to reproductive healthcare

Download Olo's 2022 ESG Report

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As we actively work to advance our ESG strategy, we promise to be transparent and share our goals, objectives, and progress. While we are just starting out, we are committed to our short-term goals for each pillar and look forward to sharing more long-term goals in the future.

We intend to report on our ESG efforts and performance annually moving forward. We will continue to enhance our commitments and evolve our programs on an ongoing basis to drive positive change in the communities where we live, work, and serve.

Visit our ESG page for more information. Contact our ESG Team with any feedback or questions related to our ESG program and initiatives.

People
Jul 28, 2023
2
 min read

Get to know our new COO, Jo Lambert—including what makes her tick, her leadership style, and her thoughts on the opportunity ahead.

Team Olo

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We recently welcomed a new Chief Operating Officer, Jo Lambert, to Team Olo. Jo has built and transformed global digital products at scale across financial services, media, and technology brands, including American Express, PayPal, Venmo, Verizon Media, and Yahoo.

Keep reading to learn what makes Jo tick, her leadership style, and her thoughts on the opportunity ahead for Olo and the restaurant industry.

What attracted you to Olo?

Jo Lambert: Olo is at the forefront of the digital transformation of the trillion-dollar restaurant industry. I’m inspired by the team’s passion for empowering customers to leverage technology to make every guest feel like a regular.

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What can Olo customers and employees look forward to with you as COO?

JL: I believe in customer-focused and purpose-driven product development, which means putting customers first, deeply understanding their needs, and partnering to transform and grow.

 

I am focused on unifying the Order, Pay, and Engage Teams to build solutions that enable our customers to grow and operate their businesses more efficiently in a digital world.

 

You can expect transparency, a trusted partner, and a commitment to innovate and drive growth for our customers.

What makes a good leader?

JL: There are three leadership attributes that I reflect on often, particularly when driving change, bouncing back from challenges, and hiring and developing team members. 

  1. Curiosity and a willingness to take risks. Good leaders recognize they can be bound by their experiences and strive to step outside their comfort zone. Curiosity, challenging the status quo, and taking measured risks can turn what seems impossible into new opportunities.

  2. Effective and frequent communication. Good leaders set clear expectations, coach and inspire teams, and share timely and transparent information with key stakeholders. Active listening is an important skill for being an effective communicator.

  3. Seeking and being open to feedback. Leaders who seek feedback from colleagues, teams, customers, and external stakeholders create an environment of continuous learning and improvement. Feedback helps advance personal growth, team dynamics, processes, and products.

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What are you most excited about at Olo and for the restaurant industry?

JL: Now that guests are used to—and expect—digital ordering, personalization, loyalty, and accelerated checkout, there is a tremendous opportunity to support the restaurant industry through the next phase of its digital transformation.

 

Olo has built an incredible foundation. I am excited to work with the team to expedite innovation and personalization while driving meaningful efficiencies and growth for our brands and partners.

To learn more about Olo and apply for one of our job openings, visit our careers page.

People
Jun 15, 2023
4
 min read

In honor of Pride Month, we’re shedding light on the Olo Pride ERG, how Olo supports LGBTQIA+ employees, and how some of our customers are celebrating in June and year-round.

Olo Pride, Pride Month, Restaurants Celebrating Pride Month

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Throughout her career in engineering, Rachael Axtman often felt isolated because of her gender and sexual identity.

It wasn’t until she joined Olo as a Technical Program Manager and got involved with employee resource groups (ERGs) that she felt fully open and free in her work life.

“ERGs made a huge difference for me,” said Rachael. “Connecting with coworkers who face similar struggles really made me feel safe, loved, and included.”

To pay it forward, she became a co-lead of the Olo Pride ERG with Anissa Comonte, Sr. Team Lead, Customer Support. Olo Pride seeks to provide a safe space for employees who identify as LGBTQIA+ and allies to discuss topics that advance the dialogue within the group, as well as the Olo team at large.

“Olo Pride serves as a platform for our community to have a voice and express ourselves,” said Rachael.

Together, she and Anissa aim to make every member feel seen—and educate the broader Olo community—by celebrating LGBTQIA+ holidays and shedding light on important issues such as pronoun usage and discriminatory legislation.

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How Olo Supports LGBTQIA+ During Pride Month and Beyond

Olo is committed to building a diverse, inclusive culture that promotes growth and equity for underrepresented groups, including LGBTQIA+. This includes hiring and focusing on the upward mobility of underrepresented groups across all levels and ensuring all employees feel a sense of belonging.

To show support for LGBTQIA+ employees and celebrate their diverse perspectives, Olo Pride hosts events throughout the year to engage members and allies across the organization. But Pride Month is a celebration like no other. 

Already this June, the group hosted a fireside chat and panel with the Olo Parents ERG, and they have several upcoming events—including a Vogue Class with Cesar Valentino, a Paint n’ Sip Night, a Letter Writing Event, a Pride Bakeoff, and a Walkathon Charity Pride Parade.

Fun events aside, true advocacy is a year-round effort. At Olo, we stand firm against hate and for the rights of all to live safely and without the fear of discrimination based on their gender identity, race, origin, religion, political views, generational differences, or sexual orientation. 

That’s why Olo signed the Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation, along with 324 other companies, stating our opposition to harmful legislation aimed at restricting the access of LGBTQIA+ people.

Additionally, in response to the 491 bills targeting LGBTQIA+ rights across the U.S. in 2023, Olo directed its Donor Advised Fund partner, Tides Foundation, to donate $10,000, split evenly between three organizations fighting anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation: ACLU of Mississippi, ACLU of Oklahoma, and ACLU of Tennessee.

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Restaurant Brands Celebrating Pride Month 2023

We’re proud to see many of our restaurant customers demonstrating similar support for the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round. Here are a few examples:

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company brought back the Pride Crispy for its annual Pride Month celebration. For the third year, the brand is pledging to donate up to $30,000 to Out & Equal—an organization advocating for LGBTQIA+ workplace equality—with help from Pride Crispy sales in June. Noodles & Company stands in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community and, to date, has donated $45,000 to Out & Equal. 

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Snooze A.M. Eatery

As part of its “Everyone is welcome at our table” campaign, Snooze A.M. Eatery will donate 100% of sales (up to $25K) from its featured Pride Pancake in June to The Trevor Project to help in its mission to end suicide among LGBTQIA+ youth.  Additionally, Snooze will engage its employees in interactive inclusive education and ally training throughout June, and highlight employees on social media as they march in Pride parades throughout the country.

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MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza serves pride—in its food, communities, and culture of belonging—year-round. This June, the brand will donate $0.20 for every Pride Cake sold at MOD Pizza (up to $50K) to the It Gets Better Project and its mission to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQIA+ youth around the globe. 

Credit MOD Pizza

Insomnia Cookies

This month, Insomnia Cookies is donating $2 from every Pride 12-pack sold to Campus Pride, a national nonprofit for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBTQIA+ students. Guests can order a dozen Classic cookies of their choice, wrapped in a celebratory Pride box sleeve, and support the cause.

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Shake Shack

Throughout June, Shake Shack guests can customize any shake or frozen custard by adding sprinkles for $0.50. All sprinkle proceeds will go to PFLAG National, an organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQIA+ people and their loved ones. Outside of the Sprinkled with Pride campaign, Shake Shack is committed to creating an inclusive and empowering culture. For multiple years in a row, the brand has earned a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for its support of the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.

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Eureka!

Eureka! Restaurant Group is serving up a Pride in Paradise Cocktail all month long in honor of Pride Month. The brand will donate $1 from every Pride in Paradise purchased to The Trevor Project.

Credit Eureka! Restaurant Group

Learn more about Olo’s DEI efforts, including the Olo Pride ERG, and apply for one of our open positions on our careers page.

People
Jun 1, 2023
3
 min read

Get to know our new EVP Customer, Denise Cox, and EVP Marketing, Shad Foos—including what they’re most excited about at Olo and how customers will benefit from their leadership.

Team Olo

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At Olo, we’re continuously investing in growth—within our company and in support of our customers' digital transformation. The newest additions to our leadership team, Denise Cox and Shad Foos, are evidence of that commitment.

Denise, our new EVP Customer, brings over 25 years of experience in high-tech customer leadership at Omnicell, Cisco, and NetApp. And Shad, our new EVP Marketing, has dedicated his career to building integrated marketing teams and driving brand strategy at B2B SaaS and B2C companies, including SMG.

We asked them both to share what attracted them to Olo, how customers will benefit from their leadership, and what they’re most excited about at the company and for the restaurant industry at large.

What attracted you to Olo? And this role, in particular?

Denise Cox: (1) Noah's vision of the Restaurant of the Future, (2) Olo's approach to customers as true partners—we are fully invested in the success of our customers, and (3) the excitement and support employees have around the Olo culture and the opportunity.

Shad Foos: I love to build and mentor teams, as well as stand up and evolve functions. Olo is an established brand and leader in the space but functions like a start-up. I love working in the restaurant space and consider Olo to be B2B2C, which plays to my combined strengths. Diego Panama (Chief Revenue Officer) and I share a vision for how we can take Olo into its next chapter of growth. Everyone I met through my recruiting, hiring, and onboarding journey confirmed I'm in the right place.

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What can Olo customers look forward to with you leading your department?

DC: Customer experience is a differentiator to maximizing the value customers receive from products, and ongoing service and delivery innovation are essential to Customer Success. Olo customers can look forward to me and my team being true trusted advisors. I am committed to being accessible and transparent in our partnership to ensure we help our customers work to achieve their desired business outcomes.

SF: As a cohesive Marketing function, we will help customers better understand how Olo’s evolving solutions work together, what their ideal digital journeys can and should look like, plus different ways to build more personalized, profitable relationships with guests. Additionally, there are significant opportunities to introduce Olo to new brands across categories and geographies.

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What are you most excited about at Olo—and for the restaurant industry at large?


DC:
I am excited for Olo to be the leader in enabling the restaurant industry to deliver exceptional guest experiences through the use of digital services that make each guest feel cared about.

SF: I'm looking forward to helping foster career growth across my team as we contribute in new ways to the growth of the business. I'm excited to package and position future products, establish an even more powerful brand, and generate content that ultimately helps our customers grow their businesses. When our customers are successful, we're successful. Let's go! 

To learn more about Olo and apply for one of our job openings, visit our careers page.

People
Apr 19, 2023
4
 min read

In honor of Earth Month, the Olo Green ERG leads share how restaurant brands can be more sustainable, plus 20 easy things we can all do to help the planet.

Restaurant Sustainability Tips, Olo Green, Earth Month

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At Olo, we believe the future of digital hospitality is sustainable. We’re committed to shaping its evolution by aligning our products, resources, and employees to drive positive change and create a more sustainable future.

On a macro level, our ESG work includes reducing our company’s carbon footprint and identifying opportunities to lessen the environmental impact in our value chain by way of our platform. Additionally, Olo For Good supports nonprofits aligned with our mission and values, including protecting natural resources and reducing waste and emissions.

On a micro level, Olo Green, one of our employee resource groups (ERGs), promotes environmental awareness and empowers Oloites to have an eco-conscious mindset in their daily lives. And Olo’s Volunteer Time Off (VTO) Policy encourages Oloites to contribute up to eight, paid hours per calendar year with eligible organizations of their choosing in their local communities. 

In honor of Earth Month, we asked the Olo Green leads—Alex Ray, Customer Support Training Team Lead, and Camille Stone, Customer Support Onboarding Specialist—to share a few ways that restaurant brands and we, as individuals, can be better stewards of the environment.

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How Restaurants Can Be More Sustainable

There are countless ways that restaurant brands can reduce their environmental impact, including managing food waste and consumer packaging waste. And as a technology partner for the industry, we recognize that the touch points of our platform can lend themselves to enabling these types of waste reductions.

For example, we responded to California regulatory developments on single-use plasticware in 2021 by rolling out a menu feature that allows brands to require guests to opt-in for single-use utensils and condiments.

Here are some additional ways that restaurant brands can be more sustainable this Earth Month and year-round:

  1. Replace standard light bulbs with LEDs or smart bulbs where possible.
  2. Offer rewards programs or discounts for using refillable cups or containers. For instance, at Starbucks, you can get $0.10 off your coffee and 25 stars if you’re a Rewards member by bringing a clean, reusable mug/cup.
  3. If you manage your own delivery fleet, consider order batching so one delivery person can fulfill multiple orders in a single trip.
  4. Use digital menus and/or QR code ordering to cut down on paper.
  5. Donate leftover ingredients and uneaten food to soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters, and religious organizations. Panera, for example, donates unsold baked goods to local nonprofits each night.
  6. Use local, seasonal products and/or grow your own produce.
  7. Set the temperature on your A/C one degree higher. According to the World Economic Forum, the direct and indirect emissions from room A/Cs alone could contribute to as much as a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in global warming by the year 2100.
  8. Add meatless options to the menu to protect the environment from damage caused by livestock farming and fishing practices.
  9. Choose compostable to-go containers, napkins, coffee cups, and disposable cutlery.
  10. Upgrade to eco-friendly equipment and appliances to save water and energy.

Olo employees, Ben Vaccaro and Jeremy Elson, at a trail cleanup.

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20 Easy Ways We Can All Show Earth Some Love

Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to protect the environment. While the issues facing our planet can feel overwhelming at times, if we each do our part and make more eco-friendly choices each day, we can make a real difference. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Recycle to keep useful materials out of landfills, conserve energy, and protect natural resources.
  2. Bring a bag and a grabber to pick up trash on neighborhood walks.
  3. Upcycle. In other words, take something old and create something new, increasing the original object’s value. For instance, propagate plants using empty yogurt containers. Here are some more ideas.
  4. Volunteer with a local environmental organization, organize a DIY cleanup at a local park or trail or plant a tree in your community.
  5. Buy second-hand goods at thrift stores instead of new garments, toys, and other items to reduce energy consumption, landfill waste, and air pollution.
  6. Reduce single-use plastic. Skip the plastic straw, drink out of a reusable water bottle, bring reusable grocery bags, etc.
  7. Open a window instead of using the A/C or raise the temperature on your A/C by one degree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  8. Turn off your computer when not in use.
  9. Donate to an environmental organization, such as:
    - Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    - Natural Resources Defense Council
    - Clean Air Task Force
  10. Eat more plant-based meals. According to the Stanford Report, ​​if everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would have the same environmental impact as taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
  11. Remove local invasive species from your garden and propagate native plants.
  12. Eat local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. The further food has to travel, the more energy is required to transport, refrigerate, store, and package it to keep it fresh.
  13.  Purchase minimal-waste products. For example, shop bulk bins for things like beans and spices at the grocery store instead of buying small glass or plastic containers.
  14. Check the library for things you will only use once. Most libraries rent accessories, small appliances, activity kits, and more.
  15. Compost at home. Get started in 5 steps.
  16. Drive less to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money. Remote work can help. (Did you know 75% of Oloites work remotely across the U.S.?)
  17. Cancel inactive subscriptions and accounts to reduce your carbon footprint.
  18. Purchase reusable products, such as rechargeable batteries, paper towels, face wipes, etc.
  19. Reduce food waste by only shopping for what you’ll actually eat, getting creative with leftovers, and freezing excess food.
  20.  Hang-dry clothes instead of using the dryer.

Learn more about Olo’s ESG efforts, get to know our employee resource groups (ERGs), and help us create a more sustainable future.

Photo Credits: (Main Image) Ambitious Studio - Rick Barrett; (Second Image) Ben Vaccaro and Jeremy Elson

People
Mar 8, 2023
4
 min read

For International Women's Day, we asked a few of our women leaders to share some of the wisdom they’ve acquired in their career so far. Read their stories and sage advice.

International Women's Day

At Olo, everything we do revolves around the belief that personal interactions make people feel valued. We aim to lift up, grow, challenge, and learn from the talented team members whose hard work, savviness, and intelligence keep us inspired and pushing to build an even greater company.

One of the ways we do that is through our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Olo Women’s Network (OWN), for example, seeks to bring together individuals who identify as women, and allies, for the purpose of empowering women in the areas of leadership, community, professional development, and equality within Olo and beyond.

In honor of International Women's Day, we asked a few of our women leaders to share some of the wisdom they’ve acquired on their career path so far—from helpful tips to hard lessons learned to what motivates them.

Read their stories and sage advice.

“A mentor once shared with me that sharing and learning from experiences at work is incredibly important for personal and professional growth. When we share our experiences with others, we create opportunities for learning and collaboration. We can gain new perspectives and insights that we may not have otherwise considered. That is why I took the initiative to establish the Olo Women's Network, which is now the largest Employee Resource Group at Olo. My goal is to foster a safe environment where we can share our experiences, collaborate, learn from one another, and form meaningful connections. Creating these opportunities for connection and growth is essential for supporting women in the workplace and promoting a culture of inclusivity and support.”

Priyanka Mehra, Director of Product Management, Payments

“Take the time to build and invest in a community of people you admire and are inspired by. Not only is it way more fun to celebrate successes with others, but your peers are the ones that will push and challenge you along the way (and also keep you sane!).”

Janna Sheng, Director of Product Management

“As I've grown in my career, I've learned to really evaluate my priorities and how I can get as much energy and satisfaction out of my work as possible. I am thankful for all of the mentorship, advice, and tough love I received from colleagues, managers, and leaders that helped me uncover how to maximize my joy at work and supported me through difficult transitions. My biggest piece of advice is that each person brings something special to the table, and it's up to each person to figure out what that is and how to incorporate it into their professional lives, even when it's difficult. Stay true to yourself, stay open to feedback, and enjoy the journey!”

Rachel Nasatka, Head of Business Partners

“The best advice I received was to try to improve something every day. It can be yourself, another person, a problem, or a process. Even if it's a slight improvement, each day is an opportunity to make something better than how you found it.”

Dominique Streeter, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“Never forget how capable you are. Just because you haven't done the exact task you may be asked to do, doesn't mean you don't have all the tools in your tool belt to rise to the occasion. You've probably heard this stat from a Hewlett-Packard Report years ago: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. In other words, as Forbes put it, ‘Men are confident about their ability at 60%, but women don’t feel confident until they’ve checked off each item on the list.’ The advice we can take away as women: Be more confident in yourself and your abilities. You've got this!”

Alayna Sullivan, Director of Corporate Communications

“I consider myself very lucky to have had incredible women leaders who have generously gifted me with their time and mentorship throughout my career. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is that you are your own best advocate. Law school taught me how to negotiate on behalf of my clients, but not necessarily for myself—which research has shown to be a struggle shared by many women in traditionally male-dominated industries such as law and finance. With the support and advocacy of my mentors, I’ve learned how to confidently speak up for myself whether it be for new opportunities and projects, better resources, higher compensation, or just sharing my impact and contributions. As I advance in my career, it’s not only my goal but also my responsibility, to pass on this wisdom and to support and amplify other women as my mentors did for me.”

Jen Wong, Deputy General Counsel

“Stop. Take a deep breath. Realize that you can't do it all and ask for help! It doesn't make you any less of a person. Utilize your circle and gain different perspectives in the process.”

Ashveen Singh, Director, Compensation

“Make time to focus on your own professional development, no matter what your title or role. It's so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the day-to-day if you don't intentionally carve out time to learn a new skill, take stock of your accomplishments, and gain a fresh perspective. Don't hesitate to advocate for yourself. Celebrate your wins! This ability does not come naturally to many of us; it takes time and practice to develop this skill. Cultivate a network of mentors and mentees—both in your line of work as well as in other industries. They don't have to be super formal; you never know where the next inspiration or support you need will come from.”

Carrie Drstvensek, Director of Product Management

To learn more about the Olo Women’s Network and our DEI efforts, visit our DEI page. And check out our careers page to view all of our open positions.

People
Feb 1, 2023
3
 min read

Find out how we’re fostering sustainable contributions to the communities in which we live, work, and serve via Olo For Good.

Olo For Good

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In an effort to integrate social responsibility and impact into our business, Olo joined the Pledge 1% movement and created Olo For Good in March 2021. Since then we’ve committed one percent of Olo’s time, product, and equity to foster sustainable contributions to the communities in which we live, work, and serve.

Olo For Good supports organizations that are aligned with our mission and values, including those focused on:

  • Advancing all aspects of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Providing relief for the restaurant industry and its front-line workers
  • Ending childhood hunger and increasing access to food
  • Protecting natural resources and reducing waste and emissions

As part of that commitment, we intend to donate one percent of Olo shares over 10 years to an independent donor-advised fund sponsor, Tides Foundation, in conjunction with our Olo For Good initiative. So far, a total of $7 million in grants has been donated to the following organizations:

These nonprofits are focused on diversity, supporting restaurant workers, environmental initiatives, and the fight against hunger. We are committed to working closely with each organization to ensure continued success.

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Here are a few examples:

Emma’s Torch

Emma’s Torch is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides paid culinary training to refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking and helps them find meaningful careers in the food industry.

When the pandemic forced Emma’s Torch to halt in-person dining, the organization needed a way to scale its business, including adding pick-up options for guests. And so, in addition to a grant, we donated our time and resources to get them set up with Online Ordering and Dispatch for restaurant delivery, and waived the usage fees.

Credit Emma's Torch

Since then, Olo has helped Emma’s Torch streamline operations by eliminating manual work, improve order accuracy, and increase its reach throughout New York.

We remain committed to increasing online ordering capabilities for Emma’s Torch, assisting the organization as it expands to new locations, and leveraging each team’s strengths within the culinary industry to build a stronger community.

Giving Kitchen

Giving Kitchen supplies emergency assistance to food service workers through financial aid and a network of low or no-cost community resources. 

When a food service worker experiences an injury, illness, housing disaster, or other trauma, they can apply for financial assistance to cover living expenses. Additionally, Giving Kitchen’s Stability Network connects people to resources related to mental health and substance misuse, employment, housing, social services, and more.

Giving Kitchen Cofounder Jen Hidinger-Kendrick. Credit Giving Kitchen

Formed out of an overwhelming community response to the terminal cancer diagnosis of Chef Ryan Hidinger, the nonprofit has provided over 6.7 million dollars to food service workers in crisis since 2013.

The pandemic underscored the value of Giving Kitchen, with 2,500 individuals served in 2020 alone, and set its intentions for the future. We’re proud to help the organization in its efforts to increase awareness within the restaurant industry and expand beyond Georgia and Tennessee to serve food service workers in need throughout the United States.

Partnership with Native Americans

Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) provides consistent material aid, educational support, and community-based services to Native Americans living on remote, isolated, and impoverished reservations.

After an Olo employee nominated the nonprofit, PWNA received a grant to support its first-ever ancestral foods distribution to Tribal communities in the Northern Plains and Southwest regions of the U.S. Alongside PWNA’s Native-led, peer-to-peer ancestral foods training that teaches individuals how to prepare traditional Indigenous meals, this distribution will complement the organization’s food sovereignty efforts.

Credit PWNA

PWNA will also use a small portion of the grant to purchase and distribute portable solar lights from Watts of Love to Tribal communities that lack sufficient electricity and lighting infrastructure to be safe and productive.

We’re grateful to partner with an organization that is working to eliminate food insecurity and increase safety among the Native American population.

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How to Get Involved

Individuals or nonprofit organizations that want to get involved with Olo For Good or explore potential partnership opportunities are encouraged to reach out to [email protected].

Stay tuned for the announcement of our next batch of Olo For Good grant recipients in April 2023.

For more information about how Olo supports nonprofits via Olo For Good, and our ESG work, visit www.olo.com/esg.

Main photo credit: Emma's Torch

People
Jan 11, 2023
5
 min read

Olo is diverse, equitable, and inclusive by design. Find out what DEI means to our company, what steps we’ve taken to be a more inclusive workplace, and our goals for the future.

Team Olo, DEI

While workplace diversity training first emerged in the mid-1960s, many businesses have recently made diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) a priority by rethinking hiring practices and company culture and even enlisting the help of specialists to lead the effort. At Olo, we recognize that meaningful change takes time and dedication.

That’s why our team regularly analyzes company data, surveys employees, and creates policies and resource groups that celebrate our differences, support underrepresented individuals, and foster a community of belonging.

Before we provide specific examples of how we put DEI into action at Olo, let's break down the acronym:

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Diversity

Diversity refers to acknowledging, understanding, and appreciating individual and social differences (age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical abilities, socioeconomics, etc.). In the workplace, it means giving everyone a seat at the table and celebrating differences.

Equity

While equality ensures each person or group receives the same resources or opportunities, equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and provides the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. In the workplace, this means ensuring every employee can succeed.

Inclusion

In the words of Vernā Myers, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” In other words, inclusion is the extent to which each person in an organization feels welcomed, respected, supported, and valued as a team member. This type of environment requires people from diverse backgrounds to communicate and work together, and to understand one another's needs and perspectives.

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Olo’s Journey To Becoming a DEI-Focused Organization

Olo has made DEI a core component of our business. To foster a culture of inclusivity, we believe it’s important to look inward, listen, and take concrete action. We started with these three steps:

1. Commit

To become a DEI-focused organization, Olo’s leadership first made the commitment. Our team recognized that only if leadership set the tone and clearly communicated expectations and goals, could the rest of the company engage and help see it through.

2. Understand

Next, we needed to evaluate the current state of DEI at Olo, from a qualitative and quantitative perspective. To establish a baseline for measuring progress and to identify areas of improvement, we had to do a bit of self-reflection.

For one, we had to find out how employees viewed the company. Do they feel like they belong? Do they feel like there’s a safe place for conversation between teammates and leaders? Understanding the core data (e.g. the breakdown of men and women, race, and ethnicities at the company) was key.

3. Act

Finally, we had to be willing and able to take action. Reporting data and taking the pulse of employees is great, but unless we were prepared to take concrete steps to address areas of improvement, the rest wouldn’t really matter. 

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How Olo Puts DEI Into Action

The work began with the creation of our Diversity Statement and the enhancement of our recruiting efforts. We created a dedicated DEI function within the People + Culture team, expanded our Talent Acquisition team to actively source diverse candidates, implemented ongoing DEI training for all employees, helped launch Employee Resource Groups, and more.

By the end of 2024, Olo aims to have a team composed of at least 42% women and 18% underrepresented ethnicities (employees who voluntarily self-identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Two or More Races, Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander). And thereafter, we hope to set additional targets to continue our efforts.

Here are some of the ways we’re moving toward our goal:

Annual DEI Survey

We have an annual DEI survey that asks employees questions like, “Do you feel like you belong?” and “Do you feel like your voice matters?”, in addition to capturing demographic information like age, ethnicity, department, and gender identity. By analyzing the responses, we can compare the experience of different groups and develop a plan to address areas in need of improvement. 

DEI Committee

Composed of a group of diverse employees from across the company, the DEI Committee’s role is to raise a voice for all Oloites, advise the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director, and create and facilitate events and initiatives to increase DEI at Olo.

Hiring Practices

To increase representation across the company, we’ve taken a number of steps, including: 

  • Pre-screening all job descriptions to ensure we’re using inclusive language
  • Posting on diversity job boards
  • Proactively sourcing diverse candidates
  • Including our diversity statement in our job descriptions
  • Anonymizing profiles when reviewing assessments
  • Removing college degree requirements where possible
  • Training hiring managers on interview strategies to reduce bias
  • Forming a diversity hiring committee to evaluate every step of the process and identify areas for improvement

We’ve also expanded our recruitment efforts at diversity-focused events, such as the National Society of Black Engineers and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, to hire more junior engineers and interns.

Training

We have a robust training curriculum that includes guest speakers, panel discussions, and leading inclusively training specifically targeting managers and leaders.

Mentoring Program

We launched Olo Ties, a mentoring pilot program that gives women and underrepresented minorities at Olo an opportunity to work with mentors at the company and get help in their career paths.

Employee Resource Groups

We encourage employees to create Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and provide support when they want to bring in guest speakers and hold events. We currently have six: Olo Women’s Network, Oloites of Color, Olo Pride, Olo Green, Vets @ Olo, and Olo Parents.

Job Leveling and Compensation Calibration

We regularly review our job leveling—the systematic method of objectively and actively assigning value to positions—and compensation across the company to ensure that we’re being equitable and consistent across all departments and positions.

Data Tracking

Every month we look at our statistics across gender, ethnicity, and racial demographics across the company and track our progress with consideration to hiring, acquisitions, and attrition.

Publishing DEI Data

Many businesses are hesitant to publish DEI data because the numbers aren’t ideal. To help hold ourselves accountable for improving our stats, we publish our DEI data on our website.

Encouraging Allyship

Allies play an important role in building an inclusive workplace by recognizing their own privilege and using their skills, knowledge, and position to drive real change.

At Olo, we encourage individuals who want to show support for underrepresented groups to demonstrate their allyship by listening, being receptive to feedback, having a willingness to change behavior to be respectful and inclusive, challenging inequities and attempts to marginalize individuals, as well as letting them know that they care and stand by them.

Final Thoughts

Companies don’t become DEI-focused organizations overnight. But, everyone wins when leadership makes a public commitment to positive change and actively works to build a culture that promotes growth and equity for underrepresented groups. The key is empowering employees to take action and help move the company forward. 

Learn more about how Olo puts DEI into action and apply to one of our open positions today.

People
Nov 9, 2022
3
 min read

In honor of Veterans Day, we sat down with Zach West, leader of Vets@Olo, to discuss why veterans are an asset to businesses and the importance of celebrating service members.

Team Olo, Vets@Olo

As a remote-first company, we work hard to keep our distributed team connected and provide an environment where employees can grow, learn, and celebrate their authentic selves. Our employee resource groups (ERGs) play an essential role in that effort by expanding our culture to be more inclusive.

Vets@Olo was one of the first ERGs to be formed, with the goal of connecting employees who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, their families, and nonveteran colleagues to foster a culture of camaraderie, offer support, and advocate for veteran recruitment, retention, and promotion.

In honor of Veterans Day, we sat down with the ERG’s leader, Zach West, Director of Customer Success Management and former Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces, to get the inside scoop on Vets@Olo, why veterans are an asset to companies, and the importance of celebrating service members.

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Tell us a bit about Vets@Olo.

We have about 20 members, including 11 or so veterans. In addition to being a community and support forum, we’ve done a few events over the years, including interviewing a veteran business owner about his journey from the Armed Forces to running Southern Pines Brewing Company, and hosting a donation drive to benefit Razom, a nonprofit sending emergency supplies to Ukraine.

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Why are veterans an asset to companies?

People who are involved in civic organizations are doing something that's greater than themselves. They tend to walk away with a better understanding of how to operate as a team and stay focused on their work. That type of selflessness benefits businesses as a whole because people are committed to the cause and will look out for one another. Veterans come from a mission-first background, so we will do whatever it takes to accomplish the end goal, leading to more efficient and productive companies.

What are some challenges facing veterans in the workplace?

Companies often overlook veterans as an underrepresented community. In reality, veterans are a diverse and vibrant group whose members intersect lines of gender, sexuality, and ability. What ties us together is a shared commitment to service, patriotism, and volunteerism. Companies should lean in and learn from their veteran community through inclusive practices, celebration, and recognition.

How is Vets@Olo working to change that?

I want to make sure that our group is not just a support forum, but also focused on celebration. We highlight veterans in our company by honoring their service, engaging in conversations around current events, assisting non-profits who benefit places like Ukraine, and ultimately doing the best we can to create a welcoming environment.

Looking ahead, I’d love to see our company benefit the broader community, including hiring more veterans, partnering with other ERGs at Olo, and donating to a veterans-focused organization.

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How can nonveterans show their support on Veterans Day and year-round?

Simply by being involved in different veterans organizations or nonprofits. There are a lot of awareness and support runs/charity races that exist out there. If there are local events going on, just showing up to support the cause is great.

Head to our People & Culture page to learn more about our ERGs, what it’s like to work at Olo, and our current job openings.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Faust from Unsplash

People
Oct 24, 2022
4
 min read

Get to know Priya Thinagar, Olo’s EVP of Technology, and what fuels her desire to help restaurants grow.

Team Olo

Inspired by Olo’s growth journey and steadfast commitment to helping restaurants do more with less, Priya Thinagar took on the role of Executive Vice President of Technology in late 2021.

Since joining, she has led our Product, Engineering, and Design teams to create best-in-class digital ordering experiences for off-premise and dine-in guests.

We recently sat down with Priya to find out why she chose to work at Olo, highlights from her first year on the job, the key to effective leadership, and more.

Why did you join Olo?

Restaurants are the stronghold of local communities. They act as impactful gathering places where people build relationships and make memories. But it's tough running a restaurant business—dealing with labor shortages, talent acquisition, and low margins. I thought of how cool it would be to help these local businesses thrive and do more with technology. Working in the intersection of two things I like the most, technology and food, is one of the reasons I chose Olo.

Additionally, as an aspiring entrepreneur, working in a founder-led organization meant learning from the best to focus on long-term guidance. A founder sees the company as their life’s work, so they are highly motivated to think about the long-term. I know from reading about successful founders that they have an owner’s mindset—speeding up decisions and a bias for action. Add a notch of purpose and you have this amazing formula that can drive individuals to impactful careers.

Lastly, when I started a year ago, Olo was going through a phase of intense scale. Having read “Blitzscaling” by Reid Hoffman and seeing the energy in fast-paced scaling to build sustainable organizations, I wanted to be at the center of the action-packed journey on this rocket ship.

Tell us a little bit about what you do.

I lead Product, Engineering, and Design for Olo’s core products and platform. Our mission is to remove any friction in the ordering experience, irrespective of the medium chosen to order. Our teams focus on reliability and scale, deeply embracing a data-driven culture to push our limits on being an elite organization.

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Looking back on your first year at Olo, what are you most proud of?

First of all, I’m proud of the Omnivore acquisition, where we saw the potential of the data and sync with POS which unlocks new product opportunities and a strong technical team. In the last few months, bringing the Omnivore data together with Olo’s rich order data, and being able to drive insights for capacity, has been fun to watch. The best is yet to come.

The second is Borderless Olo Pay—from ideation to minimum viable product (MVP) in less than two quarters of bringing together a team. We set a clear vision and focus for them and let them autonomously deliver. To see guests saving credit card information so they can checkout without friction across Olo’s network of restaurants has been rewarding.

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Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?

I see the potential of bringing the best guest experiences and operational excellence for our brands through our data science initiatives. We have seen accuracy in order promise times with just the order and make-time data. The possibilities are limitless. 

The next generation of guests is technologically savvy, prefers personalization, and expects brands to meet them where they are. With restaurants investing in digital enhancements to appeal to this hyper-connected guest population, I see a lot of opportunities for Olo to help our brands revolutionize their business through technology.

Name three things you love about working at Olo.

1. The problems we solve with a ground ball mentality—there is never a dull moment. 2. The pace at which we operate helps our brands solve complex problems in a timely manner. 3. And, most importantly, my team and the leadership on my teams.

What makes a great leader?

Great leaders make hard choices in order to enhance the lives of others around them. They also have a blend of humility and unparalleled will to lead others in service of a cause that is bigger than themselves.

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Any advice for aspiring women in tech?

My favorite woman leader, Eleanor Roosevelt, said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Remain positively curious and remember that the future is what you make it to be, so dream big.

To learn more about Olo and apply for one of our job openings, visit our careers page.