Oct 12, 2023
Brooke Heinzmann
 min read

Fall Release: New Ways To Acquire and Retain Guests

This article outlines:

An overview of the 2023 Fall Release

A breakdown of our four most significant product enhancements

How to take advantage of these new features


In Q3, Olo introduced 11 new features across our three product suites: Order, Pay, and Engage. These customer-driven product enhancements are designed to boost guest acquisition, retention, and operational efficiency.

Keep scrolling for a detailed breakdown of our four most significant enhancements—how they work, why they matter, and who benefits.

To watch the release video and see a complete list of new features, visit our Fall Release page.


Catering+ with House Accounts

What it is: An enterprise-ready catering platform that includes robust ordering, management, and payments, including House Accounts

How it works: The process of placing a catering order is the same as a mealtime order. Guests select the handoff mode and location, schedule the order, and then submit. Brands can easily manage catering orders within the same Olo Dashboard as all other orders—plus, create House Accounts for VIPs. Simply set up net terms and extend a line of credit so your regulars can order catering today and pay later.

Why it matters: Catering is predicted to be one of the top-growth sales channels over the next year, with high-value orders averaging $350/transaction. Olo’s enterprise-ready Catering+ works alongside our core mealtime ordering solution to sync up operations and enable restaurants to tap into a new, high-margin revenue stream.

How restaurants benefit: With Catering+, you can manage all orders in the same, intuitive Olo Dashboard you use for mealtime orders. Already integrated with many POS systems and loyalty programs, Catering+ is a great way to drive more direct digital orders and avoid costly delivery commissions. Additionally, House Accounts enable you to reward VIPs with a better guest experience and streamlined purchasing process. 

How guests benefit: Guests can place catering orders directly from the restaurant brands they know and trust. Regulars can order today and pay later with a House Account.

Order with Google

What it is: An easy way for guests to order directly from your restaurant brand—without leaving Google Search or Maps

How it works: Your restaurant’s digital menu is syndicated to Google via Olo. Ordering options appear in your Google Business Profile on Search and Maps. Accurate orders are sent directly to your POS and processed just like website or app orders. Your brand captures guest data for remarketing and fostering long-term loyalty.

Why it matters: On average, 81% of guests who order from a restaurant on Google have never placed a direct digital order from them before. And of that 81%, 16% place subsequent orders directly through the restaurant’s website. Additionally, 20% of Order with Google guests reorder from the same brand via Google.

How restaurants benefit: Restaurants that offer a seamless Order with Google experience benefit from increased discoverability, conversion rates, and guest acquisition. Since orders placed via Google Search and Maps are equivalent to direct orders made on your website or app, you own your guest relationship and data, enabling you to better understand, serve, and market to guests.

How guests benefit: Guests using Google Search or Maps to locate restaurants or particular dishes in their area can easily find and order directly from brands—without having to navigate to a different website or app. Fewer clicks = happier guests.

Enhanced Sentiment Module

What it is: A holistic reputation management platform designed to help restaurants aggregate and respond to reviews before they impact sales

How it works: Sentiment aggregates guest feedback from popular review sites across the web, including Facebook, Google, and Yelp, into a single dashboard, so you can easily organize, escalate, and respond to feedback. 

The sentiment analysis tool makes it easy to filter reviews by source, location, date, rating, keywords, etc. to better understand what’s driving positive and negative experiences. You can also leverage generative AI, personalization, and pre-approved response libraries to ensure brand consistency in your replies.

Why it matters: Many restaurant brands struggle to reliably monitor and engage with guest feedback at scale. There are countless feedback channels to manage and it can be difficult to unlock actionable insights. Sentiment eliminates all of these pain points in one user-friendly platform.

How restaurants benefit: Made for multi-location restaurant brands, Sentiment helps brands listen, analyze, and adapt to feedback in real time—without having to log into review platforms one by one. You can leverage these aggregated insights to foster brand loyalty, win back unhappy guests, and turn review sites into reliable acquisition channels.

How guests benefit: When restaurant brands reply to reviews—positive and negative—guests feel seen and appreciated. Additionally, it signals to prospective guests that the brand prioritizes guest satisfaction.

Marketing AI Creative Assistant

What it is: A feature within the Email Design Editor that enables brands using Olo Marketing to quickly generate content at scale

How it works: Powered by OpenAI and built directly into our Email Design Editor, AI Creative Assistant can be accessed from four content modules: Title, Paragraph, List, and Button. 

Within the build preview for each content module, you can click the “Write with AI” button and tell AI Creative Assistant exactly what you’re looking for (e.g., “a click-worthy subject line about launching catering”). You can then decide to use the generated copy as is, make it your own, or create a new prompt.

Why it matters: Busy restaurant marketers often don’t have the bandwidth to write and test email copy to see what converts. AI Creative Assistant was built to help you do more with less.

How restaurants benefit: AI Creative Assistant enables you to maximize your marketing output and supercharge your creativity with artificial intelligence. Use starter prompts to quickly generate copy, so you can focus your energy on analyzing campaign results and optimizing for conversion.

How guests benefit: Restaurant guests who opt into marketing communications want to hear from your brand. By leveraging AI Creative Assistant, you can ensure they receive clear, consistent, on-brand emails about your latest offerings, pickup options, social channels, loyalty program, and more at a regular cadence.


Getting Started

Visit our Fall Release page to watch the release video and learn about all 11 of our recent product enhancements. If you’re already an Olo customer, reach out to your Customer Success Manager with any questions and to find out how to implement these features. If you’re not using Olo yet, request a demo to start the conversation.

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