Jun 5, 2024
 min read

Team Olo Spotlight: Nathan Torres

This article outlines:

An introduction to Nathan Torres, Olo’s Director of Product Management: Manage Group

How the pandemic impacted his view of the restaurant industry and Olo’s role in it

Why he believes it’s the perfect time to launch a catering program + tips for driving sales


Since joining Olo in early 2020, Nathan Torres has worked his way up from Product Manager for Catering and Switchboard to a Director of Product Management. In his current role, Nathan oversees product managers focused on Olo's Catering+, Expo, and Host solutions, as well as onboarding and invoicing.

Find out why Nathan wanted to work for Olo, how the pandemic impacted his view of the restaurant industry, and why he thinks now’s the time for restaurants to seize on catering demand.

What originally drew you to Olo?

Nathan Torres: I first learned about Olo from Ken Marks (VP of Product). Until talking with Ken, I hadn’t thought about what went into online ordering experiences, fulfillment, handoff, etc. This piqued my interest, alongside Olo’s mission and the robustness of the platform.

After that conversation, I started digging into the restaurant technology space and paid close attention to my own online ordering experiences. I was fascinated by how restaurants utilized technology to create unique guest experiences.

When an opportunity opened for a Product Manager at Olo, I jumped in and the rest is history.


How did the pandemic impact your view of the restaurant industry and Olo’s role in it?

NT: I was at Olo for about six weeks when the pandemic upended the industry. In-store ordering was no longer viable, so online ordering was the only way to connect guests to restaurants.

I was amazed at how fast restaurants adapted and used Olo’s platform to meet the needs of their guests and employees. It sheds light on how important our work is for enabling restaurants to provide the best guest experience and operate efficiently and safely—especially during difficult times.


Catering demand is booming. What role will catering play for restaurants in the coming years?

NT: Catering is projected to grow by over $50 billion over the next 8 years. This is a huge growth opportunity for restaurants, but it's also table stakes for ensuring restaurants have stable recurring revenue. 

Many Olo customers have shared that catering sales are typically more stable year over year than single to-go orders, which are more reactive to economic pressures.

What are some lesser-known ways restaurants benefit from catering?

NT: The marketing value that catering provides is tremendous. Your restaurant's food is being experienced by many guests, which opens the door for more individual to-go orders, or even more catering orders for professional or social events in the future. 

Catering orders are also much more profitable. You can staff appropriately, order ingredients as needed, and fulfill high-value orders with fewer people.

Related case study: Learn how Salsarita’s catapulted catering sales with Catering+

Do you have any tips for driving catering sales?


1. Make your menu approachable

Catering orderers need guidance on which menu items will best suit their needs. Provide helpful information, such as how many people each catering package feeds and examples of events that pair well with each package. 

2. Get the word out 

Lunch meetings, sporting events, company parties, social gatherings, holidays, and appreciation days are happening all the time. Let people know your restaurant can provide a great catering experience for any occasion. That way, you're top of mind for anyone planning an event.

3. Treat every catering order like a high-stakes order

Providing an optimal experience for the catering orderer and the many guests consuming your food is mission-critical. It can make or break the opportunity for additional growth.

Visit our careers page for more information about Team Olo and to apply for one of our job openings. 

To learn about Olo’s fully integrated restaurant catering solution, check out Catering+.

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