Digital Orders Set to Soar Over the Next 5 Years

Digital Orders Set to Soar Over the Next 5 Years
2/13/2019
The launch of Apple's iPhone in 2007 and the creation of Uber two years later created a recipe for rapid growth of digital ordering and delivery demand, said Olo founder and CEO Noah Glass. Digital restaurant orders are on track to hit $200 billion or 25% of total sales within five years, likely driving eateries to invest in small and otherwise nontraditional spaces.
 

Courtesy of SmartBrief
 
According to Olo founder and CEO Noah Glass, the restaurant industry is, in a way, experiencing this theory as digital ordering and delivery barrel toward an expected $200 billion of sales throughout the next four years.
 
“That’s a bigger share than drive-thru all together and it’s happening in a time period that is 10 times shorter than the history of the drive-thru,” Glass said. “That’s an incredible transition to have a larger chunk in a tenth of the time.”
 
His company has been on the front of this trajectory since 2005, a rare startup success story that now includes providing digital ordering and delivery solutions to over half of all public brands, or more than 48,000 restaurants.
 

Glass has as firm a pulse on the dizzying pace of restaurant technology as anyone, which is why he landed on Nation’s Restaurant News’ “The Power List” this year. He said the inflection point for the marriage between technology and restaurants was in 2007 – when Apple introduced the iPhone.
 
“In a matter of a year, everybody was getting a smartphone and using them not just as a media or communication device, but to do a lot of magical stuff, including a remote control for buying things,” Glass said. “The pieces fell into place when Uber came around (2009). It was a big on-demand driver. That’s when restaurants started thinking about an on-demand service model.”
 
Now, restaurants don’t have much of a choice but to think that way. Thanks to the likes of Uber and Amazon, consumers are quickly growing to expect such on-demand convenience, and in the next five years, analysts predict that 25% of all restaurant sales – $200 billion out of the $800 billion industry – will occur through digital channels.
 
According to Glass, once the likes of Uber started changing consumer habits, it was Starbucks and Panera that brought the narrative into the restaurant industry.
 
“Pizza has always had this big idea but Starbucks and Panera were the first to say ‘we’re going to do it, too.’ That’s when we knew that digital ordering had a bigger place in the industry and ever since then it’s been a mad dash,” Glass said. Read More