Managing integrations and simple monthly pricing are keys to the growth goals of this startup that manages online third-party food delivery orders for restaurants.
It’s an oversimplification to say the cloud has been a game changer for many restaurants — and, consequently, the companies developing software for those restaurants. Consider this data from the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 Restaurant Industry Factbook. Nearly 40 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to have restaurant food delivered than they were two years ago. And nearly 50 percent say they placed an order for takeout or delivery using an app.
With growth comes growing pains, and Zack Martin noticed a physical and operational sign of this: a myriad of tablets cluttering the back of the house of busy restaurants. Martin and his business partner, Thibault Le Conte, discovered those tablets belonged to third-party food delivery companies. Customer orders placed via third-party apps would come through to a tablet specific to each app. A staff member would then transfer that order to the POS software, a painstaking process prone to mistakes. Martin calls the scenario “a tablet nightmare” for restaurants, and he set out to build OrderOut, a solution that would serve as a wake-up call.
Integrations are the lifeblood of OrderOut’s platform, and earning those integrations required persistence. First, OrderOut prioritized which POS systems it would integrate with based on volume and popularity. The technical aspect is actually easier to manage than business relationships. “Getting POS companies to notice you as a third-party solution is always difficult and getting in touch with key stakeholders is important to make those integrations possible,” Martin says. “Some POS systems have yearlong waiting lists just to get approved for an integration.”
Getting delivery services on board was equally challenging, even though there are fewer delivery services compared to POS software applications. Martin crafted a pitch to help these food delivery companies understand the importance of playing on the same team. “We explain the value that we can provide, not only to each merchant, but also to the overall ecosystem,” he says. “We want to create a beneficial, symbiotic relationship for all parties involved.”
UNDERSTANDING CUSTOMER PSYCHOLOGY
OrderOut is built to be a plug and play solution, with some customers able to get up and running in just minutes on certain POS systems. Its pricing structure is designed to be just as simple and streamlined, with a flat monthly fee. Although pricing isn’t often thought of as a feature in and of itself, for restaurants it can be just as important as technical capabilities.
That’s because unpredictability is the modus operandi for restaurant owners. “We based our pricing on listening to our customers and understanding the psychology of a restaurant owner,” Martin says. “The last thing a restaurant wants is to be charged on a per-order basis when they may not even know exactly how many orders they’re getting.” This price predictability frees up customers to handle the server who doesn’t show up for a shift or the shattered glass on the dining room floor instead of worrying about a variable cost of technology.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ORDEROUT
OrderOut is now turning its focus to growth, with a goal to be in tens of thousands of restaurants within the next five to 10 years. The company has prided itself on getting early customers without any marketing investment thanks to cofounder Le Conte’s SEO expertise and Martin’s business development savvy. The next step is to beef up outbound sales and channel/reseller partnerships. They’ll get there with the help of LAB Ventures, a venture builder based in Miami that provides coworking space, in-house development, access to advisors, and other corporate services to startups. Unlike many accelerators or incubators, LAB doesn’t require predetermined equity terms.
The National Restaurant Association puts the restaurant industry’s share of food spending at $863 billion annually, and the chunk of that coming from food delivery is increasing rapidly. Order- Out is making strides to ensure that growth for its customers comes with less stress. “We’re allowing that small business owner to have their restaurant be the best it can be,” Martin says. “We’re certainly not saving lives, but if we can help someone make more money or save time, then I like to think that we’ve done our job.”
Employees: 3 Headquarters: Miami, FL Year Founded: 2018
Funding: $150,000 (part of a venture builder at LAB Ventures) and Y Combinator Startup School 2018
Functionality - Text-To-Order: OrderOut integrates third party food delivery platforms directly to a restaurant’s POS and provides a virtual data and analytics dashboard that gives reports on what food delivery partners and food items are performing best and when.