Amazon's been getting into the food game for a while now. After all, they've introduced Amazon Fresh and drive-through grocery pickup. And oh yeah, they acquired Whole Foods earlier this year. Clearly Amazon is serious about the food business; they've established their presence on the grocery side, but what about the restaurant/takeout side? While they've had the Amazon Restaurants delivery for a while, it hasn't exactly taken off. A new partnership with a company called Olo might help with that.
Olo is a digital platform that allows customers to order and pay for delivery and takeout food online. They focus on large restaurant brands and chains, with over 200 restaurants on their list that have a total of around 40,000 US locations. Their clients include Chipotle, Cold Stone Creamery, Five Guys and Jamba Juice. The value for Amazon here is that this partnership gives them potential access to the many different chain restaurants in Olo's client base.
This agreement will allow Olo to continue handling the menu and ordering side of the equation, while Amazon Restaurants will take care of delivery. The real question is whether Olo's customer base will want to work with Amazon. So far, the Italian chain Buca di Beppo is the only client cited in the press release that will be offering delivery through Amazon Restaurants. It remains to be seen whether this will pay off for Amazon, but it seems like a smart and relatively low-risk move for the online retail giant.