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A tale of two tech companies: Chowly, Invoiced

Tech companies bring timely integration platform for delivery, seamless payment experience

Technology is fast-moving and there’s a big opportunity in engaging customers in the digital world—particularly as it relates to restaurants. As the desire for convenience has grown, consumers have turned to order pick-up and delivery in a big way. This month, TDn2K, an intelligence and analytics company, reported that the largest gaps between the growth of off-premises sales and on-premises sales occurred in the last three quarters.

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Sending third party orders to POS

Restaurant delivery is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for restaurants as sales shifts from within the four walls to outside of them. Third-party delivery has made delivery across a market or multiple markets possible for restaurants and restaurant chains. However, with the adoption of third-party delivery ordering has come a barrage of tablets and devices to receive these orders. Managing these orders has become quite a challenge for restaurants.

Chowly, a technology services provider that integrates orders from third-party delivery services into the POS, helps restaurants manage the order and optimize the opportunity. Sterling Douglass, Chowly co-founder and chief executive notes two big transformations occurring within the restaurant industry. First of all, there’s a huge percentage of revenue shifting from on-premises to off-premises. Second, more restaurants are doing business in the digital world, outside the four walls. Restaurants must now manage their online profiles, menus and website to become attractive business specifically in the online space.

Delivery growing, more chain clients

Until recently, Douglass’ team had been serving more independent restaurants. Now, he sees a trend shifting toward multi-unit companies and chains, so now Chowly has a wide range of customers. “We can work with a single restaurant and with muli-unit chains,” says Douglass. And cost is not a big factor, as Chowly’s customers pay $100 per month on average, with the complexity of menus playing a significant role.

In June, Olo, a digital ordering company, announced a new partnership with Uber Eats. Olo began integrating Uber Eats orders directly into the POS through a system called Olo Rails. No matter, suggests Douglass. “We’ve been integrating Uber Eats for three years now since they introduced that in the Chicago Market. When you look at Chowly and Olo, there’s not a lot of other options for integrating third-party services.”

Whether it’s an ”online order, kiosk solution or third party marketplace,” there’s just no place for business to be captured outside the POS, notes Douglass. Chowly helps restaurants manage the shift of technology, particularly as it becomes more prevalent. This year alone, the online prepared-meals delivery market could top $23B and by 2023, $28B, according to Statista. As more business comes from outside the restaurant, fulfilling the orders is much more efficient and accurate via the POS. A system that sends third party orders to POS becomes ideal.

Creating seamless payment experience with Invoiced

Chowly works with several chains, notably Pieology, Famous Dave’s and Uno’s Chicago Pizzeria. Chowly also partners with Invoiced, a technology company that helps companies that want to focus on their business while making managing receivables seamless and efficient

Also, according to Jared King, Invoiced chief executive, his firm helps “companies like Chowly increase their collection metrics by 30 to 50 percent.” Using the system, Chowly transmits customer invoices and gets paid more quickly.

Restaurant clients also benefit because the experience is much improved. Restaurant owners and managers have enough to worry about. A solution like Invoiced enables restaurants to make their payments in a way that continues the positive brand experience of the provider—in this case, Chowly. By automating billing and collections, Invoiced has helped this process, and shown results.

Further down the road, Invoiced is further improving its solution. A physical lockbox solution is the newest development. It will help its clients accommodate their customers by enabling payments that are not electronic. “For those that have a P.O. Box, they’ll be able to receive their checks automatically and applied to the correct invoices,” noted King.

In addition, Invoiced will add predictive technology. The enhancement provides clients more insight into the next quarter and more visibility into customers who are at risk, but are not yet known.

Photo credit: Simon Rae

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