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Danny Meyer-Backed Company Wants to Be the Kayak.com of Food Delivery

It just raised $40 million to fuel its dreams.

Gabriel Saldana/Flickr

In the year 2020 dine-in restaurants will become obsolete, replaced by microkitchens that exist solely to fuel a never-ending procession of food delivery services. Or so it would seem, given the explosive growth of the delivery biz in recent years. Here's another name to get familiar with, per TechCrunch: Olo, a well-established online and mobile ordering platform for restaurants, just snagged $40 million in new funding to fuel Dispatch, its recently launched delivery service arm. (Previous investors include Shake Shack king Danny Meyer.)

Given that Olo doesn't have the sort of household name status as say, Seamless, it may come as a surprise to learn that it's been around for more than a decade. But that's because Olo doesn't provide services under its own company name; rather, the New York-based company "works with large chains, including Chipotle, Five Guys and Jamba Juice, to power their online ordering and pick-up business."

Founder and CEO Noah Glass tells TechCrunch he envisions Olo becoming the "Kayak.com for delivery," referring to the travel search engine that scours numerous other sites to help users find the best deals. "Dispatch will reach out to a number of different delivery providers, including Uber and Postmates," Glass explains. "It will find a driver that will get it there the fastest and the cheapest."

Per a previous press release from Olo, here's how Dispatch works:

1. A guest visits the restaurant’s existing digital ordering website or mobile app, builds an order and pays ahead
2. At checkout, the guest selects "Delivery"
3. Upon selecting "Delivery," the guest enters their delivery address and receives one or multiple delivery time and price quote options from local DSPs (delivery service providers) that are available
4. The guest can then track their delivery from courier traveling to the restaurant, the order being fired into the kitchen for prep, the handoff of the order to courier, and finally the map-based, turn-by-turn delivery of that order from the restaurant to the delivery address – all live from the restaurant brand’s existing digital ordering website/app

As powerhouses like Amazon and Uber race to see who can ascend to the top of the food delivery pyramid that's already crowded with companies like Postmates, GrubHub, Caviar, and DoorDash, Olo's service could be awfully handy for a generation that's accustomed to getting anything they want or need at the proverbial touch of a button.

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