Restaurant tech company Chowly, which integrates third-party delivery orders with restaurant POS systems, officially announced today its partnership with online catering marketplace ezCater. Chowly restaurant customers interested in adding catering as another ordering channel will now be able to do so through the ezCater integration, according to a press release from Chowly.
Since catering is yet-another type of off-premises ordering, restaurants typically have to manually input those orders into the main POS system — a time-consuming process that’s also highly susceptible to human error. That issue isn’t unique to catering, but since the ticket size of catering orders tends to be much higher (around $283), making a mistake gets costly much faster.
At least on the order processing side, Chicago-based Chowly solves that issue by taking the takes the human out of that equation. The company’s software automates the process of getting catering orders into a restaurant’s main POS system. When a customer places an order via a third party, whether it’s DoorDash or ezCater, that data gets automatically transmitted to the restaurant’s in-house POS system and enters the main ticket stream. All this happens in about 30 seconds, according to Chowly’s website, and for restaurants, there’s no additional hardware needed to use the system.
Chowly’s software is already well known in the restaurant biz for automating the process of getting third-party delivery orders into the POS system. The company partnered with DoorDash in September and also counts Jet’s Pizza, Branded Restaurants, and other chains among its restaurant partners (not to mention, some ghost kitchens).
ezCater, meanwhile, raised $150 million earlier this year to expand its online catering marketplace. Its integration with Chowly adds another off-premises ordering channel for restaurants to utilize. Charlotte, NC-based Clean Juice is one such chain doing that. According to the press release, Clean Juice, who was already a Chowly customer, started offering catering at all 80 of its locations after adding ezCater as an ordering channel.
Catering juice and catering full meals are two different things, of course, and the latter takes more time, money, and manpower than some chains have, POS integration or no. Nonetheless, the online catering world is growing. For example, EAT Club is a “virtual cafeteria” serving corporate offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. City Pantry, which Just Eat acquired in July, has a similar service in London.
Off-premises orders expected to make up the bulk of restaurant sales over the next decade. As companies like Chowly work to make the tech side of processing catering orders easier for restaurants, we’ll likely see more of those catering options at schools, universities, and in the workplace in the future.