Developing with Olo

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May 31, 2024
#Interview #Development #Restaurants
Zaeem Zafar Engineering manager

Interview with Zaeem Zafar

Engineering Manager


We sat down with Engineering Manager, Zaeem Zafar to talk about his experience integrating Olo into the development of Rubio’s mobile app and website for online ordering.

For those who might not know, what is Olo?

Olo is a leading restaurant technology provider with ordering, payment, and guest engagement solutions. Over 700 restaurant brands trust Olo and its network of more than 300 integration partners to innovate on behalf of the restaurant community, accelerating technology’s positive impact and creating a world where every restaurant guest feels like a regular.

CitrusBits has recently been announced an Olo partner, what does that mean?

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Olo! This means we leverage our extensive API knowledge and platform expertise to create custom integrations and solutions for restaurants using Olo. We can help clients unlock even more potential from their digital ordering and payment systems.

What products has CitrusBits created using Olo?

CitrusBits has been hard at work crafting some pretty cool stuff with Olo specifically with our Rubio’s client. We have created a custom frontend app for both mobile and web platforms that tap into Olo’s APIs. This makes ordering from Rubio’s feel like magic for customers and Olo is the wizard behind the curtain making it all happen.

Olo is like the Swiss Army knife of online ordering platforms. Not only does it bring top-notch security and reliability to the table, but it also provides analytics to help businesses thrive.

Olo empowers third-party developers like us to create tailored solutions that meet the complex needs for different brands. Think of it as taking a plain white-label solution and transforming it into a bespoke masterpiece, all thanks to Olo’s super-flexible APIs.

Why should a business use Olo? What are the benefits?

First and foremost, let’s talk about convenience – because in today’s fast-paced world, it’s absolutely crucial. Olo offers businesses a streamlined online ordering experience. Customers are craving simplicity, and with Olo’s intuitive features, we can provide it to them.

Security is incredibly valuable for our clients. Olo has robust security measures that provide businesses with peace of mind, ensuring that their customers’ information remains safe.

Olo isn’t just a platform for processing orders; it’s a treasure trove of valuable data. By leveraging Olo’s analytics tools, businesses can gain deep insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. This empowers their customers to make data-driven decisions that drive growth and profitability.

Olo offers flexible APIs and customizable features. Businesses have the freedom to tailor their online ordering experience to align with their brand identity and specific needs.

So, whether you’re a small business looking to enhance your online presence or a large enterprise aiming to streamline your ordering process, Olo offers a suite of benefits that can’t be ignored. It’s the secret ingredient that elevates our clients to new heights, delivering convenience, security, analytics, and flexibility in one package.

What unique features does Olo have?

There are a lot of unique features Olo has but one of my favorite’s is Order with Google. With this feature, customers can place orders directly from Google Search and Maps. With just a few clicks, customers are able to discover and order, getting them the food they want faster.

Olo Pay enables one-click checkout for repeat customers. This creates a seamless transaction experience eliminating long checkout processes enticing customers to come back again. Olo Pay supports integration with Apple Pay and Google Pay. These payment options are synonymous with industry simplicity and security standards. CitrusBits is offering Olo customers integration with Olo pay at no additional cost for their project. 

Olo hosts restaurant guest data, allowing restaurants to manage their relationship with their customers. Olo’s Borderless solution allows partnering restaurants and guests to share data, enabling faster checkout and greater guest insights.. By utilizing this data, clients can personalize experiences, target promotions effectively, and build lasting relationships with their customers.

As a Developer, Olo is an incredibly powerful API which allows me the freedom to build custom integrations that fit the exact needs of our clients. The fact that Olo provides flexibility and versatility I am able to create powerful solutions to solve our client’s problems. 

When it comes to API development and integration, Olo sets the bar high with its security standards ensuring peace of mind for both our clients and their customers. As a system, it is highly scalable, allowing our clients to  handle high traffic volumes without fear of their platform breaking down.

How has CitrusBits innovated with the AI features of Olo?

We’re constantly exploring innovative ways to leverage Olo’s AI for our clients, such as  personalized recommendations for users. This feature suggests menu items based on their past orders and preferences. Clients can also use the demand forecasting to predict order volume which allows them to optimize their staffing and inventory. Lastly, restaurants can reduce waste by offering lower costs through dynamic pricing based on demand and inventory levels.

As a Developer, what do you like about Olo?

As a Developer, I really like the robust and well-documented API. It’s like having a trusty toolkit that’s both powerful and easy to use. With Olo’s API, integration and development become easy, thanks to its clear documentation and thoughtful design allowing our teams to create products efficiently.

Olo’s modular platform approach allows us developers to get creative. Whether it’s customizing solutions to fit specific needs or building new features from scratch, the possibilities are endless.

What truly sets Olo apart is its supportive developer community. Whenever I need help troubleshooting a tricky issue I simply reach out to the community, and chances are, someone in the community will help me through the solution. It’s this spirit of collaboration and camaraderie that makes developing with Olo such a rewarding experience.

So, whether it’s the robust API, the modular platform, or the supportive developer community, there’s plenty I love about Olo from a developer’s perspective. It’s a platform that not only makes our jobs easier but also empowers us to create amazing experiences for businesses and their customers alike.

Thank you Zaeem for sharing with us about your experience developing with Olo. Learn more about CitrusBits joining Olo’s Connect Program as a Gold Partner here.

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