Today in Restaurant and Grocery Tech: Chili’s Tests Robo-Servers; Olo Acquires Wisely –

Today in restaurant and grocery tech news, Olo turns its focus from consumer-facing products to internal restaurant tools, and Portillo’s sees investor interest soar following its initial public offering. Plus, PYMNTS findings illuminate consumers’ digital ordering habits.
Restaurant Platform Olo to Buy Data Firm Wisely for $187M
Olo, an on-demand commerce platform powering the restaurant industry’s digital transformation, will buy customer intelligence and engagement platform Wisely, according to a Thursday (Oct. 21) press release. The acquisition cost is approximately $187 million, with $77 million of the transaction in cash and the remaining $110 million in Olo’s Class A common stock.
Up for Grabs: Restaurants and Grocers See Path to Picking up 200 Million New Customers
Since March 2020, consumers have been going online to order not only groceries, but also restaurant orders they once only acquired in brick-and-mortar establishments. This is one of the key trends that PYMNTS, in collaboration with Carat, from Fiserv, uncovered in the How We Eat Playbook.
ResTech Providers Shift Focus from Consumers’ Needs to Restaurants’
In 2020, much of the focus of restaurant technology businesses was on offering restaurants ways to maintain their customers in the face of pandemic-related challenges. Now, with consumers having incorporated digital ordering into their routines, technology providers can shift their focus to directly providing value for their actual customers, the restaurants themselves.
Hot Dog Chain Sees Hot IPO as Differentiated In-Restaurant Experience Offsets Mid-Tier Digital Efforts
Villa Park, Illinois-based hot dog chain Portillo’s, which operates around 70 locations across nine states, is generating huge interest from investors following its initial public offering (IPO) Thursday (Oct. 21), bolstered by the chain’s consistent ability to generate sales at its restaurants and maintain a highly devoted following.
Restaurant Roundup: Robots Take Over Major Casual Dining Chains 
This week in restaurant news, Chili’s tests out a robotic server, Buffalo Wild Wings tries an automated chicken frier, Gopuff expands its ghost kitchen offerings, and local authorities crack down on a restaurant skipping out on checking for proof of vaccines.

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