US Foods & ChowNow

I know there are tons of threads on the ordering platforms, pricing, ups, downs, etc…
US Foods rep is pushing the ChowNow thing to me… which I’m sure she gets a perk for doing.
Just opened and don’t deliver- the place is not really designed or structured for delivery, and wasn’t really set up for OLO.
I know that sounds odd…
Limited menu- Pies, Slices, Paninis & salads. 8 Paninis, 4 Salads, two pie sizes… no grill, fryers, downtown 11-8pm lunch/slice ad grab a pie to go home type place. Closed Sunday.
On FB- “Off Main Pizzeria”
Will it work the way I designed it… not so sure.
That aside, the ChowNow seems like a good idea, though it was not part of my plan.
I did install the Microworks PRISM POS.
Been open two weeks w/ no marketing/adv and still putting out the “just opened” fires.
Looking for any experiences and observations- Grateful for them.

Why don’t you want to use the online ordering platform that your POS system provides? I would definitely recommend using something that integrates with your POS if it’s possible. I used Ordersnapp for a few months, which is the same type of company as Chownow. With no delivery, you could probably just print the online order when you receive it and use then in house and just have different tickets for your online orders and then input all of the online sales to the POS system at once at the end of the night. With delivery, we needed all the orders entered into the POS system when placed which was fine at first, but became a hassle real quick. After a couple months, we had to start scheduling an extra person each night just to sit in the back and input all our online orders during the rush. I ended up investing in a new POS in large part for the integrated online ordering capabilities. Integrated online ordering makes life so much easier for everybody.

Agreed- that was my first thought.
It was not part of the (immediate) plan but that seems like the smartest way to go- I was going to call MW and talk to them.
I wasn’t sure if there were aspects or concerns that I wasn’t aware of.
When I went to the Chow site, I found it funny that there was lots of mention about NOT using your POS for OLO for a bunch of reasons, none of which made any sense to me.

I would only use a online site as long as it integrated into the POS. Anything else will just cause problems.

Apparently, the ChowNow system comes with a stand-alone tablet w/ a printer…?
It all seemed odd and redundant if you have a POS; Certainly one that supports OLO.

That’s just how you receive the order, rather than a fax, email, or phone call. What we would do when it was busy was print out an online order and just hand the ticket to one of the phone people and they would try and enter it in the POS when there weren’t any phone calls. Problem is there are always phone calls. Sometimes it would be 10-15 min before an order got entered and of course it would look like the order was on time, when in reality it was 10-15 min late. Even had times where they would forget to put the order in. Also, more errors copying an order into the POS than you will ever have actually making orders. Just tons of headaches. I’m sure it would work fine in a slower paced environment like an icecream shop or something, but they don’t know about the pizza life!

The USF rep said CNow integrates w/ some POS systems but not all.
Seems as though having a POS system that supports OLO and NOT taking OLO that integrates with that POS (that you just purchased and now have) is foolish.
Yep- I can see how what you described would be troublesome!

ChowNow has three price levels:

  1. If you pay monthly they charge way to much.
  2. Year payed in full. Crazy
  3. Two years payed up front. Absolutely crazy.

Even though ChowNow will be advertizing in my area I’m leaning toward IMenu360.
I’m so tired of this GrubHub Sh-t. Any and all websites with our name is attached to these crooks.

There is the “” (I think) option, which can integrate most of the online ordering portals like GH, Eat24, ChowNow, etc. directly to the POS. Most POS support this integration. All you have to do is find out if your POS supports it.
On the other hand, you’ll be dealing with and paying…
[]a percentage to the portal for the order. Most likely around 15%
]a fee for the integration to your POS. Monthly fee, fee per order or percentage
[]the credit card processing fees to the portal, which they could be charging you nothing close to the rates you know (4 - 5% + 25 - 30 cents per transaction)
]deposits to your bank account could take up to a week!
[]lose any potential customer traffic to your own website
]chances of losing control of your google listing (Click Here to Order) button
These are few of most common problems you can have… I’m sure there are more!

Prism has a pretty good online ordering platform. I would suggest you look into that as a first step. This is going to be on your website and integrate directly with your POS system.
2 birds with 1 stone!

Ive used ChowNow for 3yrs now, its a HUGE part of my buisness any questions you can ask me.
I used them bc I couldnt afford a new pos to accept online ordering when I started.
The impact if online ordering was immediate. I love it

Why did you even bother inputing the order on your pos? Chownow keeps all my sales on record and I can easily look at everything from my phone

For the deliveries. We need everything tracked with each driver, otherwise we would have no idea how much to collect from the drivers and how much to pay out in tips and mileage. I don’t know how else I would have done that without putting it in the POS. If we were pickup only, I probably would have just inputted all the online sales for the day at the end of the night.

Ohh gotcha. Since Chownow is CC only I had the drivers keep thier online slips so we could tally their tips from online orders at the end of shift

Prism has a pretty good online ordering platform. I would suggest you look into that as a first step. This is going to be on your website and integrate directly with your POS system.
2 birds with 1 stone!

Ive used ChowNow for 3yrs now, its a HUGE part of my buisness any questions you can ask me.

Thanks, guys!

We tried having the drivers keep the slips in the beginning and it was a complete nightmare closing out the drivers. Then there would be drivers that would lose slips and you would have to go through the orders to find which order they took. Probably took 4 times longer than before to close out each driver. I’m sure it didn’t help that we were using 3 separate systems (POS, card processing, online ordering) at the time. Now our POS does all 3. When we close out a driver, we just input how much cash they have on hand and it tells how much the driver is owed. Takes less than a minute. We couldn’t go back to the old system.

GrubHub called me out on this post. I give them credit for calling to see how they could help me. I want my Google page back. All I want for GrubHub is to remove there name off anything with our name. Not trying to be a prick but it’s frustrating . They sent to Google a request to remove themselves from my Google page and said it could take four weeks.
Lets keep track of long it takes.

We have Prism and I’ve used their online ordering for many years. I’ve had a few companies like ChowNow approach me but I’ve never seen a reason. We’re very happy with Prism and adding another platform with separate hardware seems like a pain.

Thanks for that, grassos.
I don’t deliver and don’t see a huge OLO need for this particular business model… flawed as I fear it may be :slight_smile:
That said, I do understand the world we live in so… acknowledge OLO is not a foolish idea.
And if I have Prism… duh! I need another platform, more hardware, another level of contacts like I need a hole in my head … makes no sense.