OrderUp Empowers Restaurants To Increase Profitably And Efficiency Through Technology

By Johann Keens-Douglas

“Restaurant owners need to maintain their independence, reduce elements of their operating costs that drain profit and increase overheads, and inject those savings into their bottom line.” 

That’s the philosophy behind OrderUp, a Toronto-based point of sale, originally launched as a QR menu & contact tracing platform, and now offers online ordering for takeout to restaurants – all for free! 

Founded by two hospitality lifers Jason Finestone and Chris Gilpin during the pandemic, OrderUp was designed to support restaurants struggling through lockdown. Features include order entry, card payments, online ordering, QR code order & pay, sales insights, staff management. Their full POS system was launched at the beginning of 2023 as OrderUp continues to support restaurants with its no-fee, no monthly cost model. Instead, guests are charged a miniscule service fee of $0.88 or less on their order.

Canada Takeout caught up with Co-Founder, COO, OrderUp, Jason Finestone to dig a little deeper into the philosophy behind OrderUp, its value proposition and future ambitions for the multi-faceted platform. 

Jason hailed the evolvution of OrderUp into the full-fledged hybrid POS system they offer today, focused on providing restaurants with the tech to operate more efficiently in the wake of the industry staffing challenges and the ability to take online and on-premises business into one single platform with no monthly fees.

The platform also includes digital menus and free online ordering platforms. Jason explains that, “their restaurant partners often felt they were being gouged by 3rd party delivery apps, but with OrderUp’s free Online Ordering systems, restaurants can really take ownership of their customer information and orders through their website and social media, retain relationships with their customers rather than give it up to a 3rd party ordering company – they pay no commission and retain 100% of that revenue.” 

"Turning staff from order takers into experience makers"

The mention of contactless solutions such as QR code ordering and payment does invite some mixed opinions, and a stigma exists that such tools could negatively affect jobs and tipping at payment (both from staff perspective and guests) and our ability to provide hospitality.  

Jason debunked the myth, stating that, the fact of the matter is that restaurants cannot hire, “We have always had a fairly transient industry, frequent turnover, hiring, training and retraining is a constant need in the industry and it is a big challenge for operators – a simple example of having a guest name on the ticket via QR code ordering adds a personal touch…those little touches that add hospitality to the mix.” 

Jason added that, “Their analytics shows an average increase in staff tips by upto 22%.” In addition to this, “the biggest point of frustration and friction is the payment process, which takes the longest. If a guest is ordering through QR code they can simply press a button, pay and tip.” 

While QR codes may not be for everyone, OrderUp is an ideal fit for independent operators with QSR, fast casual and casual full-service venues who are looking to operate with less overhead 

Superfresh, a food hall in the Annex neighborhood (near Bloor and Spadina) using OrderUp, only allows guests to order through QR code, this means guests can get up to leave and staff can remotely close their bill, an auto gratuity is applied, and a receipt is sent via email all while the table is being flipped! 

According to Jason, over 73% of restaurants cited staffing as their primary challenge. And 70% of restaurants are short-staffed still today, QR codes helps to circumvent all of that.It can take anywhere between 15-20 minutes off the traditional dine-in experience, flipping tables faster, serving more covers, etc. OrderUp’s revenue structure helps reduce costs and helps save time per transaction”.  

"We are real people, serving the local community and take a great amount of pride in our relationships long-term"

“We really treat our relations with our restaurants partners as a true partnership – because of our revenue model we only make money when our partners make money.” said Jason, “We consult very closely with partners and extract feedback in ways that are going to thoughtfully increase the feature set within our platform and make it more accessible and ultimately more functional for our restaurant partners and that’s what makes us different. 

OrderUp now has an ever-expanding partner base of over 150 restaurants across Canada and in the US, all using the platform in a variety of capacities. 

The future is bright for OrderUp which is always evolving, as it seeks to grow its functionality on the platform and increase unification between online and on-premise business. 

Find out more about OrderUp or book a free demo here.