A pizza-fueled team of 20-somethings has propelled a small Cleveland technology company to swift success in the competitive world of online restaurant takeout ordering.
Onosys was established in 2005 by three Case Western Reserve University students -- Stan Garber, Oleg Fridman and Alex Yakubovich -- when Rascal House Pizza, a local campus restaurant, asked them to develop an online ordering solution for the eatery.
Researching the restaurant industry, they found it woefully lacking in high-tech online ordering systems. Believing they had found an under-served niche, they developed their own system. Their goal, according to their website, was that it must be "user-friendly, flexible in its functionality, scalable, have a great user interface and be backed by committed and friendly customer support."
With the explosion of online ordering for everything from books to snow tires, their timing couldn't have been better. They networked and established a board, which lead to important guidance, as well as funding from a local angel investor. The company name, ONOSYS, stands for Online Ordering Systems.
Today, with more than 75 national chains as clients, Onosys is a major player in the restaurant online and mobile ordering industry. Clients include Panera Bread, Honeybaked Ham, Papa John's, Houlihan's, Beef O'Brady's and Frisch's Big Boy. "We're really big on pizza restaurants," Garber notes. "We have more pizza chains than any of the competition, and pizza is a regular part of our staff's diet."
He attributes the company's successful growth to three things. "We have an easy pricing model, charging a flat monthly rate per restaurant location rather than a percentage of each individual transaction," he explains. "Second, we're constantly investing in refining our technology. We also have youth. We're all in our 20s, and our age demographic does the most online restaurant ordering. That means we're our customers' clients, which gives us important insights."
Garber believes Onosys also has a competitive edge in data aggregation and social media.
"Restaurants don't collect a lot of data on their customers," he explains. "We capture a host of data, which our clients can access through our customer relations management tool. Our new big thing this year," he adds, "is being able to give our restaurants live ROI data on social media promotions they run."
Onosys currently has 12 employees and plans to hire more by year's end.
Source: Stan Garber, Onosys
Writer: Lynne Meyer