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Rails FAQ

How does Rails work?

Rails allows third-party UI’s to submit prepaid orders through the Ordering API. All payments are collected and processed on the marketplace’s end. Dashboard cannot be used to do refunds or adjustments for prepaid Rails orders. Rails is currently integrated with several POS systems including Aloha, Brink, Micros, Xpient and OloCloud. We are consistently working to add additional POS systems.

Which third-party marketplaces are already integrated with Olo?

Rails is integrated with most of the popular food ordering marketplaces. A list of providers we partner with can be found here.

How much does Rails cost?

There is no specific usage fee for current Olo customers to use Rails. If you are on a flat monthly fee structure, there is no charge to use Rails. If you pay a per-order transaction fee, Rails orders count toward orders processed in your agreement. Olo and marketplaces have a contractual agreement that stipulates a fee structure for the marketplace’s usage of Rails.

What does the money flow look like for brands and marketplaces using Rails?

Typically, there is a contractual arrangement between the stores and marketplaces where the stores agree to pay a fee/commission for digital orders placed from the marketplace. This is a fee/commission collected by the marketplaces for driving order volume to the store locations. Olo is not part of that contractual arrangement and does not necessarily even know the fee/commission arrangement between the two parties.

In the current prepaid solution, the marketplace has collected payment from the customer for the full order value. The amount to pay the store location is a money flow that exists directly between the store and the marketplace. Olo is not involved in this money flow.

How are refunds handled on Rails?

Since orders originate on the marketplace, refunds have to be requested directly from the marketplace where the customer placed the order. Orders are submitted as 'prepaid' to Olo and there is no payment processing on our side so we are unable to manage refunds. If a customer calls to complain, the brand should follow the support protocol the marketplace has in place. This is usually found in a merchant portal brands have access to accessed via the web or tablet if still in use.

Is there a way to differentiate Rails orders from orders coming from the store’s white-label site?

Olo includes Rails-specific fields on order receipts such as the name of the marketplace and the marketplace's order ID, allowing stores to determine where the order came from. Certain POS’s can also be configured to use a different tender type from a traditional Olo order. You'll also be able to view marketplace details for Rails orders in Dashboard.

Is there a Rails API?

Rails is built as a series of new features on our Olo Ordering API. There is not a separate API. For Rails v0.5, the key features are:

  • The ability for the Rails Partner to be issued one API key from Olo that gives them access to specific store locations that could span across different Restaurant brands.
  • The ability to submit prepaid orders through Olo’s Ordering API.

How often are menu and pricing updates sent to the marketplaces?

Olo sends information to most marketplace partners as changes occur in the Olo Dashboard. This includes any price changes pulled into Olo during the automatic or manually run pricing updates as well as menu changes made in the Company or Store Menus. The automatic price updates are pulled twice daily and manual price syncs can be run at any time through the Olo Dashboard.


How is my menu shared with the Rails Partners?

Olo shares menu, price, and location information with Rails Partners as changes are made to the stores in Olo. This process is executed through our Menu Export Service, which creates a new menu file for all Rails Partners as changes occur. The entire process may take up to several minutes to execute if many stores are being updated at one time across Olo. All in all, changes should be reflected on the marketplace sites within minutes of changes you make in the Dashboard. Please remember to run the price sync manually if any changes are made to the menu or prices.

I just granted access to a marketplace through the Rails Settings page in the Olo Dashboard. How does that location become available on that marketplace for Rails ordering?

Through the Rails Settings page in the Olo Dashboard, a marketplace is given access to start receiving the menu, price, and store information for that location in Olo. However, our Rails marketplace partners need to be notified of the location name and corresponding Olo vendor ID in order to ensure that location is launched on their marketplace for Rails ordering. After granting access to a Rails marketplace through the Olo Dashboard, please contact your marketplace representative or account manager and request the location to be launched along with the Olo vendor ID. If you don't know the Vendor ID for that location, you can confirm it by reaching out to the Olo Help team at or cc'ing on your request to the marketplace.

What else can you do with Rails?

There is also an opportunity for kiosk providers to use Rails. This would allow kiosk providers to submit digital orders via the Olo Ordering API and leverage the prepaid feature to allow kiosks to implement an EMV card-reader to collect payment prior to transmitting the order through Rails. The kiosk provider would need to create a separate solution (outside of Dashboard) to handle refunds for those orders. For brands using an agency to build a native mobile ordering experience, Rails can be used to introduce mobile payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc.) to the customer’s online ordering experience. This assumes the agency is willing to do development work on their side to allow in-app purchases with mobile payment providers. Payment collection using this approach would happen outside of the Olo platform and the order would be submitted as prepaid through the Olo Ordering API. The agency/store locations would need to have a separate solution (outside of Olo Dashboard) to handle refunds for those orders.

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