From ordering apps to robot waiters, Peter Moore, CEO and founder of Lolly, discusses the increasing role technology is playing both front and back-of-house
Tell us about yourself and your background?
Prior to founding Lolly, I spent many years in senior roles at a number of tech companies. Whilst CEO of Omega Logic, I saw the future was in integrating EPoS tills and payment technology. In 2007, I amalgamated several payment and EPoS companies to create Consolis, which rebranded to It’s Lolly in January 2016.
Lolly exists to create a technology hub for now and the future. We are a market-leading, creative force that develops simple, yet powerful, integrated PoS, payment, kitchen management, self-serve and omnichannel solutions for hospitality providers and corporate caterers. Our products can help fish and chip restaurants and takeaways create a rewarding customer experience, delivering high-quality service, alongside meeting business needs and enabling growth.
Striving to advance hospitality technology, my mission is to take state-of-the-art technology and make it both accessible and productive.
What does a typical day look like for you as Lolly CEO?
I take the dog out for an early morning walk, and then I’ll be in the office by 8am. I use the first hour to catch up on e-mails and plan my day ahead.
My first call of the day is always with the Lolly development team, who all work remotely. We go through current client opportunities and plans before I then go onto an update call with the sales team.
Afternoons are spent reviewing operations and processes and driving the business strategy.
Who is your typical customer?
Typical customers range from large corporate canteens to fast food outlets, pop-up style caterers and coffee shops. It’s a broad mix, and our range of digital products has something to suit everyone.
How are you finding the market at the moment and how is technology evolving to support the needs of the hospitality industry?
We’re finding the market incredibly buoyant. Hospitality providers are choosing to invest in technology because they realise how important it is not to be behind the curve.
Today’s customers have different expectations, for example a younger buyer will have a higher expectation around the type of technology at the point of sale and providers are doing all they can to meet the changing market needs.
And, given the migratory nature of many working in hospitality, it is important to offer simpler technology and be able to optimise what you have to encourage greater footfall. From robotics to AI, these technologies continue to evolve and they are here to stay. Exciting times.
Which products are you finding most popular in fast food environments?
Online ordering apps that take seamless service to the next level by delivering an all-in-one, easy-to-use pre-order, loyalty and payment solution. Our Lolly app, launched in November 2021, is proving to be extremely popular and already has more than 50,000 users. Available for both Apple and Android devices, the app is highly intuitive and fully integrates with all existing Lolly PoS and self-serve applications.
How can technology help with the customer experience?
That’s what it’s all about. From helping customers to understand their carbon impact through the food choices they make, to giving guidance around the allergens and calorific content of their orders. We want the customer to feel empowered, and technology such as ours is easy and intuitive to use.
Is EPoS affordable for fish and chip shops and what are the benefits?
Absolutely! In fact, the more superior systems should be helping operators to create greater throughput, making them even more efficient and profitable.
Tell us about your fully integrated digital solution?
EPoS as a standalone product is legacy. It is no longer about a single solution, but a fully integrated offering providing the customer with a seamless experience when ordering products and services irrespective of their age and how they want to interact with technology. We call it a digital journey. If a customer is happy with the service, be it digital or personal interaction, they will doubtless return time and again.
What are the latest innovations to come from Lolly?
We recently launched LollyVerify, which helps hospitality providers automate the process of verifying a customer’s age. The tool confirms the age of an individual who purchases a product that has been flagged as age-restricted (for example alcohol), within the Lolly database. This uses a clever algorithm that continually learns and improves its accuracy.
We have also launched a LollyBot robot waiter, which follows many months of development and has been designed to support a busy hospitality environment, in particular, waiting-on staff. The robot, which is able to operate for a whole evening, can take food from the kitchen to a table in a restaurant, navigating obstacles and people on its journey.
Are you confident in the future of technology and what do you think will come next?
Totally confident. The world has massively changed over the last few years, and it will again.
We’re moving into a world with robots and AI, we have to learn to co-exist with them – and how to add even greater value to the customer. They are all designed to streamline the customer experience. Resistance to future change is futile, and I believe robot waiting-on staff are here to stay.