Sterling Douglass, Co-Founder and CEO, Chowly
Describe your work philosophy in one sentence.
Always keep the primary focus on team, transparency, and culture.
What unique problem does your company solve for restaurants?
Chowly’s integration capabilities are enabling restaurants to add on important technologies that help grow their businesses — without being limited to solutions that work with the POS system they use. Whether it’s third-party marketplaces, tapping into delivery networks, or voice automation, Chowly keeps all these solutions talking to the heartbeat of the restaurant; the POS.
Why did your company join RTN?
We joined RTN to help push the industry forward by lifting the biggest obstacle to its growth: the lack of communication between technology solutions. We’re helping overcome that challenge by making sure all the different technologies actually “talk” to each other.
What's your favorite restaurant?
Being in the restaurant industry, I see a lot of great restaurants, and my favorite spot changes all the time. Right now, Fry the Coop has been my go-to. It is the spot for Nashville hot chicken in Chicago and dangerously close to our office.
What's your most-used restaurant app?
At the moment, I’m using the Starbucks app most frequently. I’m a big coffee drinker and given the habits and frequency, I order a lot. In talking to many restaurant groups, it’s commonly said that Starbucks has set the gold standard of mobile ordering. Their implementation and user experience is top notch and they go above and beyond with the gamification of earning rewards. They get me almost every time.Both as a consumer and someone in restaurant technology, I really appreciate their work.
Restaurateur you most admire & why.
Danny Meyer, the founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, is a restaurateur I have always looked up to because of his prioritization of stakeholders methodology. He believes that the five key stakeholders any entrepreneur has to consider are (1) employees, (2) customers, (3) community, (4) suppliers, and (5) investors (in that order). If you put your team first, the values and experiences will trickle down.
What technology are you most excited about for the future of restaurants?
I am excited about the advancement of APIs (application program interface) in the industry. APIs are basically the translators from one technology to another. An API allows a company like Uber Eats to communicate with a POS company like Toast. Chowly believes that creating a more connected industry (via APIs) is the key to helping restaurants keep up with the ever changing technology landscape and will enable restaurants to adopt future technology with ease.
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