Upserve + LaunchDarkly

How Upserve transformed product development using LaunchDarkly
It has helped us be significantly more confident and have fewer discussions about the impact of potentially risky code going out. There's less of a debate about rollout, and we’re able to try things out a lot more quickly.

We can roll out to a certain percentage of our users, see the impact, and then slowly roll out further.
Josh Chu, Director of Engineering, Upserve
Team Members on LaunchDarkly
Empowered Product Dev
Primary Use Case
About Upserve
For over 7,000 restaurants nationwide, Upserve (formerly Swipely) is an essential part of running a smooth operation. Managing 11 million meals per month and relationships with 16 million active diners, Upserve is “the magic ingredient” for a growing number of restaurateurs. The smart management assistant that puts everything restaurateurs need to know in one place, Upserve provides real-­time guidance that empowers local restaurants to unlock their full potential.
Upserve Logo
Upserve used dark URLs before LaunchDarkly
Upserve Before LaunchDarkly
Before using feature flags, Upserve had a system they used for previewing new features using hidden pages they called ‘dark urls’. This worked for basic previews for entirely new features, but had downsides. This technique did not work well to sandbox back-end changes or when making minor modifications to existing features. Rollouts were always a ‘big bang’ where a feature was turned on for everyone. Using 'dark urls' was simply not feasible.
Why They Chose LaunchDarkly
In addition to saving expensive Engineering time and providing feature control that was previously impossible, LaunchDarkly provided a new context for strategic thinking about rollouts, called “rollout thinking.” With the introduction of LaunchDarkly, the development team must consider what will be released behind a feature flag and how much of the feature can be hidden, which ultimately encourages a more disciplined approach for the MVP and user adoption before development begins.
LaunchDarkly enables Rollout Thinking for Upserve
A lot of times people would say ‘let's roll this out’ and not think about how to actually get adoption. The fact that you have a feature flag story raises visibility. Engineers start thinking about how their feature is going to get rolled out rather than just ‘push it to production, it's done’. The product team is encouraged to take a more hands-on approach to pre-release feedback, which directly feeds into obtaining post-rollout traction.
Josh Chu, Director of Engineering, Upserve