The world of takeaway foodservice is in vibrant health and new rules are being written every day by disrupters led by Just Eat.
Only Domino’s spends more than Just Eat’s £15m on TV advertising, Robin Clark, UK restaurants services director told the Better Wholesaling Summit this month.
Just Eat is on a mission to drive innovation, choice and convenience into people’s lives.
Its video advertisements are very good. One fine dining chef I spoke to this week praised the positive message they conveyed. It made people more likely to try new dishes, he said. Which complements an essential strand of what the modern convenience store is supposed to do – give local people the opportunity to eat and drink healthily.
Just Eat has already done a deal with Booker, which always likes to say yes to opportunities, but other wholesalers are nervous about the Just Eat offer. Will it grow the market or merely eat up the profitable parts of the existing wholesale channel
Clark says 27,000 out of 32,000 takeaway outlets use the Just Eat app and they are being joined by the likes of KFC and Pizza Express. The reason for this is that while 78% of UK adults are on the internet daily, they have an average of 17 apps on their phone and what they are looking for is one “dominant” app for each area of their lives.
To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail and Clark knows Just Eat is the number one app for people wanting a meal delivered to them.
So the question is, how big can it get and should a c-store get involved?
If you are selling food to go then it’s a partnership you should consider. What Just Eat is good at is connecting consumers with food outlets. It has as many customers as London’s Westfield shopping mall four times over, Clark says.
These customers will also be local to you. So there is a river of cash on the internet next to your bricks and mortar store.
Some retailers are thinking of setting up dark restaurants – where they cook food only for Just Eat customers, say Thai food or similar. An advantage c-stores have over takeaways is they are used to selling beer at c-store prices, something restaurant owners struggle with.
In return for a 14% margin and the cost of delivery, you get another revenue stream.
Just Eat has already done a deal with Booker, which always likes to say yes to opportunities, but other wholesalers are nervous about the Just Eat offer. Will it grow the market or merely eat up the profitable parts of the existing wholesale channel.
This may also be a concern for retailers. By linking up with Just Eat will they become agents of an Uber-like technology company that will have the right to tax their businesses for ever because they own the consumer data? Does a world with one dominant super app really fit with an independent operator’ business model? Do you really want your sales information to be transparent to outsiders?
There is a lot going on with Just Eat that is brilliant. Watch and learn. Talk to people who are part of the network. Change is coming!