Retail Insider Breakfast – David Buttress, CEO of Just Eat

2016-05-19 08.11.53

David Buttress, CEO, Just Eat

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with David Buttress, CEO of digital marketplace for take-away food Just Eat, who told the story of how the first month the UK business accrued only £34 of revenue while today it brings in £350 million across its various markets.

It is also a tale of how the company has partnered with small take-away owners to empower them online thereby opening their menus up to much bigger markets. And today Just Eat is investigating how it can work with big restaurant brands as the demand for food from well known restaurant brands is high among consumers.

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Senior executives from Amazon, Dobbies, Graze, Photobox and Pizza Express, were among those who heard how the company typically brings in £52,000 of orders per year for each take-away, with one pizza restaurant in Carlisle deriving £1 million of business through Just Eat – for which it charges a commission of 13%.

He told those gathered at The Delaunay in central London that there are always going to be competitors undercutting this commission rate but that the point of difference of Just Eat is the value add that it seeks to bring to its restaurant partners and their customers. It ensures the pricing online is the same as in the take-away (for which they are audited), it gives them access to its app that has data on how they are performing in their local area, and they are kept up to date on current food trends.

The big competitor for Just Eat of late has been the food delivery companies such as Deliveroo but Buttress is unconcerned: “Such companies are in a bubble and I cannot see how it is sustainable. It’s great for consumers but they are effectively being subsidised by their venture capital investors.”

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Just Eat has in the past tried adding delivery to its proposition but pulled it in the UK. With its current model Buttress forecasts Just Eat can continue to grow strongly for the next three to four years and further out – although this might not necessarily be at the same 40% enjoyed in Q1 this year. Looking beyond the short-term, there are plans to add payment solutions, offer greater insights to restaurants, and other experiments it is undertaking are likely to come to fruition such as consolidating orders from different restaurants into a single delivery journey.

Retail Insider would very much like to thank David Buttress and to the sponsors Worldline, GS1 UK and Webloyalty. Without their much appreciated support this event would not have been possible.