‘Untouchable’ Home-delivered grows at lightning speed, ‘because growth is served’

It is one of the economic winners in the coronacrisis: Just Eat Takeaway, known in the Netherlands as Thuisbezorgd. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of orders worldwide increased by 57 percent. The company has also grown in recent years due to foreign acquisitions and is now active in 23 countries.

โ€œ Growth is body preservation. Its eating or being eaten. Thats what happens in companies like this. In a way you have no choice,โ€ says the founder and top boss of Just Eat Takeaway, Jitse Groen, in an interview with Nieuwsuur. Although he currently sees no threats to the dominant position of his company in the Netherlands and far beyond.

Just Eat Takeaway took over US meal deliverer GrubHub last year for 7.3 billion dollars. At the beginning of 2020, the company had already become the worlds largest meal deliverer outside of China (in terms of turnover) after the acquisition of British Just Eat. The group is now worth 15 billion.

More takeovers on the schedule?

Growing as fast as possible and spending a lot on marketing. This is how Groen summarizes his companys strategy. Hes always looking for interesting foreign parties to take over. Although he expects it to be a little quieter in the coming time.

โ€œ There are not so many interesting parties around the world to take over,โ€ says Groen. The other way around, he does not expect to be taken over himself in the short term. โ€œOur company is a lot healthier than the competition. But never say never.โ€

Lockdowns and other corona measures resulted in faster growth just Eat Takeaway, as people are more likely to have food delivered from restaurants. But during the start of the first lockdown there was a panic at the company. Turnover fell tremendously.

โ€œ We did a lot of deliveries to offices; they all closed,โ€ says Groen. But from April it quickly went uphill. โ€œThen there really came growth of orders at home.โ€ There was a golden time for takeaway restaurants, although it did not apply to restaurants that normally receive most customers in the business.

โ€œ Thanks to our platform, restaurants that normally barely deliver or dont deliver are now able to reach a bit of revenue,โ€ says Groen. He also gave those restaurants a discount on the commission they have to pay to the company on the orders.

Their position is untouchable

Nevertheless, the high committee asking Just Eat Takeaway from restaurants is also a widely heard complaint. Its an average of 12 percent without delivery, and with delivery around 25 percent, according to the company. According to Green, the delivery service is loss-making.

Some restaurateurs no longer want to work with the delivery platform because of the commission. โ€œBut you can hardly ignore itโ€, sighs Robert Matheeussen, who started 123worried a year and a half ago because of dissatisfaction with the High Committee. โ€œWith us restaurants pay 7 percent. There are now 80 restaurants connected.โ€

Yet Matheeussen admits that competing with Just Eat Takeaway is almost impossible. โ€œThey throw money through commercials, free meals, discounts. Their position is almost untouchable.โ€

On a tour of the new countries

Leading such a gigantic company in 23 countries during a pandemic puts considerable pressure on the shoulders of the CEO, youd expect, but no. โ€œI sleep well,โ€ says Green. The biggest challenge at the moment he calls managing his fast-growing business.

โ€œ We were already very big last March. Were five times bigger than then. If the weather is possible, I will go on a tour of all the new countries. To really meet the people.โ€