Just Eat releases robots to deliver takeaway food

Posted by Jasmin Stopford in Personal Finance on 22 December 2016 - Jasmin is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

As Just Eat continues to rapidly increase, with 38,000 restaurants currently signed up, the company plans to arrange their deliveries by robot.

The Just Eat app allows users to locate takeaway restaurants in their area and place their orders for delivery. Annual revenues are expected to exceed £350m this year and with just 400 engineers working to keep the firm ‘at the leading edge of commercial deployment of the latest technology’, robot deliveries could be used to support the busy periods.

David Buttress, chief executive of Just Eat, says, “I think most people are pretty relaxed about whether their food is delivered by a robot or by a human. At busy times of the day, restaurants have a shortage sometimes of supply and excess demand and clearly robots will help to cover that gap into the future.”

Just Eat is the biggest and fastest growing online takeaway business that Buttress describes as a “technology company”. With its recent £200m takeover of its rival Hungryhouse, and doubling its value to £3.9bn within a year, Just Eat is expected to flourish even further, due to restrained living standards and inflation.

Buttress concludes, “I’m a bit more optimistic than the autumn statement. I think the data we’re looking at shows that consumer spending is growing in our area and in restaurants. Let’s say the next 12 to 18 months does get more challenging for consumers. At Just Eat, we lived through that in 2008, 2009 and 2010 – a really tough economic period. But what happened then was food delivery grew. And the reason for that is consumers stopped eating out as much, but ordered takeaways. So if the UK consumer market does get squeezed, what might happen is eating out could potentially be like it was in those years.”

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