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Don't cook, Just Eat

Penny Brooks

30th November 2017

Anyone who has just watched this week's episode of The Apprentice, with the teams devising recipes and branding for home-cooked convenience food, will understand the rival appeal of takeaway suppers. Now it is very interesting to see how Just East has found, and filled, a gap in the market for a business which excels at the logistics needed to take orders for home deliveries from a range of local takeaway restaurants, pass them on to the restaurant, and then collect them and deliver them efficiently.

The 20% rise in consumer spending on takeaways between 2009 and 2015-16 has enabled Just East to grow into the FTSE 100, having only listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. It is now worth more than Sainsbury's - founded nearly 150 years ago.

So what are the features that has allowed this phenomenal growth? FIrst, it hits the mark with time-poor millennials who like trying a wide variety of foods. Second, it his very good at what it does, and in spite of the 13-14% mark up on the cost of the takeaway, it isn't attracting criticism from consumers or from regulators - presumably because it provides a good service. It had first mover advantage, and has also been adept at taking over its rivals, such as Hungry Horse. And finally, it has coincided with the technology that makes ordering from smartphones a practical option for plenty of people.

Some of this is luck and much of it is down to being good at what you do. A spokesman for Just Eat put it very simply: "Just Eat is proud to be a British success story".

Penny Brooks

Formerly Head of Business and Economics and now Economics teacher, Business and Economics blogger and presenter for Tutor2u, and private tutor

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