Despite a wobbly start, takeaway portal Just Eat has gone from strength to strength.
Just Eat has been connecting hungry customers with their local takeaway restaurants for the past 14 years.
“We’re like your best friend, letting you know which is the best Chinese or Indian restaurant in your area,” said Just Eat chief executive David Buttress, who started the UK operation of the online takeaway service almost 10 years ago and became its chief executive in 2013.
“I have a Madras every Friday night without fail, but Mike’s a bit more sophisticated,” he said, referring to the group’s chief financial officer Mike Wroe, who admitted ordering aromatic crispy duck about once a month.
Yesterday, Just Eat announced revenue of £157m for the year ended 31 December, a 62 per cent increase from 2013’s figure of £96.8m.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, but we’ve had a great year and we want to continue to grow and achieve long-term success,” said Buttress, who last year witnessed Just Eat become the biggest technology float on the London Stock Exchange for eight years.
Buttress started his career with Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1998, where he had various senior sales roles before moving into the internet world with Just Eat, which processed orders worth over £1bn for takeaway restaurants last year.
Recently named one of Britain’s most influential people by Debrett’s 500, the Middlesex University Business School graduate wants to see Just Eat become a household brand.
And with predicted revenue topping £200m in 2015, it seems as though the company will soon deliver on this ambitious aim. Last year, Just Eat processed 61.2m takeaway requests, a 52 per cent increase compared with 40.2m for the same period in 2013.
The company’s investment in technology also paid off as 61 per cent of orders were placed using mobile devices, up from 43 per cent in 2013.
When it listed on the London Stock Exchange last spring, shares initially dipped, then picked up momentum and have been on an upwards trend ever since.
They are currently at double their mid-May 2014 price.
“We see our shareholders on a quarterly basis, but we still have a great relationship with them,” said Buttress.
“They’re very supportive of us and have been very helpful, and shares in the company have gone up so they must be pleased.”
The company now boasts 8.1m active users and is connected to 45,700 takeaway restaurants worldwide. “It’s been another excellent year for Just Eat.”
The first course for Just Eat, having gone down rather well, has put investors in an anticipatory mood for what is next on the menu. However, with the group facing growing competition, there is no room for any complacency.