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Just Eat satisfies its appetite for customer insights with Google Cloud

November 21, 2019
Nick Martin

Head of Retail, UKI, Google Cloud

The app economy has enabled a huge range of unique business models to flourish. One such model is online food ordering and delivery services, in which apps leverage geo-location data to aggregate local food choices and offer personalized options to consumers.

A leading company in this space is Just Eat. Launched in the UK in 2001 with a vision of ‘serving the world’s greatest menu. Brilliantly.’ The company has capitalized on the popularity of online food delivery and grown its presence across 12 markets. 

Just Eat acts as an intermediary between take-out food outlets and hungry customers, giving local restaurants access to a broader base of potential diners, while providing consumers with an easy and secure way to order and pay for food from their favourite restaurants. Today the company helps 27 million customers find food from more than 112,000 restaurants—everything from homemade Italian pasta, to Chinese noodle bowls, to fish-and-chips. 

Data is the fuel of Just Eat’s rapid growth, but it wasn’t always looked at that way. In its early days, Just Eat struggled with the deluge of information and faced fragmentation across its systems. In fact, the company realized its legacy data vendor wasn’t capable of ingesting 90 percent of the data produced by its food platform. This was incredibly frustrating for Just Eat’s analysts and data scientists, who had to waste time cleaning up sources instead of leveraging the data to create a better user experience. 

Just Eat turned to Google Cloud, with the help of our premier partner Netpremacy. It now uses machine learning (ML) to power sophisticated consumer recommendations on both its app and website. It also makes heavy use of features offered by Google Cloud Platform, including BigQuery for running analytics on its customer data set and Cloud Pub/Sub for messaging app users with relevant offers in real-time. 

Having all of Just Eat’s data in one platform has translated into real value for its customers. With Google Cloud tools, Just Eat has created its own proprietary Customer Ontology framework, which today contains 5.5 billion features that better understand consumers’ behavior and food habits, and provides insights into previous visits. Just Eat recently created an “Adventurous Index” to map its customers according to their ordering habits, enabling them to tailor their marketing and user experiences. For example, mid-adventurous customers are shown a choice of restaurants that serve their most ordered cuisine, while adventurous customers can choose from restaurants that serve a wider variety. This not only has prompted consumers to be more adventurous with their choices, but also has led to more business at a more diverse set of restaurants.

Matt Cresswell, Director of Customer Platforms at Just Eat said that Google Cloud has become integral to its product delivery: “Consumer food choice is a hugely nuanced topic. We know that individuals have their own unique journeys when they use Just Eat. We’ve sought to create a truly one-to-one relationship with every customer. The changes we’ve made to the platform mean they can access the dishes they enjoy at the touch of a fingertip, and find inspiration to discover new dishes they’ll love. We’re grateful to Google Cloud for helping us support our customers on their culinary explorations.”

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