Not content with being top of the food chain on the App Store, Just Eat is embracing tech and startups to revolutionise how its consumers order their favourite cuisine.
Speaking at MWC, the company's chief technology officer, Fernando Fenton lifted the lid on its tech machinations, announcing a full push into voice interfaces that could help consumers casually submit an order without having to navigate menus or talk to another human being.
It’s all part of the company’s push to “reduce friction” he claimed, and it will sync up with smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home among others.
He promised: “The experience will be as natural as going into a restaurant and asking a person, what should I eat today? We are not far away from that reality.”
The feature will be rolled out to Just Eat users throughout the year and will complement its ongoing work in artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality – and continued work on its chat bot.
Fenton told The Drum that in addition to developing the service for consumers, it will also help its partners, some 68,000 restaurants. Using its stream of extensive user and partner data, the company is painting a clearer picture of what dishes customers want, where they want it from, and when. On the flipside of that coin, is the ability for restaurant owners to access information on how well they're performing on the app; order frequencies, ratings, popular dishes and complaint frequencies all appear, providing data which can be used to enrich the companies.
Fanton said he’s looking at all the processes inherent in getting food from “farm to fork”, in the hope that Just Eat can close the gap between service provider and consumer. To strengthen its insights, Fenton revealed that the company is actively courting startups at MWC. At the conference, he announced the brand's second start-up accelerator programme that will run for 12 weeks from April.
In 2016, the company closed off the year showcasing a food delivery bot.