- London-based food delivery company Just Eat has acquired Practi, a point-of-sale and restaurant management systems company that services independent restaurants and small chains, for $8.7 million, according to a company release.
- According to TechCrunch, the move was made to strengthen Just Eat’s restaurant portfolio on its platform, either by deploying new tablets or integrating Practi’s software with Just Eat’s Orderpads.
- In a statement, Just Eat’s interim CEO Peter Duffy said many of the company’s restaurant partners have asked for software to help manage their businesses. “It will play a vital role in supporting small and medium sized restaurants as it transforms how they run their restaurants and delivery the best service for their customers through Just Eat.”
By incorporating Practi’s software onto its Orderpads system, Just Eat is expected to establish exclusivity with its restaurant partners because of the software’s comprehensive front-and-back-of-the-house services — including point-of-sale, payment handling and inventory and employment management.
Point-of-sale integration on its own is a big deal. When Checkers and Rally’s integrated Olo’s delivery enablement platform into the POS, for example, CEO Rick Silva said it not only allowed the company to maintain consistency, but it also enables order accuracy and efficiency.
“Our biggest concerns with adding delivery were quality and control. We were able to overcome those concerns because of this full integration. All of the orders go straight to the kitchen,” he told Forbes.
This could explain why Just Eat also recently acquired Flyt, a software platform that helps restaurants and restaurant suppliers integrate their point-of-sale systems with third-party services. At the time of that acquisition, in January, Duffy said it would accelerate expansion of Flyt’s technology globally and help Just Eat bolster its food delivery services.
It’s still early in the game to gauge any results from these acquisitions, but if they do lock in restaurants as expected, Just Eat could ease some of the pressure from activist investor Cat Rock Capital Management. Cat Rock has been turning up the heat since late last year following Just Eat's nearly 30% drop in share value.
Just Eat is retaining Practi’s founders, a savvy move that will likely ensure a seamless integration and should also diversify the delivery company’s competencies to include the backend technology piece that has become an advantage in an increasingly competitive space.
Still, the company is hardly alone in diversifying its portfolio beyond delivery. Other companies have also added tech-forward features that appeal to both customers and restaurant partners in an attempt to differentiate themselves. Uber Eats, for example, just added new features designed to track delivery and resolve order issues and has also launched a new self-sign-up process for restaurants. Postmates has partnered with AEG Presents to streamline concession orders for concertgoers, rolled out free group delivery and has integrated reviews from The Infatuation. Grubhub acquired payments and loyalty company LevelUp last year. All of these moves indicate the continuous evolution of the third-party delivery segment and the intensifying competition it entails.