Just Eat Takeaway shifts to a lower gear

Growth at Just Eat Takeaway has slowed down considerably over the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the meal delivery company is gradually pedalling towards profit: the margin will still be negative this year – but only just.

1.1 billion orders

Just Eat Takeaway received a third more orders in 2021 and reached the one billion mark: in total, the company received 1.1 billion orders last year, worth 28.1 billion euros. However, the meal delivery company had to shift down a gear during the fourth quarter: the growth in the number of orders was “only” 14 %. The easing of the Covid measures meant that more people went out to eat in restaurants instead of having their meals delivered to their homes.

CEO Jitse Groen is nevertheless satisfied, as the company did manage to improve profitability in the second half of the year. Just Eat Takeaway also expects to increase its profit margin in 2022. According to Groen, 2021 was the year in which losses peaked: in 2022, the EBITDA margin should be between – 0.6 % and – 0.8 %.

Increasingly more groceries

The meal delivery company also expects to strengthen its market positions further this year. Last year, the company entered into several partnerships with supermarket chains to deliver groceries for them. In the United Kingdom, Just Eat Takeaway is making deliveries for Asda and One Stop, and in Canada, a ‘dark store’ model is being rolled out. In the United States, subsidiary Grubhub even launched a whole new division for delivering groceries: Grubhub Goods already collaborates with Instacart and 7-Eleven, and they are on the lookout for more partners.

Finally, Groen emphasises he welcomes the European Commission’s plan to oblige courier companies to offer employees social protection and a secure status. Given that Just Eat Takeaway already employs tens of thousands of couriers in the European Union, the management believes the company will benefit from this legislation, they say, nudging in the direction of their competitors.

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