Five Reasons Takeaway Owners Should Avoid Just-Eat

I have worked with many takeaways within the Colchester area and Essex, including some as far afield in Romford and London, and one uniform issue prevails in that Just-Eat can cause hideous amounts of damage to the businesses that it serves. I have known many takeaway owners who have come to me for help because their businesses have been put into serious financial jeopardy by working with Just-Eat. At the end of this blog, I will be adding a link to my free guide to help restaurants and takeaways achieve success without Just-Eat. Here are five reasons to avoid using Just-Eat as a takeaway owner. 


1: Just-Eat likes to compete… With YOU.


If you know another local business that uses Just-Eat look up their company on Google during business hours and you will see that Just-Eat is paying to rank above them in search results. Paying to rank exactly for a business’ name means that they will be appearing above the business in the search results for people who would get those customers anyway.


The specific use of the business name as a keyword means that Just-Eat is paying to compete with takeaways and restaurants like this for their own traffic. So what does this mean? Well if the business Just-Eat is competing with has their own ordering system, Just-Eat is paying a few pennies per click to get an interested customer onto the Just-Eat website instead of where they originally would have gone. As Just-Eat takes a handsome commission, in the pounds, per order from a hot lead, or interested customer they’re making a nice profit from working with you when people would have ordered from you anyway. This is really parasitic behaviour as for a few pennies of their money, they take a few pounds that would rightfully be yours, because local traffic isn’t all that expensive. 


2: Just-Eat creates Financial Pressure.


Due to the commission costs and running costs of Just-Eat, they create an immense amount of financial pressure on the takeaways which are relying on them. Not only are they siphoning traffic that should naturally belong to your businesses but they’ve reduced your overall profit margins, and you STILL have to pay for drivers and fuel! 


Many takeaway owners will look to expand their menu to include a wider range of dishes to cope with this issue, which is often a mistake. A wider range of products means that you have more perishable goods that you need to get rid of, and this will often increase business costs and overall lower food quality as well, as owners struggle to afford to keep running. My advice is – If you have to expand the menu, don’t add a lot of exotic ingredients that will spoil. Use ingredients you know will sell regardless, and change some of your spice mixes for them. Add more dishes that use your least used ingredients as it will reduce your amount of waste food whilst expanding the menu. 


3: Just-Eat enforces Product Uniformity


Takeaway owners quickly find that they may need to increase prices to cope with Just-Eat’s commissions. A lot of the time they don’t account for the customers who go over to Just-Eat from their usual ordering systems which means a drop in revenue. Just-Eat requires that customers keep prices at the same level that are on Just-Eat, meaning that you can’t just up the prices on Just-Eat to cope with the commission, you have to up them everywhere, from your menus to your website. This can cause customers to leave you if the quality of your food is not improving, especially with the prices getting steeper. 


4: Just-Eat uses poor customer service tactics.


One major issue with running a successful takeaway is that if the food that arrives doesn’t look as good as the photographs, you are going to have problems. Just-Eat uses stock photos on their website, which make every restaurant and takeaway look nice. This can become an issue when people don’t get food that looks like it was made by the gods themselves (with help from photoshop!) which can often lead to bad reviews and bitterness. Just-Eat’s reputation is somewhat shocking, considering their customer services, which they speak highly of. It’s definitely worth checking out Trustpilot for more information!


5: Just-Eat opens up the playing field for competitors.


Let’s say you run a kebab shop and people go onto the Just-Eat advert for your business in Google instead of onto your website. There are two things that can happen. 1: They order from you. In that case it’s great. Despite Just-Eat taking their chunky commission and paying a few pennies, you’ve at least made a sale. 2: They don’t find what they want to order from you and choose to order from someone else. This could be a competitor, which means you could lose a customer. It does happen and often too! If you are out of cokes for the night, you may permanently lose a customer to someone who always has a nice cold coke in their fridge. They may also do this if the Just-Eat ads are badly set up and they try to order from you on an off day, allowing competing takeaways to potentially harvest your customers.   


Here’s a link to my free guide that will help your restaurant business succeed! This free guide (no sign ups!) has helped a huge amount of people who I’ve worked with over the years, and I add to it occasionally when I’m not busy saving the world! 


I’ve now collaborated with over 70 restaurants who have had major issues dealing with Just-Eat, and I’ve got several emails thanking me for the work I’ve done in my guides. I hope you find it as beneficial as the people whose companies I’ve assisted. I wish you the best of luck. I keep my guide up to date on a daily basis in order to provide a steady stream of useful knowledge for restaurants. So keep coming here! One last point! Just-Eat was costing one of the companies I worked for over £2000.00 a month. Instead of making less money from their existing clients, they might have seen a huge and long-term rise in business if they had spent more money on Facebook advertising. Just an idea!


I’ve already worked with over 70 restaurants, takeaways and pubs around Essex that have had big problems with Just-Eat, and I’ve received quite a few emails thanking me for the work I’ve done in my guides and asking for me to work with people. I hope that my guide is as useful to you as it has been to the people whose businesses I’ve helped. I try to update my guide on a regular basis in order to provide restaurants with a constant stream of useful information. It’s interesting to note that one of the businesses I helped was spending more than £2000.00 a month on Just-Eat. If they had invested more money on Facebook ads, instead of making less money from their current customers, they might have seen a massive and long-term increase in business.


Alex O’Neil

I am a blogger based in the UK. I work as an SEO specialist and Web Designer, and my hobbies include making small films and writing music.