Dutch food-order company Takeaway.com has sold its British website to its competitor Just Eat. The news follows just a few weeks after Takeaway.com acquired the Benelux businesses from Just Eat. Both companies couldn’t get a grip of the local market: Takeaway.com had trouble conquering the UK, while its presence was too strong in the Netherlands and Belgium for Just Eat to compete there.
Consumers who now visit the website Takeaway.com, are presented with a brief explanation of the Dutch food-order company. It says: “dear customer, we regret to inform you that Takeaway.com is no longer available in the UK. If you are in continental Europe, please use one of our other websites. If you are in the UK, please go to Just-eat.co.uk to order your takeaway meal!”
A Takeaway.com spokesperson said the British branch did not come off the ground and there seemed no prospect of profitability. “In this industry, you need to have a certain scale because of the high costs of things such as marketing”, he explained. “In the United Kingdom we didn’t generate the growth we desired.”
Selling the British website to competitor Just Eat, is remarkable, as Takeaway.com just bought the Dutch and Belgian businesses of Just Eat for 22.5 million euros. About the acquisition, Takeaway.com’s CEO and founder Jitse Groen said: “These activities are complementary to our operations and will further strengthen our leading positions in Continental Europe”. The company is already active in the Netherlands with Thuisbezorgd.nl and in Belgium with Pizza.be and will merge the acquired websites into its existing food-delivery marketplaces.
Online food delivery market in Europe
In January we wrote a piece, Who will dominate the food delivery market in Europe?, in which Just Eat’s CEO David Buttress said: “In 10 years, I’ve never seen the number two player in a country break even, let alone turn a profit. It has never happened in this industry.” And that was acknowledged by Just Eat leaving the Benelux, while Takeaway.com backs down from the UK…