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Just Eat – Harnessing AI, big data & cloud for customers

By Dave Williams, Chief Information Officer

At Just Eat, our brand purpose is to make food discovery exciting for everyone and technology is key to bringing that purpose to life. This means having an app which is always available, where restaurants can be found, menus browsed, food ordered and delivered effortlessly. Technology is at the heart of everything we do, and since Just Eat launched, we’ve been continually adding features to our service to ensure we deliver what customers and restaurants tell us they want.

Whether that’s facilitating seamless and secure online payments with the integration of the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay, creating our Alexa skill, developing our Facebook chatbot – or using AI to process the data we gather to improve the way in which we estimate when customers’ food will arrive – innovation is fundamental to our success.

Last week our tech team headed to Amazon Web Services’ sixth annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. A gathering of more than 40,000 technologists, cloud users and partners, this year’s AWS re:Invent focused on data and serverless computing.

re:Invent is an important conference for us – it offers direct access to the AWS product teams as well as literally hundreds of tech talks on various technologies, tools or processes, and gives us the opportunity to share our insights and success with the wider cloud community. Along with the London AWS Summit it enables us to stay at the forefront of AWS’s product line which underpins our production platforms and our ability to scale our business.

Fostering a culture of innovation is vital when growing a business. Encouraging autonomy and adopting our people’s ideas, rather than a top-down management style, gives great ideas an opportunity to come to the fore. You can’t innovate in a bubble – at Just Eat, a great idea is just as likely to sift up from our engineers, product managers or the UX teams, than it is from our Board.

And to ensure we keep innovating, we have to remain customer obsessed and give our tech teams the tools they need to deliver what our customers and partners want. Migrating to the AWS cloud four years ago helped support this – it’s part of what great engineers expect – giving them the freedom and flexibility they need to adopt technology stacks, to onboard new partners and ultimately support growth in the countries in which we operate.

We’re proud of what we’ve built, and the countless ways we’ve connected people with food, everywhere. And now, we can’t wait to make it even better.

While we were at AWS Re:Invent, I was interviewed by Tamara McCleary, CEO and Founder of Thulium, discussing the conference, big data, AI and the cloud. You can watch our full interview here.