Alistair Venn's career in tech, mining, e-commerce and manufacturing has led him to become the Managing Director at Menulog, one of Australia's largest tech acquisitions. Menulog penetrated the dense market of food delivery services and shares his insight on how they got to the top, and stay there.
Operating in such a crowded market, how does Menulog differentiate and maintain their position as a market leader?
Menulog is Australia’s largest online food delivery service and for more than a decade has delivered the widest range of food experiences at the best possible prices to Australians at the touch of a button.
Menulog pioneered the food delivery industry in Australia over 11 years ago with the aim of digitising the process of ordering food. Over the past decade, we have developed Australia and New Zealand’s broadest network restaurants and consumers, with more than 10,000 restaurant partners, delivering more than 100 cuisines to over 3 million people.
Our Marketplace Model is unique and has allowed us to expand at scale. By working with local restaurants to provide them with the technology and support to facilitate their own deliveries, we have been able to grow the number of quality restaurants across Australia to attract local consumers to the platform. In turn, the more local customers using Menulog, the more restaurant partners join. It is this network effect that has not only helped us to maintain our position as market leader, but also provides a significant opportunity for future growth.
What is the future for Menulog? How does Menulog plan on innovating beyond an online food delivery company?
Menulog is a food business; our top priority is to make sure people have an easy and enjoyable experience when they order a meal from Menulog. It’s incredibly important for us to ensure we stay focused on our core business, to continue to deliver value to our loyal customers and build an even greater offering for our restaurant partners.
Rather than innovating beyond the food delivery industry, our focus is on innovation in our core business and providing a market-leading experience for all users. Online food delivery is one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding e-commerce industries; there is an enormous opportunity for innovation and expansion in food delivery.
Personalisation is a huge focus for us; helping consumers both find and order their favourite foods from local restaurants as well as discovering new meals and cuisines we think they’ll love based on their preferences will enhance the Menulog experience.
This will come from better sorting and filtering, as Menulog learns about customer preferences, as well as from exciting new functionality such as voice ordering, so consumers can order wherever they are.
Being part of the Just Eat network means we can benefit from the world-class technology developed by the global leader in online food delivery. From chatbots to robot deliveries, innovation in technology presents a huge opportunity for Menulog.
Delivery technology is also a key area of focus for us, with faster delivery, better tracking and greater visibility of the order and delivery process providing consumers greater confidence that food will be promptly delivered to their door.
Having been the CEO of two major tech marketplaces, what are the 3 key ways you've managed to create and maintain the company culture throughout expansion?
One of the most important elements in creating and maintaining a strong team culture is to ensure everyone knows how their role contributes to the greater success of the business. This alignment across a company allows you to create a framework to celebrate the small, innocuous successes, because you can justify how that seemingly small achievement leads to major business successes.
It is essential to articulate (and repeat) why your business matters and what value you add to your customers and partners. Reiterating your company mission and ensuring everyone in the team understands how their work impacts real people’s lives drives motivation and passion to not let valuable partners and customers down.
It’s important to ensure the entire business is intolerant of mediocrity, whether you’re a startup or market leader. No matter how fast a business is growing, it is essential to instill a culture of accountability to all stakeholders and continue to deliver above and beyond. Being a startup is not an excuse for poor attention to detail or customer service - these are the foundations of a strong team and a successful business.
For more on Alistair Venn, make sure you check out his LinkedIn here.
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