Just Eat CTO: ‘A shift to cloud allows us to focus on customers’

Just Eat CTO: ‘A shift to cloud allows us to focus on customers’ 718 523 C-Suite Network
Just Eat’s tech chief: ‘Move to the cloud allows us to focus on customers’
Just Eat chief product and technology officer Fernando Fanton. Image: Just Eat

In the latest in our Five-Minute CIO series, Just Eat’s Fernando Fanton reveals how the on-demand food app balances innovation with scale.

After graduating with a computer science degree, Fernando Fanton joined Microsoft as a graduate in its Redmond headquarters, where he stayed for six years.

He left Microsoft to undertake an MBA at Wharton Business School and joined Goldman Sachs as an intern while studying. From Wharton, he spent almost three years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

In 2012, Fanton joined Elsevier in New York as head of technology strategy and, in 2013, he set up Mendeley.com in London, where he was SVP of global product and technology.

Fanton joined Just Eat in March 2016 as chief product and technology officer, and was recently in Dublin to attend a Just Eat food technology innovation day at The Digital Hub.

‘One thing that is really critical is the need to be focused and data-driven. It can be easy to chase rabbits down holes if you become fixated on an idea without understanding the data’

Can you outline the breadth and scope of the technology roll-out across your organisation and what improvements it will bring to the company?

Technology at Just Eat is not just about bringing improvements to the company. Instead, we are constantly looking at the benefits that we can bring to our 27,600 restaurant partners and to our customers. Everything else follows from that.

So, for instance, we have invested significantly in our OrderPad technology, which makes it far easier for restaurants to receive and process orders as well as enabling them to better manage their delivery fleets, which in turn leads to greater customer satisfaction. Around 55pc of UK orders were made using this technology in the first quarter and we are rolling it out across our other 11 markets. We have also worked hard on our app, which became the first Top 50 five-star app in the Apple app store, underlining our commitment to give our customers the very best product.

At the heart of it is the principle that we should focus our internal technology teams on the areas where they, and only they, can create the maximum value for our customers, whether they be restaurant partners or consumers. That is what we excel at and where we should expend most of our energy. As an example, we host our infrastructure in the cloud, which gives us the freedom to develop new products such as those we have created with Amazon Fire, the Xbox and Apple Pay, for instance.

We also focus on the future. We have already run one successful accelerator programme – supporting and mentoring five start-ups – and we are currently embarking on our second. It helps us to keep at the forefront of technology in the food tech sector – a…