It’s Groundhog Day in the world of European restaurant delivery. Despite Delivery Hero-owned Valk Fleet’s spectacular failure, another startup is trying its hand at letting quick service restaurants or take-outs outsource delivery.
Stuart, the heavily-funded “last-mile” delivery startup backed by Le Groupe La Poste, is partnering with take-out marketplace Just Eat in France to build on-demand delivery into the company’s restaurant app and ordering backend.
As I understand it, the deal will see Stuart offered as an option for restaurants that already work with Just Eat (or Allo Resto, as the brand is called in France) who want to do away with or supplement their own drivers, perhaps during peak demand.
And for Just Eat it could potentially help improve and maintain the experience of customers who order via its app. There’s nothing worse than late or cold take-out food after all. For Stuart, it provides another end point on the demand-side of its model to help it scale more quickly.
However, the strategic partnership between the two companies could also serve as a way for Just Eat to attract restaurants to its online marketplace who don’t otherwise offer delivery. Were that to happen, it would further blur the line between pure takeout marketplaces, where the restaurants themselves use their own drivers, and restaurant delivery consumer apps who have their own fleets, such as Deliveroo, Uber’s UberEATs, and Amazon.
Meanwhile, despite Stuart’s primary pitch as an Amazon Prime Now but for local stores and merchants, the startup has rapidly been adding food delivery, including from restaurants such as Sushi Shop, and Pizza Hut in France. The partnership with Just Eat is for France too, but trials are already taking place to add Stuart as an option for Just Eat in the U.K. and Spain.
“By tying this strategic partnership between Allo Resto and Stuart, we aim to combine our strengths in order to improve quality of service for both restaurant owners and end customers. Restaurants partnering with us will have access to state-of- the-art software by Allo Resto to fully digitalize their point of sale and an access to the fastest courier service in town with Stuart”, said Gilles Raison, General Manager of Allo Resto, in a statement.