EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Menulog Director of Product and Technology Matt Gillam: Our challenge now is how to curate our restaurant base in a "hyper-local" and "hyper-personal" manner

Get to know the executive before he joins the QSR Media Sandhurst Conference.

Menulog director of product and technology Matt Gillam will be joining the QSR Media Sandhurst Conference and Awards on June 20 as part of the event's panel on next-generation ordering.

Matt has a wealth of experience running different types of technology departments, from small start-ups to large scale product development functions. During his career, Matt has led the development of many different eCommerce, B2C and B2B products across a broad range of business verticals, always with a keen focus on the customer experience and underpinned by highly available and scalable enterprise technology solutions.

For Menulog, Matt drove the technology migration of Menulog to the global Just Eat platform, allowing for global technology innovation to be implemented locally and the integration of delivery services to provide a significantly improved user experience and offering for restaurants. Passionate about product development, Matt is focussed on driving greater personalisation for Menulog customers and developing better way for them to find and select food at the touch of a button.

QSR Media: How did you get involved in the multi-site restaurant industry?
The restaurant industry is one of the most dynamic and fast-paced areas to work, particularly online delivery, which has a very unique operational challenge and is something that drew me to this space.

I was asked to join Menulog while in a role for our parent company Just Eat in the UK. I had been working for Just Eat for three years, where I was brought in to set up a new technology hub in Bristol.  My first role at Just Eat was an incredibly exciting opportunity for me - Just Eat is by far the largest online food delivery company in the world and they were expanding beyond London and investing significantly in tech innovation.

The opportunity was so compelling as it was a high growth, high scale start-up business with a big engineering challenge - processing millions of order in real time and having them delivered to the customer within 45 minutes. It’s this time pressure which makes innovation in online ordering and delivery so unique whereas other high volume ordering systems, have days to fulfill orders, online food delivery companies have a matter of minutes. 

From joining a one of the first employees in Bristol, I grew the team to more than 150 employees during my tenure. From here, I traded Southwest England for Australia’s East Coast, joining Menulog as Director of Product and Technology in 2017.

The launch of delivery has allowed us to partner with some of the country’s biggest national brands, including KFC, Hungry Jack’s, Oporto and more, offering a world-class delivery solution for QSRs that can be seamlessly integrated into their existing operations. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be in the restaurant industry and I’m looking forward to driving further innovation for our restaurant partners in 2019 and beyond.

What particular industry issues or developments are you currently thinking about?
Menulog is expanding its restaurant base at scale, as we focus on driving both a thriving self-delivery marketplace and continue to roll out our delivery service across the country. The increased choice and availability of restaurants for customers will in turn drive acquisition and frequency, growing the Menulog community by network effects.

As we shift into this next phase, where customers have significantly greater choice than ever before, our challenge now is how to curate this range of restaurants in a hyper-local, hyper-personal manner. We’re focused on how we use data and machine learning to help customers navigate options and find the restaurants and food they will love.

The challenge here is how both choice and convenience will co-exist as a value proposition. We are working to maintain the ease and simplicity of online ordering, whilst demonstrating a wide range of options, through personalised discovery.  Our new recommendations platform will draw on more data than ever before to create distinctly personal experience and a significantly improved customer journey.

What are you most excited to do during the QSR Media Conference and Awards in Sydney?
As I have only been in the country for a year, this is the first time I will attend QSR Media['s conference], so I’m really looking forward to hearing from such a diverse range of businesses and experts, as well as meeting people from all areas of the restaurant industry.

I’m looking forward to participating in the panel session [on] next-generation ordering as I am obviously very passionate about this topic. But also, I will be on stage alongside some of our valued restaurant partners and so it will be a very interesting, 360-degree discussion for the audience. I’m really looking forward to discussing what’s next and how we will work with our restaurant partners to deliver the next generation of ordering!

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