Customer Stories

me&u serves global expansion on the menu

Jason Toshack, Vice President and General Manager ANZ, Oracle NetSuite
October 22, 2021

Growing a business is not easy at the best of times, let alone when you have to contend with border closures and limits to international travel. But for the growth-minded leadership team at me&u, these challenges weren’t about to dampen their appetite for expansion.

With the help of Oracle NetSuite, the Australian startup is expanding globally, bringing its innovative food ordering and payments service to restaurants and bars across the globe — all without setting foot out of the country. And with research revealing that 3 in 4 restaurants plan to offer contactless ordering and payment options across all channels, the hospitality industry is ready for innovation.

Tailored menus — the next ‘bite’

Founded in 2018, me&u provides bars and restaurants with the technology to offer highly customisable digital menus. This helps venues tailor their offering to match customer preferences based on their buying behaviour.

For example, if a customer likes a certain type of drink, venues can incentivise the customer with special offers next time they visit. This is having a big impact on the bottom line as customers that order through the me&u app are spending 27.5% more on average. It’s easy to see why bars and restaurants across the country quickly embraced the power of the me&u platform.

“Our mission is to transform the world through a smarter menu," said Asheesh Chacko, COO at me&u.

As the business gained popularity, Chacko and his team realised there was a big opportunity to take the platform into new markets around the world. me&u set its sights on New Zealand, the UK and the US. However, with international travel off the cards, all business had to be done virtually and a cloud-based management system was the logical choice.

"Initially, all information was in a spreadsheet with someone manually entering the required data," Chacko said. “It was clear that we needed greater visibility in order to respond quickly and keep the momentum going.”

Unified Technology — NetSuite was the perfect order

Without being on the ground in each country to put processes in place, me&u needed technology that could bridge the gap.

With the help of NetSuite partner Jcurve, me&u replaced its patchwork of systems and applications with NetSuite. After the switch, me&u experienced benefits almost immediately. “Consolidation went from five to two days,” Chacko said. “Once we ditched the Excel calculations, we saved four hours a day of someone’s time.”

Tackling the challenges of expansion head-on, me&u set up subsidiaries, put each jurisdiction’s legal and taxation requirements in place, and hired full-time staff in all three countries. The UK operation recently went live and already has 150 venues on the platform. New Zealand and the U.S. are set to launch later this year. 

“We couldn’t have done it without NetSuite, because you’re not able to scale sustainably without having proper infrastructure and visibility into your operations,” Chacko said. “NetSuite empowers us with the visibility we need to know — happening anywhere, at any time. Without these insights, it would be very difficult and time consuming to get an up-to-date view of business operations. That is time we’d rather spend focusing on our expansion into new markets.”

Fast forward to 2021, me&u has grown from 40 employees to 110 and is looking to double in size again over the next 12 months. “This time last year we had about 50 venues on the platform, and we’re at around 850 now,” Chacko said.

Everything looks to be on track for me&u to continue on its incredible growth trajectory. But whatever the future holds, 2021 has proven that with the right technology, efficient business processes, and dynamic leadership, international growth can continue to be a reality.