EAT Club Interview: John Jascovski on How Food Delivery Service Can Bring More than Just Food
The food delivery industry is on the brink of a revolution. According to recent reports, in 2022, the global online food delivery sector was worth $130.2 billion, and in five years, this value is predicted to rise to $223.7 billion. Corporate catering app development is one of the sub niches that bloomed in recent years.
Back in 2010, foreseeing the rise of the food delivery, two Stanford students founded EAT Club corporate catering startup, now the leader in individual lunch delivery for businesses. They saw an opportunity to shake things up in the lunch delivery market for offices and later in 2017 raised $30mm in C funding. Let’s face it, no one wants to waste precious time waiting in line or dealing with subpar meals. That’s why they developed a product that delivers fresh, delicious lunches directly to offices. And in 2020 they were acquired by the Compass Group, a Fortune Global 500 company.
In February 2022 we entered the project with our team extension services to fuel their expansion. EAT Club understands that in this highly competitive market, it’s not enough to just provide a service, it’s necessary to provide an experience. About this and other things that make them the industry leader we spoke in the interview with John Jascovski, a software engineering manager at EAT Club.
How EAT Club Works
— Could you tell us more about EAT Club?
Sure. EAT Club is part of Compass Digital, a technology innovation branch of Compass Group. Compass Group provides great food to millions of people around the world in corporate cafes, restaurants, stadiums, hospitals, and many other venues.
At EAT Club, we build the technology for customers to order meals at work and for kitchens to manage menus and production. The third aspect of what we do at EAT Club is developing the technology for logistics to transport meals from point A to point B. And we do that on a large scale.
— Cool. It seems like a fascinating and important initiative. How do you define your company’s selling points?
Unlike traditional catering services, we offer a non-standard catering solution. First of all, EAT Club focuses on individual choice. We let our users choose what they want to eat, whether it’s lunch, dinner, or any other meal.
Then we deliver individually packaged meals to their offices. Always on time. Our customers don’t have to wait long for their food and can be sure of its quality and safety. They can focus on what they are doing while we do the hard work.
— Could you talk more about EAT Club tech stack and business solutions that helped the industry and customers appreciate your catering app?
When we think about business solutions, we always say that EAT Club brings together delicious food, world-class logistics, and a beautiful user experience. Controlling these three aspects is critical to a great customer experience.
If we talk about the technical side, we use standard industry technology for most of our applications. For example, our corporate catering app backend is based on Python and Django. For the frontend, we mainly use React. We also use React for our Android and iOS apps. Our solutions run on AWS cloud servers, which allows us to scale quickly as needed.
It’s also important to note that it doesn’t matter what business solution you launch or what technology you use. Instead, it comes down to having a team that can turn that kind of experience and excellence into reality. We are grateful to have a team that’s constantly innovating and improving the way we work. That’s how we bring a great solution to market.
When Your Partner Is Part of Your Team
— Speaking of Django. I was curious about the story of a collaboration between EAT Club and Django Stars. In what way have the relations between EAT Club and Django Stars changed over time? If they did, of course.
Right after EAT Club was acquired by Compass, we tried to grow the team quickly. And we struggled with doing this on our own. We were looking for development partners to help us out. Django Stars was one of those partners that came our way while we were interviewing many others.
It clicked right from the first time we met with them. It felt like we’ve been working together for a long time, and it could become a great partnership. So, we immediately dove into our first project, where Django Stars provided us with staff augmentation services for our Sage teams.
Let me explain. At EAT Club, we have spice names for each of our teams. Sage is one of our feature development teams that mainly focuses on the backend.
Later on, we kicked off our Basel team that migrated the whole Angular frontend application to React. We needed more frontend-focused technology and skills to help us through the project. Right from the get-go, Django Stars provided highly skilled engineering talents without delay. Currently, they are not just our partners but part of our team. And we look forward to continuing to work together.
— And what is most important for EatClub in working with a technical partner? Expertise, product approach, processes?
Of course, expertise comes first because we’ve been looking for partners who can help us build the technology and continuously improve it. This is a must for us. It’s also important to speak the same language. That means sharing the same culture and values, what we bring to the table, and how we are going to solve problems together. Being an opinion leader is also important, as it improves the way we use technology and think about the process.
Django Stars has all of these qualities.
When It’s Not Just about the Food
— Now that you mentioned being an opinion leader who’s constantly improving, I wonder what solutions or features of EAT Club you would characterize as cutting-edge. What makes your company different from other providers?
Actually, there’s no particular technology that characterizes EAT Club. A cutting-edge product comes from our ability to use technology to create a great customer experience. And it’s not just about the food we offer.
Imagine working in an office and being focused on your work. With EAT Club, it only takes a few minutes to scroll through the nice pictures on the menu and decide what you’re going to eat today, tomorrow, or all week long. Then you can easily go back to your work.
When the time comes, you receive a message on your phone saying that your meal has arrived, warm and fresh. It arrives on time, so you don’t have to wait in line for your food and lose productivity in the process. Enjoying the moment with your colleagues is all that’s left.
Basically, this is how we create the value of what we offer.
We bring more than just food to your table. We nourish the culture of bringing people together through food.
The entire EAT Club experience encompasses multiple variables: from food ordering and taking a break to enjoying the meal with coworkers, all while maximizing work efficiency. It’s like meeting up with your favorite friend every day when your food is delivered.
We offer products and services on a large scale, focusing on quality and individuality and supporting work efficiency.
— And the last question. How do you see the future of EAT Club?
The future of EAT Club is very promising and exciting. Since Compass Group acquired us a few years ago, we have quickly expanded from California to the entire United States and Canada. And that was only possible because of the expansive food offerings that Compass already had in place.
Now it’s easier for us to scale logistics and technology because we do not have to worry as much about food production facilities. We expect to continue this expansion. In addition, our company is returning to office-based operations. We are also quickly adapting to the meal safety and quality models that the market standards require for this meal world we live in. Depending on the situation, you may be in the office, at home, or elsewhere. We are very excited about our future potential.
Watch a video where John speaks about EAT Club, or get more insights into their journey of scaling the product in our case study.