Two weeks ago the giant online food ordering and home delivery site ‘Takeaway.com‘ started accepting Bitcoins as payment. This is a big step forward into the world of Bitcoins: it gives access to almost 20,000 restaurants to pay with Bitcoin now.
Takeaway.com is a Dutch dot-com company specialising in online food ordering and home delivery. Working as an intermediary online portal between the customer and the restaurants, customers can order food online from restaurants’ menus, and have it delivered by the restaurants directly to their homes. The company was founded in the Netherlands by Jitse Groen, after an idea at a family celebration in 1999. He wanted to order food and thought he could find a restaurant with home delivery service on the internet. The only result posted on the internet was a list of restaurants in Amsterdam, where they could not order food at that time and for their current location.
So a year later he developed a website,Thuisbezorgd.nl(means ‘home delivery’) with the offer on it of take out restaurants who also deliver at home. This became a success and in 2007 the company expanded to Belgium, Germany and Austria. In 2010 they changed their name into Takeaway.com. Now they operate also in Denmark, France, Luxembourg, The United Kingdom, Suisse and in Vietnam. Takeaway.com works closely with brands like Coca Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, Domino’s Pizza and Heineken. Alltogether the website handles over 800,000 orders a month now, and they have over 20,000 restaurants that work with them. They are still developing and growing over 75% every year.
I contacted the director and founder of Takeaway.com, Jitse Groen, to ask him some questions about the next big step at Takeaway.com: accepting Bitcoins.
Christien Havranek: Why did Takeaway.com start with accepting Bitcoins as a valid payment?
Jitse Groen: Takeaway.com is always one of the first when it’s going about new developments. Just after the launch of the first iPhone we had an iPhone app to use for ordering food. And also in the area of online payments we are almost always the first to add promising developments. We got a lot of clients who order food online because they are already situated behind the computer around dinnertime. Bitcoin is a beloved currency of a very important group of our customers: gamers. We regularly received the question if it was possible to accept Bitcoins. This was the main reason for us to add Bitcoin next to as a payment option.
CH: What was the process going on between the idea of accepting Bitcoins and the acquittal of the currency?
JG: After all the requests we received to accept Bitcoins, we did some research if there will be enough transactions with Bitcoins when we introduce them. It appeared that a relatively big group of regular applicants like to pay with them. So we decided to accept them. Between this decision and the implementation of the currency there was a timespan of one month. We launched the currency on the 5th of november 2013 in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Six days later it was also possible to pay for your pizza, burgers or other takeway food with Bitcoins at the food ordering sites of Luxembourgh, Belgium, France, The United Kingdom, Denmark and Suisse.
CH: What are the expectations of Bitcoins for Takeaway.com?
JG: We don’t really know what to expect with Bitcoins for Takeaway.com. But we can say being happily suprised that already so many people pay their transactions with them now. Bitcoins take along a big currency risk. Sure this doesn’t have to be bad, as long as [we’re] taking the right prevention measures. This is the reason why we change them back to euro’s as soon as we received them. So when Bitcoin loses its value, it would not affect Takeaway.com. That would especially be bad for the owners and speculators of them.
CH: How many transactions have there already been done, for example, in the Netherlands?
JG: We receive around a few hundred transactions a day. Compared to the myriads of orders we daily have in the Netherlands, it is just a very small amount. This phenomenon is the same in the other countries where we started accepting them. I can not tell you the exact amounts, but what I can tell you is that this number is already much higher than we expected.
What you might be interested to know is the average amount of an order we receive on Bitcoins in most of the countries of Takeaway.com. This amount is a bit higher than the national average of them paid without Bitcoin.
Table 1: An overview of the average amount of orders in different countries paid with Bitcoin.
Average sum (EUR)
Average sum (USD)
CH: Next to the nine European countries of Takeaway.com in Europe, you are also situated in Vietnam since the end of October after taking over Vietnammm.com. With around 700 members there at the moment, why don’t you accept Bitcoin there as well?
JG: This is a question of priorities at the moment. It’s also due to another monetary unit. They are the only non Euro country of Takeaway.com. But who knows where Bitcoin will bring us in the future.
At least we are very happy that we took this step. We got a lot of positive reactions of Bitcoin users, thanks for that! We started as a student company with a start-up capital of just 50 euros and although we grew very big, we really appreciate the support from this party.
Christien Havranek has a background in Social Psychology and (Marketing) Communication. She works as a freelancer and became interested into Bitcoin due to a friend of hers building hardware. She is living in Delft, the innovation city of technology in the Netherlands, and wants to spread Bitcoin by making it doable for everybody. Other jobs she does are helping companies with their Facebook communication, building stages, decorations and entertainment (on festivals, parties). Being half Austrian, in winter she teaches ski and snowboard and loves the mountains. Hobby’s: running, travelling, photographing and playing the drums on stages all over Europe with her band. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact her at [email protected].