Itsu launches innovative delivery app & service

Asian-inspired fast food and restaurant group, itsu has today announced the launch of a new, innovative delivery app and service - itsu [to you] which makes ordering healthy food for delivery fun, social and interactive.

The new app allows customers to order freshly-cooked hot and cold itsu food for delivery, track and communicate with the driver, known as “ninjas”, and pay either individually or collectively. itsu [to you], a start-up subsidiary under the itsu brand, is led by itsu’s former head of marketing, Celeste Tobias-Metcalfe.

Designed for groups, itsu [to you] embraces the latest technology and combines it in an app powered by MyCheck’s mobile payment and loyalty platform; Google’s Firebase cloud software, and Bringg’s last-mile delivery technology.

It is the first and only app that allows a team of people - friends, workmates - to collaboratively build a single order; share dishes, and then pay individually, if desired, using a payment method and device of their choice, including Apple Pay.

Customers are also able to communicate with their delivery driver - known as “ninjas” - and track their position on a map within the app. The kitchen, menu and even the packaging is bespoke, new and created with sharing in mind, allowing itsu [to you] customers to “eat beautiful, together”. With the UK set to spend almost £8bn a year on takeaways by the end of the decade, ‘itsu [to you]’ offers a freshly made and healthy alternative.

Tobias-Metcalfe explained, “Everyone is time-poor in the 21st century, especially itsu customers, and often we’re too busy focussing on so much other stuff that food can take a back seat. That’s where food delivery comes in but too often that means unhealthy options. itsu [to you] sets out to change all that by making the whole process of ordering food not just healthy and quick but also fun and social.

“I see this as having massive appeal for businesses wanting an inspiring team lunch that’s not going to make everyone feel sluggish in the afternoon as well as groups of friends wanting a break from the usual stodgy delivery options and having a good time while deciding what to share. Everything about itsu [to you] is designed with the customer at heart.

“We’ve elected to work with the best technology partners rather than use an ‘out of the box’ solution. There’s nowhere that we have compromised on the customer experience.”

The application design and technology, including the payment system, is provided by fintech start-up MyCheck. It’s one of the first deployments of Google Firebase which stores and syncs data instantly so that sharing and splitting takes place in real time. Firebase is the technology behind WhatsApp.

Bringg’s last-mile delivery technology creates an Uber-like experience where notifications and a real-time map with their driver’s location are integrated into the app. Intelligent Business Systems’ EPOS solution handles the supply chain and fulfilment.

Gil Hazan, Managing Director for Europe, MyCheck, said, “The hospitality sector has been slow to invest in mobile until the business case was proven.

“Today the impact of mobile is there for all to see and every major chain is implementing a mobile strategy. Now, the issue is differentiation. The market is incredibly competitive as new players add to the vast array of consumer choice.

'Mobile will soon become a hygiene factor, with forward-thinking players looking at the compelling applications that boost the customer experience and deliver a clear return on investment. itsu [to you] is one of those players and we’re thrilled to be part of such a pioneering project.”

Shira Kimchi, Business Manager for Google Cloud Platform, added, “We’re delighted that itsu [to you] is using our Firebase technology and its capacity for real-time data storage, synchronisation and user authentication to create a great user experience in the new itsu app developed by MyCheck.”

itsu [to you] will initially be available for weekday lunch orders in postcodes SW1, SW8, SE11, SE17 and parts of SE1. From mid-March, the availability will widen to a lunch and evening service and itsu [to you] has ambitious plans to expand across London and other cities over the coming months. A 'refer-a-friend' scheme is in place where the referee receives £5 credit and the referrer, £10 credit.