Two leading Australian companies that have upended the status quo in hospitality ordering and marketing have completed their long-awaited merger, with Mr Yum and me&u coming together under the one beer garden parasol for a few frothies.
The combined company, to retain the me&u brand with Mr Yum co-founder Kim Teo at the helm as CEO, processes $2 billion in dining transactions annually and has a client base of more than 6,000 food brands.
The two companies - me&u from Sydney and Mr Yum from Melbourne - have been rivals for four years since starting on home turf in Australia and expanding overseas across the US and UK in the past two years.
Teo describes the merger as the epitome of a "better together" situation.
"It makes a lot of sense from a business point of view to stop butting heads and start working together," says Teo, who co-founded Mr Yum with her partner Adrian Osman alongside Andrei Miulescu and Kerry Osborn.
"But it makes even more sense from a customer perspective because we have the opportunity to build a best-of-the-best product that venues and their guests love."
The two companies started courting each other at the start of the year, but the seed for the merger was planted in mid-2022 when me&u founder Stevan Premutico and Osman met for a few beers in Austin, Texas.
“It was a bit like a first date. I walked out of that thinking he’s a good guy and we are fighting the same fight,” says Premutico.
"At the end of a couple of beers I picked up the bill – so he owes me a round – I wrote a little note on the back of a receipt, as I gave it to him, and it said: ‘Let’s make this industry better’.”
The merged business has committed to not making any significant changes this year as the their customers move into the busiest time of trade.
“Now that the merger is complete and our teams have come together, we’re laser-focused on making sure this is a successful holiday season for our customers and that we look after them,” says Teo.
The group highlights it will have more "innovation firepower" as the product and engineering teams now make up a larger percentage of the merged company, ensuring the best of both products converge into one ‘super product’ that owners, managers, staff, and guests adore.
Me&u also claims the merger will lead to more value for customers and more support coverage, with 24/7 support and an average response time of under 36 seconds from a human being, not a bot. The integrated platform will allow customers to power all of their sales and marketing, from mobile ordering to staff upsells, email & SMS marketing to guest feedback and beyond.
The consumation of the merger also comes amidst ongoing consolidation in the sector. In July, Melbourne-based hospitality tech platform Liven - which has a range of services including procurement, point of sale (POS) interfaces for menus, a QR code app builder, reservations, table ordering and invoice reconciliation - spent $152 million on acquisitions in Australia, Singapore and California.
Earlier this year, Sydney-based hospitality wholesale procurement software company FoodByUs joined forces with trade financing platforms Shift and Butn (ASX: BTN) to guarantee suppliers instant payments.
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