Mobile ordering success story Mr Yum has logged its first major corporate acquisition, obtaining customer relationship management provider MyGuestlist to provide tailor-made promotions to diners.
The Melbourne-based Smart50 award winner revealed the acquisition Tuesday, declaring the deal to be valued in the tens of millions of dollars as a mix of cash and stocks.
MyGuestlist’s CRM product, Sprout, is included as part of the acquisition.
The move is expected to grow Mr Yum’s ranks to more than 260 employees, up from just a dozen before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with MyGuestlist’s full-time staff to integrate into Mr Yum’s Collingwood headquarters.
What will the election mean to you?
Sign up to our free newsletter, including this weekend’s coverage of the election.
Mr Yum CEO and co-founder Kim Teo said the partnership will significantly enhance the functionality of the startup’s mobile payment and table-top QR code systems.
“Mr Yum helps our hospitality businesses get to know their guests really well: ‘Who is visiting? How frequently are they visiting? What are they ordering while they’re there?’” Teo told SmartCompany.
“And all that information is great, but it’s not useful unless it goes somewhere.”
Restaurants will soon be able to track a diner’s order history and preferences based on Mr Yum data, she said, with those insights forming the basis of custom marketing material.
The MyGuestlist integration will mix data from Mr Yum, reservation platforms, point of sale systems, and even wi-fi networks, allowing restaurants to build bespoke communications and menu offerings around those findings.
“If I get an email that says something around the new natural wine that they’ve added to their menu, I’m far more likely to be excited by that as compared to telling me about the new pinot noirs, for example, that are added to the menu,” Teo said.
“So understanding what your customers are ordering is something that Mr Yum is responsible for, and then understanding how to market to them, in a personalised way with dynamic content, is something that MyGuestlist Sprout can do.”
The move allows Mr Yum “to extend ourselves beyond just the ordering and payments and now into a growth platform,” Teo said.
“Together we’ll be able to rapidly scale solutions to provide venues with deeper and more seamless insights into their customers, which will enable them to provide superior and more meaningful hospitality experiences,” said MyGuestlist co-founder Andy Marcus.
Teo last year said Mr Yum’s goal is to become the “Shopify for restaurants”, reflecting that platform’s near ubiquity in the e-commerce space.
The comparison is “definitely still real, and on our minds, and on our agenda,” Teo said Tuesday.
“It’s the best thing for online businesses to have an awesome, powerful, CRM-driven payments platform like Shopify, and similar to that in hospitality is what we’re trying to create with Mr Yum.”
Describing the potential for future expansions, Teo said the company is focused on elements which “touch the guest”. For now, that means Mr Yum is happy to leave back-of-house and POS operations to the dozens of tech partners its platform already communicates with.
“Acquisition is definitely part of our road map and part of our plan, but we’ll do it at a pace that makes sense,” she said.
The MyGuestlist acquisition was announced just months after Mr Yum secured an $89 million funding round, led by US investment firm Tiger Global, along with players including Skip Capital, helmed by Kim Jackson and her husband, Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar.
Mr Yum was awarded SmartCompany‘s Smart50 Rising Star award for 2021, after successfully turning its focus from in-venue QR codes to delivery solutions during COVID-19 lockdowns.