Just Eat's planned office in Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland
Credit: Just Eat
Just Eat is to create 1,500 jobs in the North East as part of a £100m investment in a customer services hub in Sunderland.
The food delivery company said it had recruited for 300 roles and aimed to fill the remaining openings over the next 12 months. Employees will initially work from home, before moving to a "hybrid" of mixed home and office working.
The new openings come as Just Eat attempts to face down competition from Deliveroo and UberEats. Just Eat has sought to win market share from rivals, in particular in London.
The FTSE 100 company, which merged with Dutch rival Takeaway.com in a £6bn deal last year, said it expected its new 20,000 sq metre office to open early next year. The site, in Houghton-le-Spring in Sunderland, will house customer and restaurant support teams.
Just Eat has been rapidly expanding its staff and worker numbers in the UK, launching a new logistics arm, known as Scoober, and adding 4,500 delivery riders as workers. Just Eat previously relied on restaurants to supply their own delivery riders.
Andrew Kenny, Just Eat’s UK managing director, said most of its new Sunderland team would begin work from home, before the majority of the company returns to working in the office part time later this year.
"We don’t want to move away from all the more beneficial parts of flexibility," he said. "We expect the facility to be ready in early 2022. In the meantime, the employees, like the rest of the business, will be working remotely."
He said Just Eat’s other offices had reopened with the number of staff returning "steadily building over time". The company planned to implement a global flexible working policy later this year.
"Staff appreciate retaining a considerable amount of flexibility," he said, "but many are striving to get back into an office environment and are keen to interact face-to-face. Our business has grown a lot in the last 18 months, and many people haven’t had the opportunity to interact with employees within the organisation. It’s particularly important for junior members of the team."
Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "We’re very proud of what Sunderland offers as a place to do business, and it is vindication of that offer when brands like Just Eat are drawn to the city."