Just like every other business, the food business also comprises several risks and lessons that news to be learned the hard way.
In 2021, the global food industry was estimated to be a whopping $12.24 trillion.
With global marketplaces and e-commerce platforms, selling food online has never been easier. One can use a free restaurant website builder to get their online business portal ready. This blog will enlighten you about the ideal way to go about starting an online food business and selling food online.
Determine Your Business Objective
The food industry today is brimming with millions of websites and mobile apps. So, the business objective must be determined first to get a clear picture of how your online food business will operate and in what way your services will be different from the others.
A successful online platform always requires the right reason
To identify the objective, a restaurant owner must study the target audience niche and their expectations. One must also analyze a few factors like brand visibility, the ways in which your system provides solutions, and the means to capture more audiences. Once the answers to all these points are compiled, a restaurant will get a robust business objective that will develop the food business in a speedy manner.
Simplify The Ordering Process
People no longer prefer the traditional practice of calling a restaurant to book orders as it is time-consuming and prone to human errors. But, with online food ordering, customers browse the entire menu and complete their order in a few clicks. This simplified online food ordering system is beneficial for both customers and restaurant owners. Once the digital order is placed, the restaurant is notified and it begins the food preparation process.
Create Your Online Store
It is now time to start building the online food ordering platform (restaurant website and mobile app). Once it is created, restaurant owners can enjoy the benefits of direct ordering and commission-free profits.
7 Easy Steps To Sell Food Online
Identify the target audience and decide what food to sell online
When restaurants aim to sell food successfully online, it is important to choose a specific niche so that it becomes easy to build a solid clientele.
The food market is tremendously diverse and assuming every person as your customer is surely not going to help. So, choose the target audience first and later pick food categories that this specific niche would love to eat.
Once this is done, incorporating food trends like plant-based diets, vegan foods or artisanal food items will help attract that target audience rapidly.
If you are just starting with your online food business, it is always safe to concentrate on products that do not require great investment. Choose a food category that is suitable for modest, first-time food enterprises that require minimal capital, equipment, and no permits.
Be informed about the local laws and license requirements
Restaurateurs must always be aware of the regulations in effect before seriously taking a plunge into online food business. Since non-compliance with regulations invites heavy fines or penalties, a business owner must be extremely cautious and ensure that customers do not suffer from the consequence of his mistake.
Selling food online in the US mandates the business owner to abide by the ‘Cottage Food Laws’. This implies that the entrepreneur must be aware of proper food storage techniques and safeguard the food from any harmful contaminants.
The basic requirements would be:
- An official business license
- Food permits and zonal approvals from the government
- Maintenance of food safety with regular training sessions about proper food handling
- Annual inspection of the kitchen
- State-specific compliance with rules and regulations
Finding A Supplier
You could be doing scratch cooking or buying several processed products from the market. Either way, it is essential to hire the services of a dependable source to supply safe and quality products. Making a wrong decision with regard to the supplier could possibly damage the brand and bring health complications for customers who consume the food.
Always make use of clearly established supply chains and explore a plethora of details regarding the origins of the materials from the suppliers. Ensure that the goods supplied have a respectable shelf life so that the food prepared is not something that is about to expire.
Things to remember while looking for a supplier
- Manufacturing cost
- Quality of the raw materials
- Time is taken for shipping and delivery
- Testimonials from clients of suppliers
- Communication and material accessibility
Pricing The Food
While there is no predetermined method for fixing food prices, one can ensure that the pricing is accurate by calculating the cost per item. This is done by taking into consideration ingredient prices, manufacturing costs, and labor costs. Additional costs include – cooking equipment, building rent, insurance costs, license fees, and staff salary. Taking into account all these factors is necessary to break even. Adding the profit margin to the above costs is necessary for the business to generate some revenue.
A 10% profit margin is regarded as average while a 20% margin is considered high.
Sometimes, taking a glance at the competitor’s pricing strategies will also help.
Choosing an ideal brand name for the restaurant is important as it is going to be the identity that people will connect with throughout the business cycle. The name must reflect the cuisine served so that people instantly understand the purpose of the brand.
The restaurant’s name not only engages with customers but enhances the productivity of the business as well
With the right branding exercises, restaurants can increase consumer recognition. A visually appealing logo also enables easy interpretation of the brand. While selling food online, it is also important to package it the right way. The packaging products should also be designed using professional, experienced designers.
Restaurant owners must follow the FDA food ingredient and packaging guidelines and get it printed on the packaging.
Prepare Content For The Online Store
The aesthetics of the online store is essential in persuading customers to purchase food items.
Restaurant owners must use food images to make their online food stores tantalizing. This is because the customer’s first point of interaction is with the food. The online food store or menu should contain detail-rich descriptions of the food and ingredients.
The basic pages that a restaurant website must have are:
- Online Menu
- Online Ordering
- Online Payment
- About Us
- Contact Us
This blog from Restaurantify would sure have helped you in understanding the process of starting and running an online food store. For more digital marketing assistance in the restaurant business, get in touch.