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Well well well. More often than not, we have a really grand plan on how we are going to conquer the market with our business by offering fantastic products at great prices only to find out that it’s not moving.

F&B for that matter has a mix of misses and hits. Similar products in the same row of shops, one business flourishes and one don’t. How do we explain this? Branding? Marketing? Positioning? Customer Profiling? Packaging? Loyalty? The list goes on and the permutation gets complex.

Today our discussion is about F&B businesses who have had some experience doing business with their online ordering system for f&b using their own website and/or mobile app and have had very little success.

F&B business can differ greatly by where they operate from; home, stalls, restaurants, cafes, bistros, central kitchen or clubs. The volume that they can produce, how much of lead time they would require, operational time and manpower to process the orders matter and changes their business model to operate.

Some key reasons for slow or no orders;

1. Awareness

Treating your E-Commerce business like your retail business will be the first step in framing your mind to think of ways to build awareness. Most in the F&B treat at it as a non-essential, Hobby like, “if it happens it happens” kind of approach.

E-Commerce is shaping your business online and in your retail environment as time goes by and this is changing at a rapid pace in 2019 as customers demand ease, perks, and immediacy.

Start identifying places where you can promote, methods of promoting your online e-commerce store, partnering with deal sites, reservation portals, exclusive deals for online orders only.

Introducing a rewards system is another good way to capture the attention of your customers. Not only does it increase customer satisfaction and some brand alliance, but it also gives an opportunity for your customers to start sharing it to their network.

2. Finding out who your customers are

It’s a general feeling that if I’m selling food and drinks, anyone who is hungry walking by my store or my f&b e-commerce website is going to buy from me. This is a big mistake.

Many business owners don’t take this step seriously enough and end up wasting a lot of money and time optimizing their menu, branding, opening new outlets and so on.

Let’s say you have identified, your customers will tell you a lot about where you should be focusing your attention, for example, students will tell you about the price you are offering, the flavors and the fun in it. You can now figure where you can put your dollars to attract and retain more of them at retail and online.

3. Find the right online ordering system

There are a couple of options. Build it yourself with Magento, Wix, Shopify and etc. These are great for dropshipping and for retail businesses selling merchandises. However, when it comes to F&B, the nuances change greatly.
F&B requires same day delivery, delivery with lead time, delivery based on distance, alerting outlets to process orders, offering more than just Delivery, Takeaway, Dine In, Catering and Reservation on a single website.

Menu management is another major component; combo products, modifier products, simple products and you may require your online orders integrated and pushed to a point of sale (POS) machine for your kitchen to process orders.

You may also want a Rewards system such as issuing points on the purchase of some items or offer Cashback dollars for redemption on next purchase. Perhaps even an E-Voucher on a customer’s birthday. All of these will require a solution that manages your customer account information seamlessly online as well as at your retail store.

As you can tell, there is a lot to think about. What you need and what you don’t need. What you may need in the future but not now, and figure if it’s possible to have it introduced at a later point in time. By building it yourself, you are spending precious time away from your business and on systems that are already pre-built, tested and proven.

By choosing to use a proven system, It keeps you worry free that it has got you covered. One such system that you can consider is NinjaOS. Now that it comes as a pre-qualified solution under PSG. You can claim up to 50% of the qualifying costs for any of the packages.

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