Are you running a café or restaurant? Do you have the desire to expand your business online? Or maybe you make irresistible baked goodies? No matter what your reason is, you can now take your love for food to the next level by opening your own online store with the help of Rekisa.
You can start from scratch or if you already have a physical store, you can start taking orders online too. You get to decide how you want to run your business - whether you want to take payments online or offline, offer delivery within the nearest area or all over the city, take orders directly through your website or sell through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. With Rekisa, you can personalize every aspect of your business. And guess what!! You can even receive tips for each order, just like in a physical restaurant!
With the help of this guide you will find out what Rekisa has to offer for your business all while teaching you everything you need to know about selling food online:
To start selling online, the first requirement is to create an online store, whether you're running a café or just selling stuff from your house.
After that, you need set up your store to fit your needs. Depending on your business, you can use different features from Rekisa:
It is important to know the rules and regulations for selling food before you launch your online store. Our blog has some helpful info on what's needed for food businesses, and you can check out the FDA website for requirements specific to home-based businesses.
E-commerce for restaurants 2021: a recipe for online ordering success
After familiarizing yourself with the features of Rekisa and the legal obligations pertaining to food products, the enjoyable stage of designing your website for food orders is at hand. With Rekisa, you have two options: constructing a site from the ground up or integrating an online store into an already existing website.
You can easily add your Rekisa store to the existing site. For example, you could add an Online Orders page to your website and embed your Rekisa online store to it. All you have to do is create a menu by adding products to your store, set prices, set up payment methods and delivery.
You can add a Rekisa store front to any of the following that host your website:
It is possible to create a website without any knowledge of coding. In fact, by registering with Rekisa, you will receive a Rekisa Instant Site that is completely free and comes with built-in online ordering, eliminating the need to build a website and store from scratch. This site can be customized to fit your brand by adjusting the design, creating a menu, and setting up payment and delivery methods.
The Instant Site can be used on a free subdomain such as alexcafe.company.site (the "alexcafe" section can be changed to any name), or it can be connected to your own domain likealexcafe.com.
The Rekisa mobile application can be used on both iOS and Android platforms, enabling you to tailor your Instant site to your preferences. This feature allows you to generate personalized menus, introduce fresh products, or modify the storefront's appearance while on the move.
It is possible to integrate your Rekisa store with Facebook and Instagram, thereby enabling you to sell on two of the most widely-used social networks across the globe.
By adding your menu to your Facebook Shop, customers can conveniently browse through your offerings and place orders without having to exit Facebook.
One can utilize Instagram's product tagging feature to enable customers to buy courses and beverages without having to leave the platform. However, it is important to keep in mind that this option is only available to businesses operating within the supported countries.
Any orders made via Instagram will be visible under the "Orders" tab in both the Rekisa admin and mobile app for IOS or Android.
Before considering website appearance, make sure you've got your menu sorted out so that customers can easily pick would like to have. When it comes to selling food online, pictures are key since customers can't taste it before they buy it. So, to make sure people want to buy from you, describe your food well and put up some high-quality snaps.
Using Rekisa, you can add your items by going to Catalog → Products in the admin or the Products tab in the mobile app.
To begin, you should take out the pre-existing sample products and replace them with your own in the Catalog → Products section of your Rekisa administrator interface. Depending on your plan, you can add a maximum of 5 products on the Free plan, up to 100 products on the Venture plan, up to 2500 products on the Business plan, and an unlimited number of products on the Unlimited plan.
By utilizing Lightspeed Retail (X-Series), Square, or Clover as the point of sale system for your restaurant enterprise, it is possible to seamlessly transfer your inventory from the POS to Rekisa.
With Rekisa, you have the ability to indicate the quantity of stock available for each item on your menu. As soon as an item is purchased, the system will automatically decrease the stock quantity, allowing your customers to see the real-time availability of salads or wine bottles, for example, and preventing the risk of overselling. Once an item is sold out, it cannot be ordered until you increase the stock quantity again, unless you choose to enable pre-orders. Additionally, you can choose to hide any items that are out of stock from your storefront, ensuring that customers only see what is currently available.
To entice customers to order from you, it is essential to have high-quality product images of your food. Using authentic photographs instead of stock photos can help build trust with your customers and meet their expectations when they receive their orders.
Taking appealing photos of food can be challenging due to factors such as lighting, angles, and texture. One option is to hire a professional food photographer with expertise in styling and lighting food to produce high-quality images. These photos can be used on your product pages and in-store design.
Alternatively, you can learn the fundamentals of photography and take your own DIY photos. For example, if you sell desserts, you can capture close-up shots to showcase the beautiful details of your confectionery products. You can also experiment with lifestyle photography that suggests serving ideas to add more value to your images.
How to take great e-commerce product photos with your phone.
Provide a comprehensive description of each dish on your menu, including a list of ingredients, the portion size, and suggested pairings such as white wine with fish, poultry, or cheddar cheese.
When writing the product description for your product page, keep in mind that customers will read it before making a purchase. To make the information easy to navigate, consider using collapsible blocks.
If you offer food with various options like ramen or poke, you can display the ingredients upfront on your storefront using subtitles. This allows customers to quickly scan the ingredients while browsing your menu. You can show a brief description of each dish either below or above the image, depending on your preference. This way, customers can add items to their cart without having to go to individual pages for details.
How to write product descriptions that sell
In order to cater to different preferences of customers, it is essential to offer various choices for products, especially in the food industry. For instance, some individuals may desire additional cheese on their pizza, while others may prefer no onions in their shawarma. Likewise, when it comes to cakes, customers may have diverse preferences for decorations based on the occasion.
Rekisa provides the ability to incorporate product options and variations, which enables customers to customize their purchases during checkout. With options, customers can select additional ingredients, toppings, and other specifications based on their preferences.
There are three choices available for toppings which include extra cheese, bacon, and onions that customers can add to their pizza.
Each combination of options for a specific product creates a variation, and you have the flexibility to adjust the price for each variation. For example, a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese costs R11, while a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and bacon costs R13.
To enable customers to add a custom message to their order, navigate to the Catalog →Products, select the desired product, and go to the Options tab. Choose the Text field as the input type and specify the option name. This will allow customers to input their message.
Categorizing food and beverages can enhance the customer experience by allowing them to easily locate their desired items.
Various categories such as Kid's menu, Vegetarian, Breakfast, Top Sellers, and more can be established, with the option to create subcategories like hot drinks and lemonade in the drinks category.
Multiple items can be added to each category, and an item not assigned to a category will automatically be placed on the store front page.
After creating your menu, it's important to consider the design and user experience of your website. Customize the colors and images to your preference and ensure that your website is easy to navigate by including contact information and an FAQ section for customers.
If you want to change the way your store looks, you have three options: easy, medium, or advanced.
If you're using Rekisa Instant Site, you can just go to the Website > Design section in your admin and move some blocks around to make it look the way you want. You can change the fonts, colors, and images to match your brand. Your site will even look good on different devices!
If you're using a site builder, you can check out design tutorials on YouTube to make it look better. Or you can make your own CSS theme to control every visual element on your store.
Learn more about design basics when creating a store design
Make it easier for your customers to order their main course and drink set? Here's a checklist to improve your online store navigation:
With Rekisa, you got options to get paid through credit/debit cards, cash, PayPal, and even Apple Pay. You can even take tips and set up subscriptions. Also keep in mind that the more ways you let customers pay, the happier they'll be.
Online payments can be received by enabling credit card payments on your website, which allows customers to pay for their order immediately after placing it. Rekisa offers a selection of over 70 credit card payment
You can manage your payment providers from the Payment page in your Rekisa administration panel, and based on your preferences and location, the most appropriate payment provider will be displayed.
Your store has the option to enable recurring subscriptions, allowing customers to make regular payments according to the schedule you specify, such as daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. This feature is well-suited for selling products like meal kits, coffee beans boxes, meal prep boxes, and superfoods, among others.
You have the option to accept payments either in cash or with credit cards using mobile card-readers, such as Square reader or PayPal Here mobile Point of Sale, when conducting in-person transactions. This is a convenient solution for delivery orders, as a courier can use the Sell on the Go app (available for iOS) to connect with the card reader and accept payments upon delivery. Alternatively, customers can also pay with a credit card when picking up their order.
To enable manual offline payments, create a payment method named & "Cash" or "Pay with Card to Courier," which customers can use to place orders and pay upon receiving their order. To provide clear instructions for customers, add a message to the payment method that will be displayed during checkout.
When customers choose the manual payment option, the order will be labeled as "Awaiting Payment." If a customer pays in cash or your couriers use a third-party service to connect a card-reader, you should manually change the order status to "Paid" after receiving the payment. If you use the Sell on the Go app to connect the card reader, the order status will be updated automatically once the payment is processed.
You can still receive tips even if you are selling online. With Rekisa, it is possible to enable a tipping feature in your store which allows customers to leave tips while checking out. The tip amount can be either a percentage of the order or a specific amount of your choice.
To determine if you need to collect sales tax from your customers, it is advisable to seek guidance from tax professionals in your locality. In addition, instructions on how to configure taxes in Rekisa are provided.
Whenever someone places an order with you, you receive an email containing the order information. Additionally, if you have the Rekisa mobile app installed, you can receive a push notification that sounds like a cash register, alerting you to the new order. This can be especially helpful if you're busy in the kitchen or on the go.
You can also print orders using a kitchen printer by going to My Sales → Orders, selecting the order you want to print, and clicking the Print Order button. Alternatively, you can select multiple orders and click Mass Update → Print selected. You can even filter the orders based on criteria such as payment status and date. To view paid orders made today that can be printed in bulk, simply click on the Paid option and then select the Today button once the items have been shipped.
Additionally, you can print orders directly from the Rekisa mobile app by selecting the Orders option, choosing the order to print, clicking on the printer icon, selecting a printer, and tapping the Print button.
If you prepare meals or baked goods ahead of time, you can prioritize which orders to process first by viewing all the orders in chronological order on the Orders page. You can also check the customer's contact information on this page if you need to clarify any details about the order.
You can enhance your Rekisa admin's order processing capabilities by creating up to two staff accounts. This enables you to include your kitchen or delivery personnel, who can then receive information on incoming orders and act accordingly. For instance, your kitchen staff can start preparing dishes as soon as they receive an order, while your delivery staff can mark orders as "Delivered."
Delivery is crucial for success in the food industry. To ensure customer satisfaction, it is important that food is delivered promptly, at the appropriate temperature, and without being spilled or damaged. Failure to do so could result in customers being reluctant to order from you again.
It's wise to carefully consider your shipping strategy to provide your customers with excellent service while also keeping costs reasonable. Your choice of delivery method should be based on the type of food you offer. For instance, frozen foods require specialized shipping and are best suited for local delivery, while items like cookies or produce can be shipped over longer distances.
There are various options for delivery, including self-delivery, offering a self-pickup option, hiring a courier, or outsourcing delivery to a delivery service.
If local delivery and pickup are crucial to your business, read on how to effectively handle local orders.
You have the flexibility to establish local delivery services in any area you desire. For instance, for a new business, it may be preferable to limit deliveries to the local community and adjacent blocks to ensure prompt delivery. If you are confident in your ability to meet demand, you can opt to deliver to the entire city or define specific zones on a map to deliver to.
When it comes to delivering in your local area, you can choose to:
Regardless of the option you select, it's advisable to begin with a smaller delivery area and fewer operating hours. This approach will allow you to determine the ideal delivery radius and hours. As time progresses, you'll be able to increase your delivery hours and expand your delivery area.
With Rekisa, you can sketch out the delivery zone right on the map as shown below:
If customers are located outside the designated areas, they will not be able to make an order. Additionally, you have the option to charge varying rates for customers based on their distance from your store, therefore,
To further streamline the ordering and delivery process, you can incorporate a time and date picker for customers. It is important to clearly communicate your operating hours to prevent customers from ordering when your kitchen is closed.
To encourage larger orders, you may consider setting a minimum order amount for free delivery. For instance, you can offer free delivery only for orders that are over R100, which will be displayed to customers during checkout.
Offering self-pickup can be advantageous when running a home-based business as it allows for convenience and reduced delivery expenses. Rekisa provides the option of curbside pickup and self-pickup to your customers.
To optimize your pickup options:
It's always beneficial to Market your store, especially when you've recently opened it. To increase awareness about your business and attract more customers, you can use various techniques like advertising, consistently keeping your social media updated, reaching out to customers via email, and participating in local festivals, fairs, and outdoor events.
Oh, the #foodporn section of Instagram. Don't we all enjoy looking at the gorgeously illustrated pictures of dishes, desserts, and beverages? Your audience likely shares the same sentiment, so keep them engaged with enticing food photos. These can be posted on various social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. Sharing content may not necessarily result in immediate orders, but it can help foster trust with your loyal customers and raise brand recognition.
Aside from sharing eye-catching photos, consider including educational content as well. For instance, you could offer cooking tips, stream a cooking master class on IGTV, or share a recipe passed down from your grandmother.
Observing the number of hashtags utilized by Anna Cake Couture on their Instagram is significant, as it aids in the discoverability of your account. Incorporating appropriate hashtags is crucial to attract a broader audience.
Sharing images of your restaurant or food that are posted by customers is also vital as it helps establish credibility with your followers.
In addition, it is advisable to display your food offerings on Facebook. It is suggested to post distinct content on both platforms. You may reserve captivating photographs for Instagram while using Facebook to share news updates and recipes.
Learn more about marketing on Instagram to pump up your skills.
Consider gathering customer emails when they visit your restaurant's website as email marketing is a cost-effective way to promote your positioning online.
As customers need to provide their email addresses to make a purchase, you can use this information to create a mailing list. You may include a checkbox on your website that customers can select to receive your newsletters.
Once you have formed your email list, you can start sending out newsletters to promote special deals, introduce new or seasonal menu items, or provide cooking tips for preparing meals at home.
The Rekisa App Market offers the Poptin app, which allows you to generate popups for email collection purposes. The app can be used for free or at a cost of $99 or more per month.
With the understanding of how to build a website, include a menu, receive payments both online and offline, provide prompt delivery of fresh meals, and advertise your business, you have the initiative to start your own business or transform your existing physical restaurant into an online business.