In this article, we’ll talk about why you should use the Shopify platform as your central e-commerce platform to advertise and get sales for your restaurant, and we’ll give you some tips on how you should do it.
It could appear a little counterintuitive to use Shopify to host your restaurant, mainly known for hosting physical and box-deliverable e-commerce businesses. Therefore, today you’ll learn why it is a good idea to use Shopify to bolster, promote and grow your restaurant or food business and how you can do it.
Let’s cut to the chase.
In the words of Emmanuel Ajoku, a reader of Quora forums, when asked if is Shopify right for restaurants, he said:
“I will say absolute yes; sense it solved the issue of you employing a developer and does not require too much cost to run unlike other e-commerce CMS.“
Also, when asked the same question, Folajomi Ballo stated:
“Yes, using Shopify for Restaurants business is very ideal. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows anyone to build and manage an online store without any technical skill. For restaurants, Shopify could either be used as a backend or use to serve their customers online.
You can even choose whether you want to do pickups or deliveries. Shopify has tons of apps suitable for running an online business. As per research, many restaurants start serving their customers online during the covid 19 period, and the trend continues after the pandemic ends.
However, the country you live in will determine how you should run your online restaurants, for most countries, you need to consider packaging, branding, & labeling, and the food law in your country”.
Source: Is Shopify right for restaurants?
And they are right. Notice that the first comment is from 4 years ago. The second one is just from a couple of months ago, which means that Shopify is not only the best platform for your restaurant in 2022; instead, it has been for a long time. The above means that it earned its place and kept it by adapting to the challenges of the new times through constant updates and the love that its developers and support team put on the platform.
At the risk of being repetitive, COVID 19 pandemic changed the game for everyone, but especially for the touristic and gastronomic industry, considering that most of the businesses that didn’t close were because they managed to adapt, one of the popular platforms to perform that change was Shopify.
Are you interested in how the e-commerce industry has evolved since the COVID 19 pandemic? We recommend you to read our article about just that here: E-Commerce since the 2019 Covid pandemic, what has changed?
10 reasons to use Shopify as your primary CMS for your restaurant and food and drink business
Shopify has multiple characteristics that make the platform very attractive for many business owners, among them the owners of restaurants and food and drinks, because of these 10 reasons:
Shopify is known for its easy-to-use-intuitive interface. It helps you take care of (almost) every aspect of the business for you. Of course, some of those options and interfaces are at a professional level, and therefore, you might not know how to use them. In that case, you can always hire internal assistance from an agency or a freelancer to help you manage the most complex aspects of your business in Shopify, taking advantage of Shopify’s Partner Platform. One of the essential aspects for restaurants and food businesses are online payments, booking or orders systems, and delivery. About those points, we’ll expand soon.
Some of the aspects you can manage with Shopify are:
- Credit card payment
- Product Information Management (PIM)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Inventory Management (IMS), Order Management (OMS)
- Third-party Logistics (3PL)
- Warehouse Management Software (WMS).
- Marketing assistance
- Custom Fulfilment
We know; that not all restaurants and food businesses are equal. And it’s because of just that, that Shopify it’s so preferred; its adaptability. Independently of your needs, you can find so many options in the Shopify platform that we can almost guarantee that what you need is met there. For example, if you have a short but very customizable sandwiches menu, you can choose between various meat, vegetables, and sides; you have deployable menus to go as deep as you need in your product customization.
On the other hand, if you have a vast menu covering an entire country’s food, you can create variations of each dish. You can’t change anything, but you have many options. Thanks to the unlimited page feature that Shopify provides, you have the liberty of doing so, along with an excellent integrated SEO, to make those canonicals known to Google to create as many variations of the same page as you need.
Because of the topic expressed before, we can say that one of the best features Shopify offers is time-saving. With their custom and general services, you can save days or even weeks inside your business year. Functional e-commerces can be produced in a month, while in Shopify, you can have an online e-commerce page in minutes if you are well-versed in the platform. But even if you’re not, you can select one of their hundreds of themes, where some had restaurant and food businesses in mind.
We know, as SaaS providers, that a restaurant owner has no time to manage complex e-commerce and logistic systems, so this topic is essential for you.
Another example of time-saving features is their e-commerce migration system. You can migrate your e-commerce from any other Content Management System (CMS) to Shopify in just a couple of steps. Without losing products, images, videos, clients, prospects, databases, ongoing sales, or deliveries. You can migrate your website from Salesforce, WordPress, PrestaShop, and Wix, amongst many others.
Shopify automatization, intelligent algorithms, and straightforward marketing tools allow you to quickly scale up your store using various methods, depending on your business and budget.
OF course, with the increase in engagement and sales, you might also need more customer support, better cyber security, or delivery systems. Shopify can offer you several pricing and support options for every business need and size.
Since the pandemic, restaurant table booking has slumped, and maybe a booking system is not the most appealing thing for you, restaurant owners. But, people are regaining their freedom since the COVID 19 is reseeding worldwide. Maybe, when that happens, you’ll be interested in having all your tables booked all day long. It would be best to consider using Shopify to manage your restaurant for that powerful booking system.
If the booking system doesn’t make you jump out of your seat to go running to hire a Shopify CMS, indeed, a delivery system will. We know that you can always be part of a Delivery app, but this doesn’t mean that you should not have good e-commerce to represent you online.
Online marketing on your delivery partner’s platforms like Uber or Rappi is always done on their terms. They always get some of the benefits of your marketing efforts, either for the engagement you generate on their platform (where you can’t ensure that people consume your products) or by selling your products and giving them the commission they charge you for your earnings.
Suppose you want to generate your marketing campaigns using your resources (website, social networks, and other platforms). In that case, the best option you have is to have an e-commerce and delivery separated from the classic delivery systems.
This also gives you total autonomy over the experience your customers will have and customize it for every target audience you have. It also gives you customization for your products, things you can’t do with the “big delivery systems.”
Discounts and coupons
You have your delivery system set up. Now you want to make special sales and some holidays or marketing campaigns? Shopify have you covered. As the support page for discounts says:
“Offering discounts can be a powerful marketing strategy for your Shopify store. To offer discounts, you can create discount codes, set up automatic discounts, or set sale prices for individual products”.
We all know this because discounts and special sales are part of the marketing campaigns we’ve all seen since the beginning of time. Of course, as a restaurant or food and drink business owner, you should take advantage of this powerful tool to help your enterprise grow.
Also, coupons can be a valuable tool to get new people to visit your web or purchase your products. Due to the enormous success of the coupon campaigns, having the possibility to create your own, even automatically (and for free), is a very reassuring option, stating the power Shopify can offer you when creating your e-commerce site.
Shopify Online Payment System
Essential for every online business. But do you know how hard it is to build an online payment for your e-commerce? With Shopify not hard at all! You have many options, varying from international payments, credit or debit cards, bank transfers, etc. Of course, not all these options are helpful for a restaurant owner, but some are.
As Shopify states in their help center;
“Shopify Payments is the simplest way to accept payments online. It eliminates the hassle of setting up a third-party payment provider or merchant account and having to enter the credentials into Shopify. With Shopify Payments, you’re automatically set up to accept all major payment methods when you create your Shopify store”.
Shopify accepts both national and international credit and debit cards and bank wires. As a restaurant owner, you might want to take advantage of some of these ready-to-go payment methods wherever you decide to establish your business. Also, it accepts most of the more popular online payment methods such as Paypal, WePay, Amazon Pay, and more.
Shopify is a growing company, and because of that, your country might not be supported by Shopify Payments systems; you can use this list to check if your country is among those supported. If you’re not in those countries, you can check other payment gateways that Shopify supports.
Another interesting side of this is; that if you embrace the Shopify online payment system, you can directly link it to a bookkeeping API to help you keep your accounting in order and even pay your taxes on time.
Shopify Marketing Assistance
As an entrepreneur owner, surely you know that there is no business without marketing, and no e-commerce, coupon system, delivery, or anything else that can do the work of a good and meditated marketing campaign, along with branding and copy.
To have a successful business, you need a clear and information-based target audience, exposition, engagement, campaigns, data, and branding that reflects and communicates the values and the imagery you need to connect with your audience. All this can look too much, and it is. It is a lot of work to get all this right, and for that, you need resources; money, time, and effort.
But, we have great news for you because with Shopify, you can do all of these for a fraction of the time and effort that it might take you outside the Shopify ecosystem. Thanks to its integrations with major marketing platforms providers and social networks such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, along with their Marketplace, you can reach thousands of people using all kinds of psychographic and geographic filters like age, gender, profession, workplace, country, region, and a lot more.
Shopify helps you to accomplish the following marketing goals:
- Define your target audience
- Create and manage marketing campaigns easily
- Capture and read important data
- Establish relationships with essential stakeholders and your customers
- Generate a steady stream of sells
One of the most forgotten aspects of opening a business is the legal one, which often can lead us to a world of pain down the road when consequences knock on our door. There are a looooot of laws that comes to play when establishing an online business, considering that laws are constantly changing. Copyrights, distribution rights, reproduction rights, taxes, trademarks, patents, privacy policies, anti-spam, and business structures are some aspects you should cover when launching your internet enterprise, as you can see on the Shopify e-commerce laws page.
Because of the immense community, plus such an enormous amount of online stores, the accumulated knowledge amongst their members’ vendors and services providers is invaluable, and almost all you’ll need to know is there.
Of course, we’re not saying in any way that you shouldn’t seek legal advice about your specific area of business and country; in fact, we encourage doing that.
Bonus track: Shopify Community
Much more like we said before, the community Shopify has amassed all these years between employees, merchants, and experts. Service providers are one of their most valuable resources. Their forums are active as video game forums in their prime. They are animated conversations and well-versed, well-intentioned people willing to help you even with the most little of your business details or any question you might have.
There are thousands of people in the Shopify ecosystem building community every day. Youtube, above all, has a lot of information, tutorials, and content creator that specializes in Shopify, where you can learn all you’ll ever need to know about how to manage your Shopify’s e-commerce.
And if that’s not enough, you can sign up for the free Shopify academy to become an expert vendor or service provider to help other businesses inside Shopify to thrive.
Those are some of the reasons you have to migrate/create your restaurant or food and drink online representation on Shopify. As you can see, we fully endorse the methods and structures that Shopify has to do business and generate profits for its merchants. Because of that, we work with them and many people who already have their Shopify stores, helping them thrive and achieve their goals.
Grill and chill to everyone!