This question is asked by both catering companies that are just starting their business and those that are not satisfied with the currently used solution and are looking for other options. In this article, we will suggest what to pay attention to when deciding on the choice of a system for dietary catering. If you already know exactly what you need and what functions are offered by modern solutions available on the market, you can skip straight to the second part of the article - Selection of software for dietary catering - available solutions.
If you want to professionally run a meal prep business in the very competitive market, from the software point of view you need to think about the following elements:
The online store is an essential element to attract new customers for your meal prep company. Most marketing activities will direct potential customers to the website of the online store, regardless of whether it is a Facebook campaign, Google AdWords, cooperation with brand ambassadors, or other sales activities. The task of the online store is to acquire a customer and place the first order.
The online store should enable:
The characteristics of the meal plan service require the client to be provided with tools for convenient management of the purchased diet and quick extension of orders. The goal is to retain a customer once acquired as long as possible and to automate customer service through self-service channels available online 24 hours a day. In particular, it is worth paying attention to the iOS and Android mobile applications, because nowadays most meal prep customers are technologically aware people who value their time and expect that they will be able to manage their meal plan at any time and from anywhere directly from their phone.
The mobile application for the client should provide the following features:
Although most major software providers for meal prep businesses offer mobile applications for customers, they differ dramatically in quality and functional scope. Before choosing a software provider, it is worth checking individual mobile applications yourself, paying attention to the average user ratings in the App Store and Google Play, as well as comments. The NutriBot application is unrivaled when it comes to the average customer rating and features offered.
NutriBot for Android phones on Google Play
NutriBot for iOS phones in the App Store
The previously described elements of the system were intended for meal prep customers. At this point, we will focus on the software that will be used by the entire company team, i.e. a CRM class system (Customer Relationship Management), and in fact more of the ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) class, because the most advanced solutions available on the market, such as NutriBot, are used for comprehensive enterprise management and include the most important processes and resources in meal plan business, such as sales, finances, marketing, accounting, logistics, menu planning (diet module), production (kitchen and packaging), warehouse, reporting, and analysis.
A characteristic feature of the ERP class system is the work on one database by all users of the system. In practice, this means full automation of processes and flawless flow of information in the company. Data entered in one area of the system is immediately visible to other users of the system. For example, a new order placed by a customer on a website results in:
The most advanced ERP class solutions available on the global market, such as NutriBot, have functions addressing all business processes that take place in each meal prep business. The most important functions include:
This point does not apply to meal plan companies using only the services of external companies that deliver packages to customers. In such cases, it is sufficient to generate a file in Microsoft Excel format containing the addresses of customers who ordered the meal plan in the system and transfer it to the courier company.
However, if you employ your own drivers or use a hybrid solution consisting in using your own drivers in the area of the meal prep company headquarters and an external company for deliveries in the area beyond the reach of your own drivers, a mobile application for drivers will be very helpful, thanks to which couriers will have easy and quick access to the route and key information for each delivery.
In the mobile application, the driver receives real-time access to the following information and functions:
In addition to the software itself, some providers, such as NutriBot, offer a package of complementary services including:
Now that you know what to expect from the meal prep software, it's time to review the solutions available on the market. We invite you to read the second part of the article:
Software for meal prep business - Part 2: Available solutions