Easy to start, created specifically for local, handmade food: Castiron’s food business management platform is built to help you grow. Create an online store for your business, sell where and how your customers want to buy, and look professional without being technical. Keep customers coming back with email marketing tools, customer records, and more.
Food entrepreneurs, this is your moment. Your community is more and more conscious about what they buy and where it is from. They want food made with love. With ingredients they can pronounce. And they want to support their community while doing it.
Castiron is the best fit for your food business because we're not a one-size-fits-all tool. Selling local food is different from pre-packaged warehouse products. Whether you sell cooking classes, need local pick up, utilize pre-sales to plan inventory, or need a fully custom order form — we got you.
No code required. Add products, upload your logo, share your story, and link to your social profiles from your flexible store. We'll handle the tech so you can focus on growing your food business.
Never track down a payment or oversell products again. Real-time inventory tracking and secure payment processing make life easier for you and your customers, and our order form builder makes managing custom requests a breeze.
With our marketing tools, your email marketing can go on autopilot. We make it easy to promote your latest products, announce custom order availability, and stay connected with customers.
In our modern era of having food delivered to our doors in under an hour after placing an order on an app, it can be difficult to run a home chef business. After all, you are competing with huge chains and local restaurants that deliver decent food at an affordable price. However, did you know that you can compete with these brands in the digital market too? With the design and release of fresh food app ideas that connect home chefs with individuals looking for tastier, healthier meals, there has never been a better time to be a personal chef. There is a huge market regarding an app for home chefs. All you need to do is tap into it to grow your business and get your name out there.
Unsurprisingly, the first online food order in the United States came from Pizza Hut in 1994. The exact content of the order is not important. What is important is the revolution that began on that day. From there, World Wide Waiter, Snapfinger, and others took advantage of the extreme growth in online ordering.
The first app for food delivery would come from GrubHub. While the company was formed in the early 2000s, the app was not first released until 2010. Once the GrubHub app came out, everyone wanted a piece of the market. This would inspire the creation of UberEats, DoorDash, and other on-demand delivery services (like Instacart for groceries).
With the ability to grow your customer base by using an app for home chefs, it can be easy to jump on the opportunity without fully understanding what this app means. Below, we’ve outlined the pros and cons to help you fully understand the market at this time:
This list is in no way complete, but it does point you in the right direction. One thing is for certain: if you want to start growing your home chef business using apps, you need to get started sooner than later. Otherwise, you will face harder competition more often in the future.
If you are looking to partner with a free food delivery app, it is possible to do so as an at-home chef. You can use popular services that are known across the world or new and emerging apps that are coming out every day. Online homemade food delivery is possible if — and only if — you follow your local, state, and federal guidelines for food preparation. Be sure to check with your local jurisdiction to make sure you have the proper licensing, permits, and environment before you get too deep into registering for an app for selling home-cooked food.
If you search “homemade food delivery near me”, you will see there are thousands of results online. This means there is a market for individuals looking for apps that are an Uber for chefs. As we mentioned, it is possible to sell your homemade food on Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other popular services. However, there is one thing that may prevent the average home chef from getting started on these apps.
You need to have a commercial address to sign up as a restaurant. Failure to provide an accurate and legal commercial address will result in your application being denied. If you are an at-home chef, this may be difficult to accomplish. However, it is not entirely impossible to be a home chef and have a commercial address. Many cities require home chefs to rent space at a commercial kitchen to receive their license.
If you know someone who already has a commercial kitchen, you may be able to take advantage of Uber Eats virtual restaurant. Of course, the two of you would need to work out a partnership. However, you could get started using their address and work out of their kitchen.
If you do not need to rent a commercial space (per your local jurisdiction) and you have no intention of getting a commercial address, there are home food delivery apps that do not have the same requirement. Apps like Castiron, Dishdivvy, Homemade, Homefoodi, and others are the perfect example of a true home chef app. You can cook from the comfort of your kitchen (that you probably know like the back of your hand), and your customers discover you through their favorite hire a chef app.
Of course, the convenience of being connected with customers who want your food (and want it right now) comes at a price for all home chefs. While each app is different, most food delivery apps for personal chefs take a percentage. The percentage itself is set forth by the service. The best apps will be upfront and transparent about the cut they take from the price you charge on each dish.
For example, Dishdivvy offers chefs the ability to join for free. There is no fee to sign up and get started with selling your homemade food on their app. Dishdivvy does take a 15% marketing fee on every order (this included credit card fees as well). If you charge $30 for a steak dinner dish, you will make $25.50 and Dishdivvy will take $4.50. When the order is handed off to your customer, the $25.50 is deposited directly into your bank account.
Castiron is a new software platform built specifically to support home-based cooks, bakers, chefs, canners, jammers, and all food artisans. Instead of worrying about taking orders through Instagram DMs, emails, and texts, Castiron streamlines an artisan's entire business with its simple ecommerce platform for food. Purpose-built to support the needs of food artisans, Castiron allows you to seamlessly track inventory, add new menu items, communicate with customers, manage fulfillment preferences, and more — all without confusing terminology, tools, or code.
With Castiron, cottage cooks and bakers can manage the number of orders they want to take by setting inventory limits. They can easily communicate with customers about new specials, sales, or menu additions. Artisans can also limit their food waste and manage their schedules more easily by understanding their upcoming demand.
The barrier to entry to create a food business used to be really hard — you really had to open a restaurant or brick and mortar store to see success. Despite the challenges of creating a food business, there are millions of people who are building food businesses from their home, almost in an underground economy (although many of them are licensed and legal).
Instead of focusing on what they're passionate about — the food — these makers and food artisans have had to spend too much time doing what they hate: the accounting, business organization, and mapping out delivery routes. With Castiron, cooks can focus on what they care the most about: putting food on other people's tables so that they can put food on their own tables.
Castiron is free to use. Sign up to start selling food online today.
Dishdivvy is built on more than getting food into the mouths of your customers; it’s built on community. The company is dedicated to helping home chefs do what they love most while ensuring the customers on the other side of the app are receiving quality food on each order.
With the app’s platform, home chefs can prepare menus one day to months in advance. Each chef can set the days and hours they will be making meals, which makes it easy to plan personal time outside a hard day’s work in the kitchen.
With Dishdivvy, home chefs do not have to worry about too many orders being placed for a single dish. Since these personal chefs can upload the amount of inventory they have for each dish, “sold out” will automatically be applied when the number of orders has been reached for the inventory that has been entered. The app even encourages at-home chefs to grow their customer base by including a Fortune Goodie.
A Fortune Goodie is fun and exciting for both parties. In addition to an accurate, complete order, at-home chefs are encouraged to include a small surprise to the order. This can be a slice of your famous cherry pie, a cannoli, fresh egg rolls, garlic knots, or any other small bites you make. By doing this with as many orders as possible, you show your customers you genuinely care about them supporting your business. Furthermore, you get to showcase other delicious items you offer. This can help increase your sales for desserts, appetizers, soups, and other items on your menu.
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