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The best apps for home bakers, cottage cooks, and other food entrepreneurs make life better by streamlining the inventory process, keeping track of customer data, enhancing communication with customers, simplifying the ordering procedure, saving loads of time on mundane tasks that’s better spent cooking, and keeping business owners in better touch with their operations. Keep reading to learn how a well-designed app for home bakers can benefit all types of home-based food business owners.
Bakery app rating is typically based on 7 considerations:
Let’s look closer at each of these important considerations when choosing a free app for bakery orders.
Recipe costing involves breaking down the foods that you make into separate ingredients and calculating the cost of each ingredient. When you total up the cost of the individual ingredients of a food, that number represents exactly what you have to pay to create it. Knowing that allows you to set your price point where you achieve a desired profit margin.
The best apps for home bakers include functions for billing and invoicing. This streamlines the billing process and allows you to track your sales, taxes, expenditures, and profits. You'll be able to look at each of your online bakery orders and make feasible decisions about which products are serving you best in the profit realm.
Some home bakery apps include point-of-sale software features, which is a system that processes data regarding each sale that you make. POS capability normally works in conjunction with inventory management, accounting, and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. This can be as simple as an online store or as complex as a checkout computer at your brick-and-mortar.
As your home bakery business grows, you'll want to maintain consistency in the taste and texture of your products. Your customers will come to depend on that uniformity, and it needs to be there to earn their long-term loyalty.
Kitchen inventory management, or restaurant inventory management, is a strategy to manage costs that influence your home bakery business's overall expenditures, cash flow, and profitability. This feature makes it easy for you to keep track of how much stock that you have on hand, which items are about to expire, and when you are running out of something and need to order more.
Customer management features on a home bakery app are geared toward enhancing your relationship with your patrons to increase their loyalty in the long run. For instance, you might run a special campaign for your best customers offering them 10% off future purchases. Or you might send out special holiday coupons encouraging them to remember your delicious treats during family gatherings. It's all about showing customer love and enhancing your brand’s recognition.
Production management features on a home bakery app allow you to oversee the manufacturing of all the products that you make. It allows you to streamline your food processing protocols and track them so that anyone working in your home-based kitchen has the information on-hand at all times.
A good home bakery app will include restaurant management features where you can list out the ingredients of your recipes, cooking instructions, and any other pertinent information that you need to ensure that all of your cooks are adhering to the same protocols.
Now, let's take a quick look at three of the most popular apps for home bakers: Bake Diary, Castiron, and Cake Boss. This will give you a general sense of the functionality of these different leading sites, how much they cost, and how they might help you to increase the profitability of your home-based bakery or cottage food business.
The Bake Diary app is a well-known online web app that was created to help home bakers and cake decorators better manage the routine tasks associated with running their businesses. This app for home bakers helps you to send invoices, schedule payments, set appointments, and track all of your orders.
Castiron is quickly becoming the industry leader in apps designed for home food entrepreneurs. It’s not only for bakers, although it’s very well suited for them. It is a completely free app and is absolutely stuffed with standard features that enhance every area of operating a home bakery or cottage food operation. It satisfies the elements addressed above very well – and it’s 100% free, forever.
Whether you offer a set menu or take custom orders, Castiron is as flexible as you need it to be. Sign up for a free store today.
Cake Boss is a feature-filled option for home bakery apps. It allows you to work from all types of devices, log in anywhere, check the status of orders, create and print shopping lists, and calculate ingredient prices. You can also manage your customer data and print out individual reports on customer activity. However, Cake Boss is rather pricey compared to other similarly-featured home bakery apps.
The best apps for bakery business purposes allow you the ability to categorize, process, and streamline the technical aspects of your operations. That allows you to focus more of your time on the core of your business: crafting delicious food creations for your customers to enjoy.
It's important to realize that different home bakery food apps have different features. And perhaps more importantly, especially to an aspiring new entrepreneur, some bakery accounting software is expensive.
In fact, Castiron is the only feature-loaded platform that is 100% free forever. You incur no charges to set up a very professional website and use the entire suite of tools to manage your independent food business.
You can bring your business online within minutes, creating a free E-commerce website that's loaded with the tools and features that you need to centralize your recipes, production protocols, orders, inventory, fulfillment, invoicing, payments, and communications.
Now, some people still like to try to go the old school route and launch a home bakery business without an app for home bakers or cottage food artisans. And that's OK. It won't be as easy, and probably not as effective, but there are some tools you can use to get the work done. Let's have a look.
In no way are traditional spreadsheets equal to a well-designed home bakers app. However, if you’re into some rather ancient, eye-straining, inefficient WORK, then spreadsheets are still viable options for organizing complex sets of data. They are far superior to writing everything down in notebooks! PS – it’s good to brush up on your formula making and computing skills to use spreadsheets. Aaaaagh!
Direct messages on Instagram can be very effective for maintaining connections between businesses and their customers. Whether your customers are looking for service, have questions about your products, or just want to drop a message to you saying how delicious your creations are, they can all be handled with Instagram DMs.
However, it doesn't do very much for invoicing, collecting payments, marketing, production management, inventory management, recipe management, or the other aspects of running a home bakery that you're going to need to address.
Google has an entire suite of tools that can be very beneficial for any business. They're free to use if you have a Gmail account. And you can pay a monthly premium for Google Workspace, which offers an even more feature-loaded set of business tools you can utilize.
Google Forms allow you to collect information about your customers, perform market research, and gather feedback to let you know how to better operate your business in the future. Google Forms is a valuable tool, but like Excel or Google spreadsheets, Instagram DMs, and most other options, it leaves a lot of key areas to be addressed. If you want to take payments for your business, Google Forms won't fit the bill.
As a home bakery business owner, you need to maintain a consistent understanding of your inventory. You can't sell what you don't have in stock!
Developing your home base baking or cottage food operation is an exciting opportunity to advance your future. You need good tools. Good tools make work easy.
While it’s definitely possible to use an Excel or other type of spreadsheet to keep track of your inventory, as discussed above, it's tedious and not nearly as efficient as a modern software app designed specifically for home-based food entrepreneurs. The best apps for home bakers will be far superior to any free bakery inventory spreadsheet.
Technology offers various advantages for businesspeople relative to attempting to operate in the Dark Ages! As a competitive home-based food entrepreneur, you need to maximize efficiency and minimize the time needed to engage in repetitive, yet necessary tasks.
So, if you’re looking for a bakery software free download with a full set of tools and features to launch and grow your home-based bakery business or cottage food operation, the Castiron baker's app is an excellent starting point. Do some research and you’ll likely agree that this is one of the best apps for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs.
My business would not be the same without my Castiron website! It is an easy setup with lots of customization and tons of support! I am so glad I set up my shop last year before the holidays — it really helped increase my sales!
The Whimsical Cookie
Castiron provides me a professional site to my customers increasing my credibility and value while giving me the tools to effectively market and manage my business in an easy, user-friendly manner.
Wesley's Treats Hallie's Sweets
Castiron has made my cottage bakery shine, and my business easy to manage. As a platform they care about my business as much as I do.
Before Castiron, I was taking orders really manually, through emails or texts or Facebook. Now I can send customers straight to my website, and I don’t have to worry about missing any details.
I couldn't run my business without the Castiron platform. It made it so easy to get my shop up and running — it truly removed a massive barrier to me getting started!
I realized that the barrier of having to DM or text me to order was holding a lot of potential customers back.
Now that I have a professional website and a simple ecommerce checkout, I'm seeing a huge increase in new customers and they appreciate how easy Castiron makes ordering.
Easy to start, created specifically for local, handmade food: Castiron’s website builder was created to help you grow. Create a website in minutes with our templates, 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 pages, sell your products, build order forms, and show off your beautiful work. 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.