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.
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.
There's an app for everything, so it's no surprise that you can get a free app for selling home cooked food. However, the question is why you should do so.
The main reason you should get an app for selling home cooked food is to reach more customers. Most people today turn to an app when they want something unique, and food that you've actually made at home fits this description.
Those who want to have real home-cooked meals, rather than just "home-style" fare from restaurants, will seek out the app in order to zero in on the genuine article. Therefore, if you sell using the same app for home cooked meals, you'll position yourself in front of the eyes of the exact people who are most likely to buy.One of the reasons people will use an app for this is that mobile apps have become associated with the idea of having food delivered. Delivery is also a great incentive to offer if you're selling food. With this in mind, a home food delivery app is a perfect fit for your home-based food business and your intended customers.
Using such an app as a seller is simple. You list all of your dishes, complete with pictures, along with your prices and delivery area. Customers who decide to try your food then place orders, and you make and deliver the food.
When you are growing your business, it's a good idea to use multiple methods of advertising and reaching people. This will spread awareness of your offerings and services faster than sticking to just one outlet, such as an app. However, being visible on the app will lend legitimacy to your operation when people who see your other ads decide to check you out. All modern businesses are expected to have an app or site now, and if they don't, they seem unready.
This new homemade food app makes it easy for you to ensure that your business is technologically up to speed. With it, you don't have to code your own solution or work through several rounds of beta testing. You simply register, upload your offerings and other information, and you're all set. It easily helps you bridge the gap between cooking from home to sell, and actually selling.
There is a lot that goes into successfully selling home cooked meals from home. First, you must check your local regulations on producing and selling food that's meant for public consumption. In some areas, regulation is minimal if you qualify as a "cottage" food producer. Other areas are more stringent, and have rules about how your kitchen must be set up, how food is stored, and more.
Next, it's time to think about exactly what you'll need to meet expected demand for your dishes. In most cases, you won't make much money if you just buy your ingredients from the grocery store. Instead, you'll want to deal with commercial suppliers, who offer both bulk quantities and the discounts that come with them.
After that, consider how you will get food to your customers. Delivery is the best way when you're cooking at home, because in most places, zoning regulations prohibit running a home business that brings in a lot of automobile traffic. It is also a huge draw for customers, who are now used to the convenience of being able to get good food without having to go out.
Providing food involves more than making it and handing it to your customers. You'll also need equipment such as insulated packaging, so the food is still hot (or cold, if it's a chilled item) when the customer gets it. Utensils and napkins are other staples people expect with delivered food.
You also need to consider how to market your offerings. One great way is to use a homemade food platform that provides a marketplace for home cooked food. This is especially effective if you offer a homemade food delivery service to get your products to your customers. An app answers the question of how to deliver homemade food online, because customers are already used to using this type of solution for their orders. Adding your business to such an app makes it easy for you to get customers for your homemade food delivery service.
It's easy to find food ideas to sell from home. The best ones, however, are foods that you are already good at cooking and that are stable enough to be delivered. If you're good at whipping up quick snacks, then you'll want to know how to sell homemade snacks online. On the other hand, if everyone raves about your great main meals, you should look into selling dinners out of your home. That said, there are many things that are the same about selling online no matter what type of food you offer.
The first thing you should do is set up a website. This site should give people the chance to order, but that's only part of why it's so important to have one. Your site is where you not only make your first impression, but also where you can describe your food, your processes, and even tell your story. Customers love it when they know they're not dealing with some faceless conglomerate. They also need to know that they can trust you, especially when your kitchen is in your home.
Next, make sure that you can be found on all of the food delivery apps that cover your area. Many people go directly to an app when they want to order food in, and making sure that you're there ensures that you won't miss out on this business.
When it comes to questions like how to make money selling food from home, the answer is much like it is for any other product. You need to have a product people want, and be sure to price it so that you get a profit after all expenses are taken out. Be sure to figure for the cost of your gas, time, and wear on your car if you're going to deliver. Don't forget about transaction fees with your online merchant account, any fee-charging apps you use, and other such "nickel and dime" charges, either. Of course, you need to figure for the cost of the food, power to cook it, any special equipment, and your time, too. If it all adds up to more than you think the market will bear, offer something else – something where there is enough room for a good profit margin. The profit is what you need in order to pay your own bills, so be sure you make profit!
The short answer is that it depends on your area and where you intend to sell. Therefore, before you invest anything, your first step should be to call your city or town (if you are within the city/town limits) and your county and ask them, "do I need a license to sell homemade food?" If you expect to cross city or county lines to deliver or ship your food, you should ask the target area's regulators, as well.
Your state will also have its own rules, or lack of them, so you'll also need to contact your state health or agricultural bureau for specifics. Selling food from home in Texas, for example, is likely easier than selling food from home in California due to differences in the regulatory landscape.
In many cases, whether you need a permit to sell food from home depends on how much food you expect to sell. If you're only distributing a few dinners per night, you may fit into cottage food laws that allow for permit-less sales below a certain volume. On the other hand, if you essentially set up a high-volume commercial kitchen under your roof, you can expect to have to comply with regular commercial kitchen regulations, including having regular health department inspections.
Note that the rules on selling food from home get much more complex if you deliver or ship across state lines. As soon as goods cross those lines, federal regulations kick in. These are much more stringent than some local ones, and there is no cottage food exemption from the U.S. Government. Then, you can expect to have to pass regular inspections, not only for your food preparation area and practices, but also your storage and shipping operations. Because of this, most people avoid interstate food shipping until their businesses are big enough to make it worth the extra bureaucracy.
When local, state, or federal regulations are not met, you may be hit with a fine for selling food from home. Worse, your inventory may be confiscated. Because of this, it is well worth it to find out which regulations will apply to you, and be sure that you meet the requirements.
With all of these things in mind, you should be able to successfully choose what to sell, market it to those within on-call delivery range, and avoid trouble with your local health department and other relevant authorities.
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