My name is Oana and I am an entrepreneur with experience in hospitality management. During these times, I have come to sympathise with food business owners and their constant struggle. Running a food business is incredibly hard and often not immediately rewarding: long and unsocial hours, constant worries, high staff turnover, marketing, building and maintaining relationships with suppliers and customers, legal and compliance documentation – they all must be done by the business owner. What’s more, their profit it often in the single digits – think somewhere between 5-15%.
With hospitality businesses being closed, we have all seen how much we rely on takeaway food and the ability to order via food ordering apps. But these apps charge business owner commission and service fees, which weekly can account to almost 20% of the restaurant takings being kept by third parties. Granted, these apps bring orders, but business owners do not have access to the customers and cannot do direct marketing or feedback request.
In response to this, more and more food businesses are creating their own websites with online ordering function. But where do you find these independent food businesses? Even Google will show you the established and chain restaurants when you use “restaurants near me” or “takeaway near me”. We have also seen the appearance of other platforms that don’t charge commission but rely on subscription fees and creating identical online ordering websites for businesses to add them to their marketplace. Now all takeaways have the exact same looking website, without being able to showcase their uniqueness.
The end point is the same: restaurant owners need to pay heftily to be seen on these apps and must also compete with established chains to gain customers, which can be hopeless and resource drowning.
Food Hunting has at its core a simple mission: a congregated marketplace of independent food businesses and their menus that it’s free for everybody. With an integrated search function that allows users to search for any dish they are craving and find it at one of the restaurants in their area, the platform also shows all the details of the restaurant, including their own online ordering website. So if you like the place, you can get directions, you can book, you can call them, or you get redirected to ordering takeaway or delivery straight from them.
The platform is live and we are constantly adding new restaurants and contacting potential food businesses to join: www.foodhunting.co.uk. We are in need of funding in order to allow for the restaurant signup process to be quicker by adding more people to our team, advertise the platform to end users, and begin the development of native apps for iOS and Android.
If you want to peek on how the platform functions, visit us on www.foodhunting.co.uk and select York, UK as your location. Please use the search function as well and search for a specific dish: “Hot Shot Parmesan” or “Haddock” or anything that comes to your mind and experience the satisfaction of finding exactly what you are looking for. You can also toggle the Veggie function whilst on a restaurant page to view the vegetarian options, and vegan options are also marked with an icon.
If there is anything you want to discuss, please feel free to get in touch via email on [email protected].
Thanks for reading this!