Entrepreneurs have pushed the boundaries of online food business ideas, which have resulted in many food startups. It’s the perfect time for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their startup dreams into reality by starting their own online food ordering and delivery business.
However, the most difficult step is knowing which business model to implement. To help entrepreneurs learn about the different online food businesses, here are a variety of business models for ordering and delivery of food.
1. Recipe and Ingredients Home Delivery Service
In many households, people do not like to eat pre-cooked food as they consider it unhygienic. In addition, research shows that some pre-cooked food is unhealthy. For health-conscious people, who want to eat freshly-cooked meals, entrepreneurs have come up with an idea for delivering just the recipe and ingredients, right at the doorstep. After successful delivery of ingredients, people can cook the recipe themselves. The recipe list can be carefully curated to include only those dishes that can be cooked instantly and in one pan.
Examples – Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated
2. Local Restaurant Takeout Service
In this business model, food startups can join hands with local restaurants and enable them to reach more people by taking orders through the online food ordering portal. When a visitor orders food online, the restaurant will get notified of the order. Both, restaurant or food startup, can offer the delivery service. For each order, the restaurant pays a commission to the owner of the online platform.
Examples – GrubHub, DoorDash, and FoodPanda
3. Prepared Food Delivery Service
In the prepared food delivery business model, the focus is on delivering delicious and healthy meals at an economical price. This business model can be modified to provide subscription-based prepared food delivery service, which people can use to get food deliveries on a weekly basis. When a meal is ordered, the food is delivered piping hot at the customer’s doorstep. Kitchen service, as well as the online food-ordering platform, can be managed by the food startup itself under this business model.
Examples – Munchery, Sprig, and Maple
4. Specialized Food Delivery Service
In the specialized food delivery service business model, meals are prepared while keeping specific requirements of customers in mind. It may include a high protein diet, low-fat diet, low-carb diet, immune system boosting diet, and more. There can be many examples of such diets, but in this business model, meals are not outsourced to a restaurant or kitchen and are prepared by the food startup itself.
Examples – Purple Carrot and Green Blender
5. Office Food Delivery Service
Working professionals need to stay productive and in a good mood at all times. Healthy and delicious food plays an important role in uplifting the mood of a person. Keeping this in mind, entrepreneurs came up with and implemented the idea of delivering meals at offices to keep the working class happy. This business model can be implemented as a subscription-based service, where employees can be notified about the available meal through a smartphone app, which can be ordered through the app itself.
Example – Peachd
6. Food Delivery from Local Chefs
While watching chefs on cooking videos, most people just wish they could taste such an exquisite meal instantly. Keeping this as the main USP, entrepreneurs can implement a business model where local chefs cook food for people. Under such a business model, a startup can partner with local chefs to cook delicious recipes for the people.
Examples – Lish, Chef by Request
7. Online Night Food Delivery
Globalization has forced people to work round the clock to satisfy business requirements. To do this, many people work in nightshifts, which means they often miss out on eating at their favorite restaurants. To address this problem, startups can offer delicious meals to feed hungry employees at off times like 2 AM and 3 AM. The business model can be adjusted to cater to the need of late-night parties as well.
Examples – Most restaurants offer food for professionals working late night, which can be found through Zomato, Eater, and more.
8. Online Grocery Delivery
Opening an online grocery-shopping portal is a profitable business idea, which an entrepreneur can start at local community level. At an online grocery-shopping website, a visitor can order groceries delivered to his doorstep. The online grocery-shopping portal can also offer the feature of remembering the grocery list, which will make it much easier for people to order the same list again effortlessly.
Examples – CentralCoop, Amazon Fresh, and Safeway Grocery Delivery
9. Online Restaurant Table-Booking
Opening a restaurant table-booking portal is not exactly an online food ordering business idea, but it’s similar. No one likes to wait in queues to enter their favorite restaurant. This makes a restaurant table-booking portal one of the most profitable business ideas of recent times. It enables people to go directly to their favorite restaurant and order food.
Examples – OpenTable
10. Online Bakery Food Delivery Service
There are online food and meal ordering websites, but there are hardly any online bakery products ordering websites. For people who prefer fresh products like bread, cakes, pastries, and more, an online bakery delivery service is a promising business idea.
Entrepreneurs will have to pay special attention to delivering the product on the same day, as fresh bakery products come with an expiry date of just one day. For health-conscious people, calorie information can also be provided with each product.
An online bakery-ordering website can offer delivery services at the community level. Additional tie-ups can be made to deliver products at an interstate level.
Examples – Cupcake Royale, Panera Bread
11. Online food ordering for meetings and small parties
Food plays an important role in business meetings and at small parties. Such events present a challenging deadline under which the food has to be delivered at the doorstep.
In an online food ordering for meetings and parties business model, the competition is less, which makes it the right time for entrepreneurs to start their own food-ordering website and implement this business model.
However, the sheer profitability of such an online business idea is not enough to motivate an entrepreneur to jump into this business. It is important to understand that any catering business requires a decent amount of funding to get started.
Example – Potbelly
12. Online Catering Service
Starting an online catering service presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs for reaching out to a large user base and earn a profit. The catering segment is full of potential and enables aspiring entrepreneurs to fulfill their entrepreneurial dream by offering online catering services.
The challenge that comes with this business model is delivering the order on time with minimum losses. Such a challenge can only be accomplished by integrating useful features in the online catering platform itself such as detailed analytics, report generation, and more.
Example – Order Catering
13. Online Frozen Food-Ordering Service
Due to a hectic work environment, people have slowly diverted to cooking frozen food. However, the increasing demand for frozen food is not being met as there are very few online frozen food-ordering websites. Due to this shortage, this niche sector remains full of potential.
The one-year expiry date on some frozen food provides an added advantage to the entrepreneur for having enough time to deliver the product at the doorstep.
People who want fresh and clean packaged food will prefer frozen food, as it is free from contamination and is manufactured by following the best industry standards.
There are many examples of frozen food, such as chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, and more.
The startup ecosystem is constantly evolving and it is difficult to keep track of profitable online business ideas. However, business ideas based on online food ordering is here to stay, which makes it the right time to start one.
Let us know about your favorite business model by dropping a comment below.
Author: Veenu Sharma is a Digital Marketing expert at FATbit Technologies. She enjoys exploring web and also develops content for businesses and marketers. She has created content on diverse topics including internet marketing, startups opportunities, traffic generation & niche markets etc. Follow her on Twitter @Veenu_sh