3 Investments To Consider To Build a Luxury Food Business
Here are some top tips if you’re looking to break into the niche market of luxury foods.
Is now a good time to establish a high-end food business, or a bad time? In truth, there are probably convincing arguments in either direction.
Yes, some people would argue that the recent cost-of-living crisis and escalating inflation are not exactly ingredients that lend themselves to the successful establishment of a luxury food business right now. At the same time, however, other observers would likely point out that the Omicron surge that caused so much worry late last year didn’t turn out to be quite as disastrous as anticipated for UK hospitality businesses.
Does your luxury food business idea have the ‘fundamentals’ in place?
The fact is, successful food businesses have been set up and made to thrive up and down the UK, in times both good and bad. This leads us neatly onto those factors that don’t depend quite so much on prevailing events in the wider world: whether the fundamentals of a given business are right.
In the case of a luxury food business, one of those ‘fundamentals’ will naturally be the quality of the food itself, as well as every other aspect of that business’s service; customers really do need to taste, see and feel the difference that makes a luxury brand luxurious. And of course, if you are looking to establish such a business, you will also need to have a strong sense of who your target audience will be, and how your branding and marketing efforts will convey desirability and exclusivity.
But for this article, we aren’t necessarily focusing on those aspects, but instead on three specific investments that are likely to help power your luxury food brand’s success in the fast-changing conditions in the 2020s. Let’s put the spotlight on them.
Quick, convenient, and sophisticated delivery arrangements
There was a time when an article like this one might have placed slightly greater emphasis on the importance of getting the finest details of the visitor experience at your luxury food business’s brick-and-mortar sites right. After all, your target customers will appreciate a rich and rewarding in-person experience… right? Well, maybe the situation has changed a little bit lately.
We do not mean to suggest that this element is no longer crucial for a luxury food business such as an artisan bakery or a high-class restaurant; it is also true, however, that the COVID-19 crisis has shifted the emphasis for many such firms in the direction of more socially distanced experiences.
Even as early into the coronavirus outbreak as March 2020, it was becoming clear that online food delivery would be “one of the only winners” as far as the UK’s hospitality firms were concerned. Sure enough, according to recent data cited by Statista, the takeaway food delivery market in the UK is set to reach a value of £12.6 billion by 2024.
And with new coronavirus variants continuing to emerge and cause concern, it is becoming as clear as ever that this emphasis on delivery to customers’ homes will remain strong even for the most ‘premium’ food brands in the country.
If, then, you are only just looking to set up a luxury food business in the UK now, it is worth taking note of how other players in the sector have developed their delivery options.
For example, Crosstown started out as a fresh doughnut delivery company in London. But today, it is also far from just any doughnut delivery company, offering irresistible, handcrafted doughnuts in a broad range of boxes and combos, and espousing the most exacting standards – with delivery available both locally and across the UK.
An online ordering system to ‘futureproof’ your business for years to come
One thing that must go ‘hand in hand’ for your high-end food business with boosting the sophistication of your delivery approaches, is doing the same for how you accept orders online.
Again, this is another trend that became a suddenly urgent priority for many hospitality businesses as the COVID-19 situation took hold. No longer was it acceptable for the likes of restaurants, takeaways and bakeries to depend solely on passing ‘high-street’ trade, when it was far from certain whether their high-street presences would even be permitted to open from month to month.
To bring your own luxury food brand’s arrangements for accepting online orders firmly into the 21st century, you will likely need to find sufficiently skilled and experienced partners. Such partners may also ideally possess knowhow in such recently popularised online ordering solutions as ‘click and collect’ and ‘order at table’, depending on the circumstances and requirements of your business.
Slerp, for instance, has aided many hospitality firms amid the ups and downs of this still-young decade through its online ordering system and software that gives customers an intuitive food ordering experience. In the process, it has also helped make day-to-day operations easier for its partner businesses accepting such orders.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) services
You can probably understand why – in an era in which your food business’s target customers are probably likelier than ever to never enter a physical premises belonging to your firm – you might invest in digital marketing to a greater extent than you would have done if you were setting up your business even just a few years ago.
What you might not have entirely appreciated, however, is the extent to which a strong online presence will support a strong offline presence, and vice versa.
If you are attempting to prioritise the investments into your high-end food business that will almost certainly serve you well regardless of the situation in the wider world in another few years’ time, you can’t do better than investment in SEO.
After all, even those target customers who will be specifically interested in an in-person experience at one of your brand’s high-street locations, are now likelier than ever to begin their search for businesses like yours through Google. That might be on their phones – all the more reason to ensure your brand offers a mobile-friendly experience, too.
As for potential partners that could assist your brand in achieving strong Google rankings for the right target terms, MR SEO offer a range of digital marketing services. Those encompass not just the SEO referenced in the company’s name, but also associated solutions such as paid search, digital public relations (PR), and social media marketing.
The above three investments may represent just some of the steps you are advised to make if you are to achieve success for your premium food brand in 2022 and beyond. However, they are also likely to provide a strong platform for your business’s survival – and growth – for a long time to come.
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