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How you can get your food business online


Apr 21, 2020

On Monday 20th April the NZ Government announced we will move to alert level 3 next week. This means many more food businesses will soon be able to operate, but under strict circumstances. 

As we move into alert level 3, cafe and restaurant businesses will be able to operate as long as they can take orders online and ensure contactless delivery to customers. Restaurants, bars and cafes can sell prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages by contactless delivery.

If you’re not set up online to take orders and payment, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get up and running quickly. If you can’t get online, make sure to register on the SOS Business directory. Customers can buy vouchers for their favourite local businesses to redeem in the future. This means you’ll have some cash coming in to cover you while you get set up online or until you’re able to reopen. 

Step one: Make sure people know you’re open

First of all, make sure people know you’re open and available to take orders. Sites like are a great way to reach customers, and it’s super easy to sign up to be listed. Customers are looking to these sites to support local businesses, as well as avoid lines and contact at supermarkets. Delivereat is updated daily and you can filter businesses by product and region to find what you’re after.

Step two: Set up an online ordering system

You’ll need to establish how you will take orders placed both online and on mobile. If you don’t already have an online ordering system, Mobi2Go is a solution for both online ordering and direct delivery. Their fast-tracked digital ordering feature enables you to get up and running quickly, and for the next three months they are offering discounted digital ordering to businesses who need to start taking orders quickly. Available on both Apple and Android, customers can browse, order and pay online. Mobi2Go integrates with most popular point of sale systems, so orders get sent directly to your kitchen. 

Regulr is another great solution to use to get customers ordering from your business. It encourages customers to build up a relationship with you and order their favourite thing regularly. Regulr was developed by the team at posBoss, a Point of Sale app in the Xero app marketplace. During Covid-19 Regulr is offering their app for free to any business on a posBoss base plan.

Step three: Figure out how you’ll take payments

Once you’ve got an ordering system in place, you’ll need to decide how you will take online payments. Mobi2Go has its own payment gateway, which allows you to offer customers the option of paying by credit card. Apple Pay and Google Pay are available for all stores using Mobi2Go Payments. If you’re using Regulr, talk to the team at posBoss about getting the right payment option for your business.

Both Mobi2Go and Regulr will sync payments to Xero via a bank feed. Speak to your accountant about the best way to reconcile your orders with your existing revenue. If you don’t have an accountant and want to check the amount that appears in Xero, you can download a sales report from Mobi2Go that will help you check the amounts add up.

If you’re using a POS system, such as Kounta and posBoss, you’ll be able to easily integrate sales information to sync with Xero. 

Step four: Keep your customers in the loop

The beauty of online ordering is that customers will be reachable on email, so you can let them know about any new deals or menu changes they might like. Mobi2Go integrates with MailChimp, an expert, easy-to-use marketing automation tool. Engage with your customers by designing digital content, sharing it directly with your database and on your social networks. Learn more about it here

Step five: Get advice from the experts

It can be hard to know what decisions to make during this time, especially if you’re changing the way your business operates. There’s plenty of business leaders willing to help if you need advice:

  • Regional Business Partner Network – register with the Regional Business Partner Network to connect with a growth advisor for specialist, tailored advice – fast. Eligible businesses can get access to free specialist advice and support for cash flow financial management and planning, business continuity planning and HR.
  • Manaaki a support network of various business experts for all Kiwi small business owners to ask  questions about running their business. 
  • Icehouse – learn about doing business in the new global landscape with these webinars from Icehouse.
  • KeaConnectConnect with Kiwi expats to explore new markets for your business

Although it’s an uncertain time for many, this is a great opportunity to build relationships with your customers and add value to your business. Getting set up online allows you to try out new things. Whether it’s designing a promotional email in MailChimp, or connecting with other businesses, there’s so many tools to make getting online easy. 

About Xero app marketplace

The Xero app marketplace features 800+ third party apps that help small businesses and their advisors seamlessly run their business. With apps that support everything from inventory and logistics to cash flow and project management, businesses have an array of options to build a customised experience.

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