Spoonfed is a B2B sales order processing and CRM platform for caterers, restaurants and retailers delivering meeting room food to offices and other destinations which has been exporting for the last two years. Since acquiring its first overseas customer in 2015, the firm now exports to the USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and Norway. BQ caught up with Willie Biggart from Spoonfed to find out more...
Spoonfed’s management had already run a corporate food delivery business for a number of years when they spotted an opportunity for a niche B2B cloud-based software platform that would help customers order bespoke and personalised food for meetings.
The platform works by allowing the customer order to be electronically transmitted through the various stages from admin to kitchen, dispatch and then accounts, saving caterers valuable time.
“Our main aim is to give corporate food providers a series of automated processes that cut down their pain points and ensure they get it right every time,” said Biggart.
“Spoonfed is Software as a Service (SaaS) created from the ground up that is already helping retail chains and restaurants including Le Pain Quotidien, Benugo, Bake and Take and Social Bite.”
Exporting its cloud-based sales order processing software to caterers, restaurants and retailers for the past year, Spoonfed now engages with a range of customers in the UK, and also has a growing customer base in Canada and Australia.
Speaking about why the firm decided to pursue an international market, Biggart said: “We had already begun seeing success in the UK and knew there was an even bigger market opportunity across the pond.
“USA is more than eight times the size of the UK market and has the largest drop-off catering market in the world. It is also SaaS ready and with Spoonfed being available in the cloud, accessibility was not an issue.
“Getting the first customer in any market is always the hardest part, however fairly soon the ‘if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me’ mentality kicks in. Our growth has been steady since Q4 2015 and interestingly momentum is now building in Australia, purely via word of mouth and inbound enquiries.”
When it comes to exporting, Biggart points out that the nature of Spoonfed’s product is reduces a lot of the typical exporting stresses: “What we export is a cloud platform SaaS, rather than a physical ‘thing’, which is openly available to caterers worldwide.
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“This means we don’t have to be concerned about shipping, insuring goods in transit or being part of negotiated trade deals. Businesses supplying drop-off catering in the B2B space are becoming increasingly receptive to adopting technology to drive efficiencies and margin.”
However, exporting is not without its difficulties along the way too. For the Spoonfed team identifying sales-ready leads can be a challenge. As Spoonfed continues to grow, the firm are hoping to utilise resellers.
“As our business grows, resellers will play an important part in long-distance markets such as Australia.
“Identifying the right resellers is always going to be challenging, as we want to ensure we have the right people representing our brand,” said Biggart.
Although its exporting market is largely in English speaking countries, reducing the risk of language barriers, the firm are hoping to boost their international market in the future- with a influx in inbound interest from France, Belgium and Scandinavian countries.
An entirely homegrow business, Spoonfed has been supported in its exporting ventures by Scottish Enterprise and SDI.
Biggart explained: “SDI particularly helped us in advance of our launch in USA with valuable insights and market research, and provided invaluable support with our launch at an industry trade show. The Global Scots Network has helped us reach out to some useful overseas contacts. Presently SDI is facilitating introductions in Singapore, Australia and East Coast USA.”
With business booming, and interest increasing across the globe, the software firm are now looking to an exciting future with plans to scale Spoonfed in the USA, Canada and Australia, and additional targets being laid out for Singapore and the Far East, France and Scandinavia.
With such a bright future ahead of the firm, Biggart shares some advice for future exporters, saying: “Get to know your market and take time at the outset to understand key differences. It is essential to make sure your product is spot on for the market you are targeting.”
Yet, despite any difficulties Spoonfed may have faced along the way, Biggart says the firm wouldn’t change a thing: “Obviously looking back you will always think of things you might have done differently, but in all honesty we have no regrets.”
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