API’s for Food Businesses: What They Are and Why You Need One

In the beginning, there were web-based software platforms, then there were apps. I’ll never forget the day that I was sitting on my couch and an Apple commercial came on attempting to explain what mobile app was in 30 seconds or less. Until then, an “app” was the abbreviation for appetizer and nothing else. Now we’ve evolved once again into a world of API’s, short for Application Programming Interface. Thankfully we aren’t Apple and this isn’t a commercial, because if you own a food business that is online or uses technology in any capacity (ok, so all of you) you should know what food api is and why API’s for food businesses are the best thing since sliced bread. 

The Importance of API’s For Food Businesses

API’s, in a nutshell, are a clearly defined set of protocols that allow apps (not appetizers, couldn’t resist) to communicate with one another. So in the world of online ordering, restaurant menus, and dietary preferences, food api is a crucial key to food business success. 

You may have already experienced the benefit of API’s when it comes to a customer’s ability to locate your restaurant. For example, a hungry potential customer hops on google and puts your restaurant category in the search bar. Then, google maps will pull you up with a host of other restaurants and perhaps Yelp plays a role in recommending you. These platforms are communicating with one another based on the user search inquiry to give them the most highly recommended location for their food category in their area, as well as providing them the directions to get there. 

Nutrition API and Recipe Databases

As it stands, if you have an online restaurant menu, a customer can review your menu items and place their order. Most likely you —

  1. Have an online ordering system
  2. Receive phone orders
  3. Both of the above
  4. Outsource a portion of your online ordering and delivery to a 3rd party like Grubhub or UberEats. 

And chances are, you still receive phone calls pertaining to the nutrition information in your menu items and assist potential customers in navigating your restaurant menu which results in excess time on the phone that could be spent doing other things. 

Enter Nutrition API for Restaurant Menus

Imagine if instead of calling, your customer can communicate their dietary preferences to your online restaurant menu, and your recipe database containing every ingredient and menu item has the ability to pull the nutrition information based upon those preferences? Then, your online platform could successfully bring them through point of sale without a single phone call eliminating unnecessary customer service questions and increasing your efficiency which in turn increases productivity. 

Which means? You save money and make more of it at the same time. 

But Wait, There’s More

When applying a nutrition API to your restaurant’s recipe database, it doesn’t only allow your customers to order by dietary preference and eliminate pesky phone calls, it also means automatic updating of your nutrition information. 

FoodCalc’s API, for example, is on a live-feed from the USDA ingredient database. So, if you have a nutrition calculator built into your online restaurant menu and you change suppliers for your ranch dressing, the new supplier’s food product nutrition information is automatically in your online menu once you swap out the ingredient in your recipe database. Ingredient identification and nutrition analysis in real time. 

So whether you didn’t know or kinda knew, now you definitely know that to stay on trend and efficient in today’s industry, implementing an API for your food business not only what’s in, but on the rise. 

Curious about API’s? Contact our sales team to learn how to implement one into your online restaurant menu today.

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