As an entrepreneur and culinary enthusiast, I always dreamed of bringing my food creations to a wider audience. The idea of an online food business excited me, but the thought of setting up a website seemed overwhelming and expensive. This belief changed when I came across WP Food Manager.
This tool turned out to be exactly what I needed. It allowed me to easily manage my food business online. With WP Food Manager, I could display my menu, take orders, and manage payments all from my WordPress site. It’s user-friendly and surprisingly affordable.
In this hands-on review of WP Food Manager, I’ll show you how I set it up and used it. You’ll see how it makes managing an online food business much more straightforward. Let’s get into the details.
WP Food Manager: Overview and Key Features
First, let me give you a little background of WP Food Manager.
WP Food Manager is a WordPress plugin tailored for food businesses and restaurants. It turns your website into a vibrant hub for displaying menus and taking orders. Budding food entrepreneurs can use it to effortlessly set up their online presence.
Key Features include:
- Food dashboard: Provides a comprehensive panel to manage multiple foods and menus with ease.
- Widgets: Offers widget options to increase exposure and attract more visitors to your offerings.
- Frontend forms: Enable restaurant owners to submit and manage their food listings directly on your website.
- SEO-integration: Makes it easier for customers to find your restaurant online.
- Customizable menu layouts: Offers personalization for your online food ordering service.
- Filter and search: Allows customers to effortlessly search for food items based on the menu, type, and category.
- Live preview: This lets you review and adjust your food presentation before it becomes public.
- Health-conscious options: Allows users to add food ingredients and nutritional values for each food item.
- Fully responsive designs: Ensures your restaurant menu looks great on all devices.
Hands-On with WP Food Manager
In this section, I’ll show you the steps I took to configure WP Food Manager on my WordPress site
First, download the plugin from its official website (There’s also a WordPress.org page for the plugin, but I came across the official site first).
Then, I went to the plugins menu in my WordPress dashboard, uploaded the downloaded file, and installed & activated the plugin.
Taking the above steps created a new menu for WP Food Manager in my WordPress dashboard.
Adding a New Food Category
Reading WP Food Manager’s documentation, I came to know that I could use it to create specific food categories. I used this feature to organize my menu and make it easy for my customers to find what they’re craving for.
To add a new food category:
- Go to Food Manager, then click on ‘Categories’.
- Under the ‘Name’ section, type in the name of the food category you want to add.
- Enter a ‘Slug’ for your category. This is basically a URL-friendly version of the category name.
- If your new category falls under an existing one, select the parent food category.
- Write a brief description of your Go food category in the description box.
- If you want, you can select an image for your category.
- Finally, click on ‘Add New Food Category’.
After taking the above steps, I saw my new category in the list of food categories on the right side of my dashboard.
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Side note: If you ever need to edit or delete a category, just hover over the category on the right side. You’ll see options like ‘Edit’, ‘Quick Edit’, ‘Delete’, and ‘View’. Click ‘Edit’ to make changes, ‘Update’ to save them, or ‘Delete’ to remove the category. Use ‘View’ to see how it looks on the site.
I was really impressed to see how easy it is to add foods using WP Food Manager.
I just had to write the name of the food in the title, and then add a description and image in the field below. Once done, fill up the meta description, SEO title, and other things based on your preferences.
Entering food data
While adding a food type, WP Food Manager also gives the option to enter food data. Options include:
- Placing a food banner, regular price, sale price, and quantity for the item
- Choosing toppings
- Adding ingredients
- Listing nutritional value
Creating a New Food Type
I also used WP Food Manager to create food types. You can do this too if you’re looking for a simple way to classify your offerings. For instance, I created vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or vegan options to make my menu clearer for customers.
Here’s how to add a new food type:
- Head over to “Food Manager” and then select “Types”.
- In the name field, type the name of the new Food Type you want to add.
- Enter a Slug for the type.
- If this type is a subcategory of another, choose the Parent Food Type.
- Write a brief Description of the food type in the provided box. This helps customers understand what to expect.
- You can also select an Image to represent this food type visually.
- Click “Add New Food Type” to complete the process.
The new food type will now be listed on the right side of the dashboard.
Note: After adding categories and food types, you’ll get the option to choose them for any food you add to your catalog moving forward.
Customizing Food Fields
Customizing the food field settings allows you to tailor the information you collect about each food item. I used this option to make my menu more detailed and user-friendly.
To Add a New Food Field:
- Go to “Food Manager” then “Field Editor”.
- Click on “Add Field” to create a new one.
- Fill out the details for this new field.
- Don’t forget to save your changes.
Editing a Food Field:
- Select “Food Manager” and then “Field Editor”.
- Choose the field you want to change.
- Make your edits as needed.
- Save these changes to update.
You can also rearrange the fields by dragging them up or down using the bar icons next to each field.
WP Food Manager also lets you edit food items from both the frontend and backend of your site.
To edit on the front end, open the food page and click edit at the bottom of the screen.
To edit on the back end, just choose All Foods in WP Food Manager, then click the Edit option in front of the published food listing.
Adding Food Listings
A food menu isn’t complete without a food listing. Here are the steps I used to create one using WP Food Manager:
Setting Up a Food Listing Page
- Find ‘Pages’ on the left side of your dashboard.
- Click ‘New Page’ to create a fresh one.
- Give your page a suitable title.
- In the content area, add the shortcode [foods].
Note: For correct formatting, it’s best to paste the shortcode into the ‘text’ view of the visual editor.
Choosing the layout
WP Food Manager offers two layout options for displaying your food listings:
- Box Layout: This layout presents food listings in boxes. It’s a visual and organized way to display your menu items.
- List Layout: This layout displays your food items in a list format. It’s straightforward to navigate.
Using the Food Listings Shortcode Attribute: WP Food Manager has a ‘per_page’ attribute for food listings. This setting controls how many food items are shown on a single page.
Example: To display 10 food items per page, use [foods per_page=”10″].
With these steps, you can effectively create and customize your food listing page, making it easier for your customers to explore all the delicious options you offer.
Setting Up a Food Submission Form
I also created a food submission form for restaurant owners to submit their menu items online. This required me to:
- Navigate to ‘Pages’, then ‘New Page’.
- Add a title that relates to the food you’re submitting.
- In the content area, paste the shortcode: [add_food].
These steps just add the form on the site. To ensure it worked correctly, I had to complete it by:
- Registering for an account
- Filling in the form with details like Food Title, Category, Type, Ingredient, Nutrition, Tag, Banner, Description, Prices, Stock Status, and more.
- Reviewing your submission in a preview. Here, I could edit or submit my listing for approval.
- Posting the submission, after which I got a message about the status of your listing.
WP Food Manager Pricing
WP Food Manager takes a simple and budget-friendly approach to pricing. Their core plugin is completely free, making it ideal for those just starting their online food venture.
For more advanced features, you’ll need to buy a license. WP Food Manager offers different bundles like Food Manager Plus, Pro, and Agency with features tailored to various business sizes. You can also purchase plugins individually as per your requirements.
My experience with WP Food Manager has really turned things around. Starting an online food business used to seem out of reach, too technical, and expensive.
But this plugin changed all that. It’s simple to use and didn’t cost me a fortune. I got everything I needed, like cool responsive themes and menus I could customize myself.
So, if you’re thinking of foraying into the online food business, I’d say go for it with WP Food Manager. It’s made a big difference for me. Why not see what it can do for you?