StarChefs, where the artistry of the world's celebrity chefs takes center stage, is already one of the premier culinary sites on the Internet. Now StarChefs.com is about to become the largest business-to-business e-commerce destination for the foodservice world -- targeting the most lucrative sector of this $1 trillion industry.
In early 2000, StarChefs will begin fully leveraging the site's content, chef relationships, professional audience and established name brand by transforming the site into the leading destination for culinary business-to-business services, e-commerce, auction services and the use of its already-peerless culinary classifieds job board. The company envisions that StarChefs and all of its associated products will generate over 240 million dollars in commissions¹ revenue by the fifth year.
The kind of full-service infomediary envisioned by StarChefs is already common in other industries; it does not now exist in foodservice. StarChefs will fill that void with a site designed by restaurant-industry insiders for restaurant-industry insiders, aimed squarely at the needs of that target market. The tools are in place 8 of 10 restaurateurs currently have access to the Internet and the time is right. The National Restaurant Association is now active in promoting and supporting the benefits to be found in business-to-business electronic commerce, and the entire industry is poised to take advantage of the proven cost savings and efficiency improvements that Web-based business-to-business e-commerce offers.
At present, the network of manufacturers and distributors that support restaurant purchasing is fragmented and inefficient. Restaurant purchasers waste precious time and money using today's cumbersome methods of vendor research, price comparison and order processing. These purchasers want to have a central source to turn to, a place where not only information but self-directed purchasing and other services are customized for them -- and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Manufacturers, too, want to increase their efficiency in receiving and processing orders while providing high-quality customer service.
StarChefs has the solution: A vertical e-commerce extranet for the food service industry that allows for seamless operations between manufacturers and restaurant operators -- lowering processing, coordination, and operating costs; reducing errors and time spent on transactions; and increasing service and functionality. It is simply a new and better way to do business, an Internet-based marketplace where purchasers and manufacturers will meet for their mutual benefit.
For the busy restaurant purchaser doomed to sort through a stack of catalogs and play "phone tag" with dealers to find the manufacturers that can fill his needs, the StarChefs service presents a ready alternative. Its offerings will bridge the gap between manufacturers and restaurant owners and their personnel, simplifying daily operations in the areas of:
Restaurant Equipment & Supplies: The expanded StarChefs will offer restaurateurs customized purchase tracking, automatic reminders for regularly timed purchasing, and tools for selecting buying parameters -- a much simpler and yet more comprehensive way to shop and compare equipment and supplies. It will have the largest database of restaurant products from heavy equipment (ovens, refrigeration, grills) to smallwares (tools used by chefs, sous chefs, and food preparers in the kitchen) and tabletop items (dishes, glasses, silverware) -- ever amassed in a single place.
Online Auction Service: StarChefs Auction will improve on the already successful model of online auction sites like eBay by delivering to an established target audience. With its sharp focus on members of its own industry, StarChefs' site will connect foodservice buyers and sellers on the Internet, offering restaurateurs with limited budgets a centralized destination to efficiently buy and sell new and used restaurant equipment.
Help Wanted/Classifieds: According to the 1996 US Census, the food service industry is the largest employer in the United States. But its rapid worker turnover demands more vertically targeted job boards. StarChefs Jobfinder has become the ultimate classified/job board destination for the foodservice and hospitality industries. Additional Culinary Classifieds have just launched including commercial restaurant equipment, hospitality real estate, culinary business opportunities, and culinary personals.
Consumer market: StarChefs Home will be the only site to avail a retail audience all the products used by the nation's top chefs. It is the site of choice for the dedicated food lover; those that enjoy food as entertainment both in preparation and consumption. StarChefs will be the hub that joins the highest quality suppliers with a retail market that they would not normally reach, and offers products normally unavailable to consumers. Unlike other sites that offer long lists of products and are difficult to navigate, we will create intimate shops, "European"-style, for each specialty. The vendors that StarChefs will use are those used only by the top chefs. The company will offer a one-to-one shopping experience, keeping records of customers' shopping preferences and creating an environment that makes our customers ³insiders.²
In an industry where reputation is everything, StarChefs is already an established and respected Internet brand.
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