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Most people don’t have the time to prepare or shop for dinner every night; that’s why meal prep companies are popping up everywhere.

People who desire to take their favorite recipe and turn their love of food into a business will benefit a lot from starting a meal prep business.

This business prepares and pre-portions recipes and ingredients so customers can easily prepare a full meal in a short time. Additionally, a meal prep service can prepare full meals that customers just need to reheat in their ovens.

If you are among the people who love cooking and can easily work with others, offering meal prep services is the way to go. Here we have covered a few things you need to consider when starting a meal prep service.

Design a business plan

Every business needs a plan since it highlights every step of business growth. The first part of the plan needs to outline the meal prep services an individual intends to provide. Services can include cleaning, slicing, and assessing ingredients so clients can just assemble their meals in the kitchen, as well as creating recipes and offering fully prepared meals which customers can buy on the go.

The second part of the plan will cover the cost of the start-up. The costs include food supplies, rental space, kitchen equipment, computer software, utilities, labor, and business insurance. In the third section, a business owner should describe how they plan to market their business. The last part should outline the responsibilities of both the employees and management.

 

Find a workspace

A workspace can either be a home-based kitchen or rented commercial kitchen space. A home kitchen is the least expensive way to kick start a meal prep business. However, business owners might need to check their state laws to see if it covers home-prepared specialty food products.

For those individuals who want to go big, a commercial kitchen space will serve them right. Today, commercial kitchens that are rented by the hour or on a short-term basis are becoming more common, especially in larger cities. In a smaller town, you can rent commercial kitchen space from churches, community centers, and restaurants.

When selecting a commercial kitchen, consider the following factors:

·        Space: Enough space means more room for ingredients preparation and storage of food and kitchen supplies.

·        Equipment: Needs to have all the equipment you will need.

·        Price: Hourly fee may vary but might be low as $20 during non-peak periods or when space is contracted for a larger number of hours.

·        Other fees: Check if there are additional fees that you might need to pay.

 

Design Daily Menus

Most meal prep business provides customers with more than two meals. A menu can include entrée, desserts, sides, and appetizers. In terms of recipes, they need to be easy to understand and follow, plus it should contain ingredient lists and cooking directions.

Have a website

We’re living in a world where nearly everybody has a smartphone, so it’s only wise to make a meal prep business accessible online. Meal prep business owners should create a website that showcases all the food they offer, hours of operation, their contact information, and potentially the ability to submit orders.

Hire employees

For a commercial kitchen space, employees will come in handy. They can help in the preparation of ingredients and supervision of customers during meal pickup. Also, they can clean up after service. The number of employees hired depends on the customers a meal prep business can serve in a day.

Final Thoughts

The key to any business success is an excellent marketing strategy. So, focus on placing ads in the local newspaper, social media, and offering discounts and coupons.

A meal prep business might take some time before it can garner a strong customer base. Therefore, it’s wise for entrepreneurs to save at least five months of expenses to cover start-up and monthly expenditures. They should not forget to register their business.

References

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/article/259/commissary-kitchens.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/abrams/2013/10/25/small-business-selling-food/3177021/

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/write-business-plan-catering-701.html