Setting up a successful food delivery business the right way from the start
Planning is your best friend
Every cook knows that the best creations take time, and this is the same for launching your ready-made meals business. As a home cook or chef, working from the comfort of your own kitchen is great, but understanding how to structure your work week with ample time for planning is the key to a successful food business. This blog is an excellent resource to help you set up and start your food business the right way with what to plan, consider and implement before your official launch.
What to plan before you start
The key to starting an online kitchen business the right way is planning. Some love it and some don’t, but to make it easier we have prepared some essential questions below for you to answer. Grab a pen and paper or sit down to a new Word document to start writing your answers. Don’t be afraid to really expand on the ideas you generate from this brainstorm as more information is always better!
What are you selling? How does that make you different from everyone else?
To successfully run a food delivery business from home, first think about the type of food that you love to cook or even the cuisine you love to draw inspiration from. Perhaps you cater to a special dietary requirement, like gluten-free. Do you cook with a lot of flavour? Do you have authentic Italian recipes passed down from your Nonna? A great way to really identify what makes you different is to think about all the feedback you have received from family and friends about your cooking.
- You might come from a big family so have a talent for creating affordable and delicious meals from a volume perspective.
- You might have mastered the art of feeding healthy and nutritious food to fussy younger children and want to share your knowledge with other new parents who have the same dinner dilemma.
Identifying what makes you different from everyone else will help you to begin creating your brand, structure your menus and perhaps even help with what to call your business!
Tip: A key for ready-made meals businesses is making sure you can creatE and selL your unique or identifiable meal or your Version of a staple MEAL rather than trying to offer every type of food for everyone.
Who are you selling to?
Now that you have identified what food you will be providing and what makes you stand out, think about who would order your meals. This is important for future steps when you want to get the word out about your delicious ready-made meals to your target audience - the people you want to sell to.
- For gluten-free food, you will want to cater for those with gluten intolerances and potentially even celiac disease.
- For a certain cuisine, you will want to cater for those who love that cuisine, might be looking for a connection to their homeland, or perhaps have experienced that cuisine in their travels and are looking for an authentic reminder.
- For family food you want to consider food for younger children, for hungry teenagers and what constitutes a wholesome family meal. Affordability is important here too!
Start to build up some information about your ideal customer. Where do they usually get their food from? Do some research online, and don’t be afraid to go out and ask your target audience!
Tip: This is called creating a ‘persona’ or creating a ‘market segment’. You can have multiple personas or segments based on different customers you encounter in your business. It’s great practice to continue adding more and more information to your different personas as you learn more about them.
When will you be doing this?
Is this a side-hustle, is it a full-time job, will you do it once a week, every day of the week? Determining how much time you will put into your ready-made meals business helps you to better structure your week, understand your goals and what you want to achieve going forward.
What does success look like to you?
Now to focus on how to make this food business successful. Defining your goals, whether they be financial, time-based, intrinsic or other helps to really keep you focused on the journey ahead of creating a successful ready-made meals business. We suggest adding a time allowance to each goal so you can really track the progress.
Write down 1 - 5 goals that you feel represent the success you want to see in your food business. Some examples are:
- Financial eg: I want to be bringing in at least $650 revenue per week by 2 months
- Time-based eg: By two months from launch I want to have at least 5 regular customers
- Intrinsic eg: I want to be able to cook and perfect 15 different Italian pasta dishes that I can then sell by 4 months
- Growth eg: I want to eventually hire 2 part-time employees in the next 12 months
Looking at the great ideas coming from your answers, bets are that you are starting form an idea of what running a ‘successful’ ready-made meals business from home looks like. This is a great foundation to build upon for your business.
Starting and scaling your food business
There are some important legal requirements to be aware of as you get off the ground. These include registering your kitchen and looking at insurance. Read our blog on starting and scaling your business for more information.
Batch as your home cook business model
“Batch: Gain efficiency, reduce waste and allocate your time to cooking when it suits you!”
With hundreds of home cooks on our platform, we have tried and tested the best way to scale up your business without worrying about taking on an impossible workload. Clever Batch is our version of the batch business model and works perfectly for home cooks. Clever Batch allows you to cook only pre-ordered meals rather than cooking hoping you are going to sell them. And powered by our software it makes it easy to plan, prepare and fulfil the orders. It's an excellent way to reduce wastage of resources (both time and ingredients!). As a home cook, your time is precious so using the clever batch business model not only takes pressure off when running your business, but allows you to effectively scale your business as your customer base grows. Gain efficiency, reduce waste and allocate your time effectively to cooking when it suits you!
Cookaborough can help you get started the right way
Cookaborough is a platform that is built for the cook to help you take care of the more difficult administrative functions. Our platform features allow you to work around your schedule, whether you have a side hustle or a full-time job and using the Clever Batch business model with Cookaborough allows you to maximise your precious resources.
We have helped countless cooks bring their passion to life with a successfully operating ready-made business or virtual restaurant.
If you are in the process of launching your food business, get in touch with us to see how the Cookaborough platform can be your business solution: