How to guides

Finding Your Weekly Rhythm

6 Minute Read

Oh what a feeling!


There’s nothing quite like getting into a great rhythm - you feel grounded, in control and have the space to get creative without worrying if the wheels will fall off.

Getting your weekly rhythm right for your food business is no different. Once you nail your rhythm you’ll have a sense of control over what needs to be done each week and have the room to be creative for future menus. 

You’ll have room to finesse it, and be able to more accurately predict your revenue.



Imagining your perfect week

Every business has their own preference and you have total freedom to choose what works for you. What we do know however is that a 7-day menu cycle with meals prepared in one batch is a formula for success. Add the Cookaborough platform into the mix and your batch cooking becomes a superpowered, very clever weekly rhythm.

Ally works from her registered kitchen in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. She sells around 300 items per week which she fulfils with the help of one other person, and has family help with deliveries. Ally works her weekly rhythm around both her customers’ needs and her capacity with her other weekly commitments:

“I started with which days would be best for prep days. I decided that Monday and Tuesday would work best, with late Tuesday being my delivery/pickup day. It then made sense for my menu to open on a Wednesday morning and close on a Saturday evening.  Importantly I definitely wanted my customers to receive and start eating my food BEFORE my next weekly menu landed in their inbox, and to have the rhythm be the same every week.”

Menu Open: Wednesday morning 8am

Menu Close: Saturday eve 6pm

Deliveries: Tuesday between 4.30-6.30pm

Pickup: Tuesday between 4-6pm

You can start with any of the variables below to determine your weekly rhythm. As you read, Ally started with her prep day, so just sorting one of these out first allows the rest to fall into place:

What’s my delivery/pickup day – imagine you are a customer relying on your meals one day a week. While you may not know which day suits them perfectly, our research shows that people are mostly looking for help with meals during the traditional working week. Of course this may vary depending on the customers you are hoping to attract but in general, many cooks and chefs report great performance when they have a delivery or pickup day during the week. 

If there’s just one of you doing the cooking and delivering, you can choose a pickup day which is on your cooking day and leave the meals in a safe accessible place in insulated containers while you are on the road. Alternatively you could set the pickup time for when you’ve finished all your deliveries. You can even choose to offer pickups on your cooking day and deliver the following day. Of course you can choose to have multiple pickup and delivery days for a menu depending on the capacity of your business.

What’s my cooking day? – Working this out can depend on when you have access to a kitchen, whether you need to optimise kitchen downtimes in your business, or whether you need to cook when the house is quiet if you are cooking from home, or whether you need to set your cooking days to suit other jobs or commitments. 

When will I be ‘open for orders’? – Once you’ve determined the cooking and delivery days you can put your mind to when to “open” your menu – i.e. when your customers can start to order – and when to “close” it – ie. when your customers stop being able to place orders. 

Customers order more consistently when they have received their orders and had the opportunity to enjoy the food before the next menu lands in their inbox.  If their order hasn’t arrived before the next menu is received in their inbox, they’re less likely to place an order or get confused. Likewise, if it is too long between order and delivery the customer is less likely to order as they are not planning that far in advance.

Generally you would want the menu to be open for at least a few days, and to close on a day and time that allows you enough time to fulfil the orders. The menu can open the morning after delivery so your customers have you top of mind and can set to organising themselves for the following week’s delivery. 

TIP: We suggest keeping the Open and Close times consistent each week.  We find that regular customers like to order at the same day and time each week so if your menu rhythm varies week to week you can easily lose momentum.


What time of day will I deliver or offer pick up? – Often your delivery time windows depend on whether you are doing the deliveries yourself or whether you are outsourcing them. If you are outsourcing deliveries you are often limited to times outside of peak hours. If you are doing the deliveries yourself and you have a small, local delivery zone you may decide to have the meals arrive closer to dinner time. Whatever you choose, your customers can pop a note in their order with any instructions for delivery, while you can adding a delivery note to your menu reminding all of your customers to leave out their reusable containers for you to pick up, or to leave an insulated bag out for you if they are not going to be home.


When can I source my produce? – Thanks to the Shopping List which you receive when the menu closes, you will have a complete list of items you need to fulfil the orders you have for that week – no less and no more! If you run a retail business as well, your shopping/sourcing for your weekly meals will be built into your regular order cycle, and you will have great visibility on the cost of your goods for your weekly meals, and be able to compare those costs to other parts of the business.

Other examples of successful weekly rhythms

Example #1: Natasha, Ci Si Bon Natasha works out of a kitchen with a wonderful street presence in Perth. She sells snap-frozen ready made meals via Cookaborough as well as wholesale to gourmet providers around Perth. 

Menu Open: Thursday morning 8am

Menu Close: Monday night 10pm

Deliveries: Tuesday between 1pm-6pm

Pickup: Tuesday and Wednesday (store hours)

Natasha's weekly rhythm


Example #2: Julie, Who’s Cookin Tonight. Julie cooks from her registered home kitchen. She runs a hyperlocal business with a small delivery zone which allows her to deliver on her cooking day. She organises her weekly rhythm around food market days as she likes keeping her sourcing as possible and her ingredients as fresh as possible. Depending on the orders for that week she then just checks on the Shopping List whether she needs to replenish any pantry items.

Menu Open: Wednesday morning 8am

Menu Close: Friday night 8pm

Deliveries: Tuesday between 4-6.30pm

Pickup: Tuesday between 4-6.30pm

Julie's weekly rhythm 


You’ve nailed it, now what?


Once you’ve decided on how your week will go, make sure you tell the world about how you work! For your potential customers, ordering in advance from a weekly changing menu is a relatively new way of solving the “dinner dilemma”. So make sure you repeat your weekly rhythm in all of your communications about your business.

One place that’s essential to explain how you work is on your Menu page. Here’s an example of how Ally, For the Love of Food tells her customers in her About section of her Kitchen page

How I work:

Every WEDNESDAY morning a menu is sent to your email. Our menu will close on FRIDAY evening.

Pickup and Deliveries are TUESDAY from 4pm to 5.30pm or another time if previously arranged!

Simply select which meals you would like, place your order and select pick up or delivery.

I am based in Diamond Creek and deliver to surrounding areas (postcodes 3089, 3096, 3095, 3097, 3088, 3090, 3093, 3099, 3094, 3113, 3134, 3106, 3107, 3759, 3083). If your postcode is not listed you can always pick up or please contact us to work out an option!


Tips to remember


  1. Try to organise yourself to start and finish your menus on a weekday, and deliver during the working week
  2. Use the reminder email function before the menu closes - this typically increases orders by 30%
  3. Use social media to educate your customers about your weekly rhythm
  4. Consider whether your rhythm fits your business overall but also whether it will be relevant to your customer base
  5. Reflect on local offerings - if the area is lacking restaurants, consider a menu that may allow for weekend social gatherings. 
  6. Consider scheduling the Menu Closing day to allow you the time before your perp day to source fresh produce
  7. If forward planning is your thing, once your rhythm is sorted, it’s super easy to create a whole month’s worth of menus and schedule them in advance.

Finally, how to set up your weekly rhythm on Cookaborough

First, access the Menu page by logging in to your account and selecting the Food  tab on your left hand dashboard menu. Then select Menus.

Choose your Menu Open and Close timings, delivery and pickup windows, what’s on the menu and email text you want to write to your customers.

Once you have created your first menu, the easiest option for the following week is to duplicate it, which will carry over your Menu Open and Closed as well as all your delivery and pickup times for your next menu. You then edit all the other details to customise your email text, your menu items, images and anything else you care to refresh every week.

Learn about making the most of key moments in the calendar while planning your weekly menus here.


Let us know how you go


This guide is dedicated to ideas and suggestions we’ve seen work with great effect. We would love to hear what works for you and if you have your own ideas that have been proven to work for you and would like to share them. Our team would love to hear from you. 


Need more help?

Online: Check out the 'Learn' tab on the Cookaborough home page for more tips, tricks and insights.

Email: If you have further questions or need assistance, contact our team.





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