Have you ever had a busy day or were just too tired to cook dinner? If so, then you know how hard it can be to find healthy food on the go. This is where meal prep businesses come in. A meal prep business is when someone prepares meals in advance and sells them to customers who don’t have time or energy to make their own food. This post will help you if your mind asks what do I need to start a meal prep business!
Your Business Setup:
The first step of starting a meal prep business is to create your company setup. This includes some things you need and other steps that are helpful but not necessary. Here’s what you should do if this is your idea for the future:
– Create an LLC or corporation (helps protect personal assets)
– Register with the state as a self-employed individual so that they can take taxes off any money earned
– Set up a banking account at a small bank (to initially deposit cash from customers until opening another account at a larger institution later on)
– Open two separate savings accounts – one checking and one savings (save funds deposited from customers in the savings account, use it for unforeseen expenses or emergencies)
– Create the business name and logo (register it with the state if necessary)
– Buy a website domain (.com, .net. etc.) and web hosting service (or locate a free one to use temporarily so that customers can order online – set up PayPal account for easy payment processing)
– Attend workshops on local food laws, so you know what’s required of your operation in terms of permits, inspections, licensing requirements
– Get at least two pictures taken: one headshot photo for contact info page on-site & another picture showing how prep is done (show all ingredients used like prepped veggies with plastic baggies next to them; show containers holding different types/sizes of meals; show professional looking kitchen with prep area and storage space)
– Add a contact form to your site so customers can request more info or sign up for an introductory class
– Get listed in local directories (or set up Google Places listing), etc. as well as those that focus on the home services industry
– Post content about favorite dishes at least once per week on the blog; use photos of recipes here too (include step by step pictures showing how to make each dish)
More detailed instructions: show what ingredients are needed & where they should be purchased from; talk about best cooking times based on meal type etc.; list types of meals offered
– Business cards and flyers to hand out at grocery stores, farmer’s markets etc.
– Proper packaging (for example – clear containers with a label of what is inside) since this type of food needs to stay fresh for long periods; there are many options available, including dry ice or vacuum-sealed bags
– Menu items should be easy to reheat when they’re ready for consumption so that the customer will have no need to cook anything themselves after acquiring your services
– Plan how much time cooking each dish takes in order to figure out the cost per person; profit margins can vary, but you want them high enough so that it doesn’t seem like an affordable option relative to other meal delivery services. Offer deals on certain days e.g .on Mondays, you offer a discount for people who order before noon.
– Don’t forget to price your dishes at an appropriate level so that the customer will want them; they should not seem too expensive or someone won’t be interested, and there’s always competition with other companies, even if yours is in another city!
– Offer discounts for bulk orders of two weeks’ worth of food because these types of services are often used by busy professionals who need them more than others
– Run promotions through social media channels like Facebook Ads to attract new customers