For people who do not have time to prepare dinner every night, meal prep business is available to do the work for them. If you love food and working with others, you can start a meal prep business. This business provides and prepares the ingredients, recipes and workspace to prepare a meal to take home.
Today, there are many meal prep businesses that prepare overall meals that need only reheating in the oven. Here are some of the things that you should consider if you are thinking “what do I need to start a meal prep business.”
Create a business plan
Write an effective business plan that outlines all stages of business development for your meal prep business. Firstly, you can explain the types of meal prep services you will provide. Services can include creating recipes, such as chopping and measuring ingredients, so customers can assemble meals in your store and delivering fully assembled meals for customers to buy.
Here, list all start-up costs. It may include rent, utilities, food supplies and materials, computer software and equipment, business insurance and labor, and more. You should also describe ways to market your meal prep business. You can list all the roles and responsibilities of management and employees in the last section.
Business Registration and Insurance
It is important to register your meal prep business with your state’s secretary of the office of the state. Contact the local county clerk’s office if you want to apply for a business license. You can also apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to use on all business tax forms. Contact the Internal Revenue Services to get more details about the Employer Identification Number (EIN).
After this, contact your local health department to inquire about the types of permits required to manage as well as sell food to the public. Depending on your location, you may or may not need a food handling certification. For instance, Arkansas does not require certification, but California does. Some of the states need the certification to be renewed periodically. In Alaska, you need to renew your certification every three years; however, Alabama extends that to five.
You can buy business insurance from a licensed insurance provider, including general liability, property and worker’s compensation in order to protect business assets.
Find a workspace
Contact a commercial real estate agent if you want to lease commercial kitchen space. This space should accommodate different work stations in which customers can assemble their meals. Kitchen space should be spacious to allow the preparation of ingredients beforehand and storage of food, kitchen, and cleaning supplies. In addition, you should purchase kitchen supplies and equipment from restaurant supply stores. You might need a computer and bookkeeping as well as invoicing software.
Create daily menus
Create daily menus with a minimum of two meal options for customers. Menus may consist of an appetizer, entree, sides and desserts. You should create easy-to-follow recipes such as ingredients list, measurements and cooking instruments. Meals should be served between four and six people.
Create an online portal
You can create a website or online portal to post daily menus, schedule meal prep appointments with customers, showcase food and provide contact details and hours of operations. You can also create a calendar that showcases the availability of appointments.
Now, you should hire employees in order to prepare ingredients, supervise customers during meal prep and then clean the kitchen and work stations after customers leave.
Market new business
The final step is to create an effective marketing strategy to reach potential customers. You can take advantage of social media and online advertising to reach a large number of people in a short time frame.