Starting a meal prep business can be a great way to make money and help people eat healthier. But it’s not as easy as just putting together some meals and selling them.
If you are considering joining this venture, there are many factors to think about—from choosing your target market to hiring employees. That’s why this article will walk you through the steps you need to take to start your own successful meal prep company.
- Decide on an Idea
- Write a Plan for Your Meal Prep Business
- Get Funding for Your Meal Prep Company
- Look for a Location
- Get the Proper Permits and Licenses
- Order Supplies
- Set Up the Shipping Strategy
- Create an Ordering Platform
- Hire Employees
- Promote Your Meal Prep Business
- Our Takeaway
How to Start a Meal Prep Business: Step by Step
Decide on an Idea
Although frozen and fast foods are quick and affordable, people have realized that these meals might come at the cost of their health. That’s where meal prep businesses step in—they encourage people to spend a similar amount of money on delicious and healthier choices.
However, opening your own meal prep business might take a lot of time and effort. First of all, it’s important to know which niche you would like to attract, what kind of meals you want to sell, and if you’re going to focus on a specific cuisine.
Types of Cuisine
As of today, there are all sorts of different cuisines and diets out there, so you need to decide what kind of food you want to sell. Would you focus on a specific exotic cuisine (Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) or offer a variety of options?
One way to understand which target audience you would like to attract is to observe the competition and see what’s popular in your area.
Diets and Food Restrictions
If you choose to cater to specific diets or food restrictions, pay particular attention to which ingredients go into your meals.
Especially over the past few years, the number of people on special diets, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and keto, has skyrocketed.
Write a Plan for Your Meal Prep Business
Once you have an idea of what you want to sell, it’s time to start your meal prep business plan. At this point, you will need to write down the business name and choose the location and the advertising budget.
If you’ve never written a business plan before, there are a lot of online resources available to help you.
Get Funding for Your Meal Prep Company
After you carefully outline how much of your budget will go to your meal prep business, you need to find a way to get that money.
In fact, there are a few different options for funding your business:
- By using your personal savings
- By taking out a loan
- By getting funding from third-party investors
Look for a Location
Once you have the budget you need, it’s time to start looking for a location. You’ll need to find a place in a convenient area that has the right amount of space for your needs. If your meals are shipped, you’ll also need to make sure that your location is near a shipping center—you can learn more about economy shipping and see if this option works for you as well.
Get the Proper Permits and Licenses
Getting your food prep license might be the least exciting step of the process, yet it’s crucial. Although permits highly depend on your location and the type of business you’re running, make sure to run a legal company at the state and federal levels.
The local chamber of commerce should also be able to tell you if there are other requirements your business must meet. Privilege, catering, and health department licenses are only some of the permits needed to start your food prep business.
Now that you have a location and the necessary permits, it’s time to start ordering supplies. You’ll need to order food, packaging materials, and any other supplies you need to get started. Make sure you order enough to last you for a few weeks, so you don’t have to worry about running out.
Set Up the Shipping Strategy
If you plan on delivering your meals, you’ll need to set up a shipping strategy. At this point, you must decide how you’ll pack and ship your meals and how much you will charge for your delivery.
Moreover, you should make sure you have a way to track your shipments, so you know where they are and when they will reach the customer.
Create an Ordering Platform
With the growing demand for goods ordered online, you should create an ordering platform—this can be a website, a mobile app, or even just a simple order form. It’s important for customers to order their meals in the most convenient way possible.
If you’ll be delivering your meals, it’s crucial to hire employees to do the job. You will need to find reliable and trustworthy people who can help you with packing and shipping. You can post job ads online or ask people you know if they’re interested in working for you.
Promote Your Meal Prep Business
The last step is to promote your business so that potential customers can finally get to know your company and try your meals. Meal prep advertising can be done on a variety of channels, including social media, online advertising, or even just the most traditional word of mouth.
How to Start a Meal Prep Business: Our Takeaway
So, if you’re looking for a business idea that is sure to be successful in 2022, look no further than starting a meal prep business. With a little bit of thought put into it, it’s possible to create meals that suit every customer. Not to mention, this industry will only continue to grow in popularity over the next few years. So what are you waiting for?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is meal prep worth it?
There are a lot of benefits that come with meal prepping, including saving time and money—for both businesses and consumers. Meal prepping can also help your customers eat healthier, as it’s possible to control the ingredients that go into the meals. It can also help them stick to their diets at an affordable price.
How much does a meal prep cost?
The cost of starting a meal prep business will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of your business and the type of food you’ll be preparing. However, you can expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars on supplies and equipment.
Is a meal prep business profitable?
Yes, starting a meal prep business can be very profitable. If you’re able to find a niche market and offer something unique, you can make a lot of money. In fact, meal prep companies that can scale their business and offer a variety of different meal options tend to be the most successful.