How To Decide If Meal Prep Is Right For Your Business

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Cook preparing meal

Qwick has partnered with the team at GoPrep, an online ordering and operations management tool, who have spoken to countless businesses that are transitioning to meal prep to share some ways that this model could help during this changing time and beyond.

If you’re considering pivoting your model to meal prep for the short-term or long-term, here’s what you should know to get started.

Getting Started

For most food and beverage operations, you already have a majority of what you’d need to make the switch to meal prep. Just look at your current menu and figure out which healthy items make the most sense to prep in bulk. You can always change your menu as you go, as well.

Turnaround

For most meal prepping services, there is an average two- or three-day turnaround from customers ordering to the meals being ready to deliver or pick up. So if you’d like your delivery or pick-up days to be Sunday and Monday, you’d stop accepting that week’s orders on Thursday or Friday. If you want to accept orders all week, try staggering delivery days. This gives you enough time to ensure you have the correct amount of supplies and lead time to prep and package everything. 

Pricing

While deciding the exact price you want to charge is completely up to you, our friends at GoPrep said that most of their meal preppers try to keep the starting price at $8-11 per meal. You can always offer add-ons for a few extra dollars like additional protein, cheese, sauce, etc. Or make a “family size” order available to double or even triple the price.  

Packaging

If you’re planning to try out meal prepping for a short-term fix, your current take-out containers should work perfectly fine. However, if this is something you think could work for your business in the long-term, check with your typical restaurant supply or foodservice vendor should have everything you need. 

Staffing

If you’re transitioning into meal prepping, plan to start off with your standard BOH staff, and see how it goes. You’ll learn quickly with your operation what additional staff you’ll need. And if you’d like to offer delivery, don’t forget about drivers! 

When you do need more staff, an on-demand food and beverage staffing platform like Qwick can help you continue operations efficiently without missing a beat. And GoPrep is ready to get you started with meal prepping in as little as two days.

The Benefits

Besides immediately helping to support you and your team during this time, meal prepping could also: 

Expand your clientele 

While so many people are turning to delivery and pick-up meals, it’s an opportunity for you to attract new customers. Take advantage of social media, and ask your followers to share your new meal prep options. 

Encourage weekly subscriptions

Turn that one-time order into a recurring revenue stream. Weekly subscriptions could ensure you have recurring revenue until things settle down again. Try offering a percentage discount as an incentive for customers to set up a subscription.

Help streamline operations 

By organizing your operations to accept meal prep orders on certain days, you’ll be able to better plan out exactly how much inventory you’ll need per week. You’ll save time and money trying to guess what supplies you’ll need.

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