While dining halls are closed, businesses are searching for methods to diversify their income and pivot to suit the needs of their communities. Some eateries are responding to the epidemic by providing food preparation services. While some restaurants have been offering meal kits for years, the majority are only beginning to tap into this potential cash source.
The Advantages of Providing Meal Prep Services During a Crisis
Grocery shops throughout the world are running low on vital commodities at a time when people are less certain about their food supply than ever before, owing to layoffs or temporary job loss. People are searching for a low-cost solution to feed their families, and meal prep kits can fit that demand as long as the price does not break the bank.
How to Set Up a Meal Prep Offering
The best meal kits start with a simple-to-follow recipe. Include all essential ingredients, packaged separately, with easy-to-follow instructions. Keep recipes exciting but straightforward. It’s better to have fewer recipes with excellent guides than a long list of recipes with confusing instructions.
Set up a realistic set of meals and portions that is affordable, healthy and easy to execute. The meals should take between 30 and 45 minutes to prepare and cook. If you offer more complicated meals, you will have to charge more for the kits, which may scare away your target audience.
Offer a few meal packs per week if you are just starting. This will give you time to fine-tune your recipe offerings, as well as your packaging and delivery process. You can increase the number of kits you offer as you improve your processes and become confident in your ability to serve the community.
Once you’ve perfected your meal prep offerings, you can also look into expanding your offerings to include healthy snack packs or desserts.
How can you market your new meal prep service?
1. Host a meal prep class online. Open up a meal kit your restaurant has prepared, go through the steps, and create a mini-cooking show restaurants guests can follow along with. Add the video to your website’s homepage, and have an order form for meal prep under your video anywhere you post it; YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Right now, people are in their homes, which have little to no knowledge of cooking other than pouring a bowl of cereal. Be the all-in-one resource they need by providing virtual cooking lessons in conjunction with your meal prep service.
2. Create a recipe-sharing contest. Offering a meal prep service means you have all the ingredients people need to make meals, which adds to your savings. Set up a recipe contest to encourage people to get creative with those ingredients and make their own recipes. Have contestants submit their recipes for a chance to win a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be big, just enough to encourage people to put their own spin on what you include with your meal prep kits.
3. Contact local publications and food blogs. Let them know about your meal prep service in your region. It’s a good idea to offer some free meals to the publication or blog for them to take photos of and write about. Include the names of your restaurant and website in the post. This will increase interest in your restaurant and your meal prep service.
Offering a meal prep service is a great way to bring in new customers looking for ways to save money in their household budget. They also provide a way for families to eat healthy meals without feeling the pinch of rising food prices.
The best thing about meal prep is that there are many uses for the kits other than just being prepared to feed your family. Meal prep kits make great gifts for coworkers, birthdays, and other special occasions. The flexibility they offer people helps them find time to cook a healthy meal.
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