How to Start a Business Delivering Meal Plans


A meal delivery service is a popular idea among those who are health conscious, enjoy gourmet foods, or simply do not have time to prepare well-balanced meals themselves. With some foresight and planning, you can start your own meal plan delivery business.

Things You'll Need

  • Insulated bags or carriers
  • Delivery truck
  • Website
  • Marketing material
  • Software for order taking and processing

Decide What Type of Meals to Provide. There are many types of meal delivery services. For example, you can provide basic well-rounded meals, meals from restaurants, weight-loss meals or gourmet meals. The meals you deliver will determine your target audience.

Determine whether you want a restaurant, food preparation service, or a chef to prepare the meals and the type of packaging for the prepared product. To locate chefs, visit the American Personal & Private Chef Association, or the United States Personal Chef Association.

Decide how you will deliver the meals and the frequency of the delivery, i.e., daily or weekly. If you do not have much capital, you may have to deliver the meals yourself. Otherwise, hire someone to deliver the meals. This decision is contingent on your budget and the geographical area you are targeting. If you hire someone to deliver meals, place help-wanted advertisements for delivery personnel.

Decide how you will store the food before it is delivered. Special refrigeration equipment may be needed, and government regulations may affect this. You may need order taking software, insulated delivery bags or carriers, or an insulated truck. For additional information on required items, visit Food Delivery Now and Restaurant USA. See "References" for link.

Capitalize your business and decide how you will pay the start-up costs, either from your savings or by taking out a loan. Start up costs will include telephone and computer equipment, website setup and Internet expenses, refrigeration and insulation equipment, marketing, delivery costs and meal preparation.

Create a marketing plan once you have determined your target audience. Emphasize the convenience, nutrition, and quality of your meals. Use such basic marketing materials as fliers and business cards. Create and distribute menus with prices and delivery information. A website is an effective way to reach your audience and take orders.

Decide what type of business entity to be, such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company. Incorporate or register your business, and apply for required permits and licenses. A lawyer is useful to oversee this process.

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