Idea # 321: The profitability of a lunch delivery business to your home and office
Catering is in great demand not only among office workers. Everyone who spends a lot of time at work wants a tasty and inexpensive lunch, so the business of delivering business lunches will be in demand at the present time. You need to use this niche of public catering, open your own business and make a profit. Calculations will show under what conditions profit from catering will bring income, and how to organize your own business.
Before starting work, you need to determine the target segment of buyers. It all depends on two factors - the price and popularity of the dishes. You can start making pizza and rolls, but this niche is so tightly occupied that it will cost a new player a lot of work to break through among famous and well-known colleagues and organize his business from scratch.
Cooking porridge with pasta and feeding market workers is also not worth it. The low profitability of such a production will not recoup the time spent; this is the lot of culinary lovers, not businessmen.
The greatest profit with the least cost will be brought by feeding a mass consumer who is ready to buy quality food, while a business lunch delivered to the office should be tasty, but inexpensive, i.e. your competitors are on the alert.
Traditional Russian dishes - pies, pies, pies, even porridge and pilaf can be cooked with soul. It is such a menu that will attract customers; their preparation and delivery will not cause difficulties.
First, you can go around the nearest shops, hairdressers, offices and ask what kind of dishes workers and employees want to receive, the needs of potential buyers will form the menu.
There are two options for business development - individual home-based work and opening your own culinary production. The choice depends on financial capabilities. In the case of a home-based business, a minimum of funds is needed, but the return on the first stages will not be high. Both paths are fraught with hidden threats.
Food & Delivery
For a start, it will be enough to have a home kitchen, possibly with the installation of additional equipment, a stove and a refrigerator. In addition, you will need to purchase dishes for cooking and thermoses for food delivery. In order for the buyer to remain satisfied, the food must be delivered to him while still warm, with heat and heat.
Traditional catering does not limit the culinary range, it can be first courses and desserts. The total cost of opening a home bakery is:
- 20,000 rubles - stove;
- 15,000 rubles - refrigerator;
- 8,000 rubles - thermoses;
- 10,000 rubles - purchase of additional dishes.
Disposable containers will become a permanent item of expenditure; at the initial stage, they will need to spend about 3,000 rubles. Purchasing food in the first days of work will reduce your budget by 7,000 rubles.
There are many ideas for creating your own business at home. For example, lunch delivery as a business: profitability, a business plan with calculations and a detailed description of the necessary actions for the development of a micro-enterprise.
Often this type of business starts as an additional type of income for people with limited financial resources - retirees, young mothers on maternity leave, students. Everyone is faced with the same type of problems - where to start, where to find customers, how to get the investment back as soon as possible.
Pros and Cons
An entrepreneur who has decided to take up the delivery of meals should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this business:
#ProsMinuses1To start a project from scratch, a minimum amount of cash is required. If the whole production process consists in cooking in your own kitchen and delivery by your own car, then you can “fit in” 5,000 rubles. Great competition. There are many companies operating on the market - from entrepreneurs who serve 2-3 orders per week to large catering enterprises with an extensive client base. An aspiring entrepreneur doesn't need to be a chef. Lunches can be ordered from the cookery or you can have an assistant who knows how to cook. falsely build consumer confidence. Usually they order food to their home or office in proven and popular places. The workflow does not take up the whole day, which allows you to allocate time for business development. Lunch delivery activities are classified as catering, with all the attendant difficulties in official registration and inspections by supervisory authorities. There is no pronounced seasonality, the service is in demand all year round.
Based on the experience of predecessors, in order to organize the delivery of meals, you must adhere to the action plan:
- Study the market.
- Choose a suitable form of business.
- Create a menu.
- Obtain equipment.
- Hire assistants.
- Place an ad.
- Register a company.
- Plan financial flows.
Before you invest in a lunch delivery business, you need to make sure that this service is in demand. The metropolis has a fast pace of life, a shortage of free time among the working population, and there is definitely a demand for hot meals. The periphery has its own niche in this area, but if someone already works in the market, it is unlikely that the competition will be successful.
Alexander Khasanov from Yekaterinburg, specializing in research engineer for alloys and materials. But the metallurgical business never attracted him. In 2021, he set up a set menu delivery company. Today, his firm delivers food to the offices of the largest businesses and serves over 800 customers daily.
Alexander Khasanov tells about how to build a food delivery business, find a suitable “kitchen” and solve personnel problems, “Kontur. urnal ".
By profession I am an engineer-researcher of alloys and materials, in 1998 I graduated from the metallurgical faculty of the Ural Polytechnic Institute. In parallel with his studies, he began working in an airline as an engineer in the production and dispatch department, and in his free time studied advertising and marketing. Already at the age of 20, I took the position of advertising director at a large private airline in Yekaterinburg. But he did not work there for long, literally a year later, during the 1998 crisis, the company went bankrupt. I didn't want to work in my specialty, so I went into a small business: I transported cars from the Far East to Yekaterinburg. This is how my first capital was formed.
From 1999 to 2021 I was in the family business: my father made furniture at home and sold it. I learned that the cost of manufacturing furniture is very low, and therefore the overall profitability of the business can be high. At first I made furniture at home, and after a few years I already had a large production: a furniture workshop, a rented specialized store. But the production of furniture is a very difficult process, there are many different directions in it. For about a year I was looking for myself and decided to deal exclusively with furniture sales, since I was well versed in them.
I studied government contracts and tenders, looked for large manufacturers and offered them services for attracting orders and organizing logistics. Some companies in Yekaterinburg became interested in this, and I began to receive large government orders.
In the furniture business, I got real experience: I learned about various business issues, when I started my own production I acquired good organizational skills. But later I realized that this occupation was also not mine: manufacturers often violated agreements, they constantly had some kind of production problems, which ultimately affected my company. I decided to leave the business and take a year off, find myself. The main thing is that my own sales business has given me a lot of experience in building relationships with clients.
In general, I have been able to cook well since childhood. When I was 7, I hit my mom with homemade cookies. In my family, I also always cooked dinners, my wife never did it. Friends constantly told me: "Sasha, you need to have your own cafe." And once on New Year's 2021, friends suggested: “Why, try to sell your meals. What if it will go? "
My wife took my lunches to work, and her colleagues always spoke positively about them. And I asked her: "Take it, offer someone my dinner for 70 rubles." She offered - and 5 people agreed at once. I bought food, cooked it and brought it to her office. The next day, the number of orders doubled: 10 people bought my dishes and started making orders all the time.
So I decided to develop my own business. I looked in Google maps to see what other businesses were nearby, called them, suggested, and some agreed. At first I cooked at home, then I had to rent a separate two-room apartment in which I only cooked, because after six months I had about 100 people constantly eating. I hired an assistant. I taught the apprentices-cooks personally, carried out calculations, developed the menu. I advertised "Apprentice Cook Wanted". There were guys from culinary schools who usually couldn't do anything.
Then I came across a contract with a large enterprise, and the client base immediately expanded by another 150 people. When I had to feed 350 people, I realized that we could no longer work illegally. So we formalized the company and rented an entire cafe for cooking. At first, we decided to keep the cafe in a classic format: they fed people there, but as a hall, the institution turned out to be unprofitable, so we used the premises exclusively for the needs of the company for the delivery of complex meals.
Initially, our company was called "Gourmania", but it turned out that there are a lot of companies with this name in Yekaterinburg, so we renamed ourselves "Uralsky Lunch".
During the crisis, many strive to save money, so they abandon delicacies in favor of homemade food. Covid-19 has dramatically changed the way food service operates. Most establishments are quarantined due to coronavirus infection. But some offices continue to work, employees need work, so in 2021, the business of delivering meals has become more in demand. Due to the current self-isolation regime in the country, many have switched to a remote work format, but there is no time to cook food at home. Then they also use the services of specialized firms. In addition to the increased demand for food delivery, there are other advantages of such an activity.
Benefits of starting a business
The positive thing about starting such a business is that it is available even to a novice merchant who has no work experience and special culinary skills. Since products can be ordered from intermediaries or a cook can be hired. The invested funds will quickly pay off, because this activity is in demand all year round. Analysts believe that the restrictive regime can operate in Russia until December. This means that people will be forced to stay at home and not go to restaurants. As a result, the lunch delivery service will remain in demand. Other benefits of a courier sales service include:
- ROI up to 90 percent;
- ROI within six months;
- no need in renting an office space.
The free schedule also stands out among the pluses. The manager will not need to conduct business around the clock, he can establish the entire workflow online by launching a website with an automatic order form and doing other things in parallel. Another advantage is that opening such a business does not require a large investment. You only need a private car (provided that the food is prepared by intermediaries). But before looking for customers, you have to find out their preferences.
Target audience analysis
Due to the current epidemiological situation, consumers began to think about healthy eating. The economic crisis has also left its mark on the consciousness of citizens: homemade food is cheaper than exotic cuisine. In this regard, a novice merchant should focus on the supply of healthy products and standard meals. In this case, it will capture all categories of the population, inspire consumer confidence and increase the client base. It can include athletes, self-employed, executives and telecommuters. Delivery of meals is usually ordered by men and women from 27 to 45 years old.
For things to go well, you should work out all the ways to organize such activities.
Business meals can be delivered to the office in several ways. During the crisis, orders for balanced food will be in great demand. A businessman has several opportunities to implement this idea: prepare meals on his own, hire a chef and rent a room for him for cooking, negotiate food supplies with working canteens. If there are a number of farms, it is possible to implement the concept "from garden to table" and supply lunch sets (soups, fish or meat with side dishes, vegetables, dairy products, fruits). Each of these methods has its own characteristics.
Intermediary Delivery Services
This type of activity is only gaining momentum in Russia, but in 2021 it is actively developing in all regions. With all cafes and restaurants closed for quarantine, consumers have only one chance not to cook: order food through an intermediary. To become one, you have to find out which catering establishments are ready to cooperate in this mode. Some, in order not to go broke during the crisis, are repurposing into mobile catering establishments. The chefs continue to cook, but only to order and to take away. As a result, the entrepreneur enters into an agreement with them, creates a virtual resource, where he lays out the menu of partners, hires a dispatcher to receive applications from consumers and a courier who will pick up meals from the kitchen and deliver the client home. In this case, the entrepreneur will have to share his profits with suppliers. To avoid this, he can set up his own production.
Delivery of your products
Delivery of meals to the office, the business plan of which depends on the initial capabilities of the entrepreneur, is characterized by high profitability. You can start with 15 thousand or several million rubles. It depends on the scale of the project, but both options are possible.
Where to start and who are the potential customers?
An office lunch delivery business should not be started in small towns. The exceptions are those places where new enterprises have appeared or old ones exist, and there is no canteen for the staff, they have difficulties with eating during lunchtime. But keep in mind that in small towns the level of wages is low and few people will want to pay for meals. The rest of the old habit will carry homemade food with them to work.
The main clients for such projects are located in large cities with a population of 1 million or more. These are the personnel of medium and large enterprises. Let it not be embarrassing that there is a canteen on the territory of the plant, factory, combine. Not all staff visit it, not everyone likes the food offered, so such employees will be happy with an alternative in the form of delivering lunches to the office.
But before investing in the development of the project, purchasing expensive equipment, you can offer trial options. In military affairs, this method is called reconnaissance in force. Create a lunch menu and offer it to potential customers. If a series of orders follows that will significantly exceed the number of a trial batch of lunches, it makes sense to invest in the project. But even if the trial batch is sold out with difficulty, in this case it makes sense to focus on the volume of the trial batch and focus on promoting the project.
This markup leaves the entrepreneur with room to maneuver. He can reduce the cost of one meal if 5 or more people order at the same time. In addition, you can enter a monthly subscription, according to which the client will receive daily meals during the month, not 180, but 150 rubles.
For a client, this is a savings of 660 rubles, and for a project, this is a regular client, on which they earn 1320 rubles. Already with fifty such regular customers, they can generate a monthly profit of 66 thousand rubles. At the same time, earnings are already planned for a month in advance, it can be increased. But you can also reduce it if you start providing customers with low-quality or tasteless meals. They can refuse and demand their money back, so there is no need to save on the cook and on food.
If a business has started to bring stable profits with 40-60 regular customers, it makes sense to expand, attract new customers and expand production.
Then the moment comes to invest in premises and equipment.
How to start a project?
There is an option when wives or mothers are involved in the preparation of meals. For the first time, this can be done, but for a permanent job it is not recommended to involve relatives and friends. This is a business, and the client will not wait until they have a mood or a headache, and getting them to work in this case is very difficult. It's easier and easier with an employee.
No special equipment required. It includes: