How to Start a Food Delivery Business from Home

Home business is not an option for some people, but it’s a reality for others. If that describes you, then there are ways that you can start your own food delivery business from your home. Here we will cover some steps and tips to start your business.

Many years back, you may have enjoyed preparing meals and bringing lunch to work. However, in the present days, where the demands of your jobs and the busy schedule have made cooking a luxury, food delivery businesses have gained widespread popularity.

More and more people are drawn towards meal delivery subscriptions, mainly for their convenience. Additionally, food delivery businesses usually offer home-cooked meals, which are healthier options than what their fast food and restaurant delivery counterparts provide.

To start a food delivery business from home, you have to be willing to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term gain.

This article will help you to start a food delivery business from home. In addition, it will give you a step-by-step strategy for creating an entire food delivery business.

1. Choose the Right Business Model for Your Food Delivery Business from Home

Suppose you want to start a food delivery business. In that case, the first question to ask yourself is: What kind of business model is most suitable for me? The business model you choose will largely determine the kind of food delivery service you offer.

It is a must that you know the different business models before starting your food delivery service from home. Some of the essential business models include:

Full-Service Business Model. 

In this type of business model, you prepare everything from your menu and deliver the food from your house to your customers. So, for a full-service home delivery business, you will be responsible for preparing everything and delivering everything to customers.

Partial Service. 

With this model, as the name suggests, you don’t deliver your products and services on your own. You simply prepare some of the food in your own home kitchen and order other food items that will be part of your menu. Also, with partial service, you will outsource the delivery to deliver the food from your home to your customers. 

On-Demand business model. 

In this business model, customers call you or send you a text message to ask you to make their food. The customer needs to pay for the service on demand. So, you get your orders through different means of communication and then start preparing for the delivery at the agreed time.

2. Figure out What’s Needed to Start Food Delivery Business from Home

Starting a food delivery business doesn’t require a lot of money, but you will need to purchase the following equipment:

Kitchen equipment and space.

So, the first thing you need to have is a good kitchen equipment that can help you do this. You will need good food processing equipment, a freezer, and a scale. And since you will be preparing meals for customers, it is a good idea to get a kitchen space that is big enough to prepare all the meals you will need to make daily. You may want to consider a commercial-grade refrigerator so you can store the food for more extended periods.

Delivery vehicle.

Suppose your business model includes delivery and food preparation. In that case, the second thing you need is a vehicle to deliver the food. A food van is a great way to get started. You can use the van to make deliveries.

Website/Mobile app.

If you want to build a platform for orders, you will need a website and mobile app to be competitive in the market. In such a way, you will help your clients make their orders much more quickly. A website or an app is the best way to create a brand identity. They will help you keep track of all your orders and send them to your customers. Your clients will get access to all the information they need to order. If they need more information, they can contact you by email or phone. They will also get instant notifications whenever there is a new update to your business. 

food delivery website mobile app

3. Decide What to Sell Creating a Meal Plan

In this step, there are three crucial things that you will need to decide on: the meal plan, the food recipe, and where you will order ingredients for that food. 

Meal plan

You don’t need to create a meal plan in advance if you don’t want to. But I suggest you do this because it’s the perfect way to manage your food delivery business daily. You will keep track of your costs, make sure you are on a budget, and prepare healthier food for your clients. As you can see, the meal plan is an essential foundation to building a successful food delivery business.

Think about what your clients want and consider their tastes and preferences so that you can prepare meals that they enjoy eating. The main idea behind a meal plan is to create a meal schedule and serve them as needed. If you do this, you’ll save a lot of money because you will not spend on ingredients that can not be used after some time if the orders don’t contain food to use them.

You can start with a simple menu of a few main items. However, once your business has matured, you will realize that your customers demand more variety. So, then you can add new items to your menus and try different price points.

Create an Efficient Recipe Formulary

Now, when you decide about a meal plan, you can start working on a recipe formula for each type of food inside your meal plan.

An Efficient Food Recipe Formulary (EFRF) is a step-by-step recipe that outlines a complete food preparation process. The goal is to eliminate guesswork when you are doing food preparation. The recipe contains the ingredients necessary to prepare food, quantities of ingredients, and preparation process steps. It is something like the standard operating procedure for your production work.

The most important thing about a recipe formula is that you must have a strong foundation of foods that go well together. If you don’t have a good selection of basic foods that go well together, you won’t be able to create a recipe that works. 

Find Ingredients

Now, you have the meal plan, the recipes, and you can start working on the definition of suppliers where you will order your ingredients. Yes, now is the time to start looking for your ingredients because you need to get cooking!

First, do a search on Google, and if you don’t come up with a whole bunch of different answers, keep looking. This should help you zero in on a few possible leads. You can always go through LinkedIn or even Facebook to find potential prospects.

Go to local grocery stores and find the required ingredients. You can visit several stores and take several different ingredients to check the quality. How do they impact the quality and taste of the food you will prepare from the meal plan? 

Invite your family and friends on a breakfast, launch, or dinner and ask them what they think about the food you have prepared. Why not use this approach in testing your potential market and their tastes.

The goal at the end is to have a list of possible suppliers and their price rates for each ingredient. You will need this information when you start working on your business plan.

4. Choose a Perfect Business Name For Your Food Delivery Business

How do you know which names will be the best fit?

When naming your business, it’s important to remember that you’re giving potential customers the chance to get to know your business. That name is one of the first things they will see. Suppose your name does not represent your business in a way that makes people want to engage with your brand. In that case, it won’t generate the same excitement that a unique and well-thought-out name can.

Ensure that you choose a unique name and one that people will recognize. Think about what kinds of foods you want to offer and what kind of customer base you want to attract. Your name is crucial if you want to become a big brand and have more clients.

A perfect name isn’t always easy to find, but if you can get it, it’s going to be worth it. You’re probably used to hearing names like Subway, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. When you’re thinking about choosing a name for your food delivery business, make sure that it’s different enough to avoid confusion with the other similar businesses out there. Also, keep in mind that many other companies might also be using the same name, resulting in legal problems for you down the line.

5. Research the Market and Identify Your Niche

Start with the market research first, and then find the unique target market niche that will be your focus. This is an important decision you will make in launching a food delivery business from home. Suppose you don’t choose your niche carefully. In that case, you could end up being one of many food delivery companies trying to serve the same customer.

The choice of your niche determines what you’ll offer your customers and how you will communicate with them.

So, you need to think about who your ideal customer is. If you don’t know your ideal customer, you’ll never be able to reach them and make it a success.

Determine what it is that your target market would like to have for their meals. Study also the locality in which your target market is situated.

There are many food delivery startups on the market. Still, most of them are either focused on a small set of foods or delivering only within a few cities. If you can find a market that is underserved in some way (i.e., a niche), there will be a better chance of success with your business. For instance, you could create a service that delivers specific food items to individuals with dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or families who want to eat healthily.

Example:

  • If your target market is the students of a nearby university, you may want to focus more on light and heavy snacks.
  • Or, your target market is the employees of an adjacent office building, you may want to offer healthy lunch meals and snacks similar to SnackNation healthy office snacks. In addition, you can best look for gundry md products and supplements to boost your immune system to stay fit and healthy.
  • If your target market is the residents of a residential building, then you may want to consider their meal needs, such as if they have kids or not.
  • Once you decide what market you’re going to target then select catchy name for your business to appeal that target audience. Then customize your meals according to what you target market needs.

When you customize your meals according to what your target market needs, you can ensure that you will have a constant following of orders for meal deliveries. When you research your market’s food needs, you can keep them happy and satisfied with the price that they pay for convenience.

6. Decide What Pricing Strategy You Will Use

People generally don’t like to get ripped off when it comes to pricing. But how much is too much? You can find out if you test different options. This is one of the most critical questions you need to ask when deciding on a pricing strategy. So go ahead and make your first delivery and experiment with different price points.

I like to think about pricing strategy in terms of value. You have to figure out what you’re offering your customer, how much that is worth to them, and then price it accordingly. As you look at how you’re positioning yourself in the market, you need to consider how much your product is worth. Once you know how much you’re offering, you can determine if the price is too high or low.

Remember that if you set a price that your clients don’t like, they will eventually stop ordering from you. You will lose money because you will not make as much profit. You can also think about how much you pay for ingredients and food processing.

7. Create a Good Business Plan

Even though you’re only starting a small business, a business plan is a must. Along with this business plan is a meal plan for every week. When you have a business plan, you can foresee if your food delivery business will indeed have a return or if you will merely be getting a break-even amount. Included in your business plan should be the following:

  • Cost of selling each pack of food, per meal, and per location
  • Grocery list and cost of each ingredient
  • Other necessary costs, such as gas, electricity, and labor
  • Labor expense for your staff if you need one, such as a part-time assistant for delivery and cooking

Your business plan is essential because it is your road map for success. It lays out everything from what you’re going to sell to how much it’s going to cost to start up. What if you don’t have the resources to launch your food delivery business right away? You need to know what you want to do before starting.

Also, you already have done most of the work in the previous steps. You know what you will offer to whom. Also, you know what you will need as ingredients and how much they will cost you. You can easily calculate delivery costs because they also need to be part of your costs structure. Simply you want to check if the pricing strategy you choose will cover the costs and bring you desired profit. So, you will calculate your profit margin.

You can now easily forecast the demand when you have defined your target market.

Write down all of the details of what you’re going to do. It should include the meal plan and different types of food you’re going to sell, your business name, where you’re going to sell them, your delivery service, your price list, etc. Your business plan should be realistic.

8. Set Up a Shipping System and Select the Best Time for Food Delivery

The shipping system is the number one thing you need to decide on before you even think about starting a food delivery business. If you’re going to start a food delivery service, you need to set up a shipping system and find the right time for it. What is the best time for your food delivery service to work? And, what is the best time for food delivery?

The first thing you need to consider is the delivery area you want to serve. For example, if you want to deliver food in the city or around the country, you must decide what part of the country or city you want to cover. Then, you can decide what time of day and week you want to offer your food. If you want the food to be delivered in the middle of the night, that’s another factor you will have to consider.

When you decide the best time for food delivery, it’s good to consider the weather conditions. People may be having a party, and it’s getting cold outside. You don’t want to deliver your food when it’s too cold outside. It may be too hot outside, as well. You also need to think about what is happening in your area. You need to make sure that the time of the week suits the needs of your customers and your food delivery.

9. Develop a marketing strategy

When you launch a food delivery business from home, it is essential to create a marketing strategy. The main reason why most food delivery companies fail is that they fail to build up a solid customer base. So, if you are serious about this startup, you must be prepared to invest some time in developing a marketing strategy.

You should have a marketing strategy to determine how to reach your target market effectively, especially if you’re still starting the business.

There are so many different ways to market your food delivery service. However, the best way to get the word out about your business is to start with social media. First, set up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You should ask people to share your account on their timelines when you do that. If they don’t do it, you should remind them.

When people start to see you on their social media feeds, they will think you are trustworthy and want to try your food.

Let’s check some of the things you will need to cover inside your marketing strategy:

Logo design

When it comes to starting your own food delivery business, or any business for that matter, you’ll need a great-looking, fast affordable logo design. You can take the time to hire a traditional logo designer, or just do it yourself using an online logo maker. You might want to check out Logomyway. They provide hundreds of professional logo templates and allow you to customize each logo before you purchase. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to design your own logo and you can download the high-resolution vector files instantly.

Build a list of potential customers

You need to build a list of potential customers for your food delivery business from home. Then use different marketing tactics to send a message about your business and offerings.

If you have a website, give out a special offer to those people that will be part of your list, so you can collect email addresses.

You can also use discount cards for people that will give you their contact details and become part of your list of potential customers. Always ask permission from them to allow you to contact them in the future.

Establish a Community

Building a community is critical to the success of any food delivery business. Your goal should be to create a community of customers that are loyal to you. Your business becomes more than a business by being part of the community. It becomes a community place where people can share stories about their orders, ask questions, get answers, and connect with each other. This helps you build trust, and it is essential for any business.

Get People Talking About You

When you build the community, you need to get people to talk about you. To build word-of-mouth around your food delivery business, you want to be able to share some sort of unique information or experience that can be repeated. For example, you can use your mobile app to take a picture of the food and then upload that photo to social media so that people can like or share your food. Or you can write a blog post to explain why you think you are the best food delivery service. Also, you can ask your clients to share the images of the food you have delivered to them.

Design a Loyalty Program

Another marketing tool useful for food delivery businesses is setting up a loyalty program. This will encourage customers to come back and help retain loyal customers. Customers who are already loyal to your business should be given a better experience, and they will return more often. The idea of the loyalty program is to reward customers for coming back. An excellent way to achieve this would be by giving them discounts on their next orders, for example.

Designing a loyalty program is really up to you and how you’d like your business to grow.

10. Obtain Licenses and Permits for Your Food Delivery Business

The process of obtaining licenses and permits for your food delivery business can seem like a daunting task. However, it is much simpler than you might think. Many states will require a few forms of verification, and it’s up to you to provide what they need. You should always check with your local authorities to ensure that they require any permits or licenses before starting a food delivery business in your area.

It’s essential for you to apply for all your licenses and permits, which include the following:

  • Business permits
  • Tax payments
  • Sanitary permits
  • Food handling seminar and permits

Unfortunately, many businesses don’t comply with the requirements just because they’re operating from their homes. The advantage of having all your licenses and permits ready is that your customers will trust you more as you’re a legit business. In such a way you avoid legal troubles that can affect your business.

Conclusion

A food delivery business is the perfect business option for those who prefer or may need to work from home. It is perfect for such as stay-at-home mothers. The same also holds true if you leave near the central business district, where the nearby offices are your possible market. Keep all these steps and tricks in mind as you get started on your food delivery business from home.

Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go according to plan. Setbacks are inevitable in the early stages of any business venture. Remember to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and improve your business model as you go along. These 10 tips will help you become a better entrepreneur and business owner.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan