What’s the perfect process look like for a meal prep company? It’s something, we as a company, think about on a day-to-day basis. How can we make this better for our clients? How can we make their day easier and more efficient? So, as a meal prep company owner, I think to myself, How would a perfect week go?
Any meal prep company starts with taking the orders. Having a customizable shopping cart to manage my orders in an easy to use, yet sophisticated way to get this done. I offer a make-your-own subscription package of 5, 10, or 15 meals per week that need to be submitted by a particular day. Additionally, single orders are always available and Friday Family Meal Specials are available for the first 20 people who order. Pickup/delivery are available on Mondays for one-time orders and subscriptions, while Friday Family Meal is available for pick-up only, on Fridays.
My work week begins on Thursday, when our software tallies all orders and produces an accurate ingredient list for purchases needed. With orders set for Friday delivery, I start the rest of my production reports. Printing off my organized and easy-to-read prep list, categorized by the kitchen stations, helps me to start scheduling tasks for execution. A daily task list for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will help guide the next few days for efficient production.
On Fridays, all my major prep tasks, such as the braising of meats, making of stocks, dressings, marinating meats and any doughs, are completed. Making sure all my meat and produce is in tip top shape will build the foundation for my weekend. Fridays are essential, as they are setting myself up for ease and success on Saturday and Sunday. Friday is also the day for the Friday Family Meal to be prepared and packaged. Ideally, pick up time is set between 4pm-6pm so meals are still warm.
Saturday is cooking day: All cutting and cooking of vegetables, starches and pastas, roasting of meat and fish, and the finishing of sauces and garnishes. This is what I love and miss about the restaurant business – that controlled chaos. From the outside, it looks like a million things going on at once, but for someone like me, I see harmony and flow. Ten different jobs going on at once is what calms my mind and gives me peace.
I end the day by putting all my finished products into containers and on sheet trays, complete with meticulous labeling of plastic bins in an organized cooler. With the cooking and prep behind me, Sunday is all about packaging.
Sunday starts with my total meals report. I line all my containers and start working like a well-oiled machine with packaging done in bulk. All steak dishes first, then fish, then veggies, etc. This is when offering minimal menu items makes packaging a breeze. After this, all items are labeled, allowing me to easily sort all my dishes and place them with their correct packaging slip. Sunday is finished with everything separated by delivery or pickup.
The goal of every business owner is to automate all the manual processes — recipe conversion, prep lists and running reports while streamlining the cooking and packaging process through the organization. Famous Chef, Marco Pierre White once said, “Perfection is a lot of little things, done right.” This is my approach.