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Increase your profit margin in your Meal Prep Business

Are you looking for how to increase your profit margin in meal prep? We asked meal prep cooks and restaurant chefs for the best tips and tricks to increasing profit and decreasing costs for your business.

Add desserts and drinks to your menu.

“I brew herbal teas and sell them for $5/pint. Desserts sell for $5-$6/portion, and I’ll also make whole cheesecakes for $60. The most significant expense in a meal prep company is labor, so if you can create something in bulk or at least quickly, that is a big profit margin. Snacks, as well. Like the clothing industry, it’s the accessories where you make your big money. “- Claire

Desserts are excellent food for the meal prep business because you can freeze them and save them for the entire week, they keep well and are easy to deliver. You can make them ahead of time, and they work as an excellent upsell on the shopping cart.

Determine high-value perception.

Customers have associations of high and low value toward foods, and you can use this perception to your advantage when crafting your menu. If you have meals where the perceived value is high, but the ingredients do not cost a lot and it is quick to produce, you have a winner with a regular meal. For example, crab cakes are known to be an expensive yet delightful meal – a guilty pleasure for many. Yet handmade crab cakes are easy and inexpensive to make. If your businesses can regionally purchase fresh crab meat, which runs for about $5/lb, you can sell for $15 a meal.

Focus on easy to freeze meals.

The most challenging aspect of the meal prep industry is that the meals need to stay good for an entire week after you deliver to your customer. That means focusing on frozen meals can save you time on your main cooking day. For example, Lasagna, while incredibly popular, takes a lot of time to make from scratch, is not a high-profit item. Still, it freezes well, allowing you to make significant portions ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about come cooking day.

Buy based on seasonality and use the overage for a seasonal meal.

When produce is in season, it’ll cost you less to purchase, but the markup on your meals will stay the same. Consumers love to see a bit of variety, and you can use any extra vegetables in another dish. One meal prep company we spoke with creates a large vegetable side that is portioned for a family, and they utilize extra seasonable vegetables to create it. So as the vegetables change, the dish remains the same, as you don’t have to buy for this dish specifically; instead, you can utilize the extra that comes in the large cases.

Keep your menu limited but diverse.

For example, you can offer a big lunch salad with a variety of proteins. It’s quick to make the main meal, and the diversity of simple-to-add options helps you increase your customer enjoyment. This is a great time to offer toppings that you have already prepared for other meals, no extra work, and immense benefit to your customers.

Have any other suggestions for your fellow cooks? Reach out and we’ll publish your quote and link back to your shop.

Have a story to tell?

Connect with us and let us know if you would like to guest post on our blog. We'd love to share your meal prep or food industry story with our readers.