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Aylin’s Tips for Starting a Meal Delivery Service

 

If you’ve been thinking you’d like to put your culinary passion into a business endeavor that lets you be the boss while sharing your passion, you might be considering starting your own meal delivery service.  Below, you’ll find some tips for helping get your business started on the right foot.

Research local businesses offering the same thing you want to offer to get an idea of what menus, methods, and pricing are working.  If you’re looking to be a meal delivery pioneer in your area, research similar markets elsewhere.  It’s important to understand that demographics really matter.  What works well in busy urban settings might not work in a more suburban area.  An area where fine cuisine is all the rage might be more receptive to “fancy” food than an area where casual is still king.  Your best chance at success lies in knowing your market.

 

Understand what local, state, or federal laws might apply to your business.  Make sure you obtain all of the necessary paperwork and permits to officially register and license your new empire.  Health department permits for food service businesses generally require routine on-site inspections.  There will also be very specific rules you’ll need to understand and follow, and these rules might be different for those running brick-and-mortar businesses versus those working out of their homes.  In addition to requirements centered around food safety in the kitchen, there are also regulations regarding the shipping or transport of food.

 

It’s also imperative for you to develop a comprehensive business plan, especially if you’re going into this venture with partners of any type.  Delineating duties and laying out a development and growth plan before you start can save some headaches down the road.  Naturally, you’ll want a plan that’s flexible enough to grow and change with your business, but opting to “wing it” usually lands new business owners in hot water sooner or later.  Part of this plan needs to be a clear concept of what you intend to offer.  Catering to a niche market might seem like a way to limit your potential, but it is also a way to limit initial expenses by limiting the menu items that you will have to ensure are always available.  It will be easier to expand your vision and services once you’ve gotten a good grip on the nuts and bolts of running the business.

When determining what you’ll need in terms of startup capital, make a comprehensive list of all of the equipment you’ll need, and then shop for the best prices.  Don’t forget to consider used equipment as you start out as long as said equipment can pass any necessary inspections.  It’s natural to want one of everything when it comes to kitchen equipment for your new business.  It’s important, though, to prioritize (unless, of course, you’re one of the lucky ones and money’s no object for you).  If you intend to offer fresh fruit and veggie smoothies, for instance, a superb juicer needs to be on your list.  If your focus is more on whole foods served whole, the juicer can wait.

 

Once you’re squared away with permits and licenses and are nearly ready to open, you’ll need to get the word out.  You can save money on your ad campaign by asking friends, family, and other social media contacts to spread the word via social media posts.  Post or hand out flyers advertising your grand opening in areas where you’re most likely to reach your target audience.  You might also look into decals for your car or delivery vehicles.  Offering new customers the ability to earn discounts by referring others is a great way to grow your business through word of mouth.  You can also offer customers discounts for mentioning you on social media.

 

A lot of passion and patience and proper pre-launch preparation will help you realize your dreams of being your own boss and sharing your culinary creations with a hungry world!

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The Best Juicers Aylin & Her Staff Use

 

Juicing as a way of getting more vegetables and fruit is an idea that’s been around for decades.  In recent years, juicing has become more popular than ever as more of us have begun to truly understand the importance of a diet that includes more fresh produce.  Making your own juice can be more cost effective than buying prepackaged juices and eliminates concerns over the artificial ingredients that are often added to many commercial brands.  Choosing a juicer can be tough since there are so many models available today.  Before letting yourself get overwhelmed by the myriad of options, it might be a good idea to understand what types of juicers you’ll come across while shopping and what type of juicer makes the most sense for your needs, lifestyle, and healthy eating goals.

If you’re looking for a simple citrus juicer, you’ll find quite a few models that will make manually juicing your oranges a thing of the past.  Citrus juicers represent the most common and most popular of the specialty juicers.  Simply place a cut half of your favorite citrus fruit in the machine, and let the juicer do the rest.  Many models alternate the twisting direction to help get as much as juice as possible from the fruit.  While it might not be practical to use a juicer for a single piece of fruit, it’s definitely a time saver for making fresh squeezed juice for the family.

 

The other main type of specialty juicer is designed for wheatgrass and looks kind of like a meat grinder.  Wheatgrass is fed into a chute before a manual crank is turned to feed the wheatgrass through the machine, producing more juice than many general purpose models are able to extract from wheatgrass.  Though these models handle wheatgrass expertly and can handle some other softer fruits and vegetables, they’re definitely not the best choice for those who want to extract juice from lots of different types of produce.

When it comes to general purpose juicers, masticating models are the most powerful, but also usually the most expensive.  Don’t let the higher cost immediately deter you, though.  Masticating, also called cold press or slow press, juicers generally produce the most juice, meaning you can spend less on vegetables and fruits over the long term.  These models rely on an auger (a device that looks like an enlarged version of a drill bit or corkscrew) to press and grind your fresh produce in order to extract the juice from the pulp.  This process results in less oxidation (air introduction) and less warming than the process employed by most centrifugal juicers (more about them below).  One downside to masticating juicers is that they do tend to have smaller intake chutes than centrifugal juicers, which means you’ll have to spend a little more time cutting your produce before putting it into the machine.

 

The second, and most common, general purpose juicer is the centrifugal juicer.  Less expensive than slow press models, centrifugal juicers are often a great choice for those new to juicing.  Starting with a less expensive and quicker-acting model can let you get a feel for your favorite recipes and a better idea of what features you’d like to have or don’t need to spend extra money on if you decide to upgrade to a “fancier” model down the line.  These juicers employ blades to cut produce into small pieces and then use centrifugal (spinning) force to extract the juice.  Here is a great resource for reviews of some of Breville’s top centrifugal models.  The fact that one of Breville’s juicer lines accounts for 20% of the world’s centrifugal juicer sales means they must be doing something right and are definitely worth serious consideration.

 

Make sure you research the footprint of any prospective juicers if counter space (or lack thereof) is a concern for you.  If you know that your new juicer will have to live in a cabinet or pantry when not in use, be sure to find one that’s not so heavy or bulky as to make moving it around difficult.  Also, look for a model that is easy to clean thoroughly after each use.