How to Start a Meal Prep Business

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By Jacob Maslow

• Develop a plan and create a budget to get started.

• Secure the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance as required by local authorities.

• Utilize marketing channels such as social media, website building, or print media to market your business.

Learn the Essential Steps to Take When Starting a Meal Prep Business

If you have a cooking passion and want to provide meal prep services for others who wish to prepare healthy meals quickly at home, then you have hit on an excellent idea. Meal prep and delivery services fall under the fastest-growing business categories and will reach an annual revenue of $7.6 billion by 2024.

SWOT Analysis of a Meal Prep Business

A SWOT analysis is a valuable tool for any business to assess its current situation. By understanding Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the industry, meal prep business owners can identify key points to focus on when developing a successful strategy.

Strengths: Meal prep businesses are in demand due to an increasingly health-conscious public that wants convenient access to nutritious meals. Additionally, these businesses offer flexibility with their operations as they do not require a physical space, and customers can order through online platforms or social media.

Weaknesses: The competition level is high in this type of business as the meal delivery market is saturated with existing providers offering similar services. Additionally, there are significant labor costs associated with meal preparation and delivery, which can limit the potential for a significant profit.

Opportunities: Meal prep businesses can partner with local restaurants, catering companies, and other food service providers to source ingredients at a lower cost. Additionally, creative marketing strategies such as discounts or loyalty programs can help attract new customers.

Threats: Changes in customer demand or preferences can negatively impact sales as consumers may shy away from healthy meal options if they are not as tasty as more indulgent alternatives. Additionally, changes in regulations regarding food safety could be costly to implement and reduce profits over time.


Starting a meal prep business is an excellent way to provide nutritious meals that meet customers’ needs while creating a profitable business. With careful planning and consideration of the opportunities and threats present in the industry, meal prep business owners can build a successful venture.

By developing an effective plan and budget, securing necessary licenses and permits, utilizing marketing channels, and conducting a SWOT analysis, meal prep business owners can take the necessary steps to launch their businesses.

Starting a Meal Prep Business

Despite the small capital outlay required, meal prep businesses have good income potential and high-profit margins. However, you must consider several things if you plan to start a meal prep business, including a full-time commitment with several licensing requirements. Furthermore, building a loyal customer base in a competitive market takes time.

Depending on your equipment needs, your startup costs can range between $12,550 and $22,100, and the average profits fall within the 15-35% margin.

Follow these essential steps to decide and plan on starting a meal prep business.

1.      Decide on a Niche

You have several options for meal prep business types, so choose a niche early to help you perfect the products and services you will offer.

Some of the most popular formats include providing raw ingredients you deliver with a recipe for the exact portions.

A segment that’s growing fast is the heat-and-eat segment of the industry because it offers convenience to busy clients. Here you do all the cooking and deliver pre-made fresh meals to your customers to heat and enjoy.

Meal prep workshops are another option where your customers cook onsite with ingredients and recipes you provide. Then, they can take these meals home to enjoy.

Some Niches to Consider

1. Health and Nutrition: This niche focuses on providing healthy, nutritious meals to clients who want to lead a healthier lifestyle. Menus include balanced meals with fresh, organic ingredients, free from processed foods or additives.

2. Special Diets: Many customers have special dietary requirements such as veganism or allergies; meal-prepping businesses can provide tailored menus that meet these needs while maintaining delicious flavors and textures.

3. Home-Cooked Meals: This business provides customers with home-cooked meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The focus is on creating dishes that evoke the feeling of being at home without needing to do the work yourself.

4. Gourmet Cuisine: Meal prep businesses offering gourmet dishes focus on creating high-end, restaurant-quality meals. They often employ chefs and specialized kitchen staff to ensure top-notch flavors and presentations.

5. Catering: This meal prep business provides catering services for events such as weddings, corporate functions, or other occasions requiring elaborate menus with high-quality ingredients.

6. Meal Delivery: These businesses offer convenient delivery options for customers who want their meals delivered straight to their doorsteps. The focus is on providing various healthy options with fast delivery times.

7. Takeout Meals: Takeout meals are prepared ahead of time but require customers to pick up the food from a local store or restaurant location rather than having it delivered.

8. Meal Kit Services: Meal kit services provide all the ingredients and recipes needed to make a complete meal in one package. This business makes it easy for customers to cook their meals without spending too much time shopping for ingredients or researching recipes.

9. Meal Subscriptions: Meal subscription businesses provide customers with regular deliveries of pre-made meals that are tailored to individual dietary requirements and preferences. Customers can choose how often they receive these meals, making this ideal for busy individuals who need healthy food on demand.

These are the most popular formats, but you can also develop another niche idea according to the research of your local target market and your competitors.

Finally, it’s essential to consider the location of your business premises to ensure its accessibility, find reliable suppliers, and work out the logistics of deliveries.

2.      Prepare a Business Plan

Your business plan is a tool that helps keep your business on track. In it, you define your research and the market demand. Then outline your business growth plans and show investors and lenders its value.

See the bottom of the article for a sample business plan to help make the task more straightforward if you have never drawn up a business plan.

Choose your business name

If you haven’t chosen a business name, now is the time to name your meal prep business. First, choose a memorable name that is also catchy and easy to remember. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but get some ideas from the business name at the bottom of this article.

Once you have chosen the name, you need to double-check that it’s unique on the State Secretary’s website. You should also do a trademark search. Once you are sure that only you have the name, get the domain name and social media handles before anyone else scoops them from you.

Decide on the business entity structure

As you draw up your business plan, you need to outline the legal structure of your business. First, decide whether you prefer a simple entity like a sole proprietorship or a legal structure like a limited liability company (LLC) to help protect your personal assets. If you have a partner, you may choose a partnership, and if you plan to expand the business nationally, a corporation may well be the best structure.

Your attorney, bookkeeper, or tax expert can advise you on the best business entity to ensure you get the best of all their benefits.

Identify and price your services

You must define the products and services you plan to offer. Furthermore, write down your costs for supplies, production, and delivery. Next, consider the cost and time required to develop your products. Finally, put a price on your services that considers all these.

3.      Register Your Meal Prep Business

You are now ready to register your business with the state to make it formal. You submit the required documents and pay a small fee to the state, and within a few days, you get the approval to start operating.

4.      Obtain Meal Prep Business Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

Once you have registered your business, you must get the required licensing and permits. Use the SBA or your state resources if you are unsure about the types of permits and licenses required.

Businesses distributing food must meet several requirements like sales privilege, food handlers, and catering licenses. You will also need zoning and health department permits.

Depending on where you run your meal prep business and if you deliver food to clients, you will need the proper insurance to cover your risks. For example, you will need worker’s compensation insurance for employees and general liability insurance. However, you may also need commercial vehicle and property insurance. Speak to your insurance broker to find which policies you need, and ask about the benefits of all-in-one insurance that a business owner’s policy offers.

5.      Register for Tax

Every business that has employees needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply online to the IRS for this as soon as you complete the business registration process. The EIN also acts as your business tax number unless you have a sole proprietorship and use your social security number.

6.      Look for Small-Business Funding

Unless you have money to start your meal prep business, you will need capital from a funding source to buy equipment and tools. Some popular options are getting help from family and friends, crowdfunding, a banking loan or credit line, and SBA loans.

Every small business must have a bank account to help keep its income and expenditure separate from its personal finances. Yours is no exception. When you open a business banking account, you should also get a business credit card to buy supplies on credit and build a good credit history.

7.      Launching Your Business

The essentials contributing to a good meal prep business include getting suitable suppliers for your meal prep and packaging, having reliable preparation equipment, and getting the meals to clients on time.

Besides the standard equipment and delivery vehicles, you also need essential software tools to make running the business easier. Find the correct accounting, business logistics, and inventory management software to ensure your business runs smoothly at every step.

  1. Create Your Meal Prep Business Marketing Plan

Every business needs a marketing plan to help with its branding. Besides more traditional marketing efforts, including published material and posters, your new business needs an online presence.

Start with your website, which is easier to build than you think. However, if you don’t feel you have the confidence to build it yourself, you can get help to ensure it is professional and easy to navigate. You will also want a mobile-friendly website, as most people start their search on a smartphone.

Next, create your digital marketing strategy to ensure it continues to bring leads to your business website. Now you are ready to choose the social media platforms to help you promote your business, including Facebook and Instagram.

The faster you get people to talk about your food prep business, the faster it will grow, so kickstart your marketing by catching their attention with competitions, giveaways, and testimonials from satisfied clients.

Finally, make it easier for the local clients you rely on to find you by listing your business on Google and Yelp.

Food Safety

Food safety is paramount when running a meal prep business. You must follow the right food safety practices and ensure that everyone in your team knows what is expected of them.

Keep up with the changing trends by refreshing your kitchen staff’s understanding of safe food preparation, storage, and handling guidelines. Besides following local rules, invest in temperature loggers to keep track of all hot-holding temperatures, and review their logs regularly to guarantee the quality of your meals every day.

Ensure customers know they can trust you by displaying any food hygiene ratings or certifications on your website. It will help reassure potential clients that you are serious about providing quality service.

Alternative Businesses to consider

The meal prep business is a great way to share your passion for cooking, but if you’re looking for something else in the food industry, there are several other ideas to consider.

You could create a baking business and bake cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts to order. Or open a small café serving coffee and light meals. You may also want to go into catering or start a food delivery service.

Whichever option you choose, remember that it will take time and dedication to get your new business up and running smoothly. So make sure you’re prepared for the journey before taking the first step toward success!

Final Take

Your meal prep business can grow into a thriving enterprise when you follow all the correct steps. Remember to follow your business plan as you develop it and to add to it at every slight or more considerable change to ensure you prepare for the next phase.


What equipment do I need to start a meal prep business?

You will need reliable preparation equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, ovens, blenders, and cutting boards. Depending on the scope of your business, you may also need delivery vehicles or other specialized equipment for food storage and handling.

What software should I use to run my meal prep business?

Essential software tools include accounting software, a business logistics system for ordering supplies and tracking orders and deliveries, and inventory management software to keep up with ingredient stocks and manage customer orders efficiently. Other than that, you can find helpful CRM (Customer Relation Manager) software that helps manage customers’ profiles and deliveries.

How do I get customers for my meal prep business?

Create a comprehensive marketing plan that includes traditional methods such as published material, posters, and digital marketing. Build your website with a mobile-friendly design, and use social media platforms to promote your business. Give your customers incentives to talk about you by offering competitions or giveaways, showcase their testimonials on your website, and list the business on Google Maps and Yelp for easy location visibility.

Is it worth starting a meal prep business?

Meal prep businesses can be incredibly lucrative, depending on the region and your level of dedication. With careful planning and strategic marketing, you can create a successful meal prep business that will turn a profit.

When should I start my meal prep business?

If you are ready to launch your business, there is no better time than now. Do thorough research into what competitors in your area are offering, determine the scope of services you want to provide, and develop a comprehensive plan for launching your meal-prepping business. Invest in high-quality preparation equipment and software tools, ensure your staff understands food safety protocols, and build an online presence with digital marketing methods. You can turn your meal prep business into a thriving venture with the right plan.

120 Business Names and 20 Mission Statements for a Meal Prep Business

1. Meal-Go: “We provide healthy, pre-prepared meals to busy people, delivered straight to their door.”

2. FreshFuel: “We help busy professionals prioritize nutrition and health with our delicious meal plans that are tailored to fit their individual needs.”

3. Prepared Plates: “We make it easy to eat healthy by delivering pre-made meals prepared from the freshest ingredients right to your home or office.”

4. Ready Set Meal: “Our goal is to provide a convenient way for everyone to enjoy nutritious meals without spending too much time in the kitchen.”

5. Plate4U: “We offer customized meal solutions tailored to our customers’ individual health needs.”

6. Prepped & Ready: “We strive to make eating healthy delicious and convenient with our pre-made meals delivered right to your door.”

7. MealMate: “Our goal is to provide healthy meal options that fit into any lifestyle, no matter how busy or hectic life gets.”

8. Healthy Eats: “Healthy doesn’t have to be hard, which is why we offer prepackaged meals made from wholesome ingredients that taste great too!”

9. FitFoods: “We make it easy for people to maintain a balanced diet by providing nutritious pre-made meals to fit their busy lifestyles.”

10. MealReady: “We make nutritious and delicious meal plans for those who don’t have the time or energy to prepare meals from scratch.”

11. The Food Factory: “We provide high-quality, pre-made meals designed to help our customers stay on track with their diet and health goals without sacrificing taste or convenience.”

12. EasyEats: “Our mission is to offer healthy, affordable meal solutions that are easy to prepare and accessible to everyone.”

13. Plated Meals: “Enjoy wholesome, delicious meals delivered right to your door with ease – no mess in the kitchen required! ”

14. MealChef: “We make meal prepping easy by providing delicious, nutritious meals that are customizable to fit any dietary need or lifestyle habit.”

15. Prepped & Packed: “Fresh and flavorful meals delivered in no time – that’s what we do best! We aim to make eating healthy as easy and enjoyable as possible.”

16. FitEats: “Our mission is to provide our customers with balanced, healthy meals that keep them fueled throughout the day without the hassle of planning, prepping, or cooking from scratch.”

17. The Goodie Box: “We specialize in creating wholesome meal boxes for our customers packed with flavor and nutrition – without sacrificing convenience.”

18. Ready 2 Plate: “We make it easy for people to enjoy healthy, delicious meals on a budget with our pre-made meal options delivered straight to their door.”

19. Light Bites: “Our goal is to provide tasty, nutritious snacks and meals that give you the energy you need without weighing you down.”

20. Meal Mart: “Our mission is to make eating healthily enjoyable and affordable by offering convenient pre-made meals that fit into any lifestyle or diet plan.”

These clever business names and mission statements will help you stand out in a crowded market of meal prep businesses while also providing customers with a clear idea of what to expect.

100  Business Names for a Meal Prep Business

1. Foodies on the Go

2. Meal Magic

3. QuickChef

4. Dine-Time Delights

5. Eats-A-Lot

6. Food Frenzy

7. Gourmet Grub

8. Healthy Bitez

9. Home Meals Hub

10. Kitchen Serenity

11. Lunch Expressions

12. Meal Makers Club

13. No Cooking Required

14. On the Table Cuisine

15. Prepared to Perfection

16. Ready Chef Go

17 Ready in a Snap

18 Recipe Revival

19 Snack Snugglers

20 Spoonfuls of Yum

21 Super Supper Club

22 Take Five Meals

23 Time-Saving Eats

24 Weekend Warrior Cuisine

25 Yummy in a Hurry!

26 Bite Pronto

27 Crunched for Time Meals

28 Dining Delights Delivery

29 Eat-It Easy

30 Fast Food Fanatics

31 Fresh to Table Cuisine

32 Go Gourmet!

33 Kitchen Expressions

34 Meal Paddlers

35 Nosh Expressions

36 On the Menu Now!

37 Prepared Pantry Eats

38 Ready Bites Club

39 Savory Seconds

40 Snackin’ Sans Cooking!

41 Tastebud Treats

42 Time-Saver Meals

43 Whip It Up Cuisine

44 All Day Eats

45 Bites for Busy People

46 Chef in a Flash

47 Dine In Minutes

48 Eat & Run!

49 Fast Gourmet Food

50 Get it Ready Grill!

51 Homemade To Go!

52 Kitchen Magic Meals

53 Meal Prep Masters

54 No Time to Cook?

55 On-the-Spot Cuisine

56 Quick Fix Eats

57 Ready-to-Serve Food

58 Savory Selections

59 Snackable Solutions

60 Takeout Treats

61 Tastebuds Expressions 62 Wholesome Wonders! 63 All Day Dining Delights 64 Bite-Size Necessities 65 Chef’s Creations 66 Delicious in a Dash 67 Eat It Up! 68 Fast Meal Makers 69 Get Ready to Serve 70 Homemade Meals-To-Go 71 Kitchen Ease 72 Meals on the Move 73 No Fuss Food 74 On Your Plate Cuisine 75 Quick Bites Club 76 Ready in Minutes 77 Savory & Sweet To Go 78 Snack Pack Solutions 79 Takeout For Two 80 Tastes of Tomorrow 81 Wholesome Goodies 82 All Day Dining 83 Bite Size Delights 84 Chef’s Specials 85 Deliciously Prepared 86 Eating Out Without The Hassle 87 Fast Food Fix 88 Get It Ready Grill 89 Home-Style Cuisine 90 Kitchen Solutions 91 Meal Prep Pros 92 No Time to Wait 93 On the Table Expressions 94 Ready To Eat 95 Savory Eats 96 Snack Attack! 97 Takeaway Treats 98 Tastes of Home 99 Wholesome Goodness 100 Yum-Yums Go Go!

Sample Business Plan for a Meal Prep Business

Executive Summary

Meal Prep Business is a meal delivery service based in San Francisco, CA. We provide 3-5 meals per week for customers looking for healthy and convenient meals. Our meals are made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients and delivered to our clients’ doorsteps on the day of their choice.

Our goal is to become the premier meal delivery service in the Bay Area by consistently providing quality meals with exceptional customer service. We plan to achieve this by utilizing technology, developing relationships with local farmers and suppliers, and creating a unique customer experience that sets us apart from other meal delivery services.

We will be funded through private investments and small business loans provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). With our experienced management team, we are confident that Meal Prep Business will be a successful and profitable venture.


• Generate revenue of $250,000 in the first year.

• Increase customer base by 10% each quarter.

• Establish relationships with local farmers and suppliers to source ingredients for meals.

• Develop a website and mobile app to facilitate ordering and delivery services.

• Utilize social media platforms to build our brand and increase customer engagement.

• Achieve profitability within 18 months of launching the business.

Strategy & Implementation Summary

Meal Prep Business will focus on providing healthy, convenient meals to customers in the Bay Area. Our meals will be made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients and delivered to customers on the day of their choice. We are committed to providing quality meals with exceptional customer service.

Our strategy is to utilize technology and digital marketing techniques to build our brand and increase customer engagement. This includes developing a website and mobile app for ordering services, creating content for social media platforms, and utilizing SEO best practices to help us reach potential customers in the Bay Area. Additionally, we will establish relationships with local farmers and suppliers to source ingredients for our meals.

We plan to launch the business in June 2023, focusing on building a clientele through word-of-mouth referrals and online advertising efforts. Once we have established a steady customer base, we will expand our services and reach by developing partnerships with local vendors, such as restaurants and grocery stores.

Financial Plan

Meal Prep Business will be funded through private investments as well as small business loans provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). We anticipate needing $100,000 in startup capital to cover the cost of equipment and software licenses, marketing expenses, and other operational costs.

We anticipate generating approximately $25,000 in revenue during our first year of operation, with an anticipated profit margin of 25%. This is based on our estimated customer base of 2,500 customers paying a fee of $10 per meal. Our goal is to achieve profitability within 18 months of launching the business.


Starting a meal prep business can be a satisfying and profitable venture. With a dedicated management team, experienced staff, and clear strategies for success, Meal Prep Business is well-positioned to become the premier meal delivery service in the Bay Area. We are confident that our business model will prove successful, allowing us to achieve profitability within 18 months of launching the business.

Meal Prep Business is committed to becoming a leader in this industry by consistently providing quality meals with exceptional customer service. We look forward to serving our customers and building relationships with local farmers and suppliers as we grow our business. Thank you for your time and interest in Meal Prep Business – we look forward to working with you!


This plan is for a fictitious company and is an example of what a meal prep company might look like and the steps it may take to be successful. It is not intended as legal or financial advice for any particular business. The information provided should only be a starting point for further research and due diligence. Please consult with a professional in the field before deciding to launch your own meal prep business.


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