Business Idea

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10
Joined Jan 16, 2017
So I'm not a chef, just a humble home cook. I'm investigating the idea of a business involving making good quality lunches for office workers. My main interest is actually the logistics and marketing of the business because that's what I do. I'm looking for advice from professional chefs about how many lunches (all identical) one chef could prepare in say a 4 hour period in a professional kitchen. To add some context the lunch would usually consist of three parts, say:
  • Cannellini bean & egg salad with crispy crumbs 
  • Sweet potato & chorizo quesadillas 
  • Fruit Salad
The lunch would be packaged for delivery rather than eaten in. What I'm looking for is a ball park figure to what seems a realistic number of identical meals that one chef could make in 4 hours, so that I can work out whether the idea holds water. 

Thanks in advance for any helpful answers, 

Stephen 
 
982
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
First you have to decide how you will prepare the food.

Cannellini bean & egg salad with crispy crumbs

Dried beans or canned beans? Egg salad fresh eggs cooked and peeled on site, egg salad from supplier, or egg salad made from hard boiled egg in a five gallon bucket?

Sweet potato & chorizo quesadillas

Same question. How will you prepare the food fresh sweet potato or canned.  House made chorizo?  How will you hold the quesadillas?

Fruit Salad

Fresh or purchased?

What is your mission statement?

Good Luck.
 
2
10
Joined Jan 16, 2017
Thanks Jimrya, 

The mission statement would be fresh produce cooked on site. So yes in this example canned beans, fresh eggs boiled and peeled on site, sweet potatoe peeled on site, pre bought chorizo, fresh fruit.

The above recipe is really a first draft idea. I'd work on the meal choices with a chef so that any obvious bottle necks (like frying quesadillas) would either be removed from the process or simply choose an easier dish to make. 

Having experimented and cooked a few lunch meal ideas myself, I now think I'd need to make it just two elements, something like the egg salad and fruit desert, so as to keep prep time down.

With that added information and it being just two elements (Egg salad and fruit in this example) do you have a ball park figure you think reasonable for a chef to produce in 4 hours?

Thanks,

Stephen   
 
982
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
It is reckless for me to do this without more info but here is a WAG.  Thirty minute set up and thirty minute clean up. Now we have three hours to prepare the food.  Well the food has to be packed, thirty minutes for that. Now we have two and a half hours.  Cook and cool the eggs about thirty minutes.  Slice dice and get salad ready done while cooking eggs.  How many eggs can we peel per minute? Lets guess one.  Spend an hour on this and you have 60 eggs.  To chop and mix salad fifteen minutes.  Now we have forty five minutes for the fruit salad.

. For a six ounce portion we will estimate 90 peaces of fruit, Fruit salad wash, pare fruit, peel citrus. That is one per thirty seconds.  Hard but possible.

Our WAG is fifty to sixty but before I planed on this I would have the chef prepare the menu and try it out.  I did not include time for washing lettuce for bed and garnishing so it may take more than four hours.

I take no responsibility for this post.
 
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