Meals per day expectations

8
0
Joined Jul 15, 2018
Hi All,

Im starting up a food prep business as a sideline to compliment my already thriving fitness company.

So Im in the process of looking for a chef and everything but i was just wondering what should my expectations be of said chef..

If i gave the sample menu of lets say..

Peanut butter chicken (200g)
Garlic and chilli chicken (200g)
Lamb chops (3)
Turkey meatballs (4)
Teriyaki cod (150g)

Garlic roasted new potatoes (150g)
Cajun sweet potatoes (150g)
Penne arabiata (150g)
Spiced brown rice (150g)

Pak Choi (150g)
Garlic spinach (150g)
Grilled broccoli (150g)
Grilled asparagus (150g)

Breakfasts:

Poached eggs with turkey bacon
Healthy ‘English breakfast’
Overnight oats with fruit
Banana Protein pancakes with fruits

Idea being the client picks one of each to create their meal.

Things to add. These will be blast chilled and sent out cold and packaged so theres no need to have the same timing as a restaurant to have everything ready and hot at the same time.


Again just looking for a rough estimate as i don't want to completely over estimate a chefs capability and upset anyone!

Thanks,
Louis
 
1,263
798
Joined Mar 1, 2017
A little more detail would be helpful.

Do you have a commercial kitchen already laid out? Do you have recipes already worked out and proofed or is the chef going to come up with the recipes? Do you have ingredient sourcing lined up or is that going to be the chef's responsibility? What are the working hours? Is there storage involved? If so, do you have a cooler, a freezer and a dry storage? Will there be kitchen help?

Its rather difficult to answer your question without knowing exactly how far you have come, what you have lined up so far and what the short term and intermediate goals are.

:)
 
8
0
Joined Jul 15, 2018
A little more detail would be helpful.

Do you have a commercial kitchen already laid out? Do you have recipes already worked out and proofed or is the chef going to come up with the recipes? Do you have ingredient sourcing lined up or is that going to be the chef's responsibility? What are the working hours? Is there storage involved? If so, do you have a cooler, a freezer and a dry storage? Will there be kitchen help?

Its rather difficult to answer your question without knowing exactly how far you have come, what you have lined up so far and what the short term and intermediate goals are.

:)

I am looking at kitchens now, one of my options has the following;
2 x Hightop workbench (with underneath storage)
1 x Rational Combi Master
1 x ElectroLux Oven
2 x Blue Seal 6 Gas Ring Burner With Underneath Oven
1 x 20L Fryer
1 x Brat Pan
2 x VatPac Machine
1 x Blast Chiller
1 x Blue Seal Gas Chargrill
2 x Walk in Fridges
1 x Freezer
Dry Storage Racks in Kitchen

Sourcing the ingredients will be myself, all I want the chef to be doing is preping and cooking. and even then I will help where I can. essentially i am the kitchen help.

8 hour shift will be the time frame.

Recipes are done for the different things listed above, but open to them being changed if the chef has a preferred way as long as it is still healthy.

I don't tend to try and conquer the world with 1 chef Im just trying to work out how many meals to expect he/she to make so I know how many clients can be brought on in the first place before I then find another chef or just more kitchen help to allow the 1 chef to cook more.
 
8
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Joined Jul 15, 2018
There are so many factors to take into account I wouldn't even begin to guess at an answer and I'm still not really sure what the question is?

You have a menu as described, each food item is prepped, cooked and chilled. Then, people select a combination of items which are packed and shipped to order?

That being the case each item is being prepared and cooked many 24-28 hours ahead? On this basis the actual production rate is only 25% of the menu per day. A single chef could put out quite a volume of food, at a guess 100+ of everything available at any one time based on an 8 hour day (or night).

But, please, don't subject any chef to a blue seal range! Horrible things!

Actually the idea would be people select from the combo above and to create their meal combos, the amount of meals they select is based on how many meals they want per day and for how many days a week. They would put the order in and then every (for example) Tuesday and Friday we would cook the meals and send them out the same day they are cooked. The menu changes every 2/3 weeks with guidance from the chef so they can have a say on what they like to cook etc.

And as for the question asked it’s quite simple.. how many meals can I expect a chef to cook. I don’t want to get 20 clients on the books having 15 meals a week each. Therefor needing 150 meals a shift to be cooked over a 8 hour period and a chef not physically being able to do it... so I just want a reasonable number to expect while keeping quality high!
 
8
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Joined Jul 15, 2018
Also, nothing will be pre cooked or prepapared 24/48 hours in advance. Food has a maximum shelf life obviously so I wouldn’t want to waste 24 hours of that shelf life if I’m sending meals to clients to have at home.

I will be bringing the meat in from the market on the morning it will be cooked. Same with the fish, And the vegetables,

All clients need to put their order in by a deadline.. I.E Thursday order deadline for delivery on Sunday anything ordered after the deadline will be cooked and sent out on the following Delivery day
 
8
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Joined Jul 15, 2018
20 customers? Do you numbers carefully before go any further.
yes 20, this would be 300 meals over 2 shifts. i.e Tuesday and Friday. please enlighten me if you see something wrong?

if you need it broken down more 15 meals would be 3 meals a day for 5 days. hope this helps you actually answer the question i have posted.

my numbers are fine. i want numbers from others to know the estimate of how much i can expect someone to do per shift.
 
315
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Joined Jan 19, 2014
Ok, I'll play....One cook, expecting 20 each of 15 unique meals cooked and packaged over 16 hours in total. So, roughly 3 minutes per meal for prep, cook, and packaging. That leaves you doing all the ordering, inventory, receiving and clean up. Good luck with those numbers. What are you expecting people to pay for these meals?
 
5,509
947
Joined Oct 10, 2005
You don’t need a “Chef” to portion foods or to run a vacuum sealer, or to peel vegetables, or to clean, put away purchases, or even to assemble orders.

Q:
-Who will be accepting orders?
-Who will be delivering orders?
-What will be the minimum amount of orders needed (€\£ amount) to cover costs on a weekly or monthly basis?
 
1,832
538
Joined Aug 15, 2003
There really isn't a way to answer your question. There are far, far too many variables to be able to. Every chef/person is different, and can do different things better than someone else. That's like asking how many home runs will a baseball player hit per game if I hire one to play on my team? It all depends on the player...

There is no statistic out there for "average personal chef meals cooked in an 8 hour shift."

My advice is to interview a few chefs who are interested in the job and ask them what they think they can do. Then start small and build from there until you hit maximum. If you are so successful and making good money at that point, then you can hire another chef and expand.
 
8
0
Joined Jul 15, 2018
Ok, I'll play....One cook, expecting 20 each of 15 unique meals cooked and packaged over 16 hours in total. So, roughly 3 minutes per meal for prep, cook, and packaging. That leaves you doing all the ordering, inventory, receiving and clean up. Good luck with those numbers. What are you expecting people to pay for these meals?

the reality is theres only around 5 meals that would be completely unique, once your making any of the others there is a cross over therefor your making lets say 1kg of peanut butter chicken at a time, and that will be enough for 5 meals.

Don't get me wrong I understand how open ended this question really is! because if you can fit 200 chicken breasts your ovens in 1 go you can make them quite a lot quicker then if you can only fit 2 in the oven.

the only way to know is to just get in there and do it!
 
8
0
Joined Jul 15, 2018
You don’t need a “Chef” to portion foods or to run a vacuum sealer, or to peel vegetables, or to clean, put away purchases, or even to assemble orders.

Q:
-Who will be accepting orders?
-Who will be delivering orders?
-What will be the minimum amount of orders needed (€\£ amount) to cover costs on a weekly or monthly basis?


exactly, and they wont be.

Accepting orders will be done online, allowing me to place the orders with our suppliers for the meats/vegs/carbs required and then I will pick up from the respective markets.

not many at all, probably single figures in terms of clients (when they order 15 meals each) would cover costs
 
8
0
Joined Jul 15, 2018
There really isn't a way to answer your question. There are far, far too many variables to be able to. Every chef/person is different, and can do different things better than someone else. That's like asking how many home runs will a baseball player hit per game if I hire one to play on my team? It all depends on the player...

There is no statistic out there for "average personal chef meals cooked in an 8 hour shift."

My advice is to interview a few chefs who are interested in the job and ask them what they think they can do. Then start small and build from there until you hit maximum. If you are so successful and making good money at that point, then you can hire another chef and expand.


this was always my approach, and I will be doing this regardless.
I wasn't expecting a magic formula as such just a very rough guide.. Like for arguments sake lets say everything was ordered equally which it wont be..

could you make;

800g of peanut butter chicken
800g of garlic chicken
12 lamb chops
16 turkey meatballs (from scratch)
600g teriyaki cod

Garlic roasted new potatoes (600g)
Cajun sweet potatoes (600g)
Penne araibiata (600g)
Spiced brown rice (600g)

Pak Choi (600g)
Garlic spinach (600g)
Grilled broccoli (600g)
Grilled asparagus (600g)

over 2 shifts which would be the 15 meals in a week.

the reality is, you might be making 1.8kg of sweet potatoes ands no rice or pasta, or shit loads of chicken and only 4 potions of cod
 
2,186
658
Joined Oct 31, 2012
800 grams is roughly 1 pound, 12 ounces, according to an internet weight conversion table I googled. 1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds. So based on that, the figures seem really low.
Otherwise, this seems like a normal restaurant set up except with ordering in advance, over a website and no on site consumption.
As with any food set up, ordering everything daily isn't practical if any kind of volume is expected. As has been pointed out, receiving, storing, preparation all need to happen too. That will take someones' time and effort.
It really isn't cost effective to buy, for example, eight chicken breasts one day, then twelve the next, then three the next, simply based on how many orders you get. You get a case, store them in the walk in, then portion out what you need. By extension, you'd be doing the same for things like carrots, onions and the like.
So a bit of bulk buying should be expected to have enough of anything on hand for several days at a time.
As for volume of meals produced, that depends on the mix of menu items ordered each day. As you already noted, if you can fit 200 chickens in the oven, then that's quicker than only two. But much like a typical restaurant, because the numbers change daily, many items would need to be in some form of readiness all the time. So making a sauce or salad or dicing vegetables, isn't practical to do from scratch every day, every order.
Over time you can determine the best selling items and plan accordingly but then you would still need to prep certain items ahead of time.
So how much any cook/chef can handle depends greatly on over all planning and organization.
 
3,238
672
Joined May 5, 2010
Do you have storage capabilities to keep an inventory of perishables and dry storage?

Your business is nothing more than a specialized personal Chef service. You are going to have a Chef cook and prep the orders while you do all the paperwork.
Everything you listed could be prepared in the time allotted by a competent Chef.
Now......When you hire that Chef, listen to what they have to say. If they are worth their salt, they will explain to you how to purchase smarter.
 

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