[req adv] Increasing efficiency, small meal delivery service

6
2
Joined Jul 17, 2018
Hi all,
I've just started my own meal delivery service and I'm starting to push the limits of how many meals I can crank out in one day. This is a bit of a longer post so thank you in advance if you read through it. For some context I am passionate home cook who decided ditch my office job and become a profession cook (but I have no professional training). Right now it is a one man show, I do everything from buying produce to delivering the meals.
At the moment I cook about 140-160 meal/week split between 2 days, (8 hours each day) and I feel like this is my limit. If I did any more I think the quality would take a hit.
The menu rotates week to week but follows this general break down: protein/veg/carb-1, protein/veg/carb-2, pasta/stir fry.
The equipment I currently use: 6 burner gas range top, convection oven, immersion circulator, fryer, griddle, gas grill, walk in fridge & freezer. My workstation in the kitchen consists of 2, 76" tables with enough floor space for 1 cooling rack and 2 utility carts.
For example this Sunday's menu: Tilapia (w. Harissa-Yogurt Sauce)/Roasted Broccoli/Faro, Chicken Breast (w. Molasses-Chipotle Sauce)/Celery-Root Salad/Roasted Sweet Potatoes/Rigatoni alla bolognese. I have to cook 75 portions split evenly across the three meals.
My work flow goes something of along the lines of:
  • Wet brine chicken, dry brine tilapia
  • Prep & simmer bolognese
  • Cook faro
  • Pre-sear chicken & tilapia before sous vide
  • Roast broccoli & sweet potato
  • Prep celery root salad
  • Cook pasta, combine with sauce
  • Cool chicken & tilapia in ice bath
  • Prep harissa & chipotle sauce
  • Portion meals
Because I've never worked in a commercial kitchen before this I don't know if there's certain things I should or shouldn't be doing to optimize my process.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
 
982
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
At the moment I cook about 140-160 meal/week split between 2 days, (8 hours each day) and I feel like this is my limit. If I did any more I think the quality would take a hit

First welcome to cheftalk. Not being snarky but my answer is work 10 hours a day for three days.
 
6
2
Joined Jul 17, 2018
At the moment I cook about 140-160 meal/week split between 2 days, (8 hours each day) and I feel like this is my limit. If I did any more I think the quality would take a hit

First welcome to cheftalk. Not being snarky but my answer is work 10 hours a day for three days.
At the moment I cook about 140-160 meal/week split between 2 days, (8 hours each day) and I feel like this is my limit. If I did any more I think the quality would take a hit

First welcome to cheftalk. Not being snarky but my answer is work 10 hours a day for three days.

Thanks for the reply and I don't think youryo response was snarky at all. Current I shop for grocery in the morning from 7a-9a, am in the kitchen from 10a-6p. Delivery usually takes up 7p-9p. So ATM I'm working 12+ hours on my cook days and can't spend anymore time in the kitchen. I try to buy meat and produce and cook the same day it is delivered to maintain quality. I could add a third cook day for things that can keep well in the fridge.
I appreciate the input .
 

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