Meal prep business plan for starting your own cooking service

Are you curious to know about a business in which you will be constantly interacting with people, helping them in their lives while generating a large amount of profit? You can start that dream business by opening a food preparation center.

To know how to start a meal prep business, read this document thoroughly in which we have provided a sample business plan of food preparation business startup named, ‘Cooking Court.’

Executive Summary

2.1 The Business

Jolie Swinton will be starting a meal prep business  in Denver, named as Cooking Court. Cooking Court will be a food preparation service in which people can cook by themselves, or with the help of our chefs or can also purchase cooked food.

2.2 Management

If you are starting your business by renting a space or if you are starting in your own house, you will need to plan very carefully in both cases. So, if you are looking for how to start a meal prep business from home  or outside you have to devise management plan first. As food preparation business is a business in which you have to take care of many details such as providing fresh material to your customers timely and managing the place where they will have to cook.

2.3 Customers

We are fortunate in a way that we have a very large group of people who can prove to be our long term customers. Our customers will be young, men and women who have to manage home tasks along-with jobs and senior citizens who want to have a good social interaction while doing work for themselves.

2.4 Target of the Company

Our target is to serve our customers with the best. If they want to cook by themselves then we’ll be a source of continuous help for them, otherwise, we’ll be serving them by putting in time and effort to make according to what they want.

Food Preparation Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Strategic/Operational Business Plan
This deliverable will contain a business development road map that will help the company achieve its goals and become a market leader.

Company Summary

3.1 Company Owner

Jolie Swinton will be the owner of the company. Jolie is an educated landlady, famous as an effective woman in her area. She has six years’ experience in managing resorts as well and a two-year experience while being a chef.

3.2 Why the meal prep business is being started

Jolie is the owner of a large piece of land and lives with just her husband and two children in that home. To indulge her in a socializing and interesting activity whilst using the space in her home, she has decided to open up a meal prepping business. This will be a great platform for her to use her intellect, resources, and experience to benefit herself and others.

3.3 How the meal prep business will be started

Jolie will hire chefs and assistants to prepare food for the customers, to bring the required things needed by customers, and to manage the dining lists and schedules, and lastly to clean the facility. To be organized, and deciding the strategy, Jolie has decided to study various personal chef business plans before actually making one for her.

Food Preparation Business Plan - Startup Cost

The detailed start-up requirements, start-up funding, start-up expenses, total assets, total funding required, total liabilities, total planned investment, total capital and liabilities as forecasted by company’s analysts, is given below:

Start-up Expenses  
Legal $55,300
Consultants $0
Insurance $32,750
Rent $32,500
Research and Development $32,750
Expensed Equipment $32,750
Signs $1,250
Start-up Assets $0
Cash Required $332,500
Start-up Inventory $32,625
Other Current Assets $232,500
Long-term Assets $235,000
Total Requirements $245,000
Start-up Expenses to Fund $11,875
Start-up Assets to Fund $15,000
Assets $23,125
Non-cash Assets from Start-up $18,750
Cash Requirements from Start-up $0
Additional Cash Raised $18,750
Cash Balance on Starting Date $21,875
Liabilities and Capital $0
Liabilities $0
Current Borrowing $0
Long-term Liabilities $0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills) $0
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free) $0
Capital $0
Planned Investment $0
Investor 1 $332,500
Investor 2 $0
Other $0
Additional Investment Requirement $0
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses) $313,125
Total Funding $255,000

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Before looking for how to start a food prep business, you have to decide several important things one of which is the range of services you’ll provide. The products and services decided by Jolie to be provided to her customers are:

  • Kitchen equipment: Facility of kitchen equipment, kitchen utensils, menus and ingredients according to the order of customers for if they want to prepare their food by themselves
  • Assistant chefs: Assistant Chef to help if one hasn’t much experience of cooking
  • Homemade foods: Prepared delicious homemade traditional and American foods
  • Desserts and drinks

By providing these facilities we’ll be saving our customers from the worry of buying grocery and cleaning the kitchen equipment. Moreover, we’ll be offering packaging facilities for those who want to take food home.

Marketing Analysis of Food Preparation Business

Before starting a food prep business, do quick research on the market in which you are starting your home based cooking business to know whether that market needs your services or not.


In a very well-off society no one will come to your house to prepare food for themselves, and in an area where there are a lot of resorts, no one will come to buy your homemade foods. This shows that how much important it is to do accurate marketing analysis in your   food service business plan.

5.1 Marketing Segmentation

After identifying the people who can serve as their potential customers, Cooking Court has divided them into groups of three to focus on their expectations out of this business separately. The marketing segmentation done by Cooking Court is given in this personal chef business plan sample.

Food Preparation Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

5.1.1 Family Households: Our major customers will be the families living near to our business area. They will find it convenient to cook the food they want with the help of an assistant without the worry of buying groceries and cleaning kitchen equipment. We also expect them to buy our prepared homemade foods.

5.1.2 Senior Citizens: This category will include the elderly people who will have a chance to socialize with people while preparing quality food for themselves by themselves. It is difficult for elders to prepare food for themselves from scratch i.e. buying ingredients, cleaning them, cooking them and then cleaning the utensils especially when they don’t have any helper.

5.1.3 Young & Adults: Last group of our target customers will comprise of the young people who have a tough routine doing jobs. Through us, they will be saved from the strain of such a tedious task of preparing a meal.

The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

Market Analysis
Potential Customers Growth Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 CAGR
Young & Adults 32% 11,433 13,344 16,553 18,745 20,545 13.43%
Family Households 48% 22,334 32,344 43,665 52,544 66,432 10.00%
Senior Citizens 20% 12,867 14,433 15,999 17,565 19,131 15.32%
Total 100% 46,634 60,121 76,217 88,854 106,108 9.54%

Franchise Business Plan

5.2 Business Target

Our target is to serve our customers either by providing prepared food or by helping them in preparing theirs. Besides, the financial target which we want to achieve is:

  • To achieve the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year, and $25k per month by the end of the third year

5.3 Product Pricing

The price of our products and services is neither very high nor too low. We want our customers to have a perfect experience and that is only possible when we don’t have to compromise on prices of selling food from home.


Marc Jacobs

Great service

Great service. Good turnaround time and quality work.

∙ Marc Jacobs

Your strategy for business to start and run your business successfully is also an important part of your meal prep business plan. In this sample food business plan, we are presenting a way to plan your business, specifically in this part we will be focusing on the methods to advertise your food preparation business.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

Our biggest competitive advantage is that we don’t have any direct competitor near to our business area. The area in which we are starting our business is more of residential than commercial, so we have a very bright chance to attract the category which we identified as our target customers. Secondly, we will not only provide our customers with space but also with fresh and cleaned vegetables, meat, dairy and whatever they order us.

Another thing that counts in our competitive edge is Jolie’s social relationships with the residents and community groups. Lastly, we will make a website through which our customers will be able to read the schedules and order the required things if they want some change in the menu we have made.

6.2 Sales Strategy

We will adopt the following methods for the advertisement of the business.

  • We’ll advertise our services and products through the local newspaper
  • We’ll arrange a free dinner party on the inauguration day to let people know about the taste and quality of our products
  • We’ll give free service for the first three days of launch

6.3 Sales Monthly

Food Preparation Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

Food Preparation Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

We believe that due to our unique idea, the opportunity to socialize with groups and the facility of preparing and buying homemade foods will eventually result in increased profits day by days. Our sales on a yearly basis as forecasted by marketing analyst is summarized in the following column chart.

Food Preparation Business Plan - Unit Sales

The detailed information about sales forecast, total unit sales, total sales is given in the following table:

Sales Forecast      
Unit Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Homemade foods 1,887,030 2,680,320 2,588,240
Desserts and drinks 802,370 815,430 823,540
Kitchen equipment 539,320 770230 1,002,310
Assistant chef 265,450 322,390 393,320
TOTAL UNIT SALES 3,494,170 4,588,370 4,807,410
Unit Prices Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Homemade foods $140.00 $150.00 $160.00
Desserts and drinks $600.00 $800.00 $1,000.00
Kitchen equipment $700.00 $800.00 $900.00
Assistant chef $650.00 $750.00 $850.00
Homemade foods $2,149,800 $2,784,000 $3,383,200
Desserts and drinks $120,050 $194,500 $268,500
Kitchen equipment $50,110 $71,600 $93,000
Assistant chef $139,350 $194,600 $249,850
Direct Unit Costs Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Homemade foods $0.70 $0.80 $0.90
Desserts and drinks $0.40 $0.45 $0.50
Kitchen equipment $0.30 $0.35 $0.40
Assistant chef $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Homemade foods $989,300 $1,839,000 $2,679,700
Desserts and drinks $66,600 $119,900 $173,200
Kitchen equipment $17,900 $35,000 $52,100
Assistant chef $19,400 $67,600 $115,800
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $1,294,100 $1,699,400 $2,104,700

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Personnel plan

You don’t need very large manpower to run meal preparation business, even if you are starting in your home you need just three to four persons for your help.

It is not the number of employees that is important, it is their dedication, customer care-oriented behavior and sense of responsibility which will be playing a part in making your reputation. So, you have to hire your staff by carefully testing their skills.

7.1 Company Staff

Jolie will supervise the customers by herself however, she will hire the following staff:

  • 1 General Assistant for bringing grocery, and performing packaging and salesman services
  • 4 Chefs to prepare food and help customers preparing theirs
  • 2 Cleaners for cleaning the facility continuously
  • 1 Accountant for receiving cash and managing financial accounts

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

The following table shows the forecasted data about employees and their salaries for the next three years.

 Personnel Plan      
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
General Manager $85,000 $95,000 $105,000
Chefs $245,000 $252,000 $259,000
Cleaners $145,000 $152,000 $159,000
Accountant $85,000 $95,000 $105,000
Total Salaries $85,000 $95,000 $105,000

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Financial Plan

Now, when you have gone through all the steps to start your own business the last decisive thing is your financial plan. Your financial plan must include the ways to balance your advertisement and startup costs with the profits earned and the amount you have to put in reserve for if you will be unable to earn your expected profits. It is the only part of your business plan for food products in which you will need to make business continuity plan sample revisions and alterations according to the revenues you are generating.

In this meal prep business plan template, we are providing the financial plan of Cooking Court, you can take help from it, but it is advised to get this important task done by an expert financial analyst according to your finances and investments.

8.1 Important Assumptions

The company’s financial projections are forecasted on the basis of the following assumptions.

 General Assumptions      
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Plan Month 1 2 3
Current Interest Rate 10.00% 11.00% 12.00%
Long-term Interest Rate 10.00% 10.00% 10.00%
Tax Rate 26.42% 27.76% 28.12%
Other 0 0 0

8.2 Brake-even Analysis

Food Preparation Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

 Brake-Even Analysis  
Monthly Units Break-even 5530
Monthly Revenue Break-even $159,740
Average Per-Unit Revenue $260.87
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost $0.89
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost $196,410


8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

 Pro Forma Profit And Loss      
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales $309,069 $385,934 $462,799
Direct Cost of Sales $15,100 $19,153 $23,206
Other $0 $0 $0
TOTAL COST OF SALES $15,100 $19,153 $23,206
Gross Margin $293,969 $366,781 $439,593
Gross Margin % 94.98% 94.72% 94.46%
Payroll $138,036 $162,898 $187,760
Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses $1,850 $2,000 $2,150
Depreciation $2,070 $2,070 $2,070
Leased Equipment $0 $0 $0
Utilities $4,000 $4,250 $4,500
Insurance $1,800 $1,800 $1,800
Rent $6,500 $7,000 $7,500
Payroll Taxes $34,510 $40,726 $46,942
Other $0 $0 $0
Total Operating Expenses $188,766 $220,744 $252,722
Profit Before Interest and Taxes $105,205 $146,040 $186,875
EBITDA $107,275 $148,110 $188,945
Interest Expense $0 $0 $0
Taxes Incurred $26,838 $37,315 $47,792
Net Profit $78,367 $108,725 $139,083
Net Profit/Sales 30.00% 39.32% 48.64%

8.3.1 Profit Monthly

Food Preparation Business Plan - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

Food Preparation Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Food Preparation Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Food Preparation Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

Food Preparation Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

 Pro Forma Cash Flow      
Cash Received Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales $40,124 $45,046 $50,068
Cash from Receivables $7,023 $8,610 $9,297
SUBTOTAL CASH FROM OPERATIONS $47,143 $53,651 $59,359
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received $0 $0 $0
New Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free) $0 $0 $0
New Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Sales of Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Sales of Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
New Investment Received $0 $0 $0
SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED $47,143 $53,651 $55,359
Expenditures Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending $21,647 $24,204 $26,951
Bill Payments $13,539 $15,385 $170,631
SUBTOTAL SPENT ON OPERATIONS $35,296 $39,549 $43,582
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out $0 $0 $0
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0
Purchase Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Purchase Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
Dividends $0 $0 $0
SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT $35,296 $35,489 $43,882
Net Cash Flow $11,551 $13,167 $15,683
Cash Balance $21,823 $22,381 $28,239

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

 Pro Forma Balance Sheet      
Assets Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Current Assets
Cash $184,666 $218,525 $252,384
Accounts Receivable $12,613 $14,493 $16,373
Inventory $2,980 $3,450 $3,920
Other Current Assets $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS $201,259 $237,468 $273,677
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Accumulated Depreciation $12,420 $14,490 $16,560
TOTAL ASSETS $198,839 $232,978 $267,117
Liabilities and Capital Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $9,482 $10,792 $12,102
Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
Other Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
TOTAL LIABILITIES $9,482 $10,792 $12,102
Paid-in Capital $30,000 $30,000 $30,000
Retained Earnings $48,651 $72,636 $96,621
Earnings $100,709 $119,555 $138,401
TOTAL CAPITAL $189,360 $222,190 $255,020
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL $198,839 $232,978 $267,117
Net Worth $182,060 $226,240 $270,420


8.6 Business Ratios

 Ratio Analysis        
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Industry Profile
Sales Growth 4.35% 30.82% 63.29% 4.00%
Percent of Total Assets 4.35% 4.71% 5.80%  9.80%
Accounts Receivable 5.61% 4.71% 3.81% 9.70%
Inventory 1.85% 1.82% 1.79% 9.80%
Other Current Assets 1.75% 2.02% 2.29% 27.40%
Total Current Assets 138.53% 150.99% 163.45% 54.60%
Long-term Assets -9.47% -21.01% -32.55% 58.40%
TOTAL ASSETS 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Current Liabilities 4.68% 3.04% 2.76% 27.30%
Long-term Liabilities 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 25.80%
Total Liabilities 4.68% 3.04% 2.76% 54.10%
NET WORTH 99.32% 101.04% 102.76% 44.90%
Percent of Sales
Sales 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Gross Margin 94.18% 93.85% 93.52% 0.00%
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses 74.29% 71.83% 69.37% 65.20%
Advertising Expenses 2.06% 1.11% 0.28% 1.40%
Profit Before Interest and Taxes 26.47% 29.30% 32.13% 2.86%
Main Ratios
Current 25.86 29.39 32.92 1.63
Quick 25.4 28.88 32.36 0.84
Total Debt to Total Assets 2.68% 1.04% 0.76% 67.10%
Pre-tax Return on Net Worth 66.83% 71.26% 75.69% 4.40%
Pre-tax Return on Assets 64.88% 69.75% 74.62% 9.00%
Additional Ratios Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Net Profit Margin 19.20% 21.16% 23.12% N.A.
Return on Equity 47.79% 50.53% 53.27% N.A.
Activity Ratios
Accounts Receivable Turnover 4.56 4.56 4.56 N.A.
Collection Days 92 99 106 N.A.
Inventory Turnover 19.7 22.55 25.4 N.A.
Accounts Payable Turnover 14.17 14.67 15.17 N.A.
Payment Days 27 27 27 N.A.
Total Asset Turnover 1.84 1.55 1.26 N.A.
Debt Ratios
Debt to Net Worth 0 -0.02 -0.04 N.A.
Current Liab. to Liab. 1 1 1 N.A.
Liquidity Ratios
Net Working Capital $120,943 $140,664 $160,385 N.A.
Interest Coverage 0 0 0 N.A.
Additional Ratios
Assets to Sales 0.45 0.48 0.51 N.A.
Current Debt/Total Assets 4% 3% 2% N.A.
Acid Test 23.66 27.01 30.36 N.A.
Sales/Net Worth 1.68 1.29 0.9 N.A.
Dividend Payout 0 0 0 N.A.

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