People are scrambling to find different sources of income as unemployment rises amid the pandemic. One potential source is the small business run from home. It may sound risky to others, but e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, and even Facebook have made it easier for people to sell their products and services.
After all, 59 percent of the world’s population is online, according to We Are Social’s Digital 2020 report. It also found that over 80 percent of people search online for products and services for them to buy. And over 74% have purchased a product online on any device. Independently-owned food businesses are surviving because of the internet.
If you want to start your own food business, there are a variety of factors to consider. There’s registering your company with your local government and making sure you have the necessary bank accounts to take in payment from customers. You also have to consider whether you’ll deliver the products yourself or have another business do it for you. With so many elements that go into creating a company, it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters: the quality of your food.
Sure, you’re great at cooking home-cooked meals. However, its portions are likely for yourself or a few guests. Now, you have to cook for possibly hundreds of customers a day. Scaling your recipes up is no easy task. However, there’s no better feeling than being able to share your delicious food efficiently with a wide range of people.
Here are ways to efficiently scale up your recipes.
Know the Fundamentals
Converting your homemade recipes for mass production can be daunting. Fortunately, it all boils down to three steps, which vary when it comes to difficulty. First, document the quantities of the ingredients you need for every recipe – down to how many pinches of herbs and garnishes you’ll add. Next, divide each quantity by the number of people they can serve. This way, you can have a recipe for one person. Then, multiply it by the number of customers you expect to serve per day.
Adopt the Baker’s Percentage
If you make mostly bread, pastries, and cakes, knowledge of the baker’s percentage is a must. This method requires the weight of the flour to always be equal to 100 percent. The rest of the ingredients’ percentages are their weights relative to the flour’s.
For example, your flour weighs 60 grams, whereas your water weighs 25 grams. You divide 25 by 60 and multiply it by 100 to get the percentage of the water, which is around 41.67 percent. Basing your ingredients’ weight on flour and using the basic scaling rule makes it easy for you to create baked goods in any portion, especially when you’re using a precise batter depositor.
Stick to a Single System
A mistake that rookies often commit is using different measuring systems for their recipes. You’ll only confuse yourself and your possible employees by writing in dry mustard in ounces and salt in grams. Know your country’s standard measurement system (i.e. metric and imperial) and stick with it. Having consistent measurements for each recipe makes it easier and faster for you and your cooks to execute. This way, you can focus on accommodating your customers’ orders instead of being afraid of screwing up your recipe.
Be Open to Compromise
Some ingredients may be too expensive, hard to find, or can’t stand up to the big batch you’re cooking. It’s best to just get rid of these materials for the sustainability of your recipe. If you can find a replacement for it, great. If you can’t, however, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and reinvent your recipe.
Figure Out Your Portions
You’ve got the weight of each ingredient scaled up for your expected amount of customers. Now, it’s time to figure out how much you’ll actually pay for your materials. While buying directly from your local grocery is alright if you’re just starting out, the padded prices for each item may end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
If you want to save on ingredients when buying them in bulk, go directly to the source. Cut off the middleman by working with farms or food manufacturers to give you wholesale discounts for your ingredients. This way, you’ll be able to provide portions with competitive prices for customers and better profit margins for your business. Everyone wins.
You need to consider a lot of factors when launching an online food business. One of the most daunting is scaling your recipes up for mass production. Learn the fundamentals, stick to a single measurement system, use a baker’s percentage, get the best price per portion, and don’t be afraid to compromise on ingredients if it makes your scaling easier. Master these techniques and you won’t break a sweat when you’re finally preparing food for hundreds of customers every day.;
Hassan is a Technician in mobile software programming, Internet technology and Electrical Installations. He also specialises in renewable and green energy solutions like Solar and Wind Power Systems.