How To Launch Your Own Home Delivery Service - A 5-Step Guide For Chefs

20 Jul 2020 (Mon)

One of the best ways to diversify your income stream is to set up your own delivery service. 

Some of you have already started but others have met with challenges that may have prevent you from reaching your customers, or managing the logistics.
In our commitment to support our chefs during this difficult time and provide them with support they need during and beyond these health and economic challenges, we’ve provided you with  a 5-step guideline of things to consider, to help you move forwards.
Using our own background in hospitality and marketing, and information from chefs and restaurants we have spoken with who are now running their own successful delivery services, this plan uses a grass roots approach that is also cost effective. 

1.     Health and Safety – Hygiene

Anyone who caters must have a minimum of the level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene certificate. This is a necessity and must be acquired.
If you have use of a restaurant, the government has relaxed laws to allow restaurants to offer takeaway and delivery services during the crisis. If however, you plan to use your own home then you must register your premises with your local authority’s Environmental Health Department and search for ‘register food preparation premises’. 
You will in most cases be provided with an email that you need to write to, to register your premises and we have found this takes little time to confirm.  It may take some time so we advise you to start early.
You can find your local authority here;

2.     Packaging

To ensure that your food can travel and arrive piping hot and/or fresh in perfect condition, you need to consider the right packaging for your food. 
There are plenty of fairly priced, eco-friendly packaging companies around.  
We've teamed up with to help support you in getting your delivery service off the ground.  Choosing from all the different packaging products available can be overhwelming to say the least, so use the discount code AWPACKAGING5 to get your 5% off on all 'Vegware' sustainable packaging and foil container products, these are products recommended by chefs and restaurants we've spoken to.  They deliver all over the UK.

3.    Managing Supply And Demand

One of the primary challenges you highlighted in your feedback was managing the right supply and demand levels. 
How do you know how much food to prepare? How can you cut the costs in fuel and burden of time for delivering? Should you hire a driver or partner with companies like Uber or Deliveroo?   
We’ve discovered that the chefs and restaurants are adopting some creative ideas.
Usually, when we think of delivered food, we imagine almost immediate delivery of fast-food as this is what we are accustomed to.  However this is very difficult to achieve when you are just starting out. It means several deliveries, lots of waste as you don’t really have any idea of how much food you need to prepare, plus delivery of hot food is difficult and expensive to insure in your car or van.
Why not start your delivery schedule to a single round each week at a time of YOUR choosing, by getting all your potential and interested customers together in one place, releasing your menu each week and telling them when you will be delivering. 
You might think people won’t want to think that far ahead, but YOUR food, is high quality, cooked by their own personal chef and is worth waiting for! 
Don’t believe us? Ask We Dine Shalom Shungula who is seeing his vegan sushi delivery round growing every week! 
You can start with one delivery round each week, and as you build your customer list increase to 2 or 3 times, if you want to!


4.    The Menu

Our best advice is to keep your menu simple, think about your crowd pleasers and what you think your customers will be missing most.
Most car insurance won’t cover delivery of hot food.  We advise sticking to food that can be served cold, or that is ‘oven ready’. Think tray bakes such as lasagne and moussaka, braised meats, roasts, curries or BBQ packages with stunning salads and marinated meats ready to grill. 
Also keep in mind in this current situation your customer are likely to be bored of cooking two meals every single day so may appreciate the opportunity to order large batches so that they can save some for the next day, or put in the freezer. 
Be sure to display any allergen info on your menus. To maintain simplicity, rather than listing every ingredient, state openly that the “dishes may contain known allergens” and to ask you for more information.
Offer your customers a break from the ground hog day feeling of cooking and cleaning constantly and provide them with the luxury of a night off.

5.     Customers

You need to market your services and build your customer client base. We would always advise you start with friends and family (if they live in the area) and to help them promote your services. 
Don’t forget to let your neighbours know and if you’re part of an active community, share your services on the online Facebook Groups or Community Pages in your area. 
Chefs and cooks if you have questions, ask us on We are happy to support you as you navigate around your own marketing.
Also to receive updates on the help we’re offering join our WhatsApp group. Text us on 07385 291217 to be added.

We’re continually looking at how to provide the best support to our community so please answer our survey so we can better understand your needs. CLICK HERE to jump to survey.

Our other blogs for chefs;
Creating a successful social media strategy to promote your services - Part 1
Creating a successful social media strategy to promote your services - Part 2
6 Ways to build your customer community
Food photography tips- how to get the best out of your camera phone
Ready to get your dinner sorted?