Congratulations, you’re officially in business! You got your Food Safety Manager Certification, you received your permit to operate your microenterprise home kitchen, and now you’re ready to build your very own foodie tribe on the Homemade App. Let the hunger games begin by creating a unique menu of home cooked meals that’ll keep nearby customers coming back for more. Here’s a few steps to help you get started!
Write down a list of your go-to meals that always get you major cred when you prepare them for your friends and family. Simplify that list even further by selecting your absolute favorite meals that are simple to make, and feature ingredients that are accessible year-round.
Pro Tip: For guaranteed success, start simple by focusing on signature home cooked meals that are tried and true.
Use your food to tell your story! Is your menu inspired by recipes that were passed down to you, distinct flavors of a cultural cuisine, or made completely with locally sourced ingredients? Find your “why” and use it to create a unique theme that shows what makes your cuisine so special. Not only will it help your menu stand out, but it will help future customers find exactly what they’re craving.
Pro Tip: Consider revamping your menu every few months with fresh new recipes and seasonal ingredients to keep your customers engaged.
List out all of the ingredients and portions needed for all of your dishes, and keep them in a recipe binder or DIY cookbook so that you’re prepared when business starts rolling in. This will also make it easy for you to create organized budgets for your trips to the grocery store.
Pro Tip: Organize your dishes by grouping them according to their main ingredient so that your grocery trips can be more efficient.
Make your menu safe, accessible, and #allergyfree for all by removing any dishes with ingredients that are restricted by MEHKO regulations. Ingredients restricted by MEHKO include raw oysters, smoked or cured food, vacuum packed foods, pickled or preserved foods, ice cream or raw milk products, and CBD or THC.
Now that you know exactly what you plan to sell, it’s time to figure out exactly how much to sell it for! To determine how much you should charge for each meal, it’s important to know how much you plan to spend on ingredients so that you can define your margins and guarantee that you’ll make a profit. This is called your food cost percentage, and the industry average is 25-35%.
After that, find out the raw food cost of each menu item by adding up the total cost of ingredients for each dish. Once you have this information, calculate the price of each menu item with this equation: Price = Raw Food Cost of Item / Ideal Food Cost Percentage. Not good at math? Use a food cost calculator as your guide.
Pro Tip: Also consider food containers, cooking tools, and equipment when calculating your budget.
You figured out your menu and pricing, and now it’s time to create descriptive and engaging names for each dish. Make your menu easily searchable by including keywords that people are likely to search like ‘burger’ or ‘salad,’ and add adjectives like ‘delectable,’ or ‘refreshing,’ to make your cuisine stand out. Think about the inspiration, cultural origins, and ingredients behind each dish to create detail-oriented descriptions for your menu.
You’ve described how tasty your menu options are. Now it’s time to show how tasty they look with amazing photos! It’s great to have professional photography equipment but if you don’t, you can still capture mouth-watering photos with your smartphone, and a few simple tricks. Start by finding a simple background, such as a wooden surface or a neutral colored wall. Make sure that you are surrounded by natural light by taking photos outdoors or near a window.
Add some fun details by including props like cooking utensils, raw ingredients, and elements that speak to your personality. You can even add a human element by featuring a cameo of your hand in action. Once you’ve staged your food, find the perfect angle to capture all of the incredible details of your dish, then snap several photos and select the tastiest picture! To add extra flare to your photos, use editing apps like VSCO to make the colors in your dishes really pop.
Organize Your Menu
Make it easy for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for by organizing your dishes into sections. Divide your menu by meal type (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), by dietary restrictions such as vegan, gluten free and keto, or by price. Also let your customers know what your crowd favorites are by highlighting your best-sellers and weekly specials.
Your menu will be your storefront on the HomeMade App, so make it work in your favor by highlighting dishes that show what you’ve really got in the kitchen. By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a menu of #foodporn worthy dishes that local foodies will run to tell their friends about!
The HomeMade support team is here to help you succeed during any step of this process. Please feel free to reach out to us should you have any questions about how to create the perfect menu. Drop us a line by clicking here. Good luck and can’t wait to start cookin’ with you!