Homemade food for sale

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Joe103103
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Hi all,

I've just registered so bare with me if I'm doing this all wrong.

Basically I love to cook but I find it so frustrating having to buy ingredients for one, and I end up wasting food.

I thought about possibly cooking enough for 4 or 5 and selling the additional meals to fellow students that live nearby (they could come and collect).

I just wanted feedback in terms of whether you would be willing to buy lovely home cooked food off someone?

Cheers!

Joe
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username2911200
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(Original post by Joe103103)
I just wanted feedback in terms of whether you would be willing to buy lovely home cooked food off someone?
I don't think this is a viable idea. Obviously you'd need to make a profit, students are usually not going to be willing to spend more money on food than they have to (due to restricted budgets), and they will probably not be willing to travel even a short distance to collect. It's much easier and cheaper for them to just go to a supermarket and buy the ingredients themselves.

People would need reassurance that the food you made was made in a hygienic way, you're not subject to the same regulations as commercial food providers and thus this would be difficult to prove. Storing the meals could also be difficult, a lot of students live in shared houses with one or two fridges between five to eight people, and one food cupboard each. Whole meals would take up a considerable amount of space so it's likely to be unrealistic for students to have the needed storage capacity.
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Joe103103
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(Original post by Glassapple)
I don't think this is a viable idea. Obviously you'd need to make a profit, students are usually not going to be willing to spend more money on food than they have to (due to restricted budgets), and they will probably not be willing to travel even a short distance to collect. It's much easier and cheaper for them to just go to a supermarket and buy the ingredients themselves.

People would need reassurance that the food you made was made in a hygienic way, you're not subject to the same regulations as commercial food providers and thus this would be difficult to prove. Storing the meals could also be difficult, a lot of students live in shared houses with one or two fridges between five to eight people, and one food cupboard each. Whole meals would take up a considerable amount of space so it's likely to be unrealistic for students to have the needed storage capacity.
Thanks a lot for your reply.

I guess i see it working like this. I cook a big curry for 7pm say. People who live nearby and fancy a nice curry pop by at 7 and collect. I would charge around £4 to cover costs + a little bit. You dont get much for £4 in the way of ingredients and this is a tastier and healthier option than a cheap takeaway.

I see your point regarding hygiene, i guess people would have to just put some trust in me. Perhaps i could start with people i know...
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username2911200
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(Original post by Joe103103)
I would charge around £4 to cover costs + a little bit.
How much would 'a little bit' be? You need to consider how much time you'd be spending on getting it, if you're going to spend 30 minutes making a curry and the 'little bit' is only £2-3 on top of how much the ingredients cost you, you'd be working for less than minimum wage for a lot of effort. I don't see students giving you more profit than that when they're already needing to cover the costs of the ingredients, and having to go out of their way to collect it.

One of the advantages of takeaways is that someone brings it to you, you can be drinking with your friends or watching a movie without having to go outside to someone else's house and come back with food.
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Joe103103
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(Original post by Glassapple)
How much would 'a little bit' be? You need to consider how much time you'd be spending on getting it, if you're going to spend 30 minutes making a curry and the 'little bit' is only £2-3 on top of how much the ingredients cost you, you'd be working for less than minimum wage for a lot of effort. I don't see students giving you more profit than that when they're already needing to cover the costs of the ingredients, and having to go out of their way to collect it.

One of the advantages of takeaways is that someone brings it to you, you can be drinking with your friends or watching a movie without having to go outside to someone else's house and come back with food.
Say i cooked curry for 10 at £4 a pop. The ingredients i imagen would be no more than £20. £20 profit for an hour or twos work. Its. On your own terms...

Take your point regarding takeaways but people must get sick of these. I see it as a day to day alternative cooking...
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username2911200
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(Original post by Joe103103)
Say i cooked curry for 10 at £4 a pop. The ingredients i imagen would be no more than £20. £20 profit for an hour or twos work. Its. On your own terms...

Take your point regarding takeaways but people must get sick of these. I see it as a day to day alternative cooking...
I don't know anyone who lives with 9 other people who will all be inside at the same time, on the same day, who will all want to eat the exact same thing and who will all be willing to spend the money (especially on something from an individual with no proven quality). I know I'm being negative but you need to consider all this to be realistic. Even if you were cooking for 4 to 7 people at a time, all the conditions above would still need to be met.

There are loads of different takeaways to choose from; sites like Just Eat and Hungry House list all takeaways in a 5 mile and beyond radius from your postcode so there's always a lot of different options. The hygiene issue would be easier to get around if you had an official food handling/hygiene certificate, maybe you could look into that.
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Joe103103
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(Original post by Glassapple)
I don't know anyone who lives with 9 other people who will all be inside at the same time, on the same day, who will all want to eat the exact same thing and who will all be willing to spend the money (especially on something from an individual with no proven quality). I know I'm being negative but you need to consider all this to be realistic. Even if you were cooking for 4 to 7 people at a time, all the conditions above would still need to be met.

There are loads of different takeaways to choose from; sites like Just Eat and Hungry House list all takeaways in a 5 mile and beyond radius from your postcode so there's always a lot of different options. The hygiene issue would be easier to get around if you had an official food handling/hygiene certificate, maybe you could look into that.
Thanks a lot for the reply.

I wasn't thinking of selling all of the meals to one group of friends. What i thought was once the word was out that i was selling good meals, people would send a text to order one then swing by and pick it up. I live in an area made up of 80-90% students all within close proximity, in my mind it would be easier than walking to the shops and spending more than £4 on ingredients then having to cook.

I take your point regarding hygene but i people would have to put some trust in me and hopefully i would build a good reputation.

I think what I am essentially asking is, is this something that people would purchase??
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Sammylou40
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Probably not. It would be as cheap to get a takeaway and you'd only have one choice
If it's your budget that's an issue then maybe you could combine with flat mates or bulk cook and freeze
Cooking for strangers is a mine field. Once word gets out then I'm pretty sure the council will shut you down asap
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trmsullivan
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I think its a good idea tbh! I mean even if its only one meal option, those that fancy it will buy and those that don't wont
Hygiene: This will always be an issue even if you held and food and safety certificate (which by the way, isnt hard to obtain). I mean some takeaways you cant even see whats going on behind the closed door and people still buy no problems! Like i said, people that want it will buy
Id say go for it, give it a try and see what happens...:h:
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Joe103103
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Thanks all for your responses, i'll stick a few posters up and see what happens....

Cheers!
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Tootles
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(Original post by Glassapple)
I don't think this is a viable idea. Obviously you'd need to make a profit, students are usually not going to be willing to spend more money on food than they have to (due to restricted budgets), and they will probably not be willing to travel even a short distance to collect. It's much easier and cheaper for them to just go to a supermarket and buy the ingredients themselves.

People would need reassurance that the food you made was made in a hygienic way, you're not subject to the same regulations as commercial food providers and thus this would be difficult to prove. Storing the meals could also be difficult, a lot of students live in shared houses with one or two fridges between five to eight people, and one food cupboard each. Whole meals would take up a considerable amount of space so it's likely to be unrealistic for students to have the needed storage capacity.
Where did the OP say they wanted to make a profit? Sounds more like they're just wanting to cover costs of food and power.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Joe103103)
Hi all,

I've just registered so bare with me if I'm doing this all wrong.

Basically I love to cook but I find it so frustrating having to buy ingredients for one, and I end up wasting food.

I thought about possibly cooking enough for 4 or 5 and selling the additional meals to fellow students that live nearby (they could come and collect).

I just wanted feedback in terms of whether you would be willing to buy lovely home cooked food off someone?

Cheers!

Joe
Not wanting to be a wet blanket, but there's some food safety legislation and regulations which you would be caught by here - as soon as you start 'selling' food you've prepared, you become caught up in the whole process. They are so onerous, so complex and so detailed that you would never actually want to register as a registered food seller unless this was a proper business.

You can take the chance of course - it's up to you. But bear in mind that if you cooked food which subsequently went on to make people ill and they took action against you, you'd be in really serious trouble - as an unlicensed food seller you could face prosecution and bankruptcy if the claimants pursued a civil claim against you. Added to this is the food you're proposing to cook and sell is classified as 'high risk' - hot food which has to be hot-held, probably with meat/dairy etc.

Personally, I wouldn't risk it. It only takes one batch of dodgy chicken, or not quite cooking something properly for all hell to break loose with this. I know it seems totally over the top, as you are so small scale. But the regulations and laws are there to protect people and public health.
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username2911200
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(Original post by Tootles)
Where did the OP say they wanted to make a profit? Sounds more like they're just wanting to cover costs of food and power.
The OP's replies to me clearly show he wants to make a profit. Nobody would do this out if the goodness of their heart, it woks be too much effort to get nothing back. It's not like they can get a work experience reference from this.
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