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Soft proof for my idea

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Idea threads

Donald Tottras

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
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Dec 28, 2021
12
15
Hello you absolute legends!

Hope you're all having a fantastic day and are enjoying the new year so far :) I'm currently following the 7P's of process outlined in Unscripted am now looking for some soft proof for my idea. So here I am to see what you guys think!

My idea is fairly simple. I want to cook, sell and deliver customised lunchboxes to people who want to be healthy but struggle to find time and/or motivation to cook. Cooked lunchboxes already exist but the way I will mainly stand out is that they are customised based on each individuals caloric needs, their goals (weight loss/gain, maintenance, performance etc) and dietary restrictions/preferences. I'm an old nutrition and behaviour coach so this is something I know many would benefit from, I certainly know I wish something like this existed.

So, my question is: Would you be interested in buying healthy and cooked lunchboxes delivered at your door, to improve your health while saving time?

Thanks in advance and let me know if you have any questions!
 
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Devilery

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 11, 2019
103
175
You should probably sketch some numbers. The concept is cool, but adding to the previous comment, imagine having just 20 customers who need 3 meals a day each. 5 of them are vegan, 10 vegetarians, 3 are lactose intolerant, 2 of them don't like salt, and so on.

How many people does it take to prepare 60 meals in a day where you can probably have no more than 2 duplicates per meal? How much would you charge? It's cool if it costs the same as entry-level restaurant/uber food (probably impossible to make money that way), not cool if it costs than meals on a mobile app, delivered in 30 minutes with 1000s of meals to choose from.
 

Donald Tottras

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
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Read Unscripted!
Dec 28, 2021
12
15
Thanks both for your comments! And yeah, you're definitely right on the logistics aspect. It'll be a tough one to crack. I can definitely sort out how to calculate everyones calorie needs. The difficulty is to efficiently prepare different types of recipes as you mention.

But for now I'm just gaging interest to see if it's even worth it to begin trying to sort out this problem. But if the interest is there, I'll see what I can come up with. I have some ideas already such as offering fewer recipes in a smaller area to test things out and then build from there. But they are things to consider for sure. I had this idea just the other day so it's still all fresh in my mind.

Thanks again guys!
 
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Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,554
7,301
25
Washington State
Have a couple of different food plans, use food that doesn't mess with most peoples' allergies (people with allergies that don't work with your plans can't signup), whip up the food each day, use portion control to weigh the foods to come up with the correct macro split and calories (can do with some multivariable algebraic equations), then there you go. Write up some example people with different diet choices and figure out what would work and figure out your pricing structure after running the numbers. "Okay so if someone requests a high protein low carb diet with a daily intake of 2600 calories, that'll cost me $2.68 per meal if I buy in bulk and make these recipes, so 2.68x3x30=$241 and I could charge $399 a month for all of this person's food" (or something like that idk) Use the cheapest examples as your advertising copy "customized meal plans that perfectly hit your personal macro goals and taste delicious for as low as $2.86 per meal"

The key to remember is to APPEAR custom, but BE scalable.

When you want vanilla ice cream, you go buy the one you like. You don't call up breyers and say "make it saltier" and they give you a batch just for you for $4.99. Make good recipes for cheap in bulk, maybe one for the vegans and another for the men, and then portion control to fit macros.

If I was making a meal that was sirloin steak and sweet potatoes, I would just change up the amount you give each person "Bob needs high protein and 2300 calories, okay so that means 4 ounces of potatoes and 9 ounces of the sirloin to fit a high protein macro split and hit 1/3 of his caloric intake"

Give them options to skip deliveries in your app or change their macro split or calories.

Copy the selling points that other high end food service companies do. Like if you search for meal delivery, check out how the other guys do it and what the expectations are and what selling points they list.

I like this idea as a consumer, I would do this if I were single and didn't have a girlfriend cooking every meal and doing all of the shopping. But as a business owner this would be tough not because of the time commitment, but because of the competent competition.

Go get some real proof by doing this

1. List out things that need to be true in order for your idea to work (you need to be able to sell plans, you need to be able to make the food and ship it out for a low price, you need to make food people will like, etc.) Then start with seeing how viable each of those things are and which will be your bottleneck. I'm thinking it will be the "sell plans" part. Because if you can sell unlimited plans, the rest will likely fix itself
2. Since "selling plans" is the hardest part. Check out the viability by running some numbers on what you can expect prices to be, make a fake company and make a bunch of promises on the sales page that sound great but are still possible to achieve, run some ads in different places and see how many fake sales you get.

Example: If you can assume a customer will stay with you for 6 months on average, and you make $.75 of profit per meal, you'll get $136 of profit from each person you signup and can run ads and see what kind of cost per sale you get. If it's like $30, you might have something great.
 
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Donald Tottras

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 28, 2021
12
15
Have a couple of different food plans, use food that doesn't mess with most peoples' allergies (people with allergies that don't work with your plans can't signup), whip up the food each day, use portion control to weigh the foods to come up with the correct macro split and calories (can do with some multivariable algebraic equations), then there you go. Write up some example people with different diet choices and figure out what would work and figure out your pricing structure after running the numbers. "Okay so if someone requests a high protein low carb diet with a daily intake of 2600 calories, that'll cost me $2.68 per meal if I buy in bulk and make these recipes, so 2.68x3x30=$241 and I could charge $399 a month for all of this person's food" (or something like that idk) Use the cheapest examples as your advertising copy "customized meal plans that perfectly hit your personal macro goals and taste delicious for as low as $2.86 per meal"

The key to remember is to APPEAR custom, but BE scalable.

When you want vanilla ice cream, you go buy the one you like. You don't call up breyers and say "make it saltier" and they give you a batch just for you for $4.99. Make good recipes for cheap in bulk, maybe one for the vegans and another for the men, and then portion control to fit macros.

If I was making a meal that was sirloin steak and sweet potatoes, I would just change up the amount you give each person "Bob needs high protein and 2300 calories, okay so that means 4 ounces of potatoes and 9 ounces of the sirloin to fit a high protein macro split and hit 1/3 of his caloric intake"

Give them options to skip deliveries in your app or change their macro split or calories.

Copy the selling points that other high end food service companies do. Like if you search for meal delivery, check out how the other guys do it and what the expectations are and what selling points they list.

I like this idea as a consumer, I would do this if I were single and didn't have a girlfriend cooking every meal and doing all of the shopping. But as a business owner this would be tough not because of the time commitment, but because of the competent competition.

Go get some real proof by doing this

1. List out things that need to be true in order for your idea to work (you need to be able to sell plans, you need to be able to make the food and ship it out for a low price, you need to make food people will like, etc.) Then start with seeing how viable each of those things are and which will be your bottleneck. I'm thinking it will be the "sell plans" part. Because if you can sell unlimited plans, the rest will likely fix itself
2. Since "selling plans" is the hardest part. Check out the viability by running some numbers on what you can expect prices to be, make a fake company and make a bunch of promises on the sales page that sound great but are still possible to achieve, run some ads in different places and see how many fake sales you get.

Example: If you can assume a customer will stay with you for 6 months on average, and you make $.75 of profit per meal, you'll get $136 of profit from each person you signup and can run ads and see what kind of cost per sale you get. If it's like $30, you might have something great.
Appreciate your input man, must've taken some time to write this! There's actually very little competition in this field, surprisingly. I have listed all the value skews and believe I can do at least 80% of it better which is a good start. Only ONE competitor has tasty looking photos which is crazy since they're selling food.

Naturally, the difficulty is in figuring out logistics and how to account for all the different recipes in a cost-efficient way. That is the barrier of entry though, and when I got it down I will get a good head start. I know someone who works in building systems similar to my needs so I will talk to him for his opinion too.

In terms of recipes, one idea is to batch cook. For example, if I have 1kg of soup and know that it totals 1000kcal with 50g of protein, 20g of fat, and 100g of carbs, then I know that 200g of that soup is 10g protein, 4g fat and 20g of carbs for example.

In terms of offering options and alternatives, I will likely make everything gluten-free and lactose-free (it doesn't change flavour) to cover my bases there. I also don't want to offer too many options to risk choice overload.

But I have 3 actions points now thanks to everyones responses:
1) Figure out a rough idea on how this will work in practice
2) Come up with a few recipes based on it and then calculate costs too see if it's viable
3) Create a landing page with nice pictures to gauge interest.

Thanks again for all the input!
 

Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,554
7,301
25
Washington State
One thing that always comes up as an entrepreneur when you're starting off, is having to make some choices on how to deliver value (real or perceived) in an efficient way. That's where the creativity comes in. You want to make people feel as though a 5 star chef prepared their meal by hand, but doing so with the same ease as if you dumped it out of a bag. The "hitting macros" is a GIANT value add that doesn't raise your cost of goods at all. It's not "here's a steak and some veggies" it's "Here Jeffrey, this was made just for you, my little health conscious prince".

Just think "what would be worth its weight in gold, that I can deliver for a buck?". That's what we do as business owners.
 
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Donald Tottras

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 28, 2021
12
15
Appreciate your input man, must've taken some time to write this! There's actually very little competition in this field, surprisingly. I have listed all the value skews and believe I can do at least 80% of it better which is a good start. Only ONE competitor has tasty looking photos which is crazy since they're selling food.

Naturally, the difficulty is in figuring out logistics and how to account for all the different recipes in a cost-efficient way. That is the barrier of entry though, and when I got it down I will get a good head start. I know someone who works in building systems similar to my needs so I will talk to him for his opinion too.

In terms of recipes, one idea is to batch cook. For example, if I have 1kg of soup and know that it totals 1000kcal with 50g of protein, 20g of fat, and 100g of carbs, then I know that 200g of that soup is 10g protein, 4g fat and 20g of carbs for example.

In terms of offering options and alternatives, I will likely make everything gluten-free and lactose-free (it doesn't change flavour) to cover my bases there. I also don't want to offer too many options to risk choice overload.

But I have 3 actions points now thanks to everyones responses:
1) Figure out a rough idea on how this will work in practice
2) Come up with a few recipes based on it and then calculate costs too see if it's viable
3) Create a landing page with nice pictures to gauge interest.

Thanks again for all the input!
Checking in with an update!

1) I'm starting to form an three ideas that I might be able to put into practice. A friend of mine builds systems and we'll meet this week to discuss how we can work together.
2) I've calculated that a meal will on average cost $2.23 and can be sold at $8-9/meal.
  • I can definitely lower the average cost once I find a better wholesaler and start making bigger orders. But for now I prefer to start with something that's "good enough" rather than perfect.
  • I'm in talks about renting a commercial kitchen to cook everything as well as packaging costs. Currently have no pricing so remains to be seen.
3) In the process of creating the landing page and am meeting someone tonight to give me some tips and trick on how to approach it.

The idea is very much real and I believe it has huge opportunities. Can't wait to see how things go!
 

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