The booming food-on-demand industry is opening up countless opportunities for entrepreneurs to create their own small businesses. One unique business model is selling homemade food, and it has never been easier to enter the home-based food delivery market with the help of food delivery apps.
Some of the most popular delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo and UberEATS offer a multitude of cuisines and restaurant options to their clients. There is now a growing trend of independent food startups and home-based food businesses utilising food delivery apps to sell their homemade goods.
We examine what to consider when selling homemade food on food delivery apps, including the necessary licences, standards and protocols required, advantages and disadvantages and delivery platform pricing models.
Selling Food Online
Selling food from home has proven to be an area embraced by many. For those skilled in-home cooking, it’s an obvious choice.
First things first, for individuals looking to change their business model and start a food business from home, it is important to understand the food safety risks involved. When you start selling food online, the meals are subject to UK food law. This covers safety, record keeping, food product withdrawal, product recall, good food hygiene and labelling requirements.
And if you are delivering food orders, all food must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that it is safe to eat.
Home Takeaway Licenses and Regulations
The food preparation guidelines and standards involved in starting a takeaway food business from a home kitchen are similar to the requirements for starting a catering service, including the licenses required and the cleanliness standards to adhere to at all times.
It’s vital to research precisely how to sell home-cooked meals online safely and in line with local, regional, and national regulations. Where a fledgling business is prepared to commit to processes such as professional packaging and labelling – and with the correct licensing or relevant government agency approval.
Government legislation states that you need to register your food business with your local authority at least 28 days before opening. Before you start a takeaway from home business, you should also ensure you have a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate.
Food Delivery Apps
The UK food delivery market is booming, most notably due to the rise of companies like Deliveroo and Just Eat. This surge in the popularity of these online ordering systems has also led to an increase in small businesses providing food for customers through these platforms. It is important to note that most delivery apps will not allow you to start selling until you have completed a registration process – including food safety and hygiene checks and uploading your menu online.
Choosing Your Delivery Platform
Here’s a price breakdown of the top 3 delivery apps in the UK;
If you’d prefer a more local delivery service, HomeCooked UK is for you. This delivery platform enables consumers to purchase fresh home-cooked food prepared by professional or hobbyist cooks using the best quality ingredients to enjoy authentic home-cooked food. All cooks are carefully vetted and, as mentioned above, should hold a level 2 certificate in food safety and hygiene and register their premises with their respective local authorities (councils).
There is no cost for being on the platform. They will however take a small commission on the total order value as well as ask businesses to contribute towards delivery charges (if any).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Third Party Delivery Company
Before deciding on selling your homemade goods via a delivery platform, let’s take a look at the pros and cons…
- Fairly easy to sign up
- Start business within a week
- They’ll market your business for you
- Deliveries are taken care of
- Associated with a brand name that isn’t yours
- Customer service is somewhat out of your hands
- Commission and delivery charges apply
- Payments can take up to seven days to transfer to your bank account
Food Preparation and Production: Commercial Kitchens
Running a food service business can be both rewarding and challenging. One of the most difficult tasks is meeting all of the regulations set by various governing bodies. For example, some ingredients are forbidden due to health hazards or dangerous practices; there are different requirements for what type of surface can be used for cooking and many other variables that may not seem important at first glance.
A commercial kitchen can help with these challenges, as they are required to meet the same rules as any other food business. Entrepreneurs who enter the competitive food delivery market often face challenges such as maintaining a steady supply of quality ingredients and managing time-sensitive deliveries.
A commercial kitchen can help out entrepreneurs with various regulations and standards that have to be met by the delivery platform, as well as prepare takeaways in a safe and hygienic space. The kitchen’s commercial design is also the perfect place for cutting costs and reducing food waste.
Fuel your food delivery business with our delivery-only kitchens to rent in London. We offer complete flexibility and 24-hour access with commission-free deliveries. If you’re interested in renting one of our commercial kitchens, enquire now to book a visit.