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Platers Blog

What a third-party food delivery and technology platform offers homebased food businesses

There are many benefits to partnering with a third-party home-based food delivery platform in Canada. For one, it instantly boosts your online accessibility and exposure. And perhaps the greatest benefit: it takes the logistical burdens of actually coordinating delivery software, processes, and personnel off of your plate. It also provides useful customer data for your home-based food business, which you can analyze for food delivery trends and patterns and subsequently inform your marketing strategy.

  • Focus on the food, not the logistics. Plater’s technology platform provides home-based food business with built-in ordering and payments technology, a seamless online ordering experience, and Platers’ Riders to deliver orders so home-based food businesses can focus on what they do best — making delicious food.  

Get started with Platers 

The massive rise of delivery services points to one key thing: the future of food delivery is bright. As customers require greater convenience in their daily lives (and access to good food), the demand for homemade or farmers market food products will only continue to grow.

Ready to grow your home-based business with Platers? Sign up to Become a Plater and maximize your home-based food delivery service with minimal effort.

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Platers Blog

Starting a Home-Based Food Business in Alberta is Still a New Market with Low Competition

As of June 1, 2020, the Food Regulation allows Albertans to make low-risk foods in their home kitchen for sale to the public, subject to certain restrictions and safe food handling.

What does this mean for you? It means that joining the homemade food economy now would make you an early adopter in navigating this exciting new industry! It also means that you get first dibs on all of the tools, information, and resources like the Platers App that have been designed to guide home-based cooks in how to succeed. Plus, you have a competitive edge to test out the market, master it, and market your delicious food in your local community. Sounds like a win, win if you ask us, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’re thinking about starting a home-based food business, there’s no better time than NOW to get started right away!

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Platers Blog

Opening a Home-Based Food Business is a Low Risk Business Model

On average, opening a brick and mortar restaurant can cost upward of $375,500 (RestautantOwner.com). In comparison, the cost to get started on home-based food business is FREE! Platers Inc. does require all cooks on the platform to have Food Handler Certification, which only costs $19.99 to get started.

By opening a microenterprise home-based low risk food business, your home is your office — meaning that you do not have to invest in real estate space or pay for all of the expenses that come with it. Plus, if you have aspirations of opening up a culinary business in the future, a microenterprise home kitchen is a great stepping stone to help you hone your entrepreneurial skills without the six-figure price tag.

Although the initial cost of your microenterprise home kitchen will be far less than opening a traditional restaurant, it’s still important to invest in the success of your home cooking business. You’ll need to invest in cooking supplies, packaging materials, basic marketing skills and a few extra helping hands (Platers Inc. offers Delivery Service to all Homemade Chefs on the Platform), but once the dough starts rolling in from your sales, it will be well worth your time!

If you’re thinking about starting a home-based food business, there’s no better time than NOW to get started right away!

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Platers Blog

Why Now is the Right Time to Start a Home-Based Food Business in Alberta

Do you have a passion for cooking and have ever thought about starting a culinary business? We have an amazing news for you!

Thanks to the new Low-risk Home Prepared Foods Law (June 1, 2020) in Alberta, you can start a home-based food business and make money doing what you love by selling meals to your neighbours, from the comfort of your own home. Rather than investing significant amounts of time and capital into opening a traditional restaurant, the new homemade food law in Alberta is opening a new category in the gig economy that allows anyone with a genuine passion and love for cooking to start selling food on their own terms with minimal risk and zero startup cost.

Needless to say, if you’ve been thinking about starting your own cooking business, the homemade food economy might just be the answer to your prayers! 

Now don’t get us wrong — starting a home-based food business requires time, skills, and hard work. Being a home-based food entrepreneur also provides flexibility and a much lower level of risk to get started, creating an evolutionary shift in the food industry that opens it up to so many people with big dreams of sharing their amazing food with the world. Thanks to tools like the Platers Homemade Foods Delivery App, there are so many resources out there to guide you in the process every step along the way. 

Alberta Low Risk Food Safety Guide

Are you interested in starting your own home-based food business? Now is the time! Be your own boss.

We always want to hear from you, feel free to comment or contact us regarding your ideas!

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Platers Blog

Platers On-Demand Delivery Service

It has been a busy year at Platers Inc. and the team is ready to add further value to the services we offer. Logistics of homemade food is where most homemade food startups often fail. This is due to the fact that many home cooks are selling food from home as a second source of income, so most people focus on evenings and weekends. Even when the orders come in the afternoon the order doesn’t usually get filled until the evening or the next day, which makes logistics very difficult.

Delivery feature will help sellers focus on cooking homemade food. It also adds value to home based businesses by offering delivery to all existing customers.

Our engineering team will likely have to try a few different concepts to figure out the best flow between the three parties (Buyer, Seller, and Driver), but here is how Platers On-Demand Delivery works:

  1. Cook will enter preparation time while adding a dish in Platers app
  2. Order goes to home cook
  3. Start preparing food. once cook presses “start” button, our system will send nearby drivers alert about order pickup and delivery location and time remaining to pick up the food.
  4. Once a driver accepts the order, the driver will see countdown that how much time is remaining to pickup the food..
  5. Driver will pickup and deliver

Platers Inc. engineering team is making a brand new app only for drivers, the plan is to beta test this service in September for Edmonton area only.

We always want to hear from you, feel free to comment or contact us regarding your ideas!

If you haven’t downloaded the app already, feel free to download HERE.

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Platers Blog

6 SIMPLE TIPS FOR MENU PRICING FOR PLATERS HOME CHEFS

So you’re thinking about becoming a home chef? Or maybe you are, but have never taken the time to sit down and calculate your food costs. Menu pricing for home chefs isn’t something that most home chefs jump up and down to do; but it is a critical part of running a successful, profitable home kitchen. So kick up your feet, pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s get this home chefs guide to menu pricing started!

Food costs are a crucial part of knowing how much you should charge for an item; not to mention where to position it on the menu (more about that later). Once you take the time to know how much a dish costs you and how much time you are spending on creating the dish, this will give you the numbers that you need to simply calculate. And viola, your have your price point for your dish. 

Mind you, some home chefs also like to equate how much time and energy goes into shopping and prepping when it comes to menu pricing but that all depends on you. Either way, it’s important to take the time to sit down and put some effort into this. Selling your home cooked food and starting a home kitchen is a business. And businesses are in the business to make money.

homemade food menu pricing
A quick guide on how to price your food items

Now, we get it; pricing your menu can be a daunting task for any home chef. Especially if you’ve never done it before. But no worries, HomeMade is here to walk you through step-by-step on how to do so.

Food Cost

Food cost should be between 20-35% of what you charge the client. Cost is calculated by simply adding up the total cost of the ingredients used to make the dish. Let’s say you are making Fettuccini Alfredo for example. First, calculate the total for all the ingredients. (Keep in mind this example is for one serving size.)

Fettuccini Alfredo:

Fettuccini pasta $.34
Cream $.61
Butter $.33
Parmesan cheese $.54
Romano Cheese $.44
Total: $2.26

If you are looking to keep you food costs at 25%; take the total of $2.26 and divide it by .25 (change this according to your food costs percentage) to come up with the total amount of $9.04 per dish.

Again, some chefs like to include how much time and energy goes into making the dish (shopping, prepping, etc) but that is entirely up to you. 

Once you figure out how much you want to charge, keep in mind never to use a whole number. Take the fettuccini pasta dish for example; you would not want to charge $9.00 for a pasta dish, price it at either $8.99 or $9.95. Studies shows that people feel like they are getting a better deal and will more likely purchase the item at $8.99 or $9.95 versus $9 or $10.

Keep in mind, just because something is more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more profitable. Hence why calculating food costs is an important exercise home chefs should do when they are coming up with menu pricing.

homemade food menu pricing
Expensive food items may not mean more profits.

Get Descriptive

If something isn’t selling at the price point you want, don’t change the price just yet. Play around with the name and food description. For instance, if you have “Crab Cake” on your menu and it’s not selling, try changing it to “Jumbo Lump Alaskan Crab Cake” or something more descriptive. A simple swap in the name can make a huge difference if an item is selling or not regardless of the price. 

Don’t forget to get creative when writing the description for your menu item. Customers love a good story. Talk about what inspired the dish, family traditions, fun facts about the ingredients, so on and so forth. The better the description, the more the customer will be inclined to purchase it. 

food menu pricing
If something isn’t selling at the price point you want, don’t change the price just yet.

Location

The next thing you need to keep in mind is where an item is located on the menu. If it’s the third one down try placing it first. Believe it or not psychology plays a big role when it comes to customers purchasing items. Location, description and even colors impact a purchase decision.  Play around and have fun with it. It takes time to know what works for your customers.

While we are on that note of psychology, use psychology to your advantage in regard to your menu. While you can’t change the color in your actual menu titles and descriptions on the HomeMade app, you can incorporate it in your food photos. So here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when styling your food pics:

  • Green: reminds people of nature and tends to trigger thoughts of healthy and fresh food. It’s also been known to linked to good flavor. 
  • Red is an attention-grabber. You can use red to guide people to the dishes you really want them to order.
  • Yellow and orange stimulate appetite.
homemade food menu pricing
Keep in mind is where an item is located on the menu

Now that you’ve got the basics down for optimizing your menu and food costs; here are some other tips and tricks to help maximize your profits.

Carbs

Incorporating carbs into your dish is a great way to increase your profit margin and simplify your life. Carbs are relatively cheap, taste good and fill people up; not to mention are easy to purchase in bulk and store. Pro Tip: purchasing in bulk is another great way to increase your purchase margin. Cha-ching!

homemade food menu pricing
Purchasing in bulk is a great way to increase purchase margin.

Farmers Markets

If you are lucky enough to live in a town that has a farmers market, use it. Not only is the produce fresh, loaded with flavor and a lot healthier; it’s also is a great opportunity to score some amazing deals. Many vendors will drastically cut their prices towards the end of the market. Let’s say the Farmer’s Market runs from 12-4. Try going within the last 30 minutes or so. Many vendors will be offer discounts such as 1/2 off and 3 for 1 deals. They’re not in the art of wasting time or money and neither should you. So take advantage of it.

homemade food menu pricing
Head to the farmer’s market!

Buy Whole Items

As a home chef who is trying to minimize your food costs and maximize profits with your home kitchen, you might want to thinking about purchasing whole items that your recipes call for. Let’s say a dish you are making requires chicken. Buy the whole chicken versus just the breast or thigh.  Break it down and use the breast for salad, the thighs for another entrees and the carcass for broth. Breaking down the item yourself will save you money hence increase your profit margin in the long run. 

If you don’t use all the pieces right away, freeze it and save it for later. That way it saves you time and money from running out to the store again so that you can focus on what you need to be focusing on…cooking. And again, editing your menu on the HomeMade app is super easy. So play around with you. Find out what works for you.

homemade food menu pricing
If you don’t use all pieces right away, freeze and save it for later.

Are you a home chef? If so, comment below on any tips or tricks that you’ve learned along the way. We would love to hear from you.

About Platers

Platers is Canada’s first homemade food marketplace. Find fresh home cooked food in your neighbourhood, using your phone. Ready to eat, at home or on the go. Our goal is to reduce food waste while re-inventing the dining experience for the better. Passionate cooks provide authentic dishes cooked in their own kitchen. Providing locally made home cooked food in cities across the world.

With zero start-up costs, Platers gives talented cooks the chance to show off their cooking skills and special dishes straight from their own kitchen. At the same time, opening a new avenue that’s different from traditional take out.

Source: Homemadefood app

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Platers Blog

How to Calculate the Price of Homemade Desserts

When you make desserts for Platers, one of the most difficult tasks is figuring out how to price it out. It is important to determine if you are making a return on your investment. To help you out, we put together some recommendations on how to price out your delicious sweet treats.

What to consider when setting your price

We’ve listed out some important factors that you need to take into consideration before settling on a price. 

Ingredients: Think of all the ingredients that you use for your dessert such as salt, sugar, flour, vanilla extract or pieces of fruit. When you buy an ingredient, the entire package or content may not be needed. Knowing that, it is important to figure out the cost of what you actually use when you make your dessert.

Example: You bought 24 eggs at the supermarket and paid $6.00 but only used 8 eggs in your cake. To calculate the cost, multiply the amount you used by the total price you paid. Then divide that result by the total units in the package: (8 x $6.00) / 24 = $2.00

 INGREDIENT QUANTITY UNIT PRICE COST
 Eggs 8 pcs 24 pcs $6.00$2.00

This way, you can get an idea of the cost for each ingredient that you used.

Labor: Learn how to value your labor. The amount of effort that goes into making a carrot cake is not the same as making a chocolate fudge cake. Each cake can take up different amounts of time, requires different skills, talent and techniques. Only you can determine how much you should charge. We suggest that you don’t forget to include labor costs in your final price of your product.

Operating expenses: When making desserts we use utilities such as gas, electricity, water and sometimes the internet! Factor in how much you’re using when you’re making your products and incorporate that usage into your final price.

Profit: Again, this is another element that only you can determine. We recommend a profit between 30% and 40% of your total. However, if you are just starting out in the business, it may be less. Some factors to consider are: the competition in your area, the experience you have making desserts and if you have had any professional training. 

All the factors that we listed are important to help you determine a price for your final product. Now it’s time to get down to work and delight your customers with desserts full of love!

Start sharing food and reducing waste today! Sign up to become a home cook!

For more information on how to get started, contact us!

Source: Savorly

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Recipes

Simple Keto Bread

The best part about this recipe is that it’s simple, and once you have it down, you can replicate this keto bread recipe any time you want. It’s so nice to have a loaf of bread at your disposal when you’re on a keto diet. It almost feels like cheating. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes 
  • Total Time: 40 minutes 
  • Calories per serving: 90kcal

Ingredients

What You Need:

  • ▢8×4 Loaf Pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Almond Flour
  • 6 Large eggs Separated
  • 1/4 cup Butter melted
  • 3 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar It’s ok if you don’t have this
  • 1 pinch Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 6 drops Liquid Stevia optional

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Add Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat until soft peaks are achieved.
  3. In a food processor combine the egg yolks, 1/3 of the beaten egg whites, melted butter, almond flour, baking powder and salt (Adding ~6 drops of liquid stevia to the batter can help reduce the mild egg taste). Mix until combined. This will be a lumpy thick dough until the whites are added.
  4. Add the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites and gently process until fully incorporated. Be careful not to overmix as this is what gives the bread it’s volume!
  5. Pour mixture into a buttered 8×4 loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to ensure the bread is cooked through. Enjoy! 1 loaf makes 20 slices.

Notes

How do I get my loaf to be taller and fluffier?

The two major issues that will lead to a flat loaf is not whipping the egg whites and gently folding them in OR using almond meal instead of a finely ground almond flour. If you’ve tried everything and they don’t seem to be working for you, the next option will be to make a larger recipe. Try making 1.5x this recipe (it’s easy to do using the servings slide bar) and you’ll have a much larger loaf.

Trick

One of the tricks in this recipe that takes this keto bread from good to great is the separation of the eggs. You’re going to want to separate the yolks and the whites. The reason for this is that we’re going to whip the whites until they are fluffy. We’re looking for soft peaks.

Happy Keto Diet!

Do you have a recipe you would like to share with other cooks? Please submit your recipe Here!

Cook with Platers today! Become a Plater, limited spots available for Edmonton, Alberta. Apply Today

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Source: Ketoconnect

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Platers Blog

Start Your Homemade Food Business in Alberta

Under Alberta’s new regulations in 2020, Albertans can sell low risk home prepared foods without requiring a permit, commercial kitchen, or routine inspection! Finally!

What are Low Risk Foods?

Low-risk foods are shelf-stable such as; bread, biscuits, cereals, cookies, honey pies, pickled vegetables, dried fruits, popcorn and cakes (not cream or cheesecakes). Whole fresh fruits and vegetables are also classified as lower risk. Such foods are unlikely to be implicated in food poisoning and include:

  • Foods that have been preserved, for example; jams, jellies, fruit preserves
  • Dry goods, those that contain minimal amounts of moisture, such as; bread, flour, biscuits, dried spice blends,
  • Acidic foods, for example; pickled foods, vinegar, fruit 
  • Foods with high sugar/fat content for example; candies and chocolates

Home-based Food Business Foods with high value, and a long shelf-life.

Sauces, but only those that can be produced in the home kitchen. Hot sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, vinegar, cooked salsa, ketchup, relish. Do you see a theme here? Condiments. Products that complement and bring flavour and zing to the mundane. Everybody’s looking for flavour! Baked goods top the low risk food list for sales in high traffic locations. Here are a few more popular low risk food selections.

  • Candy, such as brittle, toffee and exotic chocolates.
  • Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruits.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Dried pasta.
  • Dry baking mixes.
  • Granola, cereals, and trail mixes.
  • Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with cottage food standards.
  • Vinegar and mustard.
  • Roasted coffee and dried tea.
  • Dried or Dehydrated vegetables.
  • Dried vegetarian-based soup mixes.
  • Ground chocolate, or chocolate blends used in cooking and baking.

Getting Started With Your Business

Cook with Platers and start earning! Become a Plater, limited spots available for Edmonton, Alberta. Apply Today

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Recipes

Crispy Potato Bruschetta

The Platers team made this recipe a few weeks ago and have been eating it ever since. It is the perfect appetizer and our new favourite bruschetta. Even though we can’t get together for New Years, we will be making, and eating, this over zoom tonight! Substituting for bread will even help soak up some of the champagne!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes 
  • Total Time: 45 minutes 
  • Yield: 30 potato rounds

Ingredients

For the potatoes

  • 2 large (500 g total) Russet potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grapeseed oil or virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt

For the avocado- tomato topping

  • 2 medium (7 g) garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups (344 g/12-ounces) grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 large (240 g) ripe avocado

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220ºC) and line an extra-large (or 2 medium) baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Make sure they’re not any thinner than that, or they might not be sturdy enough to pick up with your hands and the edges will burn more easily while cooking.
  3. Place the rounds into the centre of one baking sheet in a mound. Toss with the oil until all sides of the rounds are fully coated. Spread into a single layer, spacing them a 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle liberally with salt.
  4. Roast the potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes (I do 30), flipping once halfway through baking, until tender and golden brown in some spots. I prefer these slightly overcooked so they’ll crisp up a bit around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large food processor, mince the garlic and basil until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and pulseonly 10 to 14 timesuntil the tomatoes are chopped into almond- and pea-sized pieces. Remove the bowl, take out the blade and set aside, and stir in the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside to marinate.
  6. Five minutes before the potatoes are ready, dice the avocado very small into almond-sized pieces. Fold the diced avocado into the tomato mixture. Taste and stir in more salt if desired. The mixture will look quite juicy/watery, but this is normal!
  7. After removing the potatoes from the oven, add another generous sprinkle of salt on top. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon avocado-tomato mixture onto a fork and strain out the juices by tapping the inside of the bowl. Place the strained mixture onto the centre of a potato round and repeat this process for the rest of the rounds.
  8. Serve immediately, directly from the baking sheet(s)I find serving from the baking sheet keeps them warmer, but if you prefer you can transfer the rounds to a platter before adding the topping. If the potatoes sit they will soften and lose their crispness, so I don’t recommend letting them sit around for longer than 10 minutes (usually not a problem in this house!). If you have any avocado-tomato mixture leftover feel free to polish it off with some tortilla chips!

Notes

  1. Potato lost crispiness? Should your potatoes become soft from sitting for too long, these reheat well on a sauté pan, preheated over medium heat, for 1 to 2 minutes. This results in slightly browned bottoms and revives the firm texture without affecting the toppings.

Do you have a recipe you would like to share with other cooks? Please submit your recipe Here!

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Source: Oh She Glows