Meal Prep Business Plan: 10 Sections to Include

Lauren Platero
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    Are you currently learning how to start a meal prep business? If so, you should be drafting a meal prep business plan. Whether you’re writing it to help secure financial assistance or to solidify your own plan of action, it should come in handy time and time again. 

    Plus, the best meal prep services stem from companies that boast far more than an entrepreneur mindset. Instead, each one is the result of extensive research, time, and effort. So, without further ado, continue reading to learn about all ten sections you must include in your meal prep business plan.

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    Meal Prep Business Plan Guidelines

    If you’re currently learning how to start a meal prep delivery business, you’ll need a thorough business plan. So, if you’re still in the process of brainstorming meal prep business ideas or are ready to start writing the final draft of your game plan, the following guidelines should be quite valuable to you.

    Executive Summary 

    Begin your meal prep business plan by introducing your brand to the reader. In this section, you should write a concise yet thorough description of what kind of business you’re bringing to life. Then, you should have a mission statement as well as a vision statement. 

    Remember, a mission statement refers to the goal that opening the business will achieve. The vision statement, on the other hand, outlines your long-term aspirations for the business. 

    The executive summary is also a section where you can briefly highlight what you’ll need to be successful. From high-quality ingredients to an extensive operational structure, there are a lot of features to discuss here.

    Company Overview 

    Here’s the section where you can state the name of your business. It’s also the right place to mention the legal structure of the business. It could be a corporation, an LLC, a partnership, or something else. 

    If your entire meal prep business model is going to revolve around preparing dishes, you’ll need proper facilities. Even if you decide to create meal kits, you’ll need space far bigger than a home kitchen. In this section of your meal prep business plan, outline where you plan to conduct the manual labor. If you don’t have agreements yet with warehousing and shipping facilities, outline what kinds of facilities you anticipate using the most. 

    Competitive Analysis

    It’s never a good idea to launch a business blindly. Before you move forward with any creative or strategic decisions, thoroughly study the market. Consider what competing brands sell, the kinds of promotions they offer customers, and what their branding efforts look like. 

    It’s also important to outline the current market size and how you anticipate it to grow. After all, you want to prove that you’re entering a market full of potential and growth opportunities. These metrics are crucial if you’re hoping to receive funding from investors. 

    Then, take what you know about competitors and write a SWOT analysis. This can be written in a list format or as a chart. Either way, a SWOT analysis always covers the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business. In this case, you can do one for each competitor vs. your brand. Or, you can do it for the industry as a whole. 

    Once you’re familiar with all the key features of your competitors, outline what kinds of needs your meal prep business will meet. It’s also an ideal place to state your target audience, detailing your ideal customer profile. Aside from being profitable, your primary goal should be to fill a gap in the market. So, conclude this section with how you’ll implement product differentiation

    Management and Organizational Structure

    Every successful business requires a talented team to run operations. Which departments will you establish, and which positions will make up each one? You’ll need to determine key roles that will run the show before recruitment can begin. 

    The members of a board of advisors or directors should be part of this section of your meal prep business plan, too. After all, these are the professionals who will determine some of the most important decisions for your business. Plus, they may be invested financially in the company. 

    Subscription Models and Menu Types

    Arguably one of the most important sections of a meal prep business plan, outline what kinds of dishes will be part of your menu. While you may not need nutrition labels for each recipe, try to showcase information available pertaining to calorie counts. 

    It will be advantageous for you to purchase all necessary ingredients from a wholesale distribution platform. Luckily, there are several outlets where one can obtain wholesale products. Be sure to outline where you plan to source your ingredients. That way, readers will know exactly how you’ll be able to create the best meals for meal prep fanatics. 

    Does your meal prep business have a unique selling proposition? If not, it should! These are selling points like keto, vegetarian, or low-sodium meal kits. Or, it might be that you also supply ornate meal kits, reminiscent of dishes you can find in an upscale restaurant. Regardless of what it is, outline how you will cater to a niche market (if any) in this section.

    Marketing Plan

    There are many ways to market a meal prep business. The first tasks in this section of your plan should focus on your meal prep business website. Create a sample of what the design will look like. Then, mention what you’ll highlight on the homepage and across the navigation bar. Doing so is super important, as all your other marketing initiatives will point to this site. 

    You’ll also want to outline plans revolving around social media marketing efforts. They’re free, provoke organic engagement, and are fairly easy to maintain. 

    In this day and age, paid advertising can go a long way. After all, there is a massive amount of sponsored content on the internet–especially in the meal prep space. These endeavors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the need for determining your target audience. Without this information, you won’t know who to engage with, which influencers to partner with, and who to target when boosting posts. 

    Once you have loyal customers and an engaged audience online, you should invest time and money in efforts like SMS alerts and email marketing strategies. So, ensure to include these details toward the end of your marketing plan. 

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    Operational and Production Plan

    Order fulfillment and inventory management processes are two areas that the operational and production plan should revolve around. Not only do you need to discuss how you'll acquire bulk inventory and produce large volumes of meal kits at a time, but how you'll package them. 

    With that in mind, you should detail the type of wholesale meal prep containers you will need. Then, the logistics of how the products will move through the supply chain is a must. After all, that's the core of operations for a meal prep business.

    The operational and production plan is also the section where you should outline whether you’re opting for white or private label meal prep products. If you choose white label products, you’ll have to outsource custom packaging. But if you choose private label meal prep operations, the bulk of this work can be done for you. 

    The operational plan is also where you must outline meal prep shipping costs and protocols. You'll likely be selling products through an eCommerce storefront. So, it's crucial to detail how customers will receive shipments. With that said, delivery options should be the final subsection of the operational plan.

    Financial Plan 

    Many people will ask you, “Is a meal prep business profitable ?” And yes, it can be! But like any business, there will be numerous operating expenses to account for. From the cost of labor to any meal prep business software solutions you use, you will incur many expenses. 

    Once you outline these details, discuss how you plan on funding the business. The meal prep business start up cost will be the initial dollar amount to cover. However, you should also state how much revenue you expect to generate. That way, you can educate banks or investors on how you anticipate paying for recurring expenses. 

    The third subsection of this portion of the meal prep business plan should be your pricing structure. How many subscription tiers will there be? How much will the unit price per dish be within each tier? These are the kinds of details to include.

    Risk Analysis

    Ensure the reader of your meal prep business plan that you have procedures in places if operations go awry. First, you need to identify what your potential risks are. Will the prices of competitors deter potential customers? Will you be using seasonal ingredients? There are many risks when operating within the food service industry, so having a plan for damage control is vital.


    In the early stages of starting a meal prep business, you probably won’t add too much to the appendix. However, this section typically serves as a reference guide for investors and advisors. It can contain financial statements, prints of research findings, and consumer data that you have either collected or sourced elsewhere. 

    Once the business takes form, photos of the meal kits, packaging, and marketing materials can exist here. It's also a good place to keep copies of legal documents, such as licenses, permits, and certificates.

    Frequently Asked Questions About a Meal Prep Business Plan

    Once you have the final draft of your meal prep business plan, it’s time to put your ideas into action. But if you’d like to learn more about meal prep business plans, check out the frequently asked questions below.

    How Long Should a Meal Prep Business Plan Be?

    A meal prep business plan should be anywhere from 15 to 20 pages. It’s vital that the document is thorough so that investors, advisors, and co-founders can understand the full scope. However, you also want to ensure it’s readable and easy to follow.

    When Should I Start Writing a Meal Prep Business Plan?

    You should begin writing a meal prep business plan as soon as you decide that’s a business venture you’ll likely pursue. What a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs don’t realize in the beginning is that creating a business plan can prove whether or not launching a particular brand is feasible. Or, it can shed some light on what the business should actually be like. You might have an initial idea in mind, but as the plan rolls out, a lot can change. 

    Do I Need to Write a Meal Prep Business Plan?

    Yes, if you’re launching a meal prep business, you need to write a thorough business plan. For one, it will serve as a guide throughout the process of bringing your business plans to fruition. But more importantly, it’s usually one of the necessary documents you’ll have to submit when you seek funding options. Whether you’re trying to receive financial assistance from an investor or a bank, you’ll need to show proof of how the entity could turn out.

    How Long Does It Take to Write a Business Plan?

    It can take anywhere from several hours to a few months to complete a thorough business plan. There are sections that you can write in a short amount of time, such as the marketing plan. However, the sections that cover topics like market analyses and financial projections typically require extensive thought and research.

    What Are the Three Keys to Success In Meal Prepping?

    The three keys to success in meal prepping include:

    1. Creating a menu for the week before buying ingredients or preparing dishes. 
    2. Ensuring that you have sufficient ingredients that are within their sell-by date.
    3. Continuously restocking ingredients on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
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    Now Let’s Plan Your Meal Prep Business

    If you’d like to make your entrepreneurial endeavors a whole lot easier, use this post as a guide when crafting your meal prep business plan. You can even copy and paste each section we discussed, replacing the details with your own information. By the end, you should have a solid overview of how to move forward in your meal prep business ventures!

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