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Would you sell your Home Cooked Food?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

I'm Pascal a Masters Student and hobby chef in the UK. I am set to start my own business which will empower home chefs in the UK to sell there home made meals on as an alternative to conventional takeaways.

For now I have to complete my master thesis which is focused on the same idea. I am still looking for home chefs to complete my questionnaire. If you have a spare 5-10 minutes it would really help me understand chefs attitudes towards my business idea.

To fill out the questionnaire you must have lived or are living in the UK 

Link: https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_54nqgkm9MbfPrmt 

Hope this doesn't annoy anyone! Thank you. 

post #2 of 19

Do you really think your average home kitchen can pass inspection?  I know mine wouldn't.

post #3 of 19

@pascal ,

  Most States in this country do not allow you to prepare food that incorporate the use of potentially hazardous ingredients for public consumption from your home.

I understand your home inspection. For me personally the facility is important but even more so would be the knowledge of the Chef to be qualified to handle and prepare non potentially harmful foods. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that this type of idea would ever become a reality here in the USA. The whole concept to me seems like Food Taxi which we have here. Not very successful.

Welcome to ChefTalk,

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post #4 of 19

I would absolutely love to, but in my area the regulations to sell food are SUPER strict (and rightly so).  Your kitchen has to have so many features (the flooring has to come a certain distance up the walls, you have to have an extra sink JUST for hand washing only and a separate fridge for storing cooked foods).  Most home kitchens would never meet all this criteria.  It's there to protect the public.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

Thank you for the feedback much appreciated!!! In the United Kingdom food laws for home caterers are a less strict than you have mentioned but the problems still exist. For example keeping separate foods in separate fridges is desired by the government but if home caterers can't do this separate compartments in the fridge are ok.

 

The idea is that all chefs go through online food hygiene and safety training according to the governments requirement. Upon passing this and an inspection they can cook. Question is if people would go through so much effort?! 

 

But you are completely right that food laws and trusting home chefs is the biggest barrier. Not to mention logistics! Very complex idea :)

 

Thank you!

post #6 of 19

It is a complex issue but still it's something I'd like to see.  I'm not eligible to fill out the survey so I don't know what the questions entail.  It's idealistic to dream of this but I'm glad you are, it shows promise not only in enterprise but in helping to ensure that the future of the food industry is rooted in community, a concept that we have been moving towards for quite some time with the food-to-table trend.  

 

Idealistically (and feel free to use my ideas) is to enlist a variety of home chefs in various neighborhoods.  Each home chef will have a profile on your website and will have had to undergo a series of inspections and be certified.  That's easier said than done and quite costly.  So each chef will be responsible for the financial costs involved in bringing their kitchens up to code.  Your responsibility as the head of the business is to ensure that these chefs stay in code and incur the costs of running the business.  You however, will also be liable for any suits involved from customers.  Remember that when food leaves the kitchen any number of this can happen.  A person can eat some of the food and save the rest for the next day, but the next day the food may have gone bad and then you'll have a lawsuit on your hands.

 

Anyway, assume you get past the bureaucracy involved.  Each chef will be cooking a dish or a few dishes per day, they will be at liberty to create their own menu.  I'm imagining an empty nester who's used to cooking big meals but has no one to cook for anymore inside the home.  She can post her daily menu on the website and people in the neighborhood can drop by or even put in orders a day ahead.  It's kind of a neat idea.  Like relying on your neighbor to cook for you.  If this works you'll be a genius.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 19

I can only speak to where I live. Unfortunately there is no certification for chef or bakers. Anyone can hang a shingle. Which brings me to statistics. I understand that anywhere from 70-90% of all food borne illness in the US originates in the home.:eek:

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post #8 of 19

I agree with the theme of the responses here that food safety is a very BIG hurdle!

 

Other logistical problems are about the classification of the food service: is it a take out type concept where the food should be consumed near the time of purchasing or is it prepared meals, either frozen or refrigerated, to be reheated at home where in this country would require ingredient labelling and expiry date.

 

Regardless, it appears you have done some homework already (obviously since you are working on a thesis) and are pursuing this idea to fulfilment.  

 

There's an expression in French that says tuer l'idée dans l'oeuf  which literally translates to "killing an idea in the egg" meaning to stop an idea from burgeoning.

Many innovators self inflict or face this type of opposition that leads to killing an idea before it becomes something workable. Your academic research process will most likely highlight these obstacles to address with solutions.

 

Good luck!

 

Luc H.

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post #9 of 19

I hope that you end up making this happen. To set a precedence for such an idea would make major changes to an already outdated model we have going thus far when it comes to homemade meals for people who don't have the time or knowledge/skills. Britain is a great place to start as there are more relaxed laws regarding home kitchens and food from the home. 

 

Your question about if people would go through the effort is hard to answer. Everyone is an individual when it comes to the motivation as to get the certificate and inspection or not. If they would like to cook and make some money while doing so then......why not?

 

I am also of a mind that the MAJOR hurdle is proper food handling. Whether the knowledge comes from a creation of a more complex study program for those wanting to do something like this or something along those lines.....that might help you venture along. 

 

I would love to hear how it all turns out though and wish you all the best on your thesis. :D

 

PS: I did take your questionnaire as I used to live in the UK.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

It is a complex issue but still it's something I'd like to see.  I'm not eligible to fill out the survey so I don't know what the questions entail.  It's idealistic to dream of this but I'm glad you are, it shows promise not only in enterprise but in helping to ensure that the future of the food industry is rooted in community, a concept that we have been moving towards for quite some time with the food-to-table trend.  

 

Idealistically (and feel free to use my ideas) is to enlist a variety of home chefs in various neighborhoods.  Each home chef will have a profile on your website and will have had to undergo a series of inspections and be certified.  That's easier said than done and quite costly.  So each chef will be responsible for the financial costs involved in bringing their kitchens up to code.  Your responsibility as the head of the business is to ensure that these chefs stay in code and incur the costs of running the business.  You however, will also be liable for any suits involved from customers.  Remember that when food leaves the kitchen any number of this can happen.  A person can eat some of the food and save the rest for the next day, but the next day the food may have gone bad and then you'll have a lawsuit on your hands.

 

Anyway, assume you get past the bureaucracy involved.  Each chef will be cooking a dish or a few dishes per day, they will be at liberty to create their own menu.  I'm imagining an empty nester who's used to cooking big meals but has no one to cook for anymore inside the home.  She can post her daily menu on the website and people in the neighborhood can drop by or even put in orders a day ahead.  It's kind of a neat idea.  Like relying on your neighbor to cook for you.  If this works you'll be a genius.

@Koukouvagia thank you for the feedback really appreciate it! You have some great ideas :)

 

We are actually looking into something pretty similar to what you have described at the moment! Ideally we don't want to be liable for any suits and want to keep chefs self-employed. However, it may be a good insurance for chefs to know they will not get sued. Unfortunately that also lets chef abuse our insurance and sell meals that are not fresh anymore for a quick buck! 

 

That is the plan, cooks and cook what they desire! Whether we allow spontaneous orders or pre-orders is dependent on logistics but working on that now!

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your ideas. I hope i'll be a genius haha! 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

I can only speak to where I live. Unfortunately there is no certification for chef or bakers. Anyone can hang a shingle. Which brings me to statistics. I understand that anywhere from 70-90% of all food borne illness in the US originates in the home.:eek:

Thanks for the feedback @panini! That is daunting statistic! I hope our chef verification process will mitigate this but deffinatley a problem. I haven't been able to find these statistics for the UK, would you mind sharing the source of the statistic if it includes UK data as well? 

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc_H View Post
 

I agree with the theme of the responses here that food safety is a very BIG hurdle!

 

Other logistical problems are about the classification of the food service: is it a take out type concept where the food should be consumed near the time of purchasing or is it prepared meals, either frozen or refrigerated, to be reheated at home where in this country would require ingredient labelling and expiry date.

 

Regardless, it appears you have done some homework already (obviously since you are working on a thesis) and are pursuing this idea to fulfilment.  

 

There's an expression in French that says tuer l'idée dans l'oeuf  which literally translates to "killing an idea in the egg" meaning to stop an idea from burgeoning.

Many innovators self inflict or face this type of opposition that leads to killing an idea before it becomes something workable. Your academic research process will most likely highlight these obstacles to address with solutions.

 

Good luck!

 

Luc H.

Hi @Luc_H thank you for the feedback! 

 

I am currently working on the logistics side but believe labeling and stating use by dates would complicate the process even further so I don't believe that to be an option! Still a lot of work to be done. The masters is helping understand a lot but the real meaningful feedback is when we start testing the idea in September! 

 

Chasing your idea is very risky and not many people are willing to give up there financial security from there jobs to do it! I am still young and learned from my corporate experience that I would rather work my ass of for myself than a shareholder! I also think i will learn a lot! If all fails I'm sure ill be able to find a job but will probably start something else! Going to be a few poor years but hope it pays off!

 

Thank you for your wishes!

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fablesable View Post
 

I hope that you end up making this happen. To set a precedence for such an idea would make major changes to an already outdated model we have going thus far when it comes to homemade meals for people who don't have the time or knowledge/skills. Britain is a great place to start as there are more relaxed laws regarding home kitchens and food from the home. 

 

Your question about if people would go through the effort is hard to answer. Everyone is an individual when it comes to the motivation as to get the certificate and inspection or not. If they would like to cook and make some money while doing so then......why not?

 

I am also of a mind that the MAJOR hurdle is proper food handling. Whether the knowledge comes from a creation of a more complex study program for those wanting to do something like this or something along those lines.....that might help you venture along. 

 

I would love to hear how it all turns out though and wish you all the best on your thesis. :D

 

PS: I did take your questionnaire as I used to live in the UK.

Hi @Fablesable thank you for the feedback and filling out the questionnaire! Much appreciated.  I hope I can make this happen too! I agree with you and hope that there is enough people out there willing to cook for their local neighborhood! 

 

Yeah we are looking into a e-learning system with credentials at the moment! We can only do the educating and screening to ensure only the right people can sell food! However, the people who cook need to take responsibility into there own hands as well! All to be tested soon, I'm excited to do so. 

 

Will let you know what happens with it! 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just a massive thank you for all the feedback! Didn't expect to get so much involvement. Your concerns and kind words have encouraged me further to make this happen. I hope to overcome the hurdles and change the way the UK orders takeaway! 

post #15 of 19

Just thought I would toss this in as a sort of FYI.

 

Realize this model is miles different from yours but thought it interesting and maybe something you could add on later.

I used this company for a few months last summer (sneaky way to get the best of my favorite seasonal produce lol)

http://www.farmhousedelivery.com/home.php

Check out the bundles...

 

Became a bit expensive plus the logistics were a nightmare (had to drive 45 min to the nearest drop off as they do not service my area) so I dropped the service.

It was great while it lasted tho!

 

mimi

 

Best of luck with your "egg" AND the thesis!

 

m.

post #16 of 19

I read about something like this in Vancouver, BC.  They say it's a concept that "connects home cooks with hungry neighbours while hoping to avoid regulatory headaches".  Later in the article, it says the cooks would need BC FoodSafe certification - basic food safety training.  Here's a link to the article:   http://www.vancouversun.com/health/online+food+network+matches+home+chefs+with+hungry+neighbours/10671790/story.html

post #17 of 19
Welcome to cheftalk. Sorry, but I will not click on a link from à newcomer that takes me off of this site. (Typing on an android is not as easy as it looks ;-)) I wish you luck with your thesis.. If you could post your questionnaire (with approval from admins here), well-seasoned chefs and cooks can give you lifetime experience and input. I've not heard of a "Hobby Chef." Sounds like spam (in a sense to me), or help with homework. It takes many years of experience, trial and error, and seeking out/doing research re home businesses and all it entails and money. Limiting responses to a specific country, means to me, the plan is not well thought out. I do wish you luck with your endeavors.
Edited by Cerise - 8/1/15 at 9:08am
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerise View Post

Welcome to cheftalk?. Sorry, but I will not click on a link from à newcomer that takes me off of thi

 

Before I post on a thread (or speak for that matter) I always try to remember to ask myself if I am adding or subtracting from the conversation.

Sometimes I forget.

 

mimi

post #19 of 19

It's definitely a tough idea to bring off the ground, especially concerning licensing and liability.  But then I think about the thousands of people buying hot dogs on the streets of NYC out of carts with wieners floating in hot water.  It makes me shiver but somehow people keep eating them and don't get sick.  Unless you're young, elderly or pregnant our bodies can withstand a lot. 

 

@Cerise I think the OP has limited the questionnaire to people in the UK because he is trying to target his (or her?) market of business.  Business after all does begin with some research and though you have the right to avoid newcomers and potential spammers it's better to report and have administrators make that decision rather than make accusations.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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