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Cooking and Eating Community Platform! Feedback from people that loves cooking and those who love discovering new dishes

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello y'all, I need some help from the chef talk community to get some feedback for our platform. I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that I love cooking for others so i went ahead and quit my 9-5 job to start building this awesome platform for everyone that is interested! We are almost there to release it We are trying to encourage people to start sharing authentic dishes and recipes around their community for those people that would love to pay you for your authentic dishes. We are location based so you'd have to deliver it!! you can get some extra cash in your pocket We are trying to create this community in real-time and bring it to you because We believe that we can have an alternative to traditional fast food and unhealthy processed food!! + Why not show off our skills and build communities in our local areas! I would like to know if this is something that you guys from Cheftalk would ever use in your community? We are making it easy for everyone to start offering and displaying their dishes on our mobile platform (iOS and Android) We are almost there, but I need your help to get some feedback from another cooking community. I know that in my town there's at least 15 People that will love sharing what they make around our little town. Let me know your thoughts and be brutally honest!! This forum was recommended to me by some of my friend so I went ahead and just posted the question!! I'd love to hear from you guys!

post #2 of 23

I love those kinds of ideas, but you do have to consider government regulations when it comes to selling foods. In some states, cottage laws allow people to sell food prepared at home, but there are many limitations - for example in California where I live, we couldn't sell a meal per se, we are limited to selling: 

 

Quote:
 Approved Food Products List (July 1, 2015) - source: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/pages/fdbcottagefood.aspx
(1) Baked goods, without cream, custard, or meat fillings, such as breads, biscuits, churros, cookies, pastries, and tortillas.
(2) Candy, such as brittle and toffee.
(3) Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruits.
(4) Dried fruit.
(5) Dried pasta.
(6) Dry baking mixes.
(7) Fruit pies, fruit empanadas, and fruit tamales.
(8) Granola, cereals, and trail mixes.
(9) Herb blends and dried mole paste.
(10) Honey and sweet sorghum syrup.
(11) Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. * See Below
(12) Nut mixes and nut butters.
(13) Popcorn.
(14) Vinegar and mustard.
(15) Roasted coffee and dried tea.
(16) Waffle cones and pizelles.
(17) Cotton candy.
(18) Candied apples.
(19) Confections such as salted caramel, fudge, marshmallow bars, chocolate covered marshmallow, nuts, and hard candy, or any combination thereof.
(20) Buttercream frosting, buttercream icing, buttercream fondant, and gum paste that do not contain eggs, cream, or cream cheese.
(21) Dried or Dehydrated vegetables.
(22) Dried vegetarian-based soup mixes.
(23) Vegetable and potato chips.
(24) Ground chocolate.
(25) Seasoning salt.

 

A workaround is to rent a commercial kitchen to prepare the food you intend to sell. 

post #3 of 23

As French Fries said, you are going to run into a lot of problems with health regulations.  There is a reason that this hasn't been done already, and that is because it is illegal to sell such foods, prepared in a home environment.  Cottage industry laws have developed for food stuffs that aren't considered "hazardous" such as baked goods and certain high acid/high sugar canned items.  These foods are relatively safe, but fully prepared meals are a totally different thing.  They incorporate many foods that carry a much higher risk and as such must be produced in an inspected kitchen that meets all the guidelines, which a home kitchen just cannot.

 

On top of that, there is an insurance issue.  What if someone prepares food, that they sell to someone else, and that person gets a severe case of food poisoning?  The person who made the food would be on the hook for all medical expenses and probably some compensation for pain and suffering.

 

I hate being a downer, but I just don't see this business model as being viable.  Way too many laws and regulations standing in your way to make something that would be legal.

post #4 of 23

Forgive me for being a bit thick but I don't understand the business model. People post pics and recipes on line of the dishes they like to make, other people order those dishes and then the poster delivers them to their house? So strangers contact me, I make food in my home, then deliver it to their house? 

post #5 of 23

I would never ever buy a meal from a stranger's home.  No way.  

"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 #6 of 23

I would never buy a meal from a stranger's home, either.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

I would never ever buy a meal from a stranger's home.  No way.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnniesKitchen View Post
 

I would never buy a meal from a stranger's home, either.


 Make that 3.

 

mimi

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 


Yes that's correct, You only post what you're already cooking and share it with people round your community. The delivery fee is what you pocket

post #9 of 23

Daniel, have you looked into any of the legal issues that I have mentioned?  Have you talked to a lawyer about what kind of liability issues your site would face if someone got sick?  Have you asked your old boss for your job back?

 

I'm sorry but the reality, here in the States if that is where you are located, is that what you are suggesting is illegal.  Basically you are asking home cooks to act as a restaurant that does delivery only.  As I stated in my earlier post, laws only allow for certain kinds of foods to be prepared in home kitchens, all other food (that are to be sold) must be produced in approved, inspected facilities.  Even if you could find a way to dodge the law in some places you would have to do some serious marketing to convince people that what you are suggesting is safe.  As you can see, by just the few people who answered your post, no one is willing to put their safety on the line for a meal.  It just isn't going to work.  Sorry.

post #10 of 23

Make that four who would never do it. Many of my friends can't cook but take good pictures. I'm reluctant with some when invited to dinner. Too many people think it's okay to let their pets run around the kitchen while they cook. Too many don't understand proper temperature control. too many people have horrible palates. And as Pete tells you, the Health Department and other laws exist for a reason. Some restaurants make me nervous. There's no way I'm buying food from a stranger. Did I forget to mention the weirdos who may do god knows what to the food? 

post #11 of 23
I'm also with everyone else on this.
Just a bad idea from the start.
post #12 of 23

You would have to carry insurance, a lot of it.  Frankly, around me, I have yet to run into someone who could cook food I would pay for.  I reluctantly pay to eat because I have no choice.  

 

But others may have different standards.  My neighbor will pay for my food but sadly I will not pay for hers.

post #13 of 23

Even if there was a base of potential customers willing to try this (and count me among those that wouldn't ever consider it) and it wouldn't be shut down by health authorities  I see a few problems with your model beyond that.

 

1) Pictures...so users of this service would only see photos of the prep ...not the finished dish?  I do not see that as any sort of strong marketing.  And, if you could see the finished food, well, that means you would be ordering leftovers.  I can't see the draw here.

 

2) The buyer and seller would have to be perfectly in tune with their time of eating.  Highly unlikely.

 

3) Lets say I am the cook in a family of 4.  I wish to sell some of our supper (lets say meatloaf, mashed potato, and glazed carrots) via this service.  Since this is based on "what we would be eating anyway", as the seller, how much extra would I be expected to make?  Enough for another family of four?  A couple?  It seems crazy to overproduce household food in hope that somebody out there might want to eat exactly what I am having at the time I am having it.

 

4)  The timing issue I have mentioned would likely mean that only things like soups/stews pasta sauces, sandwiches, etc.  Things that can simmer or be reheated with little ruining of the food.  Frankly, there are so many more options for this sort of thing already.

 

5) There would be a burden on the seller to stock disposable food containers (unless you had a branded version as part of this service).  

 

You might have a kernel of a good idea in here somewhere (maybe a regional collective of small scale caterers that offer a "selection of the day" that can be viewed via an app and ordered with a shared delivery system).  Keep throwing ideas out there.  Just don't throw money out along with it until it makes sense!

post #14 of 23

It can be a good idea but you will need to have an inspected and licensed kitchen with everyone doing all of their cooking from there, buying and keeping all of the ingredients there as well.

Do a google search for meal co-op.

There are a couple in Houston.

 

Keep in mind not everyone is a good cook.

You might have to do actual blind taste tests to decide the core cooking group.

You can also sell to members from outside your group if you pay taxes on the sales.

Would offset your operation expenses.

 

mimi

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

It can be a good idea but you will need to have an inspected and licensed kitchen with everyone doing all of their cooking from there, buying and keeping all of the ingredients there as well.

Do a google search for meal co-op.

There are a couple in Houston.

 

Keep in mind not everyone is a good cook.

You might have to do actual blind taste tests to decide the core cooking group.

 

mimi

 Then, in essence, you are creating a restaurant that does delivery only.  Sorry, but I don't see anything about this as being a "good idea."  Not trying to be harsh, just honest and realistic.

post #16 of 23

There is a co-op not far from me operating out of a church kitchen.

Not exactly sure how the whole thing is structured (not my sort of church if ya know what I mean) but once a week you drop by and choose containers large enuf for your family.

Hand those over along with your order and they fill them up.

Then take home and have freezer meals for 5 days.

 

They do this on Tuesdays and the church parking lot is packed.

 

mimi


Edited by flipflopgirl - 11/17/15 at 7:15am
post #17 of 23

@Daniel P ,

Unfortunately everyone is correct. I almost positive that all of our states are somewhat following the guidelines of the FDA. on preparing potentially hazardous food in the home.

In fact most states don't even allow you to prepare food for public consumption for any compensation or giving it away for for free. There are some concepts like yours that are getting established

some towns and cities. They work out of an incubator. It's a very interesting concept especially for ethnic foods. Most states require that the food preparer take a certified class in food safety.

They use social media for information. There are different groups of  people who come in say one or two days a week and prepare meals. Most meals have to be packaged, stored properly and have nutritional and weight labels.

  The one kitchen that I'm aware of has groups that come in and one day is Indian Cuisine, Mexican, El Salvadorian Honduran, Etc.  I was visiting in-laws and they had gotten El Salvadorian food,

It was truly amazing. And it's one of my favorite foods so I'm pretty critical. We had assorted Pupusas w/curito, assorted Tamales /palm leaves, Sopa de Pata, etc.

  They told me business was quite slow in the beginning. They took all leftover foods to their local food bank. That was affiliated with a church and the word got around. They seemed to be doing quite

well considering there was not a concentration of any ethnic groups living in this town.

  I'm sure there is all the minutia involved as with any food establishment. Insurance was mentioned above. Actually liability insurance for food establishments is not as expensive as some would think.

Your ins. would also cover customers and you on someone Else's property. Most states don't require worker comp if you are an owner.

Just some info. 

Personally, I would favor this type business over a food truck. You can take orders ahead of time.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #18 of 23

Flipflopgirl and Panini, both of your idea require an inspected kitchen (many churches that often make meals are now usually inspected).  What Daniel is suggesting is people doing this from their homes, not a co-op or incubator type thing.

post #19 of 23

I get it Pete.

Never hurts to offer an alternative tho.

 

Most new members come with a specific question or to run something past the community to see if it will fly.

Sometimes we rag them to the point where they rabbit....never to return.

Non pros can have pretty thin skin and don't realize they are only getting a bit of "tough love" ;).

 

mimi

post #20 of 23

Sounds very similar to another thread going at the moment

 

Make Money Cooking from Home! mytable app is looking for both Professional Chefs & Home Cooks!
started on 08/09/15 last post 11/21/15 at 6:13am 13 replies 871 views

 

The whole idea of both scenarios being suggested at this time is one that I find totally frightening from a food safety stand point. And I get frightened by looking at from the guest side and the chef side. Far too many weak links and potential trouble points in the grand scheme of production, delivery, and consumption.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #21 of 23

Cheflayne, can you move that thread here?, I thought I was posting in this thread when I made that post.

post #22 of 23

I asked a question on the mytable facebook page a couple hrs ago and it was deleted.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

I asked a question on the mytable facebook page a couple hrs ago and it was deleted.

 

Of course it was.

I downloaded the app to my pad and can get no further without an Austin addy.

Short sided on the part of the "company" because Houston is the largest city in Texas.

Would think they would want to test the waters.

 

mimi

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