To explain how to start a tiffin service business

Key Learnings from the Video

Students and working professionals are the target customers for the tiffin service. People, who have a busy schedule, also prefer tiffin service to avoid unhygienic food of restaurants and hotels.

You can easily start this business if you know cooking.

1. How to Start Tiffin Service Business?

The following steps are required to start this business:

i. Decide the Type of Service

Before starting the tiffin service, you have to decide whether you want to provide regular tiffin service or catering service.

ii. Decide the Menu

  • Regular tiffin service – Menu should include home-like food.
  • Catering service/parties – Menu is decided based on the client’s requirement.

iii. Decide the Space

  • Decide the location and space from where you can start the business.
  • For example, even if you have 25 customers for daily tiffin service, you will require a large kitchen.  For this, you can take 1 room kitchen set on rent.

iv. Business Plan

You need to make your business plan while taking into account the following requirements of a tiffin service business:

  • Equipment  – All the cooking essentials like kitchen utensils, burners, etc., and at least 20 lunch boxed or disposable packing.
  • Furniture – A table and a tablecloth
  • Raw material – Flour, pulses, rice, gram flour, spices, and fresh vegetables
  • Manpower – Assistants are required forcooking and cleaning
  • Registration and Licence – Shop & Establishment Act License, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license, and a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from society

These licences can vary from one state to another.

v. Investment

Tiffin Services Business – Costing

CAPEXValue (in rupees)OPEXValue (in rupees)
Security (one-room kitchen set)50,000Grocery15,000
Utensils, 20 tiffin boxes, burner, and other essentials for cooking 35,000Vegetables (depends on demand)7,000
Business licence 8,000Salary (4 people – 1 delivery boy, 1 cleaner, 1 helper, and 1 cook)25,000
Marketing (pamphlets, WhatsApp,  FB ads)10,000Electricity bill5,000
  Miscellaneous charges (delivery packaging and gas bill)5,000

vi. Earning and ROI (Return on Investment)

For a business running model, make the following assumption:

  • Cost of 1 plate – Rs. 80
  • Number of meals per day – 2
  • Number of meals per month – 26×2 = 54

Business Running Model

MonthCost (food items + salaries and miscellaneous cost) (in rupees)Earning (in rupees)ROI[(Earnings – Cost/Cost) x 100]
1st -10 customers31,000 + 30,000 = 61,20080×10×2×26 = 41,600-32%
2nd-20 customers62,400 + 30,000 = 92,40080×20×2×26 = 83,200-9%
3rd-35 customers1,09,000 + 30,000 = 1,39,00080×35×2×26 = 1,45,6005%

The table shows that the first two months will give negative ROI but you will start getting positive returns from the third month.

vii. Marketing

You can do marketing in tiffin services business using the following methods:

A. Pamphlets

  • You should distribute pamphlets to every household through newspapers.

B. Personal Networking

In the tiffin business, customer retention will depend on the taste of your food and service. However, for customer acquisition, you have to make efforts on the personal level by:

  • Connecting with nearby shops
  • Connecting with PGs
  • Connecting with parlours
  • Providing free meals for a week for bringing in customers
  • Promoting your services on society groups
  • Promoting testimonies on Facebook groups

2. Tiffin Service Business – Pitfalls

i. Bad taste

  • This entire tiffin business depends on the taste of your food. People will not like your food if the taste is not up to mark.

ii. Poor hygiene

  • People are conscious of their health. You have to maintain hygiene in your kitchen and keep things clean.

iii. Taking orders for one day

  • You need to take order from a customer for at least a week or a month. If you depend on daily orders, then due to non-estimation your food will be wasted and you will incur loss.

If you want to invest in this business, then first you have to evaluate it. For this, you should watch the “Hit or Flop” video.

Key Outcomes of Video

  • Decide the menu and space before starting the tiffin service
  • Get the Shop & Establishment Act License, FSSAI License, and NOC  from society for tiffin service
  • Maintain hygiene and good taste in tiffin service business
  • Use personal networking to do marketing for tiffin services

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