A Melbourne dad who knew only a few staple foods built a multi-million dollar food empire in just 18 months.
A Melbourne dad who once struggled in the kitchen has gone on to build a multi-million dollar food empire after helping a few friends with hospitality during the city’s multiple lockdowns.
Billy Green, 30, said like many single parents, he found himself juggling work, homeschooling and cooking when the pandemic first hit the country.
With a limited repertoire in the kitchen, he and his eight-year-old son often went out to dinner. That wasn’t an option when lockdown restrictions were in place, so he turned to meal kit subscription services.
“Simply put, they were terrible. They were bland and the produce was not fresh,” Billy said.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I opened a box and looking at me there was a rotten lemon. »
The young dad then had a light bulb moment that would eventually see him become the unlikely chef of a $5 million meal kit subscription service called Make-Out Meals.
After struggling to find decent meals, Billy turned to some of his friends in the hospitality industry.
“I relied on them to point me in the right direction and introduce myself to contacts,” Billy said.
He then started calling restaurants day and night to see if they had any interest in selling their recipes.
Billy wanted to help Melbourne’s hospitality industry survive the Covid lockdown by starting a meal kit business that would sell popular meal recipes with ingredients sourced from local suppliers.
Granted, Billy said some chefs and owners were skeptical of the idea, but after building their trust, Make-Out Meals was finally born.
“They wouldn’t risk their restaurant’s reputation by lending their name to a project unless it lived up to their high standards,” he said.
And in just 18 months it completely ‘blew up’ with Billy having to quit his full-time marketing job to focus on his new business.
“From the start, he had legs. Every time a new lockdown was announced the order numbers would just quadruple overnight,” Billy told news.com.au.
“Out of lockdown, the numbers also remained stable.”
The kits include meals from popular Melbourne restaurants Bomba, LadyBoy Dining, Oasis and Tipico. Last month was the company’s busiest on record – with a single week serving more than 1,000 plates of food.
“So there’s always a huge apatite in the market for quality meal kit options,” Billy said.
He said the biggest difference between his business and that of his competitors was revenue.
“The recipes come straight from real chefs and the best restaurants,” Billy said. “We also work with the same supplies that supply restaurants, so the ingredients are top quality.”
Customers only have to prepare the meals.
Billy said customer service is important and his company aims to resolve issues the same day complaints arise.
“We’re not perfect so whenever there’s a problem we aim to fix it the same day and that’s usually the main reason people come back to us.”
Following its successful launch in Victoria, the company has expanded to New South Wales and the ACT by recruiting heavyweight restaurants including Fei Jai, Zigi’s Wine Bar and Foodie del Mar.
The company also announced that it will raise up to $1 million via Birchal crowdfunding with its post-money valuation at $5 million. The money raised will be used for its expansion in Queensland.