Meal Prep Sunday: Good To Great
Our clients at Meal Prep Sunday are what inspire us to come up with fresh new menu ideas week in and week out. We always want to take their experience from good to great. “Good to Great” is the workplace motto here at Meal Prep Sunday. We have adopted this motto because it is not enough for us to simply provide a “good” experience for our customers. We want their experience with us to be memorable. The type of service they will rave about to their friends and family. Achieving this goal requires each of our departments to come up with new, innovative ways to constantly improve our services. We will take an in-depth look at our IT, Purchasing, Culinary, Logistics, and System Operation departments, and how they are taking steps to provide the great experience we want for our clients.
In a world where the mobile device experience needs to be as enjoyable as the desktop experience, the IT department helps keep us relevant. Currently, our department head, Tassio Souza is leading the team in developing an app that will not only help our logistics department but also all of our customers.
Improving Logistics Department
The application will benefit our logistics department in a few ways. We cover a lot of territory from San Diego up to LA. This being said it is imperative our logistics team can effectively and efficiently track our drivers. The information we collect from tracking our drivers allows us to give accurate ETAs and also determine how much ice is needed for certain bags. The delivery of fresh, healthy meal preps is important for us and we make sure all of our clients get that same treatment.
In addition to tracking the drivers, this application will also streamline the communication between the drivers, customer service team, and logistics team. The less time it takes us to identify a problem and communicate it to all necessary parties, the better our service is.
For instance, if a client unexpectedly needs to change addresses for their delivery. Rather than waiting for the driver to read and send the update to the logistics team, our in-office staff will be able to see the request in real time, make the necessary route adjustments, and update customer service all in one go.
Improving Customer Experience
All of the changes we are making mean nothing if we do not improve our customer’s experience. For years now, we have been listening to the improvements our customers would like to see. We are very excited about implementing these changes and seeing an improvement in customer satisfaction.
To begin, we are introducing the ability for our clients to select their preferred meals directly from an app. As it stands currently, customers need to contact customer service via phone, email, or live chat. We aim to eliminate that middle step and allow clients to take power into their own hands.
The next improvement we have made is allowing our customers to be able to see where their driver currently is on their route. We try our best to give an accurate ETA to all of our customers but things happen that are out of our control. Adding this feature will allow our customers to enjoy their day and not be stuck at home waiting for their meals.
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Our purchasing department, headed by Lucas Mendo, is responsible for making sure we receive the highest quality ingredients possible. They are in constant communication with our local and nationwide suppliers ensuring they are delivering the correct amounts of food we need on time. If our suppliers do not deliver the correct amount for the week on the correct day, it will not allow us to serve our customers.
Since we have new meals every week, the purchasing team is also vetting new suppliers to see who has the best quality products. If we can get similar prices and quality from local suppliers we always prefer to take that option.
Along with these responsibilities, they also quality check all of the produce, dairy, and ingredients we receive. We explain our quality assurance measures in the Monday section of our Cajun Shredded Chicken Thigh blog post. The quality assurance process is one of their most important duties. Lucas has instilled very high attention to detail in his team which is what has allowed us to deliver high-quality meals week in and week out.
One of the main differences between Meal Prep Sunday and other companies is our weekly rotating menu. We chose to embrace this business model because we understand that the hardest part about reaching your fitness goals with a new diet, is staying on track. By having a new menu every week we are constantly changing the flavors you are receiving while still keeping the meals healthy and nutritious.
Research and Development
Having a weekly rotating menu requires our culinary department to have a very detailed research and development process. First, the team will pool together possible recipes and what they will require. Once we land on a recipe we want to go with we put it on the menu. The kitchen staff will begin by preparing each portion of the recipe and bring it to the Executive Chef and CEO for taste testing. Once the necessary parameters are set to attain the desired flavor, the staff applies it to the larger batches. Even after this step, the team still needs to bring it in for taste testing because once the size of the batch increases, ingredients may need to be tweaked.
Standard Operating Procedures
Our kitchen managers David and Carlos are tasked with keeping our team on schedule. Weekly we make 12 different meals for customers from San Diego to Los Angeles. Every day we must complete the necessary tasks to set us up for the rest of the week.
They also ensure all of our standard operating procedures are being followed. These are the procedures we have in place to minimize the mistakes we will make throughout the week. To protect our clients, we make sure all kitchen staff changes aprons, arm sleeves, and gloves every time they switch proteins. They constantly disinfect workstations when switching tasks and always have on a face mask, hair net, and if necessary a beard net when in the kitchen for any reason.
Our logistics department ensures our drivers have the most efficient routes to deliver your meals. Larissa Franco is the department head and each week she finds new ways for our deliveries to be more effective. To achieve this we constantly monitor how long routes take to figure out what would improve the process. In addition to the timing, they also ensure that each route has the correct amount of ice. Having the correct amount of ice ensures our clients are receiving meals that are at a safe temperature.
Our logistics department has also put together a very detailed training process. When the meals are being transferred from our fridges they must be handled with care. If our meals are roughly tossed into the cars it increases the chances the meals will puncture.
Our drivers are also properly trained in the delivery process. When beginning a route our drivers send out a message with an ETA and when they deliver they send a picture to our client. The failure to complete these steps can cause a client to never know their meals were delivered, resulting in a second delivery.
System Operation Department
The System Operation Department, led by Pedro Itajahy, takes care of all our client requests. They are in charge of applying any customer requests that are made. This process begins when our customer service team takes note of any changes. Once the changes are noted, the system operation team makes sure everything lines up.
The fact we have a team that can catch these mistakes before they happen directly impacts our customer satisfaction. Pedro is always brainstorming to find ways they can minimize our mistakes. The system operation team is also finds better ways to track the number of meals we are selling each week. Understanding this metric allows us to make better predictions each week. When our team knows how many meals we will be sending out we eliminate waste and reduce our footprint.