A single dad from Melbourne with barely enough time on his hands to cook has become the head of a $5m food empire, which he created in his own kitchen only 18 months ago.
Called Make-Out Meals, the meal kit subscription service uses recipes and key ingredients supplied by Australia’s leading chefs and restaurants. The company was born from Make-Out Meals’ founder Billy Green’s desire to help his hospitality mates survive Covid lockdown.
How did Make-Out Meals come about?
With a strict #supportlocal ethos to use the freshest ingredients possible, the founder is gunning to steal market share from foreign owned heavy weights Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh the $500 million (Nielsen) industry that distributes millions of meal kits per week (AFR).
“During Melbourne’s first lockdown, I struggled like many single parents who had to juggle work, home schooling, and cooking. Like many dads with a limited repertoire in the kitchen, your fall back is to go out for dinner. Except my 8-year-old son and I couldn’t do that during lockdown, which is when I tested out a few meal kit subscription services,” said Billy Green.
“Put simply – they were terrible. They were bland and the produce was not fresh.”
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I opened a box and staring back at me was a rotten lemon. Around the same time, I was chatting to my mate who owns a fabulous Indonesian restaurant about how the lockdown was affecting business. Given my experience with the rotten lemon, I said he could easily give these guys a run for their money.”
“And that’s when my lightbulb moment happened – imagine if the top chefs took on these poor excuses for food businesses with restaurant quality meals that taste great, using ingredients from top quality providores. Voila – the idea for Make Out Meals was born!”
What is Make-Out Meals market reach?
Following its successful launch in Victoria the company launched its service into NSW and the ACT by enlisting top Sydney eateries to its rollcall – Fei Jai (Potts Point), D.O.C. Pizza (Surry Hills), Zigi’s Wine Bar (Chippendale), I Maccheroni (Woollahra), Foodie del Mar (Randwick)
And more will join top Melbourne eateries Entrecote, Tipico, Cecconis, Lady Boy, La Tortilleria, Ish, Mamasita, Fancy Hanks, Uncle, Bomba, Eazy Peazy, Oasis Bakery, Simply Spanish, Lello Artisan Pasta. And giving locals even more reasons to join the service, new Melbourne restaurants being added this month include Gilson, Coda, Hotel Jesus and Mahjong.
“The past two years have been hell for all my friends in hospo – Make-Out Meals helps with an additional source of income to my chef-friends. Each box has been carefully prepared by leading chefs who are all extremely passionate about their craft,” Green further commented.
“They know flavour better than anyone – and wouldn’t risk their restaurant’s reputation by lending their name to a project unless it was up to their high standards. They also have the best connections with the freshest produce, so we’ve locked down these providores as well.”
What is Make-Out Meals market growth?
Since launch in September 2020, the company’s year-on-year revenues have tripled and are expected to grow substantially this financial year. The month of March 2022 has been the busiest for the company on record – with one week alone serving over 1,000 plates of food.
Over 70% of revenue is from recurring clients, which explains the 100+ 5-star reviews. With Victorian, ACT and NSW markets up and running, the company also announced it will raise up to $1m via Birchal equity crowdfunding. The company’s post-money valuation is $5 million.
“With such passionate clients, we want them to share in our success as we become one of the leading meal kit providers in Australia, and change the way Australians eat for good,” said Green. The money raised will go towards its expansion into Queensland and continuing to scale the company to a level not yet achieved by any Australian-owned product in the sector.