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Getting Your Supplies Ready to Start Serving Customers
Getting Your Supplies Ready to Start Serving Customers
Chyrlie Brown avatar
Written by Chyrlie Brown
Updated over a week ago

Depending on your location, you may need to drop your orders off at a Shef hub, or different versions of door-to-door delivery may be available. Check the 'My Profile' page of your Shef Dash, if you see a list of hub addresses to choose from, you will be dropping your orders off with us on your delivery days. If you see an option to add your pickup address, you have direct pickup options available to you. If you see both, then both options are available to you. This means you will drop off at a hub on the days they are open, and will receive door-to-door delivery on the days your hub is closed.

Preparing supplies for shefs using hubs or drop-off locations

What supplies does Shef provide?

We will provide you with an ongoing supply of our red insulated delivery bags, as well as label sheets that you can use with a home printer.

You can collect your first delivery bags and label sheets in your Starter Kit towards the end of your onboarding process. Please check your Starter Kit email after your account has been approved for information on where you can pick it up. You may request additional delivery bags and label sheets on an ongoing basis as needed.

What supplies do you need to provide?

As a shef, you are responsible for providing your own food containers, as well as two frozen water bottles (16 oz each) to use as ice packs in each delivery bag. Keep these packaging costs in mind when pricing your menu items.

Here are the supplies you will need to collect for areas using hub drop-off delivery:

  1. Your Starter Kit, which contains red insulated Shef bags and label sheets that you will need for your first delivery day. At the end of your onboarding process, you will receive an email with instructions for how to pick up your Starter Kit. Please pick this up before your first delivery day.

  2. Food containers for each of the items on your menu. Please make sure your selected containers have an airtight seal, keeping food safe and secure during delivery, and are water-resistant next to the frozen water bottles. We recommend purchasing containers from any store that sells restaurant supplies, such as Restaurant Depot, webstaurantstore.com, or Amazon. We have guidance around recommended food containers here.

  3. Sealed, frozen water bottles to use as ice packs. You will need to include two (standard-sized) 16 fl oz water bottles, frozen solid, in every delivery bag. Please be sure to put these in the freezer a few days before your first delivery day - water bottles can take 2 days to freeze solid.

  4. Access to a basic home printer, to print your order labels before each delivery day. You will download your labels directly from your Shef Dashboard, and print them on almost any home printer using the label sheets provided in your Starter Kit. An inkjet or laserjet printer like this one works fine.

  5. Other suggested materials include gloves, a hair net or hat (to keep your hair up when cooking), a food thermometer, a regular thermometer, and note cards (to write thank you notes to your customers).

Please ensure you have collected all of these materials before your first delivery day. Scheduling your first delivery day without having your materials can result in order cancellations and, for trial shefs, a failed trial period.


Preparing supplies for shefs using door-to-door delivery methods

What supplies do you need to provide?

As a shef, you are responsible for ensuring your food reaches the customer at a safe temperature (between 33°F and 41°F). For this reason, we recommend using insulated bags to package your orders, packed with frozen-solid water bottles or ice packs as needed. You also want provide a great experience for your customers, so think about how their orders will look when they receive it. Using food service grade containers, bags and labeling your dishes can create trust from the moment your customer gets their order delivered. Keep these packaging costs in mind when pricing your menu items.

Here are the supplies you will need to collect for areas using door-to-door delivery:

  1. Insulated delivery bags. You can purchase insulated bags using this link, or from any other supplier. We also recommend using frozen water bottles or ice packs as needed.

  2. Food containers for each of the items on your menu. Please make sure your selected containers have an airtight seal, keeping food safe and secure during delivery, and are water-resistant next to the frozen water bottles. We recommend purchasing containers from any store that sells restaurant supplies, such as Restaurant Depot, webstaurantstore.com, or Amazon. We have guidance around recommended food containers here.

  3. Label sheets, so that you can print food labels from your Shef Dashboard with reheating instructions for customers. You can purchase more Avery labels using this link.

  4. A basic home printer, to print your order labels before each delivery day. You will download your labels directly from your Shef Dashboard, and print them on any home printer using the Avery label sheets above. A regular home printer (like an inkjet or laserjet) is fine - nothing fancy is needed.

  5. Other suggested materials include frozen-solid water bottles or ice packs, gloves, a hair net or hat (to keep your hair up when cooking), a food thermometer, and note cards for customers. You can download Shef-branded notecards here - we recommend printing on cardstock or thicker paper if possible.

Read more about how to pack your orders for door-to-door delivery in this article. While you collect your supplies, you can still set your availability to allow customers to start browsing your menu on Shef.com! Customers can place orders up to 3 weeks in advance while you prepare to launch your business. Read more about setting your availability in this article.


Getting supplies at Restaurant Depot

Restaurant Depot is a restaurant supply store offering food service supplies in bulk quantities. They have things like food containers and some stores even have cooking ingredients. Buying your supplies here is completely optional. Many shefs order supplies online, or stop by Restaurant Depot when they need something quickly.

Restaurant Depot offers memberships, but also allows guests to shop there. If you don't have a membership, let an employee know you would like to use a public pass when you enter the store.

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