Frecibo: Ainsley Frecibo: Harriott

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is our purpose?

Our project is a community based initiative based on helping two kinds of people: People who need healthy, affordable meals and aspiring chefs who would like to cook for others but do not have the resources to invest in a fully-fledged restaurant.

We have seen many passionate people struggle to bring out their food to the community on account of crushing costs and difficult marketing. We want to bring an end to this injustice by providing an easy to use platform and helping you with your marketing! In turn, bringing unconditional entrepreneurship to every household with nothing like age, sex, qualification or nationality stopping you from being your own boss!

What is required to be a chef?

A passion for cooking good food!

Anyone can be a chef so long as you pass the hygiene requirements. Just register above and we’ll get you up and cooking in no time. You can also request a call back, and we can explain to you everything before you sign up. Everything is free anyway! Yep, even the sign up and the operations!

How long is the application process?

Short Answer:

Total time taken: As little as 3 hours, over a period of up to 5 days.

Long Answer:

After you fill in our quick online form, we start with a Frecibo check, that takes about an hour. Following this, we require a food safety and hygiene check that the council would do for you. You can register with them directly, (we send you all the links and information on your starter pack email) or if this is tedious, you can send us the information and we can register on your behalf.

The council would usually give you a green signal within 5 working days despite the ‘upto 28 days’ legal requirement. Although, if you expect to have a significantly large scale of operations, you may need to expect wait times that extend beyond the 5 working days.

What are the food hygiene requirements?

At Frecibo, we deploy a unique 4 tier chef check:

  1. The Frecibo team will inspect the chef’s premise and make recommendations according to official guidelines.
  2. Local authorities will conduct an official food hygiene check and approve the premises giving you a Food Security Agency certified hygiene rating out of 5.
  3. The chefs undertake level 2 food hygiene certification that informs you about things like cross contamination, food allergens and basic things that we often know but tend to overlook or forget. Requires barely 2 hours and can be done online in the comfort of your home.
  4. An online review system means that chefs will be actively judged by the community for their cooking standards.

Are there contractual obligations?

Other than basic terms and conditions asking you to promise to use our website and service sensibly, there are no contractual obligations. You are free to operate when you like and leave when you like!

You can view our terms and conditions here.

How often will I need to operate?

You are your own boss. You chose what you do when. Set the days you would like to operate on, or change them on a weekly basis. There are no rules on when and how you need to operate. However, make sure you deactivate your profile in advance if you know you can’t operate on a particular day that you have chosen.

How do I set my profile and days of operation?

It’s like having your own Facebook profile. You have your own backend management tool, that lets you update information as easily as you do on social media. There are checkboxes that let you select or deselect the days or times you are available on.

What do I have to cook?

Anything you want, literally! We encourage your own inventive recipes as much as renowned dishes known to all. If you prepare a dish that might be difficult to transport, please make sure it’s packaged so that it doesn’t spill or ruin other food.

Do remember, most people who will reach out to you may appreciate healthier, wholesome options that can be part of their everyday lifestyle.

Are there any rules around the setting up of menus?

Nope!

Make your menu as short or long as you want. You can even make them different for different days!

Start with having one or two options if you’d like to experience or just try out how this may suit your schedule.

What about pricing the meal?

Short Answer:

You chose!

Long Answer:

You set the menu, so you set the price! However, something that we have noticed in previous operations and something that we would strongly recommend would be keeping your customers in mind. As we mentioned earlier, Frecibo is an initiative solving a two-fold problem. On your other side are mostly price conscious busy office workers that need nutritious affordable options, compared to what takeaways and canteens serve. A price belt between £2 and £6, depending on your size of meal.

Remember, sometimes you monetize on greater quantities much more than if your prices where higher and number of meals sold were smaller.

Who shall I expect as a customer?

The truth is, neither you, nor we are a restaurant service. We are a food community connecting two types of people that will benefit form each other. If one wanted to pay £10 for every meal they eat, they’d probably choose to go out.

Your ideal customer would be a student battling to squeeze in cooking and healthy eating into their regular but busy schedules. Little time and high costs are usually the reason why 58% (TSS survey) office workers have an adverse impact on health at university.

So, they are looking for truly nutritious home food. Something they can eat regularly and something to thrive on that will be energy rich rather than calorie rich alone.

When will I get the orders and how much should I be prepared for?

Most of your orders would come in the night before or early in the morning. We seal taking orders on the same day but 3 hours in advance of delivery, so do expect some last minute ones coming in by then. This will be explained to you in detail in your welcome pack.

Start out by being prepared for 5-8 portions. As you become of your customers and as they become aware of you, orders will pick up giving you a better sense of idea as to what you should prepare for in advance.

To help you even more, we are also the first and only platform to give you analytics on your meals. You can see which meal sold better and on which day. Accordingly, you can play around with your menu and find your perfect selling point. Our team is always available to help or make suggestions should you need them.

Do I have to pay anything to you?

Yes and no.

We don’t charge you anything to set up or start. In fact, if you wish to start, we pay for a level-2 Food Certification for you!

We do request a 9% charge per meal to cover the expenses of marketing, delivery, payment transaction, other logistical services, legal obligations, brand ambassadors and technology. This is usually less than 50p. So, we work with almost no margins, only to help you and help those who need you. Any promotional discounts or offers we give customers will come from this fee and not from you.

How do I market myself?

You do you. Focus on making your profiles pretty and your food delicious. Everything else is left to you.

Just like on social media, you put up pictures and posts you want others to see and you’re in control of everything. Even better, we even let you integrate your social media channels into your Frecibo profiles so that your customers can engage with you and see the latest updates in your kitchen!

We market you before us! So, sit back, relax and let us take care. Just focus o doing your own thing!

Should I sell as myself or under a company name?

Again, YOU CHOOSE!

Although, a suggestion would be to add the personal touch, be yourself and spread your love to cook as an individual. They say, the way to ones heart is through food! Keep the connection real and personal. Of course, if it’s a bunch of you working on the same team and want to use a different name, by all means, do that!

It’s your cooking story, you write it best!

What happens with packaging?

Different foods need different packaging. Thus, we think you would know this best. We only provide biodegradable Frecibo bags that your meals would be put into at the delivery stations.

To reduce your cost of packaging, we are looking to bulk purchase boxes of all shapes and sizes so they are cheaper. And in turn you can buy them from us (we keep no profits and sell them to you at the discounted price we buy it on) so that they are cheaper. This service is not available at the moment. It will however be from the summer of 2018 and you will be notified in advance of the same.

Can I do catering?

Yes.

The platform will also take catering orders. All information regarding these will be in the information pack sent to you when you sign up. It is not compulsory to be a caterer if you thing you can’t do the quantities or you don’t want to. Consumers may mix and match items too so, you may need to cook only a certain quantity of a particular dish rather than everything. All depending on the type of order.

What happens if I get orders but I can’t cook them?

Short Answer:

It is a day in advance, it’s absolutely fine, although you may want to consider customer satisfaction. The best thing to do is, deactivate your profile for the days you can’t cook in advance so, you don’t receive orders or leave anyone dissatisfied. If you cancel on the day, this may reflect poorly on you unless the cause is genuine, in which case we will be all supportive to help you with a problem you may be faced with.

Long Answer:

Problems and obligations do crop up, so we understand if you may find a day where you struggle to service a delivery.

There are two scenarios:

If you cancel before the delivery day, then there is no problem. You might get a few aggrieved customers so tread carefully!

If you cancel on the delivery date, then we give you a Frecibo strike. However, if your cause is genuine, for example you are ill or someone that you are caring for within your home is ill, or you are bereaved, we will understand and consider this as an emergency, Frecibo will take responsibility to make alternate arrangements for customers who have already places the order. Please try your best to deactivate for the day as soon as you are aware that you cannot operate. Frecibo is happy to cover half your expense on submission of proof (you can appeal for the whole amount by sending us an email, and we will judge the condition before making the decision.)

Two Frecibo strikes and we unfortunately have to bar you from cooking on our platform. We place faith in you, as do our customers, therefore, this procedure is in place to avoid unfair free riding by some people which often leaves everyone unhappy.

Thus, id you know you can’t operate in advance, best to deactivate your menu for those days. Your consumers won’t be able to place any orders and you wouldn’t need to worry about making them unhappy!

Can I cook at a rented premise?

Just like with Airbnb, if you are at a rented premise, you may need permission from your landlord before you start operations there. This is your consideration, and communication between yourself and your landlord remains your responsibility and choice.

For a food business from your private kitchen, landlords are often quite supportive and should not think of this as a problem. However, if your landlord disagrees, we suggest speaking to them explaining the situation and also mentioning that they would not need to worry about health and safety as there are hygiene checks installed in place. More over, we send out all health and safety guidance that you should make yourself aware of. If your landlord needs confirmation of you having passed all hygiene checks before letting you start selling, we can do that. Please let us know in advance.

I am a student at university, can I be a chef?

Yes! For sure. In fact we encourage it! If you love to cook and want some pocket money on the side, go for it.

Other information for office workers wanting to join as chefs:

  • If you are on campus, you may want to check for rules set out by accommodation services and see if this is something that would be allowed. In most cases, it may not be permitted since, flats are shared and often the level of hygiene in kitchens cannot be guaranteed. This of course if different if you are off campus and have chosen your own flatmates.
  • Please look at the section above, if you are cooking from a rented premises
  • If you are an international student, check if your visa status allows that you become self-employed.
  • If you are an international student that wants to join the team, you would not be regarded as self-employed, you can then come in contact with us and we can look into available roles.