Author Topic: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?  (Read 7077 times)

lilstubbletgvp

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An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« on: January 14, 2015, 10:23:55 AM »
A friend of mine at work recently proposed the idea to me of he will pay me 25$ a week to bring him lunch. I bring my lunch every day to work and I am a pretty decent cook and he doesnt cook at all so he suggested this course of action. I told him i would think about it. I usually have enough leftovers for myself and my wife, sometimes we have extra. Do you think the 25$ a week would cover the extra cost of the food to feed him as well?

I'm a red panda

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 10:30:33 AM »
I think it depends what he expects as lunch.  Do you need to provide an entree, side dish and dessert with a drink?  What size portion does he expect?   Will he eat repetitive meals?

I think you need more information before you can decide if it is worth it; but if he just wanted a portion of my leftovers, I'd say it was probably worth it.  But if he also wanted me to bring him an apple and a cookie, not so much.

Phil_Moore

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 10:35:00 AM »
Well if it's 5 meals a week can you do his portion for less than $5 per meal? I don't know how fancy you are getting with your meals, but that sounds eminently doable if you are making the meals anyway.

If it's a good friend though I would probably offer to teach him how to cook a few things, I mean seriously any muppet (i.e. me) can cook chilli or stir-fry or similar. Being able to reasonably feed yourself is a life skill worth having I would have thought.

Numbers Man

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 10:36:51 AM »
A friend of mine at work recently proposed the idea to me of he will pay me 25$ a week to bring him lunch. I bring my lunch every day to work and I am a pretty decent cook and he doesnt cook at all so he suggested this course of action. I told him i would think about it. I usually have enough leftovers for myself and my wife, sometimes we have extra. Do you think the 25$ a week would cover the extra cost of the food to feed him as well?

This is like adding another item to the daily to do list. I can see how you're flattered but why commit to this daily chore?

Spork

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 10:37:56 AM »
It also depends on how picky he is.  The first time he turned up his nose and said "I don't like Brussels sprouts" ... I'd be done with him.

To really answer the question, you probably have to figure out how much a month your lunches are costing you.  That's not necessarily an easy task, since it will vary day-to-day, week-to-week.   You want it to cover and ... to be brutally honest, you want at least a minimal amount of profit there.  After all: you're doing work here.  Even if it is a tiny amount more work to pack a second lunch every day... it's still something.

alleykat

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 10:46:04 AM »
What happens when you call out sick, etc. Does it get prorated?

How about if he doesn't like the meal?

Would you need to get to go containers?  If you are not using disposable containers, will he wash his own container for the next use?

Just some things to think about.  Sometimes what seems easy to me becomes another chore to be done.  But sounds like maybe it is worth a shot. I would pilot it first though this way there are no hard feelings if it doesnt work out if you try it.


brandino29

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 10:48:58 AM »
No way.

Financially you could certainly make it work out in your favor.  But it would end up being the biggest pain in the ass ever.  What happens when you miss work for a day? Or have a work lunch and aren't bringing your own? Or when he starts making special requests? The negatives greatly outweigh positives on a deal like this. 

iamadummy

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 10:51:30 AM »
What a hassle.  Gonna make a few extra bucks a week?

Timmmy

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 10:57:54 AM »
I'd never agree to that as proposed.  I would, however, offer to bring in an extra portion on occasion and sell it to him for $5.  Same basic price but no guarantee.  If he turns it down you have your lunch for the next day.

TerriM

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 11:24:17 AM »
I don't think you're making a lot of profit here.  I would worry that I'd start skimping out on lunches to try to come out ahead.

If he's your BFFL (best friend for life), then you can do it because that's what friends are for.  But this is not a money making operation unless you start catering to the whole company.

A better situation would be a meal-share with 5 people who do cook and each of you cooking for the other 4 once a week, but you said he doesn't cook, so that doesn't work.

dunhamjr

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 11:29:57 AM »
This is like adding another item to the daily to do list. I can see how you're flattered but why commit to this daily chore?

I get what you are saying, but depending on the friends meal expectations... and the OP's own meal prep.
The commitment could be very slight.

As an example, I made between 3-5 days of lunches for myself on Sunday in about 30 minutes of actual prep, and about 60 minutes cook time.
Doing the same lunches for two people would have added maybe 15 minutes of prep and NO additional cooking time.

15 minutes/wk for $25 = $100/hr (minus food cost)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 11:32:52 AM by dunhamjr »

Hugerat

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2015, 11:31:58 AM »
This is a stupid idea. There's a reason you would usually pay more than this to have other people make your food for you. And you will never have anything close to the scale that a restaurant does.

dunhamjr

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 11:35:03 AM »
I'd never agree to that as proposed.  I would, however, offer to bring in an extra portion on occasion and sell it to him for $5.  Same basic price but no guarantee.  If he turns it down you have your lunch for the next day.

I like this idea better.

Gets you out of the guaranteed commitment of $25/wk up front.
Makes things more flexible in the event you don't feel like cooking, forget to cook, call in sick... etc.
The friend can decide to buy the lunch or not depending on his food preferences.

Kaspian

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 11:40:07 AM »
What's the profit margin?  If he's giving you $5/day, you have to consider what the ingredients would cost.  AND does he seem like the sort of fellah who pays up promptly?

frugaliknowit

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2015, 11:43:34 AM »
Don't do it.  If you do, he won't be your friend for long.  Too much can go wrong.

James

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2015, 11:49:23 AM »
I wouldn't do it. I would certainly be happy to make extra food and bring a friend lunch, and in that case $5 sounds fine. But not on scheduled every day terms like that. And it does comes with lots of little risks...

Thegoblinchief

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2015, 02:59:24 PM »
If you set the expectations - like, literally this is my EXACT lunch, take it or leave it (but still pay me).

My ingredient cost per meal per person is below $2, and it takes <5 minutes to pack leftovers or throw a sandwich together, so your labor rate is somewhere between $20-$30/hr. The time to pack two leftovers or make two sandwiches is practically negligible, as a lot of the labor is just getting the crap out.

I'd do it. That's $100 a month, and a profit margin of 75%.

trailrated

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2015, 04:24:43 PM »
Tell them $35 and it is a deal and/or work out that they provide you with containers for their own food and wash them.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2015, 05:33:46 PM »
For $25/week, he could come to my house and learn how to cook.  Much more sustainable for both of you.  (I did this with an electric pressure cooker that I brought to work to show all my work buddies.  They each brought an ingredient and we made chicken soup from frozen meat in 20 minutes.  I did not charge them, but it was fun.)

MsPeacock

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2015, 05:41:57 PM »
I am with PP - ugh, extra work and very little money to be gained from it. I would tire of this very quickly. I have had friends occasionally pay me to cook things for them (cakes, etc.) and I do it only as a favor not because there is any (minimal) profit in it. It just very quickly becomes a chore/obligation and sucks. So, NO WAY.

1967mama

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2015, 05:48:54 PM »
I'd never agree to that as proposed.  I would, however, offer to bring in an extra portion on occasion and sell it to him for $5.  Same basic price but no guarantee.  If he turns it down you have your lunch for the next day.

I like this idea better.

Gets you out of the guaranteed commitment of $25/wk up front.
Makes things more flexible in the event you don't feel like cooking, forget to cook, call in sick... etc.
The friend can decide to buy the lunch or not depending on his food preferences.


+1  I would totally do it this way. I'm assuming that MOST days, it would work out .. you aren't sick and don't have a paid for lunch to go to.  People on the forum are always asking about side hustles and this one just fell in your lap! I'd do it!

Beric01

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2015, 05:50:19 PM »
Agreed that there's a lot of cons here. I would recommend either increasing your prices to $7-8/day (making it more worth the time and hassle), or just following the recommendations of others here such as making it an opportunistic thing.

Hotstreak

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2015, 08:36:07 PM »
I would absolutely do this, but not at the terms offered.  Like many others on this forum I prepare bulk meals most of the time to eat during the week, but I also make one-offs on occasion.  Here's what I would do if I were you:


-  $40/week, paid the Friday before.
-  Co worker provides their own dishes, washes them, and gives them to me to be filled the next day (e.g. has 4 dishes they rotate through).
-  If I miss a day for any reason, like sick, forget, etc., they get $10 back (enough to cover a good lunch out).


My meals typically run $3-4 or so, so this would provide a little pay for my services without costing the coworker much more than they pay.  I get the cash, for little time, they get healthier meals they can eat at work instead of going out each day.  I avoid chores like dishes (all I do is scoop a portion to theirs), and they pay ahead of time so no collection issues.  I might also keep a variety pack of chips from Costco or something similar available if they are in to junk food like that.

YoungInvestor

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Re: An Idea from a friend - is it a good idea?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2015, 09:43:20 PM »
I wanted to do a similar deal with a colleague at work, with the expectation that I'd pay only when he brought lunch (otherwise I'd eat out) and that I'd still pay if I didn't like it.

He unfortunately moved on to another company before we got this started, but it would've been nice.