Let’s Be Chefs app: from meal planning to cooking in one place
Suzanne Hayen launched with her husband Let’s be Chefs app in December 2016 so parents can save time and eat better when it comes to home-made cooking. The app offers a comprehensive solution so you can manage the whole meal planning and cooking process from the app: from receiving weekly menus, to finding the related recipes and quickly creating grocery lists. The app helps you get inspired with new healthy recipes and focus and spend time on what you want to cook and how to do it.
Discovering Let’s Be Chefs
LadyPlans: what are the concept and main features of Let’s Be Chefs?
Suzanne Hayen: Let’s Be Chefs is an app-based service that makes it easier to get dinner on the table. We make it easy to find new recipes that you’ll like, plan your dinners for the week, grocery shop, and cook. Our goal is to help you with as many of the repetitive tasks having to do with meal planning and cooking as possible. Let’s Be Chefs app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
LadyPlans: why did you decide to launch a meal planning app?
Suzanne Hayen: a few years ago, we decided to start making more home-cooked meals because they’re healthier, more affordable, and would allow our family to spend more quality time together around the table. However, I would spend hours every week looking for new recipes, creating the weekly schedule, putting my grocery list together, shopping, and cooking. Inevitably, after about a week or two, we’d fall back to our old ways of ordering delivery or making boxed mac & cheese. It was extremely time consuming and tedious to plan home-cooked meals, but I couldn’t find any affordable options to help me with the entire process. My husband and I decided to create Let’s Be Chefs to provide an affordable, comprehensive solution for getting dinner on the table.
LadyPlans: how do you select the recipes and design the weekly menus recommended each week? Can the meals be customized based on the app users’ preferences?
Suzanne Hayen: as a user rates recipes, we use special algorithms to learn their likes and dislikes and we figure out which new recipes we think they’ll enjoy. When we build the weekly menu, we’ll recommend some recipes that the user hasn’t tried before, as well as ones that they’ve tried and rated highly. That way, they’ll get to experience some new foods, but can also re-make meals that they know they like. Every user gets a custom menu created just for them.
LadyPlans: how is Let’s Be Chefs different from other meal planning apps?
Suzanne Hayen: Let’s Be Chefs is unique in that we offer a level of personalization that we’ve never seen with any other affordable app or service. We create custom menus for each and every user, rather than providing generic “plans” (e.g. vegetarian, no-seafood, high-protein, etc.). We write recipes for complete meals (sides included), and provide a weekly menu, rather than just being a repository of recipes that you have to search through yourself. Because we don’t deliver ingredients, we allow the user to alter the number of servings and make ingredient substitutions. We help with all stages of meal planning: from finding new recipes to try, to making grocery shopping easier, to having dinner on the table on time.
LadyPlans: what are your long-term goals for Let’s Be Chefs? What are your key projects for Let’s Be Chefs in 2017?
Suzanne Hayen: we are working to become moms’ go-to resource for helping with dinner. In 2017, we have a number of exciting new features planned and are continuing to expand our user base.
Sharing your experience in digital
LadyPlans: what is you role at Let’s Be Chefs? What were your professional experiences in digital prior to Let’s Be Chefs?
Suzanne Hayen: I’m in charge of essentially everything outside of software/development. I’m the chef, photographer, recipe author, project manager, head of customer service, copywriter, head of marketing, and anything else that’s needed. I really didn’t have much professional experience in digital before starting Let’s Be Chefs, so it has been a big learning experience for me!
LadyPlans: what advice would you give to young women entrepreneurs who want to launch their digital business/mobile app?
Suzanne Hayen: come up with a problem that you’re uniquely suited to tackle and go for it! If you have some unique insight into a problem, you very well may be able to come up with a better solution than anyone else has. At the start, you may not have all the skills you’ll need, but trust that you can learn them.
Sharing your personal digital tips
LadyPlans: what are your 3 favourite websites/blogs for meal inspirations (healthy recipes, quick and simple family recipes)?
Suzanne Hayen: Google! I don’t have any specific go-to websites, but rather just search for the type of recipe I’m looking for and go from there. I usually end up taking pieces from 2 or 3 recipes and combine them to create a main dish.