Prepared Meals -

Scratch Food's Director of Operations Breakdown of Prepared Meals, Comparison with Other Companies

One of the hottest new concepts in the food industry today is the prepared meal business.

Everywhere I look there is another new business popping up, slinging their version of prepared meals.  I would like to give you my take on the fast-growing industry, and how I believe Scratch Food’s meals stand up to the competition.  I have spent almost thirty years in the food and beverage business as an Executive Chef and through my experience, I feel I have gained a vast knowledge of the culinary world.  That being said, I feel that integrity and honesty are of the utmost importance to a successful food operation. 

What is healthy? This is a word that can be described in many different ways.  We as human beings need food to live! Yes, if you are referring to a specific diet or dietary restriction that is a whole different ball game.  One thing I see is the word “healthy” being thrown around like a rag doll.  At Scratch Food, we try to present a wide range of options to accommodate different types of dietary needs, while also providing you with a meal that will excite your senses.  One area that stands out to me is the smell:  How does the meal smell while it is being heated?  As a young child, I can remember walking into my grandmother’s house when she was cooking, and it always smelled amazing.  My mouth was watering before I even tasted the food.

Through my experience of tasting and smelling other meal company’s food, this is an area where Scratch Food far exceeds the competition.  I have tasted over fifteen different prepared meal company’s meals, and throughout this comparison, I will be giving you an honest, open-minded evaluation.  One company did stand out as probably the best I tasted, and their food had a good aroma as it was being heated.  The texture of food is another area that is especially important in the overall palatability of a meal.  During my tasting and comparison of these meals, I experienced, in almost all of them, processed animal proteins. How can anyone claim their meals are healthy if they are using a processed meatball.  At Scratch Food our meatballs are hand mixed and scooped from fresh ground beef with fresh ingredients.  The texture that I experienced from other meatloaves, was tough, stringy, and nearly inedible.    Our meatloaf is hand formed from the freshest ground beef like my Memaw used to do.  All our meals start with fresh, never frozen, high-quality proteins and ingredients and are cooked and handled under the strictest guidelines set by the USDA.

Now we come to probably the most important part of my evaluation, TASTE!  At Scratch Food we continually audit and taste our meals.

For example: as I am writing this, I am eating one of our Chicken Cake meals.  We want to continually change and improve the consistency, quality, texture, and taste of our meals.  Through my tasting and evaluation of other company’s meals, this is an area that I was completely underwhelmed.  As a Chef with an extensive background in “wowing” guests with flavor, I feel that you must season food with multiple flavors and enhance with a touch of salt and pepper.  In all the kitchens that I have worked in over the years, I have always referred to salt and pepper as your “friends”, but they can also become your “enemies” if not balanced properly.

At Scratch Food, we take great pride in presenting our clients with safe, flavorful, portion-controlled meals that are prepared in a USDA inspected facility.  How many other prepared meal companies can say that?


Marshall Bartley

Executive Chef and Director of Operations

Scratch Food