You’ve got questions...We’re serving up answers
How does the whole process work?
Download Plates by Plates on the Apple or Android App Stores, or from our website.
Start exploring the app. Complete your profile with a short bio, photos, and a video.
Read and confirm that you understand the terms and conditions, rules, and regulations.
From there, you can begin posting your creations on Plates.
How often do I have to post?
As a Creator using Plates, your level of participation is entirely up to you. You can offer postings as often or as rarely as you want. We consider making food art. One needs to be in the right state of mind to get engaged in this creative form of expression. Some providers will bake croissants every morning, and others will offer a gourmet dinner each month. There’s no mandate or minimum to get involved. It’s all in your control. You can also cook extra portions when inviting friends or family and sell them on Plates.
Can I post only to a private group?
There are two ways to post your creations: Public or Private.
Private posting will be only available to those of your contacts that you chose to send this listing for review and hopefully a purchase. No one outside of that list will be able to see that unless someone in that original list decides to send it to yet another friend or family member.
Private posting is a great way to start testing your offering with a group of friends and family and a trusted circle.
Once you have built your confidence you may decide to open your market to a larger audience and go public. At that stage anyone who is in your local area or searches that specific area will be able to see your posting and conduct business with you.
What packaging should I use?
Along with our mission to build healthier, more connected communities, Plates strives to reduce waste at all costs. With this in mind, we encourage all Creators to at least use biodegradable, eco-friendly packaging whenever possible.
If you’re cooking regularly for a family down the street, try sharing food in reusable packagings, like a pyrex container or Tupperware.
Users can also come with their own containers and fill them up.
What is your vetting process?
When you create an account as a Creator on Plates, the platform will perform a background check.
You can download the app, and start getting a feel for it. You must however become qualified by the Plates Team before you can post your first food item. You’ll be prompted to acknowledge all terms and conditions, complete forms (if needed for your country/region), and may conduct a video call with a Plates Team member. Upon acceptance, we’ll help you get set up and running so that you can concentrate on the fun stuff!
How do I post an order?
Classic Order: As a Creator, the default posting is instant booking for users. Your new orders will be accepted instantaneously and no intervention is required by you.
A Reserve Order: When choosing the Reserve option, you will be able to review the User’s request and accept or pass before the order is processed. For example, if you’re offering a dining experience in your home and you want to know exactly who’s attending.
If I choose delivery, who delivers the food?
At the moment, each Creator will need to deliver their food themselves or have an appropriate arrangement with a delivery organization. Please note that at this time you need to add the cost of delivery to your total pricing.
Currently, there is no provision to add a delivery cost at the checkout time. Plates is in discussion with environmentally-friendly food delivery services. We will inform you upon a successful engagement with one for your given area.
Can I have more than one address for my operation?
Under the current version of the Plates by Plates app, you may have multiple addresses which can be used to operate your business. It is your responsibility (not Plates) to obtain and maintain license(s) and/or permit(s) from the Local Authorities to operate a home kitchen from your chosen address. This is specifically outlined in the Terms & Conditions every Creator agrees to during the Onboarding process.
Do I decide the prices for my food?
Absolutely! What you charge should take into account your food cost, your time, your material cost (i.e packaging), labor if you are getting help, and Plates’ 10% fee and applicable taxes for our service if you are using Credit Card.
There's currently no fee if you offer a Cash transaction or donate food. It is up to you to decide on the percentage of profit you strive for and the price the market demands for your service.
You should also comply with your State Tax regulations and add Sales Tax to the price when this is required.
In the future, Plates will provide pricing recommendations based on the types of food in a given region. While we are building our pricing database it is solely up to you to decide.
Start with a small number of servings and scale up. And remember, you can always choose to give your food away for free.
Can I give my food away for free?
Yes, you can! As a Creator, when you go to set the price for your offering, you can choose to make it free and donate. It’s a great way to help out your community and reduce food waste at the same time. This feature is fundamental at a time of environmental and national disaster. Help your neighbor if you can.
What type of food can I cook?
Short answer: Anything, as long as it’s made from scratch.
We trust that Creators using Plates are upholding our mission to cook wholesome, nourishing food whether that’s four servings of ratatouille or 30 jars of homemade apricot preserves.
You should know and have a firm understanding of all ingredients in your food, and where they came from, paying close attention to potential allergens and possibly hazardous food items.
If you're uncertain about preparing any food safely, it's your responsibility to learn best practices.
If you require guidance, we're happy to lead you in the right direction. Please get engaged with the online Creator forum or contact the Plates Team.
How do I flag any possible allergens in my food?
Plates provide functionality for the Creator to flag any of the possible 14 allergens recognized in the US and EU.
As a food Creator, you can opt out of any of the allergens on the list if you believe that your food is not containing that specific allergen.
To avoid any risk due to inadvertent cross-contamination, Creators may choose to opt for the full list of allergens, in which case you are effectively not guaranteeing to Users the complete absence of allergens.
What about food safety regulations and laws?
Short answer: It depends on where you live.
Plates is currently available in the US and the UK and will be progressively rolled-out worldwide, but the food laws and regulations are different for each country, state, city/town, and locality.
Before you begin offering food on Plates, you’re responsible for learning about the laws and regulations in your area and obtaining the right licenses, certifications, or documents as needed.
In certain countries, inspection and permitting processes are conducted by local town or city boards of health. While the processes can vary, they’re usually inexpensive and require little effort on your part.
You can contact your local board of health to get all the details for your area.
By using the Plates by Plates app as a Creator, you are agreeing to comply with the local laws and regulations within your country/area/municipality.
We know that researching food laws can be time-consuming, so we’ve gathered some resources to help you get started to access the proper authorizations from your Local Town or City Board:
In the US
U.S. Cottage Food Laws
Home Cooks Can Now Sell Their Food in California – New York Times
Cottage Food Laws in the United States Whitepaper- Food Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School
In the UK
Can I use Plates if I am a restaurant?
Plates is created to empower those creative artisans that are passionate about food and want to work from the comfort of their kitchen. If you feel that you are doing that, then you are welcome to join Plates as a Creator.
What does the Plates Transaction fee cover?
This fee covers the use of the Plates marketplace, collection, and transfer of fees, credit card commission, distribution of invoices to clients, marketing, Creator events, and IT support.
Am I technically an employee of Plates?
No. As a Creator on Plates, you’re entirely independent and self-employed, meaning you are legally and financially responsible for your business and tax filing.
You are responsible for following laws and regulations and dealing with any legal issues that may arise. You work on your own time and make your own decisions.
Is there any cost for selling my food items through the Plates app?
No, if you are selling it for cash or donating.
Yes, there is a fee of 10% for each credit card, Apple, and Google pay transaction on the platform.
How will I get paid?
Plates will automatically send payments to the bank account that you connected to your profile within 7 days after payment is processed. This is only for transactions that are done via Credit Card, Apple, or Google pay. This total payment will include the transactions minus the Plates’ fee of 10%. This 10% fee, includes the financial credit card transaction fee.
Do you provide any insurance?
No. At the moment, we don’t provide any insurance for Creators on the Plates platform. You will be responsible for obtaining insurance to protect you in the event of a claim or action by a third party.
How does the whole process work on the User’s side?
You can sign up to be a User on Plates for free. Once you create your account, you’ll be able to browse available food near you. Maybe you want to dine at a Ramen Pop-up where you’re traveling or pick up a free-range roast chicken in your neighborhood. It’s all up to you.
In the US, you can search other areas in the country by providing a zip code or typing the name of a town and state. Long trip for work? See what’ll be available in your area when you arrive. Do friends need a hand? Find that particular dish that meets their specific dietary needs. Kid away at college for the first time? Surprise them with their favorite home-cooked comfort food.
When you request a meal, you’ll wait to get confirmation from the Creator. Unless it’s available for Instant Booking, in which case you will get a confirmation notification right away. Once everything is confirmed, you will be charged, and you’ll be able to communicate with the Creator within your Plates app. If you’re picking up or dining in, the app will provide a handy map to the Creator’s place of operation. After you have enjoyed your meal, you can write a quick review for that Creator. You’ll also receive a rating.
How do I select a Creator?
When you use the Plates by Plates app, you’ll start by searching for delicious food in your area. Once you identify something you’d like, you can learn about the Creator’s background in their bio, see some of the dishes they’ve made, watch a short video, and read ratings from other Users.
We want you to have inside access to the artists behind the plates. Finally, you can even choose to Follow a Creator you are particularly fond of. With this option, you’ll be notified every time they post a meal, so you never miss an opportunity to enjoy their delicious creations.
How do I place an order?
Clasic Order: If the Creator’s posting does not require a reservation, it is an instant booking. Upon your request, your order will automatically be accepted.
Reserve Order: If the Creator’s posting requires a reservation. Upon your request, your order will have to be accepted by the Creator. Once accepted, your order will go through, and you will be notified.
Can I reserve multiple servings for multiple Users?
Short answer: Yes. You can request multiple servings for a pick-up order or reserve multiple seats for a dine-in meal. As the User on Plates, you’ll be the main point of contact with the Creator. Just think, you could book a healthy family dinner in a home two doors down from you! You can also book several pick-up or dine-in meals for future days. You don’t have to worry about planning for food during the week if for example you have a busy week ahead of you and want your local Creator to take care of your lunch and dinners!
I have allergies, is Plates safe for me to order?
Plates provides the Creators such as bakers and Creatorschefs with the functionality to indicate on their postings if a food such as a meal contains specific allergens. When ordering a meal, you should make sure that the Creator has not indicated any possible allergens that you might be concerned with.
How do I know my order status?
Each Creator’s posting will include a window of time when the meal will be ready. You’ll get a notification as soon as the Creator accepts your initial request. From there, you’ll keep in mind the original time that the Creator posted and contact them via the app if necessary.
I am running late for my reservation pick-up! What do I do?
Once the Creator accepts your request, Plates will connect you with them, so you can communicate through the app. Our Creators cook with delivery time in mind, so if you’re running late, please let them know ahead of time and adjust your expectations accordingly.
By respecting the Creator’s time and being punctual, you’ll get the best dining experience, but we also know that unexpected things can happen.
What if there’s a problem with my order?
If there’s a problem with a request or order, and you can’t resolve it with the app, please contact us at email@example.com.
We want all Users to have excellent experiences with Plates, and if there’s an issue, we want to know about it as soon as possible.
What if I need to cancel my order?
When you reserve a seat at the Creators’ table or place an order for a meal, it’s a done deal. In other words, Plates does not offer refunds for cancellations. If you absolutely must cancel, we ask that you notify the Creator as soon as possible out of respect for their time and work.
How do I pay?
As part of setting up your account on Plates, you’ll provide your credit card information if the items are for purchase using credit cards, Apple, and Google pay. Once a Creator accepts your request if it was a reservation-based posting or immediate if instant, you’ll be automatically charged for the exact cost of the food.
How do I hear about upcoming postings?
Follow your favorite Creators to get notified of their new postings. The full beauty of the app is to enable you to explore new dining experiences, so the next time you’re hungry or planning for your next meal, check out what’s going to be available in your area! And you can even share what you find with friends via email, text, or a variety of social media platforms, so they know what mouth-watering goodness is available too.
Can anyone use the Plates app?
Do you have a vetting process?
Just like Airbnb or Lyft, Plates will perform a background check of the Creator and User. While background checks provide a level of protection, we also ask for your help in supporting our mission to build healthier, happier communities. We will need your continuous support and feedback.
Through Plates, we hope to create an inclusive and diverse ecosystem, where everyone feels welcome and respected. We take this mission seriously, and acting outside of our ethos and Terms of Service will result in one’s immediate removal from the platform.
Is my privacy protected on the Plates app?
Yes, your private data is protected on the Plates platform.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Feel free to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org