Startup Stories: Billy Green, Founder & CEO of Make-Out Meals

Make-Out Meals founder & CEO Billy Green joins us on the latest edition of Startup Stories to talk about his own entrepreneurial journey to date.

by hao-nguyen on November 1, 2022

Billy Green is the founder & CEO of Make-Out Meals, a weekly meal kit company providing recipes from some of Victorians favourite restaurants.

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Hi Billy, great to be chatting with you again. For those who may not know, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Make-Out Meals?

My name’s Billy and I’m the founder and CEO of Make-Out Meals. Make-Out Meals is a meal kit company, with recipes and special ingredients from Australia’s top restaurants.

We launched in September 2020, largely driven by COVID and seeing the disparity between booming international companies like HelloFresh and Marley Spoon, compared to the struggles of local restaurants.

We’ve got an amazing culinary scene, especially here in Melbourne where the business began, so it felt like a massive opportunity for something really unique that would appeal to the foodie culture that is so prevalent.

Before Make-Out Meals, you worked in various marketing roles at companies like The Walt Disney Company, Bosch, and The Good Guys. What was it that pushed you to make the leap into starting up your own venture? 

I had always dabbled in small businesses since I finished school, but had never quite found the business idea I felt passionate about. Working across various international and national corporations throughout my career, I learnt a lot – about what works and especially what doesn’t.

Whilst my experiences were mostly positive, I also found these workplaces a very difficult place to innovate, or bring new ideas to the table, especially for those not in a senior or executive role.

The inefficiencies and slow pace particularly at my last role really sealed the deal for me that running my own business was something I wanted to do. You get out what you put in, which is a gift and a curse. It means you can never have a lazy day, but also means you actually feel rewarded for the work you put in, and if you have an idea it’s actually completely on you to make it happen.

What do you think have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far as a start-up founder, and what lessons have you learnt from them? 

One of the biggest challenges with Make-Out Meals I’ve found has been starting as a solo founder. I think if I were to have my time again I’d look for a co-founder that had complimentary skills. Having someone to bounce ideas around, or even just a different or fresh viewpoint is crucial. I’ve since bought in various advisors and team members that could add value and support our long-term vision.

If you were hiring new team members to join Make-Out Meals, what do you think are your company’s biggest selling points?

We’re still a small, fast-growing business. The people I’m looking to bring in are really those who can own their role, grow a team underneath them, bring in new ideas and a new way of looking at things, and see the ultimate potential for the business.

One last question before you go, where do you see Make-Out Meals in the next few years? 

We have a lot of plans in the works for next year. We’ve got a brand new website going live in the next 6 months which will open up a multitude of options for us, including new products and revenue streams and an improved customer experience, as well as expanding across more states in Australia.

Our foundation is in the strength of our partnerships with leading restaurants so we are always looking at how we can continue to grow and leverage this, and continue to provide value back to our partners.

Fundamentally, the next 1-2 years is all about awareness – our competitors in HelloFresh and Marley Spoon are household names with mammoth marketing budgets, so it’s a fun challenge working out how we can pierce that market and be considered a significant player in the market.

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