Potential clients may ask, "can you send over a sample menu for my event of 12 guests celebrating a 40th birthday," or "do you have a sample menu for your weeknight dinner meal prep?"
In my personal chef business, the problem in providing a sample menu is that I create a custom menu for each client. It just wouldn't be possible to have one menu for ten different families. One family will be gluten-free and doesn't want to see tomatoes on the menu while another eats vegan and has an allergy to nuts. How would one menu satisfy everyone? As well, produce changes with the seasons and that sample menu would have to be continually evolving.
Clients hire personal chefs for their meal customizing abilities. They want to feel that their menu options are unique to their personal lifestyle.
The same holds true with a sample menu for an event. There are often allergies or dietary restrictions with one or more guests, so the sample menu wouldn't help at all.
To overcome this obstacle with events, without spending too much time on the details, I'll ask the host to provide a list of allergies and dietary restrictions upfront. From there, I'll create a custom sample menu. Not only does the host feel like I'm listening to them, but they can actually picture their event coming together.
For a weekday meal prep client, I offer free, no obligation consultations in which we sit down in their kitchen to discuss their family's likes and dislikes. From there, I will return to my desk then email a custom menu of options over the next day. Again, the family feels heard and can picture their evening meals coming together.
That said, I do offer a list of "popular menu options this month" on my website, check it out here. This is handy for those just surfing the internet looking for personal chef services, so they can see my style of cooking.
Offering customized menus to your clients, unique to their family's lifestyle and dietary choices, allows you to charge a higher premium than offering a standard menu to everyone. After working with one family over a a couple years, you'll began to realize that each family creates its own "sample menu" of which they have about two dozen meals on rotation throughout the year. You may occasionally have a family who likes to try a new menu item regularly, but my experience is that most stick to these two dozen standard meals.
It's wonderful to see perspectives on how others run their personal chef business. If you'd like to share your personal chef journey, I'd be honored to have you as the next guest post. [email protected]