What's the difference between a 👩‍🍳personal chef and a private chef?

Today’s question is, “what’s the difference between a personal chef and a private chef?” This is actually one of my pet peeves, when people call me a private chef. They’re wrong. I’m a personal chef!


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Private Chef Life

A private chef works for just one family, one individual or one couple. They have one employer. A person has hired them and paid them a salary and most likely, benefits. They have set hours or perhaps flexible hours. It’s different for every private chef. They negotiate a contract with guidelines on how they’re going to work. They have set hours on particular days. They’ll travel or won’t travel, etc. In summary, a private chef works for just one family.

Personal Chef Life

A personal chef, which is what I do, works for numerous families. I have about sixteen families right now. I charge by the package. I pay my own taxes. I’m an independent contractor. I’m not an employee of any of my clients. Probably if anyone asked me to become their private chef, I wouldn’t do it because it’s more like having a job. I’m tied to this one person and I like the flexibility of having a variety of people to cook for. By having all these different people that I work with, I’m in control of my own business. If someone happens to not work with me anymore, my business isn’t going to fall, but if my one family that I’m working for as a private chef falls, that’s the end of my business. As a personal chef with sixteen families, if one person goes away, that’s cool. I still have fifteen more I can cook for.

You have control over your hours. You control how much you charge. You can change it according to how you want to run your business. You can start charging new clients a higher rate because it’s your business. The downside to being a personal chef is that there are no benefits. You don’t have a 401K. You don’t have health insurance. You have to go out and get private health insurance or go through your spouse’s account.

Catering Chef Life

Besides a personal chef or private chef, there’s also a catering chef. Most likely a catering chef does parties or perhaps they do meal prep, but bottom line is that they have a commercial kitchen. With a commercial kitchen, you have added expenses such as a lease, so you pay rent every month, and you have utilities – trash, electric, gas, water. You might pay a public space fee if you’re in a space where there’s a parking lot. There’s often a sort of community fee that all the stores in a strip mall pay together to take care of the parking lot. There’s extra insurance. Of course, you’ll have insurance as a personal chef, but with a commercial kitchen, you not only insure yourself and your workers, but you have to insure the space inside and all your equipment. You also have to fill your space with equipment, not just a stove, bowls and whisk, but you also have to buy the overhead vent, which can run the price of a car. If you have ever outfitted a commercial kitchen, you’d know that it’s quite pricey.

I’m running off topic. All I’m answering here is the difference between a personal chef and a private chef, but I threw in what’s it like as a catering chef or a commercial kitchen chef.

Personal Chef Questions Welcome!

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