In order to cook out of your home, you'll need to a permit from your local health department. Unless your kitchen is built as a commercial kitchen in new construction, it is not likely to pass - pets may not enter, open kitchens would need to be walled off, a separate handwashing and mopping sinks are required, proper ventilation is needed, separate cooling refrigerators and three-compartment dishwashing is required, etc. Proper commercial kitchens can cost around $100,000 to install.
The health department would require audits of your processes from purchasing inventory to storage, preparation, cooling and delivery. You would need special equipment to transport from your home to the client's home to keep food at the proper temperature. You would need a special area to store food inventory and storage containers following health department guidelines.
Cooking in client homes, no health department review is required. There is also no overhead since your client is paying...
Neither a culinary degree nor membership with a culinary association are requirements for becoming a personal chef. Potential clients want to know that you can confidently provide the service they're requesting, regardless of your education or skill level.
Because individuals are hiring you, there are no "general" requirements. Similar to a job interview, each client decides for themselves what qualifications they would like to see in a personal chef.
A private chef works for just one client - a group, family, couple or individual. He/she/they is an employee, often on salary. The client controls their hours and income.
A personal chef works for as many clients as desired. Personal chefs own their own business and are in control of their own hours and income.
A personal chef researches recipes and plans a customized menu for each client. The chef shows up with groceries and cooks meals in the client's kitchen, then packages the meals for the client to enjoy at a later time.
As a personal chef, you choose what hours and days you'd like to work, part-time, full-time or seasonal. It's up to you if you'd like to add private dinner parties and small events to your calendar as well.
You’re ready to begin your personal chef business. You have all the culinary skills needed, but something is stalling you.
Back in 2012 when I started my personal chef business, I Googled for hours, months on end trying to find these answers. There’s just nothing out there that gives definitive answers.
I had to learn it all myself through trial and error. I made so many mistakes and don’t want to see you making those same business errors. I strive to share everything I've learned over the years.
How much can I make as a personal chef?
Start-up costs run about $500. There are very few businesses with such a low start-up cost.
When I first started my personal chef business, I had no idea what I was doing as I had no mentor to answer my questions. I couldn't find any help online to basic questions, like what should I wear to meal prep sessions in client homes?
I knew that it had to be some sort of uniform, meaning that I would wear the same style at every cook session. I chose a black t-shirt and jeans. Looking back, wearing street clothes was not showcasing my business in a professional way.
Attending a Chamber of Commerce networking event, I saw many of the members wearing polo shirts with a logo. "What a great idea," I thought. It seems so obvious that a professional shirt with company logo would be part of a uniform, but truly when first starting a business, you don't know what you don't know.
I researched and learned that company shirts are rather inexpensive and printed clothing could include an apron as well.
If you're looking for a brand recommendation, I...
I'll often receive emails from aspiring personal chefs asking if I have recommendations of where they can get a loan to begin their personal chef business.
Truthfully, this perplexes me. I'm unsure of what they think the costs are going to be to run a service business like this.
For a break down of costs, check out the start-up costs of a personal chef business >>
You can truly start up your personal chef business for about $500. You don't have to quit your current job. In fact, you shouldn't quit your current job since it's paying the bills.
The personal chef business is not one day you decide you're going to do this then the next day you have a full schedule of clients. It takes time to build relationships and gain new clients into your schedule.
You'll start off with one client at a time while continuing to work your current job. If your current position just doesn't allow any days of the week off, you will...
When entering the personal chef space, you may have a perception of what life will be like.
Let's plot that against what personal chef life really is...
Reality is that you'll spend just as much time going to and from the grocery store and your client's home than actual cooking. You'll also spend a lot of time at your desk planning before the actual execution of an event or meal prep. There's also bookkeeping and marketing tasks that are always needing your attention.
If you're not organized and have a good judgment of time, your business could get chaotic quickly.
Truth is that whatever time you've estimated for cleanup...double that and that's how long it takes. Oh yes and what about when you arrive in a client's kitchen and they left chaotically that morning so the remnants of dinner last night and breakfast this morning are all...
A taco walks into a bar and the bartender says, “we don’t serve tacos here.” And the taco says, “that’s okay, I’m just here for a margarita.”
That was the premise behind the book that I wrote, “A Taco Walks into a Bar.” This is the cookbook cover, a taco walking into a bar:
What will set you apart from other personal chefs is not what you think (your cooking skills) - it's your ability to market and get new clients.
There's so much more to learn when you join the Personal Chef Business in 10 Weeks program. Your business will be propelled so much faster if you reach out for help.
You may have been trying to go at it alone, researching over and over "how do I get clients? How do I price my services?"
Working with someone who has been in the personal chef...
Fear and self-doubt are unquestionably the two most common roadblocks to success in life including what holds many back from starting their personal chef business.
When coming face to face with fear and self-doubt, you could choose to either:
Everyone experiences fear and self-doubt to a different degree: