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Become a celebrity in the Personal Chef space


As a personal brand, you already know that the biggest factor causing clients to hire you for services is connection.


In other words, if people don't feel a connection with you, they're not likely going to invest in you and your services.


The reality is that online video is the most effective medium for creating that connection. It's why we feel so connected with celebrities and follow them on social media. 


90% of communication is non-verbal, so people are connecting with all of you, not just your voice, tone and pitch but your whole presence. Your energy.


If you're refusing to do video like many struggling personal chefs, you're basically trying to start a business while hiding from people. Without video, you won't have that real connection. 


The people you follow and look up to online to have truly shown who they are. They have connected with you on an intimate level through the power of video.


It's time to overcome your...

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Your Personal Chef Business is a Gift


Do you find yourself constantly researching, gathering information on the personal chef business?


Is gathering information becoming a hobby instead of what you know you should be doing...implementing the information?



There is a turning point in starting absolutely any business when it's time to shift from information to implementation, but how do you know when it's time?


Implementation over Information


There are a myriad of different kinds of personalities when jumping into a new business venture. 

  • The analyst will need to gather absolutely all the facts possible, spending hours and hours online. 
  • The perfectionist will need to ensure every item on their checklist is complete, possibly too much time.
  • The risk taker will dive right in and may not do any research at all, so may appear sloppy.
  • The collaborator will need to have a buddy ready to take the business risk with them because they're uncomfortable...
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Employee Mindset vs. Personal Chef Business Owner Mindset


How do I price my services? 

Many personal chefs don't launch their business because they are looking for a scientific formula to answer this question. The truth is that pricing personal service is more psychology than science. 


More details about pricing are available here, but this post is about the employee mindset (charging by the hour) in your personal chef business.  


WHY do you think charging by the hour is the way to go? 

It's likely you've been an employee of a business your entire life. You may not know any other way! You're currently being paid $20 an hour so your goal when opening your personal chef business may be $25 an hour.  


Truthfully, that's exactly what I had thought when starting my own personal chef business. Charging by the job didn't even occur me. This is because I had always been an employee and didn't know any better. 

I was stuck in employee mindset versus business...

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What does niching mean in the Personal Chef Business?


Do you often hear this statement?

"You need to niche to bring customers to your business."


What does that really mean?

The dictionary calls a niche, "distinct segment of the market" and yes, that summarizes it, but just somewhat.


As a personal chef, you can't cook all things for all people. Which business do you think receives more new client requests?

  1. JoAnne's Personal Chef Services specializes in making your Atlanta bachelorette party an evening with friends that will always be remembered as one of the best events of your life.
  2. JoAnne's Personal Chef Services offers meal prep, dinner parties and cooking classes for those in Atlanta, Georgia.


Another way to look at it is by asking yourself what you would do if you were having marriage problems. Which company would you call?

  1. Sam's Counseling Service: serving the Kirkland, Washington neighborhoods
  2. Sam's Marriage Counseling Service: helping Kirkland residents work through relationship issues of grief,...
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How do I get clients for my Personal Chef business?


Every day I receive questions about the personal chef business. Some of the more common questions are probably exactly what you're wondering right now:


"How do I get new clients?"

"How can I obtain new leads?"

"The biggest problem I have right now is reaching new clientele." 

"My struggle is getting new customers."



The problem with this question is that it's completely the wrong question to be asking! 


The question suggests there is zero target marketing going on in the personal chef's mind since they seem to want just any client to cook for.


Successful personal chefs know that they don't want just anybody as a client. They want people that are willing, ready and able to purchase their services and understand their worth. These people are their target market.


Who is NOT the target market? The opposite - people who don't value your worth, ask for discounts, or balk at your pricing model. 


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Restaurant, Catering, Cooking From Home


There are so many different ways to craft a career out of your culinary skills.

  • open a restaurant
  • start a catering company
  • begin a personal chef service
  • work for one family as a private chef
  • cook and deliver from your home

Which one will work for you? It's even possible you may dabble in more than one in your lifetime. 



Personal Chef vs. Private Chef

The personal versus private chef is the most confusing to people. In summary, a private chef works for just one client while a personal chef has many clients.

As a private chef, you are an employee of your client and may receive benefits such as paid vacation time or health insurance. Sure, it's great that you have "for sure" income each month, but the drawback is that you are still an employee and lack the freedom of being your own boss. 

The contract between you and your employer will lay out the terms of the job to include days of the week you will work and how long you are guaranteed a...

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10 Step Action Checklist for Business Launch



Is this you:

  • You pour your all into cooking for your friends and they're always complimenting you on your culinary skills
  • People are always saying "you should open a restaurant!" but the thought of working every weekend of your life and 15-hour days does not appeal, never mind the $200K it costs to consider opening a space
  • If only you could cook for families without a lot of overhead...


But how do you know if the personal chef business is right for you?

I'm going to give you a pre-launch business strategy.


But don’t take my word for it! Put it to the test and see what the checklist tells you.

If you're a cook or chef wanting to start and build a successful personal chef business so you have control over your own hours and income, it's helpful to have a starting point. What do you do first? How do you know if this business is right for you before jumping in?


#1 Define Your Why

Defining your Why is the most important step. If...

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What could go wrong during a personal chef cook session?


Have you ever thought about, "What are the worst case scenarios while cooking in a client's home? What could go wrong?!"


First, let's talk about stress. Stress is not welcome in the kitchen. What’s the point of stress? It’s not helping anything. Freaking out over the fact that the family used up all the olive oil at breakfast isn't going to make the olive oil appear. Being solution oriented is helpful, while stressing  out about a situation is not helpful.


Scenario #1 Missing Key Ingredients

A client responds to your grocery list and says they have flour for your macaroni and cheese recipe. When you arrive, however, the kids went on a baking spree yesterday and used all the flour up.


What do you do? It’s time to improvise or head to the store. 


This is going to happen a lot. You may have taken inventory of their spices and kept great records, but upon arrival learn they just made a big pot of chili and...

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Should I charge a service fee for travel?


You've likely set up a radius around a particular neighborhood as your service area. This is the ideal area of your community that you'd like to accept jobs. 


Depending on the style of community you live in, your service radius could be as small as 15 miles or as wide as 45 miles. What happens if someone asks for a job outside your service radius? Should you charge a travel fee?


This is actually a business decision and something to think about now. You could have a firm "I only travel to this area" policy or you could be open to traveling for hours. Time and money are not the only factors here, however. You have to first think about the safety of your clients. Are you able to pack up a large quantity of groceries and travel for three hours? 


Once you've established this criteria, you can be open to the next question. "If I do accept a job three hours away, would the client be willing to pay for my travel time?" Just because a client appears...

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Checklist: Qualities of a Successful Personal Chef


It wouldn't be fair to make generalizations such as ALL personal chefs do this or ALL personal chefs have this quality. That said, there are a few qualities that would help a personal chef excel in his or her business. 


#1 Personable 

First, it sure does help to be personable. You've probably met or even have friends who have said "I don't like people". Truly, that just means they don't have good communication skills and have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding the expressions of others.  


#2 Enjoyment in Helping 

If you don't enjoy helping others or have patience when it comes to working with people, you may not do well as a personal chef. 


Our profession is all about meeting people in their homes and making them feel comfortable with the fact that the chef is going to be all alone in their house, often having access to door codes and other private information. Making others feel at...

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