Are you as tired of fake news as I am?
Myth #1 Personal Chefs Work for the Rich and Famous
Reading headline news, you would think that all personal chefs work for celebrities and the ultra-rich. I suppose it does make great clickbait having a celebrity name in the title of an article. In real life, however, the people that hire personal chefs are those that value time over money.
Most of your clients will likely be average moms and dads with school aged children. They work all day on Zoom and homeschooling their kids then are delighted to have meals waiting for them in the refrigerator. They value their time and are willing to exchange money for time by having someone come into their home and prepare meals for them. The average client of a personal chef is definitely not a celebrity or ultra-rich.
Myth #2 Personal Chef Clients Don’t Know How to Cook
Most people know how to clean a house, but housekeepers are in constant demand. People...
It's a common question, "What kind of tips should I expect following a meal prep session or dinner party?"
A seasoned business owner knows that tips are not always part of offering a service. There are those who offer generous tips and there are those who are loyal customers, but never ever give monetary tips.
The reality is that just because your client appears to have money to spend doesn't mean you're going to receive a tip. As a business owner, you must come to this understanding quickly or you'll begin resenting your clients, which may result in the downfall of your business.
If you're going into a job expecting a tip, you're setting yourself up for potential disappointment.
You're in the service industry, therefore offering a service in exchange for money. Going into the job, your client is already aware of how much your service costs, so if you feel you deserve more, you should charge a higher service fee.
Offering to perform...
I'm often surprised at items that some client kitchens don’t have like a cheese grater, citrus press, or liquid measuring cup. For this reason, I bring along a small box of kitchen gear...but it wasn't always like this.
When I first started, I would pack specifically for the client’s kitchen I was visiting. If I knew the house didn’t have a good non-stick skillet, I would bring that, my favorite cooking spoon, and of course knives.
As my clientele built up and for ease of packing each morning, I now have a basic checklist of kitchen gear that fits into a small plastic bin brought to every appointment. Here's a link to pretty much everything in my everyday box >>
There is much discussion about knives out there. Everyone has a different style, but I’m a minimalist and use my basic chef’s knife for everything plus a small paring knife for cutting small items such as deveining shrimp.
I also always bring my...
Before becoming a personal chef, I would peruse the internet for hours, trying to find the answers to what I thought were common questions about the personal chef profession.
Extremely limited information came up when searching for the answer to my question, "what should I be asking new meal prep clients at a consultation?"
I couldn't find a single article written by a personal chef. There were plenty of non-authorities sharing their idea of questions you should ask a personal chef when hiring as well as numerous culinary associations trying to get me to attend their schools and expensive groups, but alas no advice from someone in the profession.
Interestingly, the articles about "what to ask your personal chef" appeared to be written by someone clearly never having hired or interviewed a personal chef. The questions were highly redundant.
As a seasoned personal chef, I can share with you that when someone calls to set up a consultation about...
You may not have started your personal chef business because you can't figure out how to handle the cost of groceries. Okay, maybe that was just me. I was completely stumped in how to begin my business because I couldn't get past the question of how to handle groceries.
Argh, pricing my services was hard. Luckily I figured it all out then designed a teachable system where you can learn to price your personal chef services as well. The course "Pricing for Personal Chefs" is available here >>
The question about whether the client should pay for groceries or should I stumped me for a while before starting my personal chef business. I have to admit that it may have even...
When I first started as a personal chef, I had no mentor. I didn't know anyone else who was a personal chef and I couldn't find any firm answers online. I had to figure it all out on my own. Obviously, I made a ton of cringe worthy mistakes. I'd love to share them with you so you don't repeat them.
#1 Charging by the hour
For my very first client, I charged $25 an hour. I soon became more efficient and...wait, I'm still getting paid $25 an hour. I was thinking like an employee and not a business owner. Employees are paid by the hour and now I was a business owner.
After much study, I learned that personal chefs are not paid by the hour. They do not price their services like restaurant chefs either, since food costs are not calculated as part of the meal. More about pricing, click here.
#2 Accepting anyone and everyone as a client
Not everyone is a good fit for your business. You have to take into account whether you can accommodate...
A common reason some never start their personal chef business is that they are under the impression that a business loan needs to be taken out to begin. This couldn't be further from the truth.
You can really start up your personal chef business for about $500.
You could most definitely save $500 for your start-up income and not rely on a loan which would charge interest, ultimately paying back $600-$700. Small business loans are intended for those needing $5,000 to $50,000 and have collateral such as a home to back up the loan. These loans are not meant for service businesses which have very little overhead and can easily start tomorrow for as little as $500.
The first two things you must have before going to a client’s home for your first day as a personal chef are a business license and liability insurance.
For a personal chef business license, the fees are different in each city, county...
It's the most common questions I'm asked, "how much should I charge for my meal prep services?" "How much should I charge for a dinner party?"
More in-depth calculations of pricing your service is available in the course Pricing for Personal Chefs. You'll learn the psychology of pricing your services, exactly how to calculate your worth, then perform several practice calculations so you'll be ready when the next request for a dinner party or meal prep comes in.
How do I price my services as a Personal Chef?
Before addressing this question, let's clarify personal chef services versus catering services. As a personal chef, you’d bring all the groceries to a client’s house and cook everything there. In catering or meal delivery service, you would be working out of an approved commercial kitchen, then deliver to the...
Everyone seems to want to cook out of their home kitchen, but it's not entirely legal until it's approved by the health department. Sooo...what does it take to turn your home kitchen into a health department approved kitchen?
A commercial kitchen is one that meets the fire, health and business codes for your area. You cannot cook out of your home kitchen then deliver or have clients pick up from your home without first having it approved by the local health department.
As a personal chef, you would be cooking out of your clients' kitchens, but just out of curiosity...what would it take to convert your home kitchen into a health department approved kitchen?
Requirements vary for every area, but the following are generally considered standard. Of course it would be ideal to create the kitchen from new construction, but oftentimes, this is not reasonable. So, what does it take to turn your home kitchen into a commercial kitchen?
When your schedule is maxed out with clients and catered dinners, you may consider moving into a commercial kitchen one or two days a week.
There are often plenty of restaurants or community centers (church or fire department kitchens) that are willing to sublet their kitchen to you. They appreciate the additional income and you will appreciate not locking yourself into a lengthy contract.
It is not suggested to START your personal chef business with a commercial kitchen as without a client base to pay for that kitchen, you're doing the hope and pray method of starting a small business.
Working in client homes, there is no overhead, so if you don't have clients in the beginning, you're not simultaneously losing money with commercial kitchen payments.
It's likely there are going to be only a few choices in your community for your new commercial kitchen space, so you may not have the luxury of being picky. If you do have a variety to choose...