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Need some advice please

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. I've been working in food service for about two years. I have line cook and catering experience. And not having a culinary degree I've tried to learn as much as I could. A friend of mine made me an offer and I would like to know what advice or warnings those of you with more experience than I may have. I've been looking to get experience as a personal chef. But without experience, it's hard to get a foot in the door. A very close friend of mine suggested I cook for her and her roommate. They lead busy lives and don't have time to make good food themselves. They would cover food cost. I would take care of menu planning, shopping, stocking the kitchen and clean up. I would cook out of thier kitchen. They also have two events this year that they would like me to cater. (By that time I will have all the proper licenses, permits and insurance if they happen to be off site.) But for now, I think it's a good chance to get experience and a reference. We'll talk money later, but being that this is a test run for me, my prices are gonna be marked way down. I'm not doing this so much for the money but like I said, the experience and reference to get started. Let me know what you all think. Thank you so much for your time.
post #2 of 7
Enjoy the experience of cooking for you friends they are your best advertising for the cheapest dollars. Be sure to leave them lots of business cards, and have info available for anyone that follows up with you. Everyone needs to start somewhere and friends make the cheapest best trial subjects. Good luck your business will grow steadily with a little extra work on your part.
post #3 of 7
I would say definately go for it, I was a personal chef for three years and loved it.

The issue I would have is that you need to make it clear to them that you are discounting your services WAY down for them, and only them.

I have done personal cheffing and catering for friends where I gave them a healthy discount, and then they turned around and told potential clients how great I was and also how inexpensive! (!) It was horrible, because it is much harder to raise your prices that way.

That being said, as long as everything is understood, sounds like a good way to get started. Best of luck!
post #4 of 7

Read Juliets response 12 times and then re-read it again 12 more times. Then follow that advice like it was the secret to the treasure ever imagined.
post #5 of 7
LOL.....if you feel you need experience then discuss a time frame for freebys.
ie for the first 8 weeks, then my price will be blah blah blah.
Funny how free suddenly hurts when they have to pay for it. Value is of services is an interesting thing.

Ditto read Juliets......
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #6 of 7
I agree with all the above. make sure you make ti clear to them that they are your test adn they are deeply discounted since you are testing on them.

I would also say to tell them not to disclose the price you give them to other people. tell them they can say so and so is very reasonable. here is his card....

business cards dirt cheap

Im sort of doing the same thing. I dont plan on going into personal cheffing or catering but its something on the side eventually.
I got to my freind apartment who has a small tiny kitchen and they have nothing. no microwave no utensils, nothing. they dont cook ever. ive used there stove and oven more then they ever have.

I go there with all my tools, prep, pots, pans. its a challege but a good challege becuase i have to run over the check list in my head, i do as much prep at my "home" kitchen.

I usually make something for someones birthday or what ever occasion and its my gift to them. the hard part is giving them the recipe becuase I dont follow recipes i jsut kidna do it.
post #7 of 7
It sure sounds to me like you're doing this gratis. What a deal for your alleged friends!! They pay for the food that they'd pay for anyway and you get the privilege of menu planning, shopping, cooking, stocking the kitchen and clean up. Run away from these friends!

A reference is only as good as the person who does the referral. Anyone who would take advantage of a friend, the way these "friends" want to take advantage of you, would only be the source of a reference that has no value.
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