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Personal Cheffing

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Several of you are preparing HMR (home meal replacements) a version of personal cheffing. Several of our local grocery stores are improving their selection, up grading their delis, adding self serve, food bought by weight that have "general public" buzz words.....balsamic glaze, gorgonzola, dried tomatos, kalamata olives (tapenade), nuts, etc.....generally sauced, cold and some are interesting....most fall flat like a meal at a chain, just brightness missing.

Some on this thread have shops with prepared food, how is that going? Are your % up or down over last year?

Some personal chef in addition to catering....I've gone from total personal cheffing to mainly catering with one pc client.

Just wondering how this economy is affecting personal chefs.

Obviously clients hire pc at a price to provide meals they don't have to think much about. For many it's to lose weight and have healthy food in the fridge.
For others it's because they want to eat better than they cook and don't want to eat out all the time.

My one pc client told me yesterday that there was a freeze on raises in 2009, I'm getting ready to call and find out if there is a food budget that I need to be aware of......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 9
There maybe a freeze somewhere for p/c but not Palm Beach. Everyone is diet and health concerned. Even if they could not afford it because they lost a bundle in stock market families would not let their staff go .They would be afraid that their neighbors would talk about their plight at the cocktail parties. (keeping up and passing the Jones's) Average pay p/c on the island minimum 50 -60 year plus perks. some include medical some not. They usually pay both ends of your social security you pay estimated taxes quarterly.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
awww.....private chefs.....different animal than personal chef, but none the less one that you would expect the economy to affect.

We've got a new high end grocery store that opened in an area I frequently cater to......within less than a mile there are now 3 high end grocery stores selling Prime Beef, $35 a pound. Premium products, small size......it will be interesting to see what happens when there's dilution......2 have been around forever, they are oldschool grocery stores with store charges.....

One of the local reporters told me yesterday that the new place is gearring up to provide dinner/possibly staff for dinners.....interesting twist.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 9
I know this is a slightly older thread but I wanted to chime in anyway since the economy has worsened and I have definitely been affected.

The sweetest gig in the WORLD came to an abrupt end when my employer died very suddenly in 2006. It took me 14 months to secure another position with a lovely couple who own a mortgage company. Things were blissful until the bottom fell out of the housing industry and they began massive lay-offs. Contrary to what the above poster speculated about families keeping staff on in hard times, I have found the opposite to be true, especially here in western Washington. I spent eight months on unemployment last year and finally HAD to go back into restaurants. Argh...you have no idea....

I am signed on with every agency in town (there are not that many who specialize in this field) and other national agencies, yet the well appears to be dry, at least for private cheffing.

I've done the personal chef route as well but it's such an unpredictable way to make a living. I have found that there is so much more stability when you work for one employer, preferably one whose financial standing is not affected by fluctuations in the economy! Of course, I say that and then realize the irony - I've lost two ideal jobs in the last 7 years - not exactly stable!

Here's hoping better days are coming.
post #5 of 9
Western Washington is not Palm Beach. On Palm Beach people own companies but do not actively work them, they have others run them.:bounce:
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post #6 of 9
Hi Ed! This is true. My first foray into the world of the private chef was with a gentleman who had inherited all his wealth, did not work a day in his life, and allowed the interest on his millions to pay for his in house staffing needs. A slump in the economy, or even a recession, would have barely touched him and would have left me, his chef, unscathed.

However, with the exception of a few wealthy untouchables, my area is not exactly teeming with these types.
post #7 of 9

Mangospice

Hello shroomgirl. My name is jack and i am a chef in the panhandle of Florida. I am in the process of getting a kitchen going where i can cater some. My options are really wide open at this point of the things that i can get into. The personal chef idea has alway been tomething that ive been interested in not only for the locals of the area but also for the tourists that will be spending their vacations here. maybe you could give me a couple words of wisdom from someone that has been their. Thanx have a nice day:chef::cool:
post #8 of 9
Unfortunatly in Florida, our tourism has not held up in these economic times. In Palm Beach white tablecloth restaurants are down about 15 to 25%. Even the tourist are not spending. Universal and Disney are both down.
All that being said you must build up your name so people want to use you and your services. word of mouth advertiseing is the best. There are a lot of caterers out there. Come up with something that will make you unique.:D
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Connect with rental properties, some vacationers would prefer a personal chef to having to cook for themselves or eat out.

Come up with local meals......

Cooking classes are a super way to start......have recipes with your contact info on it.

Join culinary organizations, referrals are a super way to get going.

Demos.....farmer's markets, fish markets, whatever makes sense......

Press Releases to your newspapers.

Check out Craigs List.

I was very fortunate, my first client was an ad I answered.....they have businesses that you'd recognize across the USA.....just having that reference was valuable.....not necessary but provided shortcuts when talking to other potential clients.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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