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Semi-Retired Chef needs help with How To Charge for Personal Chef work

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Have recently been asked to help with private in-home catering events, whether it be dinner parties, weekend guests etc.  Customer would like to pay an hourly fee for shopping, prep, menu consultations, etc. Would also be a teaching situation to improve her skills.  Then possibly pay by the event or a per head cost based on menu.  Any suggestions on setting up a fee structure.  Small town with wealthy client base. Definitely a part-time 2 or 3 times a month situation.  When I used to cater events it would be strictly priced by event or per head basis.  I can afford to be very flexible but need advise for starting point,.

post #2 of 5

Hi, I am a chef with 4 private clients, 37 years experience in the business.

I`d say ,first, so many variables;you are flexible, but at your own expense? I don`t know your clients,location,experience. But if people are asking that shows me they can afford someone, we chefs don`t usually get rich but should try & make a good living for our work. $25.-$40. an hr. is a good median wage for me.When I purchase, I charge them right off the register tape for the cost of the food, then my time.
 

post #3 of 5

$25-$40/hr is ok if it is for 8 hours or so!

 

As with any rate, there are two essential components: $/unit AND the minimum units/day

 

For me, and I AM a personal chef, my MINIMUM is $350/DAY, whether it is one hour or eight hours, travel, out of pocket expenses, and food are billed at cost.

 

My clients are NOT hiring a cook, they are hiring a chef who:

  • Selects the menu
  • Finds/develops the recipes
  • Procures the food stuffs
  • Preps, cooks, and packages/plates the meals
  • Cleans up and leaves only the meals and the aroma of home cooking behind

 

And it is up to ME to spend the necessary time to accomplish my tasks, not the client to nit-pick how I spend my time trying to reduce my fee.

 

I do not "sell food", I sell a service that makes my clients' lives easier and allows them to escape the kitchen responsibilities and concentrate on what is important to them.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I think I might be leaning toward a sliding scale.  Say $25 per hour + food cost when I am teaching and she is serving.  $30 + for drop off with instructions.  And $50 + for events.  I really don't want to get into the per person pricing and definitely don't want to foot the food cost bill.  When I was catering full time it worked out to keep the food and use for other events.  But this will definitely be a once or twice a month deal.  That way she has the option to be involved a little or a lot.  Thanks for the advice.

post #5 of 5

Hi wizardchef; I'm a personal chef and I charge $35.00 per hour + actual costs of the foods, if my client wants me to shop, I require a deposit. My services include understanding clients likes-dislikes and any food related allergies, then I do menu design, shop, prep, cook on premises. I only specialize "in-your home" upscale gourmet dining for Private Dinner Parties, Romantic Dinners and Anniversary Celebrations. Ohh, also you might consider writing a confidentiality agreement and non-disclosures to ensure that your client understands you value their privacy, it comes across more professional.

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