or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › How to get that first personal chef gig???
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to get that first personal chef gig???

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm aware this may have been discussed before but I wanted to tell about my specific case because I have found it so hard to become a personal chef. 

 

I have years of experience working for Michelin starred restaurant here in NYC, I trained in several Michelin places in Europe, plus I have a culinary and food handler degree. So I'd assume I have a strong resume. Yet when I applied to personal chef agencies, I was rejected by all of them because they said I have no long term reference letter from old private employers in the personal chef field. I explained I wanted to make the leap from private restaurants to personal chef but nothing.

 

I spoke briefly to an old acquaintance who was able to be a private chef for a bit, and he told me "your first job will be the hardest thing ever to get, but once you have that one reference, everything rolls on it's own".

 

I want to hear how other people were able to make the transition from working in restaurants to the personal chef field??

 

Thanks for your imputs.

post #2 of 3

I own personal chef services in two cities and have 5 chefs working for me other than myself, and looking for a sixth. First thing I did was to get a website and a good collection of food pictures.

 

I had to start the service from scratch myself in both of those two cities. In the first city, I got my start by putting out professionally printed yard signs with my number and website on them. I had my first customer in 2 hours and a full schedule in 2 months. The second city was bigger, but was also harder to get noticed. The bigger the city, the more you have to do to stand out. In the second city, I started putting up booths at conventions of all sorts, women's fairs, kids shows, etc. I had tri-fold flyers printed and door hangers that I put out on doors in nice neighborhoods. I put flyers on cars I knew moms with money drove. More than anything, I made sure my website was search optimized, then I used Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and my blog to drive traffic to it. Eventually, I had the money for web ads. Things that didn't work include print ads in magazines, banner web ads in newspaper and other third party email blasts, and hiring a public relations rep.

 

In the beginning, it's all about getting your name out by any means possible. Start contacting charities and offer to donate gift certificates for your service to their fundraisers. Offer a reward for referrals and get the word out over Facebook. Make sure you have a well designed website to send people to for information. Your website should reflect your style of service. If you are going after a high dollar crowd, you better have a high dollar looking website. Get brochures printed and hang them anywhere you are allowed. Go to pilate studios and see if they'll let you put some out. Check with doctors offices about doing the same.

 

There is no shame in working for free until you can get people to pay you. It may even allow you to get a couple good letters of recommendation.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply Brandon. I probably worded it wrong, I would be more interested in being a private chef in a household for like a family. But I have toyed with the idea of a personal chef service too. I thought about putting adds in homes and grocery stores in the neighborhood. But recently started a job with Restaurant Associates so I will put those pans on hold for now.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › How to get that first personal chef gig???