rates for private chefs
I recommend working through an agency, because you will have some marginal employment protection and if the nut-case trophy wife decides to let you go, you'll have ample opportunity to land another job fairly quickly.
Be prepared, though, to be treated like scum. Expect to submit menus for approval, have them decided on, shop and prep all day and 20 minutes from service be informed that the Mrs. is not in the mood for salmon and wants pork tenderloin instead, or they've decided to go out for dinner-"Will you please call Craft and get a reservation for us at 8:15 tonight?" (all this at 7:50 pm).
The Al Martino agency specializes in private chefs and treats you, the chef, with consideration and respect. Avoid the Celebrity Agency at all costs! They make you sign a gag order, treat you like a common felon and act like it's some sort of privilege to work for someone with a famous name. Usually, the famous name is never around and you are at the mercy of the spoiled kids, depressed wife or girlfriend and various sycophants and hangers-on.
Thankfully, my freelance business has picked up again eliminating the necessity of pursuing these types of jobs, hopefully for a long while. I know I paint a largely negative picture here. Elsewhere (anywhere but NYC) I have worked as a private chef for some absolutely lovely and generous people.
Good Luck, but watch your back!
rates for private chefsI can see how that might be true in many cases. I've been looking in the paper for similar jobs and when they print the salary it's usually in the $15-20 per hour range. In this particular case, they expressed an interest in having real, restaurant-quality food, and they have a nanny and a butler to take care of the other stuff. I think they're just being cheap. Probably for the best that they scoffed at my rate and never called me back. I know that some employers do pay private chefs more like $30-40; they're just the exception, it seems.
(Yeah, that sounds ridiculous to me, too, but the issue came up recently on a listserve I'm on -- not even a public discussion board like this one! -- and the lawyers said it shouldn't be done. :rolleyes: )
But I have a question. If this is a constant position why not a salary? That can work against you, I know, but if you start looking through agencies you pretty much are looking at salaried postions I think.
Beef up your resume, get involved in related professional activities, and otherwise distinguish yourself from the pack. Work with a few headhunters and search on your own until you find the right position. Good luck ;) :chef:
You can deduct every penny you spend on equipment, cookbooks, magazines, mileage for shopping, space in your home for storing equipment, etc. Also, it leaves you much more flexibility and does not give the client the impression that you are at their beck and call.
You are right!Hi Becky, You are right to charge that much. 40/hr is the going rate from what I can tell. I charge more than that since I am a freelance private chef and don't receive any benefits. If you are getting some sort of insurance, benefits, etc...then perhaps you could consider lowering your rate, but stick with it! Private cheffing takes a lot of skill and planning and so it's going to cost a penny and half.
I've been in the chef business for over 10 years and recently started private cooking. I charge way more than $40 per hour and have only once had someone try to haggle me down. Perhaps people are willing to pay more bc I have a nutritional background as well, but I think mostly people think the more they pay, the better service they are getting.
I've not wanted to work by the hour....much rather work a set price.
It just is more economically advantagious. Benefits rock. I've got one PC client and work one morning a week for full health and dental....just a nominal co-pay no deductable.
I work in Phoenix and the price of living here is far below the NYC level....by the way I have a daughter moving to NYC to attend Parsons so I really do realize how expensive NYC is. I charge 25.00 an hour (shopping is usually calculated as a 1/2 hour). I have one high profile client who tips me 20 to 30% on the whole bill, meaning groceries too, this usually means an extra 30.00 to 50.00 per dinner. I make cookies with their daughter, she is adorable, reminds me of my two when they were small, these are my favorite clients.
On the other hand....I also cook for two little old ladies who live in a double wide mobile home. I charge them a flat rate plus groceries, I love the 93 yr old, Dot, I make her muffins and cookies every week, last thurs she shoved two dollars into my hand and gave me a hug and said I make her tuesdays and thursdays special....I make her hot chocolate and bring her a warm muffin or cookie to the table.
It isn't always about the money,......but....**** its nice!
My employer has multiple residences so, like many private chefs, I travel on occasion for work, but always I am cooking for the same employer and his guests.
Unlike the other household employees, I answer directly to the person who hired me to feed him and his family, not to a majordomo/butler or any other person on staff. If you can make the same arrangement on a domestic job, you will end up much happier in your kitchen - and possibly with much more job security (if that is important to you).
$40 is not unreasonableMy one client is a family of six on W 67Th st. Monday, Wenesday, and friday 4-5 hrs each day. $40 per hour and the housekeeper does the shopping. Another client is a single client in Harlem, He's vegetarian who hates soy, so, he's alittle difficult but still easy, $35 per hour.
I'm finding my rates to be on the bottom of the pay scale on this city. I think you just had a cheap client. You are well with in reason for asking that rate! I'd have asked for more! You'll find plenty of clients willing to pay.
Interesting that the housekeeper does the shopping, how does that work for you? Personally that's when most of my inspiration comes. There are essentially no recipes (or very few)....trusting someone with picking out the freshest fish or produce, seeing the special buy that could morph into a dish.....
I guess years ago I had certain clients that wanted more hands on selection of menus, but for the past 5 years I've not even given my PC client a menu until the meals were finished. SURPRISE! these are your meals for the week....
It's a good gig...Thanks for the inquiry
Hi there- i am a private chef with a rate of 150-250 a day..4-5 hours in Manhattan. I usually go into client's home once a week. I have been playing around with my rates depending on how well off the family or individual is. My question is do you as a private chef cover the cost of groceries? I do not -and do the shopping for them, menu-planning, prep, cook, clean-up. I have them pay for the groceries and the rate is seperate. Just trying to see how others are doing it and if I'm expecting too much on the clients end. Thanks, Telah
Hm, are you a private chef or a personal chef? (It sounds more like a personal chef, i.e. more than a single client)
How many meals do you prepare in a day?
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer