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rates for private chefs - Page 2

post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

Food Costs + Labor Rate.

Personal Chef.

Um, even PCs have overhead:

  • Business license
  • Insurance
  • SS & Medi-care (15%)
  • ServSafe (at least once every five years)
  • Equipment replacement (nothing lasts forever)
  • Association dues & education, if any
  • Advertising
  • Vehicle expense and maintenance
  • Retirement (401K, whatever)
  • Subscriptions, web access
  • and the list goes on...

 

Somebody has to pay for these items and, unless your "labor rate" (which I abhor! PCs are entrepreneurs NOT EMPLOYEES!) has those costs built in, you WILL go broke!

 

My absolute MINIMUM for scheduling a cook-day is $350 and I live in a city of just over 52,000. PCs in New York area are considerably higher.

 

For reliable industry information, call or email Candy Wallace, Executive Director

American Personal & Private Chef Association
4572 Delaware Street
San Diego, CA 92116
800-644-8389
619-294-2436
info@personalchef.com

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #32 of 87

$350 a day minimum, what exactly constitutes a day?.....do you have weekly/biweekly regulars?

Do you get paid vacation when they are on vacation? 

 

Equipment? other than knives what equipment?

 

So great to see you included insurance....for many go without it.  Retirement too.

 

I've been a PC for many years, my clientele have included CFO's of major corporations, dbl surgeons, dbl attys, people who are known internationally....many of them were clients for 5+ years on a weekly basis.  

At $350 a day, per week for 52 weeks that's $18,200 a year for the labor part.   Does not include food, equipment, etc.

So if you have 5 clients a week, which was standard for me then you are making  $91,000+ a year gross.  Of course if you have regular clients there's not as much needed to advertise/market.

 

Private Chefs who have one client generally deserve mega bucks......the stories I've heard are like war stories.

 

 

 

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #33 of 87

Rates: Just to give my 2 cents. I generally have made a salary with private chef jobs, but when auditioning am asked a 'day rate' for purposes of paying me for my time/cookday. In NYC you could ask anywhere from $250-$350 or so, depending on experience.

 

I can attest to the volatile nature of working for private households. More and more I think about ways to make it doing freelance or contract work. I've gotten jobs through word of mouth, as well as agencies. For the most part agents are snakes and not looking out for you. They are interested in you only as much as clients are interested in you. THere are a few exceptions. The best agent will find out about you and what you are looking for in order to make the best fit for everyone.

Recently, I worked for a guy in NYC for several months. He lured me away from a high-profile job offer (which was through an agency), with the promise of an amazing salary and many other things. When i started with him, he denied making his best offer ($120+benefits), and things went downhill from there. I was fired eventually, for no good reason, and mostly out of capriciousness, as someone else mentioned here. I then started looking around through agencies, and was offered a position in another state. Many other chefs had tried out for it, and it paid $110 + some money toward a health benefit (I have my own), but did not offer relocation. I accepted the position, only to quickly realize that the job required 12-14 hours of active work per day, plus more at night and on weekends to plan. After a few months some things came to a head and I gave some honest feedback (like, they need more staff, and that such a schedule might not be sustainable, etc). I was fired a few weeks later, with no reason given. It is difficult to find the right fit...

post #34 of 87

Here in Florida $35.00 hour from time I leave my house (cash only) In NY $45.00 hour same deal( Dinner up to 10 guest they supply service people.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #35 of 87

i charge for private catering for a non live in position working monday to sunday starting at 6am finishing at around 7 pm everyday i charge 1500£ PW  (about 2500$) plus food costs.

 

If it was a live in postition i would charge aboout 1000£ (2000$) PW plus food costs.

post #36 of 87

7 days a week?

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #37 of 87

So, I own a catering business in the East Bay, Ca, doing mostly cocktail/dinner parties and events, and  small corporate events but due to to business being slow, I took on a job 3 days a week (M-W-F) as a personal chef to the family who is one of my long time catering clients.  I feel lucky because they treat me very well, and I'm right at home when working there.  They sit in the kitchen and eat dinner while I finish up the meal for the following day, and they bring their dishes to the sink when they're done, even though I insist every time to just let me do it.  They are so nice!  I didn't do much research on going rates before starting because I actually worked as a private chef while going through culinary school to an insane & horrible family, and they paid me $100 cash every night, so I felt like I wont the lottery at 22 being paid cash so I could start paying off my debt and getting experience while going to schoo, but now I know better...or so I think!  So, 10 years later here I am again, and being reminded that it is such hard work, just the planning that goes into it is really intense, because my client (the wife) is Gluten Free and they also have a 4 year old who eats about 6 foods, so I have to switch gears a lot.  Anyway, my question is, is $45/hr, 3 days a week, for about 5-6 hrs of work (shopping/travel time is incuded in my rate as well) reasonable?  I will be given a 1099 and I pay for my own personal and business insurance, health care and vehicle.  After taxes, this is not really a lot for what I do, even though people who have a lot of money seem to think this is a lot...also, I know it could be a lot worse by adding a bad employee to the mix, which I am fortunate not to have to deal with this time around.  My second issue is that I want to say to them that if they have a dinner party, that falls under the realm of my "catering", which would be $75 hr.  Is that reasonable or am I rocking the boat and heading in a bad direction and possibly souring a good relationship?

post #38 of 87
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #39 of 87

Alicat, 

that's always been a big gap between what you charge for personal cheffing and catering.....two totally different animals and in my experience it was difficult to transition a PC client to a catering client.  

One decent wedding nets as much as 52 weeks of PC.   

PC was/is bread and butter....it's a set gig.  Catering can have "set" deals ie:lunch every week for a corporate client, or breakfast 1x a month for a college....

Catering is usually charged as cost per person or per plate + rentals, labor, etc.  

 

Putting a minimal hours base is just smart....waitstaff typically have 4 hour minimum, party lasts 3 hours they are paid for 4 hours.

 

Planning time counts, Drive time, Prep Time, etc...... I work fast, really fast...and can make numerous dishes at one time, it is not in my best interest to charge by the hour for cooking....I'm not slowing down to make more money....

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #40 of 87

Amen!
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #41 of 87

Hello can you tell me what agency should one apply and where is the best place for start up to get catering insurance?  thanksQuote:

Originally Posted by foodnfoto View Post

I have interviewed for a quite a few of these jobs, landed them only to find due to the caprice of the employer that I was asked not to continue. Note that all of these positions came about through an agency. The average hourly rate is $30.00 plus benefits (1-2 weeks vacation, health insurance with VERY high deductibles). Yearly salary rates for full-time work (45-50 hours/week) ranged from $50,000-$85,000 per year. Day rates usually run $100-$200/day.
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!


 

post #42 of 87

This is great information. I'm a professional Chef that just got started, I'm looking to do a business plan on cost for labor, food, and travel. I was real low.. As for experience, I work in the field for over a year and do competition. What should be my first step as a Private Chef?

post #43 of 87

figure out what your perimeters are, research what's now in your area, for me personal chef means I personalize service/menus to reflect my customers needs/desires that fit in their budgets which is typically a moot point.

explore the archives, you could use my name and go back several years, there will be a lot of info on personal chefing

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #44 of 87

Hi I am new to this forum site and I am a personal chef, I feel I should ask for a raise, but the people I work for are very hard to even sit down and discuss what they want. The nanny does the shopping and the maids clean. I cook, how ever I suck at deserts! I go fancy they want sloppy Joe's, I go down home comfort food, they want foo-foo appetizers, but all this comes thru the nanny and the have 6 to 8 kids depending on visitation days from 1 year to 17 years I make a base off 300 a week no tips no benefits I calculated it at 25 an hour. I am barley making ends meet should I ask for more? seems the going rate is 40.00

post #45 of 87

Am I correct? You are a private chef, not a personal chef, right? (you work for a single client?)

 

$300/week divided by 40hrs/week is $7.50/hour, not $25/hour!

 

At $25/hr and 40 hrs your weekly paycheck should be $1,000 (gross)!

 

If you're getting $25/hr, you should be working only 12 hours per week.

 

Not sure what state you are located in but you appear to be right at minimum wage.

 

Unless you are getting fantastic benefits you're underpaid, IMHO.

 

Take a look at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #46 of 87

What you charge is based on scope of job. Travel time. Number of hours worked, how good you are and how long you have been at it(experience) all of this is relavent.   Also cost of living where you live.  In this day and age $25.00 per hour is a good start. If thy can afford a private chef, then they should be able to afford and pay one well.  YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #47 of 87

In my experience, a private chef is a salaried position and runs the kitchen, not hourly, A cook is hourly and a cook follows orders.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #48 of 87

Chef Ed nailed it (yet again!)......

 

If you are working for one family cooking their meals on a regular basis you are a private chef. If you are planning menus, shopping, researching recipes, coordinating with your bosses, driving around,etc....that time is part of the gig.   If they go on vacation and you don't get paid, something is wrong.   If you are working a full time job cooking for them, you need benefits.....vacation time, personal days, insurance (hopefully!)....I would expect starting out, full time....5-6 days a week   at least $500 a week + benefits.   JMTC.

 

Catering is catering.  Cooking for a family is that.  If you don't have an agreement that covers prepping for parties or cooking for dinner parties, then think about what is equitable.

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #49 of 87

Hi, I`m Fran Walker, a chef, now private, for over 30 years. It depends on the cost of living where you are. It depends on your experience, it depends on the number of people you cook for. Also, how difficult are their demands. I worked for one family that wouldn`t tell me ahead of time, when I got there, I was told one wanted this & one wanted that, 5 people. The food was in the freezer. I didn`t stay, let someone else deal with them. I now, for 15 years work & shop for a family that does not know what they are having until I serve.

Feel good about what you ask for,if not,ask for more,lets not sell ourselves short. They will try; if you are good, & if they like you they will pay, or find another.

Alos, there are a lot of inexperienced "personal" chefs watering down the business, but the cream does rise to the top.

post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesco View Post

...Alos, there are a lot of inexperienced "personal" chefs watering down the business, but the cream does rise to the top.

Chesco, not all of us are involved in "watering down the business" wink.gif, unless you consider $84k+/annum "watering down".

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #51 of 87

I didn`t mean "water" down by income, I mean by experience & ability. The restaurant business is a killer, so everybody now wants to be a personal chef.
 

post #52 of 87

Well, though there are exceptions, a majority of personal chefs I've met produce food that is certainly not "watered down". For me, there are just as many private chefs or restaurant chefs or othe chefs that produce "watered down" poor food proportionally as personal chefs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesco View Post

I didn`t mean "water" down by income, I mean by experience & ability. The restaurant business is a killer, so everybody now wants to be a personal chef.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #53 of 87

But we are talking about personal/private chefs!

post #54 of 87

Well...by watered down then do you mean in terms of quality, or customer satisfaction, or

formal training/professsionalism, or more like regarding creativity/culinary artistry?

post #55 of 87

Again, by "watering down", shouldn`t have brought it up; I mean the sheer amount of "chefs" entering the business, with little experience, wanting to be a private/personal chef, without the time/ work needed to guarantee a quality product. No insult meant to any that are qualified.

It took me years of hard work to be called a "chef", its become a household word, he`s a salad "chef", she`s a prep "chef". we called them cooks. Give credit where its due. Does that explain without insult?

post #56 of 87

Chesco, speaking for myself I was never close to feeling insulted, just was curious as to how you

meant the phrase. Though that makes sense, basically a literal watering down by sheer numbers,

and those who don't know their backsides from a spatula have the potential of giving the business

in general a bad name. True 'nuf.

post #57 of 87

Want to be a personal chef? work in th quality end of the business about 10 years gaining experience in every facet. Purchasing, catering, all cuisines, time management, portion control and appearance, and naturally cooking skills.  Then do it   . 

   Sorry but 1  or 2 years just wont hack it neither will just graduating cooking school.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #58 of 87

This may be a bit tangential but it seems so back up a few comments here, and it makes me chuckle in general.  These are are actual events that I've witnessed first-hand during my tenure in the industry.  For your amusement:

 

Cook throws a 10" chef's knife down the line, narrowly missing my backside.  It wasn't at "me," but he was frustrated at a server.  -- Johnson & Wales graduate

Cook does not know the proper placement of frill picks for a club sandwich.  --  CIA graduate

Cook drains a fryer without turning it off.  Chaos ensues. THE SAME COOK on another occasion turns off the fryer like a good boy, drains it and proceeds to fill it with water to boil it out...leaving the valve open and the hot grease below.  Chaos ensues.  --  CIA graduate

Cook melts a cutting board on an inactive stovetop, not thinking about pilots.  -- Johnson & Wales graduate

Cook slices the second knuckle on his thumb open, cutting his tendon, using a honing steel improperly.  -- Local Community College Culinary graduate

Cook asks how to make brown stock.  -- Local CC Culinary graduate

 

I could go on, but you see where I'm going with this. smile.gif

post #59 of 87

Schools are good for the 3 Rs.  To learn a trade requires PE   practical experience.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #60 of 87

Not tangential at all  The Truth Hurts.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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