Updated: Oct 30, 2019
There you are working the line for the "nth" time in your life and you're starting to think about what you can do to finally give your body a rest, spend some time with your family, be creative and make some real money, but you aren't quite ready to walk away from the kitchen yet. What comes to mind? "I wonder what I have to do to become a Personal Chef." From legal entity, to your marketing, to your food stores options; this is Top 3 Things you must consider when becoming a Personal Chef.
1) Legal entity
This is one option that many people vastly overlook. "I'm just feeding people, isn't my name good enough?" Yes & No. It really depends on case by case and you future goals. If you only plan to cook for small private parties a sole proprietorship is often good enough, but if you plan on building something big its best to handle the legal formation early to know what you're getting into and how to handle your financials. There's plenty of options to get this figured out for you for the most part. Personally, we used https://www.swyftfilings.com. They Handled the filing on a state level, explained what we were doing, gives us headsup when its time to renew our paper work. Since then a relatively new player came into town through Y-Combinator backed https://stripe.com that takes everything to the next step as they also assist with on-line payments; a must in today's tech heavy world. Plenty of companies die before they ever get started because they don't incorporate properly.
The hardest part of marketing is definitely getting started. There's plenty of options that you can go through to get started. When we got started we got on www.thumbtack.com to use their platform to find our early leads. From there its about figuring out how you're going to continue to grow from there. A big part of determining your marketing strategy is your target clientele. This can affect everything from the name of your company, to where you market. For instance, if you're targeting newly-wed couples you're probably not going to be marketing at child care establishments/ websites; similarly, if you're specializing in wine tastings it would make a lot of sense to market at liquor stores.
3) Ingredient Sourcing
The part many people seem to not take into account; you've got to keep in mind where you will be getting your supplies. As far as pans are concerned there's not much need for getting a fancy $2,000 set of pans. Personally, I bought a set of Threshold pans from Target which are surprisingly impressive to be quite honest. They're so impressive in fact I bought 3 sets so that I would have multiple of many of the pots and pans. Much more importantly, how will you source your ingredients. It is your responsibility to keep our clients safe and one of he most important ways we can do that is by ensuring we buy our ingredients from a credible source. Assuming you took care of that there are a few things that you should be keeping in mind that I didn't realize myself until it was too late more than once. First: where you shop you want it to be convenient/ reliable. Chances are you don't have a direct connection with your local butcher shop so while you're making menus for your party 2 months in advance you need to keep in mind how likely it is that they will have what you need. What's imperative as well you need to keep in mind if you're buying specialty products you need to ensure that you order whatever you can well in advance to avoid any problems when the moment of truth arises.
!!!Make sure you read to the end to get a 4th tip to becoming a Personal Chef!!!
We know that this can seem overwhelming to have to deal with so many things you've never had to think of before. Marketing?! How do I even start this? Legal entity?! "What do you mean I can't just go cook for people?! We here at Savor The Passion are working to take all the new stuff off your plate so you can do what you do best; put your soul on a plate and make your guests happy. If this is something you're interested in click Here for more information.
!!BONUS!! Your Specialty
Chances are if you're comfortable enough in a kitchen to be considering making the move to becoming a Personal Chef you've likely tacked down what your specialty/ style is. What you may not have taken into consideration is how that will change how you market yourself or how that will affect how you charge your clients. Suffice to say, if you love making a seafood roulade with a saffron foam you're probably not targeting High school graduations, similarly; if you're specialty is outdoor grilling it might not be a bad idea to target outdoor volleyball tournaments.
I hope we've helped you in some way. If you feel like I missed a key point or perhaps you agree 100% please, let us know in the comments below and please don't forget to follow our Facebook Page! I wish you all the best.
Commis Chef Chris