Updated: Oct 30, 2019
(First published by Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine March 2019 Issue #33 . Written by Chef Chris Martin, Founder of Savor The Passion; Edited by Jenna Rimensnyder, Managing Editor of Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine)
Your Time, Your Menu, Your Life - Why now is THE Time to Become a Personal Chef
Editor’s note: The capitalization of the terms “chef” and “personal chef” is done at the request of the au-thor.
The millennial generation has breathed life into the gig-economy - a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. Whether that be a freelance photographer, menu consultant or a Personal Chef, the gig-economy is a prime way to find your niche in any industry. As an entrepreneur, the rarer the skill-set, the more money you can command. There will always be a demand for talented Chefs, but do you have what it takes to take the entrepreneur-ial leap and become a Personal Chef? Here’s a breakdown of why now is the best time to become one.
Calling the Shots
As professional Chefs we’ve sacrificed countless hours that could have been spent with family to climb the ladder in professional kitchens. The gig-economy allows you to be your own boss, and call the shots when it comes to time off. No more having to come in on your anniversary because your Sous Chef got in a car accident, or working 60 hours – unless that’s your preference, of course. If at some point in your career you worked for a Chef-owner, you know that there will be long hours when you are going to launch your own business. The difference is if you’re putting in long hours building a future for yourself while do-ing what you love you’re much less likely to be “working” so much as you are “building.”
With a rise in technology, there has been a spike in fast-casual restaurants with tablet ordering, which leaves room for a small number of talented line-cooks and Chefs to be hired. Undoubtedly, plenty will choose to go the route of Personal Chefs - why not get ahead of the curve and establish yourself now?
The people we cook for aren’t hard to find, the trick is booking them and getting buzz started about your skill in the kitchen for referrals. A Personal Chef is much more than an in-home cook - you have to wear multiple hats. You might end up being the Chef and entertainment, but whatever is asked for you, your job is to perform to the highest ability.
Get creative with incentives, discounts on multiple bookings, holding events to let potential customers get a glimpse at what you can offer - its a networking game and you have to be ready to grease the wheels and smile your way to a fully booked calendar.
Control. Flexibility. Appreciation.
We’re in the business to create something special and to wow people with our dishes. Taking the leap into starting your career as a personal Chef means that you can curate your own menu items for clients, set your schedule and round up your own clientele. Think of it like you’re always making new friends. Yes, there is flexibility to an extent, but if you want to be successful, you will work yourself to the bone to grow your company - but at the end of the day, you’re making the calls and how fulfilling is that? Furthermore, after an incredible meal that you’ve cooked and served, you get to experience, firsthand, the response of your client and their guests, which can prove to be extremely gratifying.
Why continue the push and pull lifestyle of cooking in a professional kitchen when you can be the creator of your destiny? Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? Do you have what it takes to hold the power in your hands? Creating your own menu, furiously networking for your clientele and creating sustainable relationships are focal points in being a successful personal Chef. Now is the time – more than ever - to begin your journey, and write your own rules.
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