A personal chef is a chef who is hired by different clients their families or businesses to prepare meals in the client’s home kitchens, based on their needs and preferences.
Being able to cook and knowing different types of meals can come in handy not only behind your family’s closed door but can make you a lot of money is what we call a personal chef. Many homes have adapted to having personal chefs as long they can afford to be able to cater for their families, also businesses that have private functions do need the services of a private chef to cater for their one or two days events.
We will give you a guide on how establish yourself as a top chef and start making money.

6 steps on how to be a private chef:
1. Personal qualities and skills needed
The career of a personal chef has different expectations and requirements than a traditional restaurant chef. It’s more of an all-rounder job, where you’re running the business, serving and hosting, as well as running a kitchen. As a personal chef, you would need to:

• Be creative
• Know to manage time.
• Have competent business skills.
• Have up-to-date and professional culinary skills.
• Be a people person.
• Be flexible – Be willing to work unusual, sometimes long hours.

2. Training
Training and relevant qualification give you a competitive edge. The right course will boost your skill set and personal branding. There are many culinary schools that you can enroll in; you do not need to matric to enroll at these institutions.
– JHB culinary & pastry school.
– HTA School of culinary art.

3. Experience
Spending time in a professional kitchen is a good idea to build skills and build confidence. Many courses include internships or work experience as part of the course, and there are always options available for recently qualified chefs. To become a credible personal chef, you would need at least one year of relevant culinary experience. That means rolling up your sleeves and working in a busy restaurant. If possible, try to shadow or work with an already-established personal chef.

4. Research
Who would you like to be a personal chef for? It might be a family, a single parent, or someone living alone whose too busy to cook. Consider your culinary style, personal style, and branding, and try to match that with who you pitch to.
Once you’ve landed a client, you’ll have to research their preferences, requests, and dietary requirements.

5. How to get clients

Branding – You should have your own website and a social media presence (Instagram is especially popular with foodies), and a Facebook page with your own branding, company information, gallery, and services provided is essential.

Networking – Spread the word about your new business among friends, initially on social media, and then in real life. Some aspiring personal chefs have open houses or get-togethers with friends and family to showcase food and products, talk about their aims for the business and encourage peers to spread the word. Have business cards prepared! On the online side, you could build up to a website launch, offering pre-sale on services, videos, and Instagram posts in the lead-up to the site launch. That site launch could be accompanied by a launch party, budget, and time permitting. Also, online, establish your professional profile. This starts on LinkedIn, but would also extend to online groups, communities, and local professional networks.

Speaking of networking, once you are established, it also does not hurt to have a strong relationship with food vendors, to ensure that you have access to fresh, high-quality, on-trend, in-demand ingredients.

6. Financing
You can prepare food in your own kitchen or those of a client. This eliminates the need to find and rent public space for customers. You will need capital for your vehicle, your own initial salary, marketing costs, and ingredients. It’s possible you can start up with your own money, but some personal chefs depend on loans.

7. Pricing
This is the hardest part as you will not need to over-charge or charge less, take into consideration the costs of marketing, ingredients and other expenses as well before you come up with a rate.

How much can it cost to start?

You will be looking at spending anything between R15000.00 – R150000.00 this should be enough to cover the costs of training and also start-up costs.

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