Having a professional chef prepare meals in your kitchen has an air of gravitas to it. Something straight out of a 19th-century novel, filled with butlers and groomsmen. But what might seem like a luxury for the rich and famous is rapidly becoming a popular and widely used service for many middle-class American families.
How it works
In general, people hire a personal chef either to cook for single occasions such as a dinner party, or establish an ongoing relationship in which the chef comes to their home and cooks several times a week.
Usually it begins with an interview where the chef learns about the client’s meal and dietary preferences and assembles a menu plan to suit their particular tastes and needs. The chef then shops for all the ingredients, prepares the meals, arrives at the client’s home with all the cooking utensils and equipment, cooks, cleans up and leaves.
There are of course, countless varieties to this general model. Different chefs, or chef services, offer different degrees of personalization. On the low end, each entrée costs between $15 and $20, and on the higher end, the cost can be between $40 and $50 and entrée.
What this means for your business
The growth of the personal chef services industry opens many new opportunities for those in the foodservice business. For restaurant owners, it’s a chance to use your name and reputation to push into a new territory. Not only could you help people have their favorite menu items cooked for them in their home, but you could also expand your offerings and your brand’s reputation.
For resorts and others in the hospitality industry, there is the option of offering private, in-room dining for guests. In a situation like this, a chef is able to meet with guests, plan one or more meals for them, and serve it to them in their room.
Catering companies can also narrow their services from event facilities to people’s personal homes. By contracting with local chefs or even hiring a full-time staff, your business wouldn't be dependent on big events any longer.
The important thing to remember is that the personal chef trend is continuing to grow. As it does, it will open new markets and business opportunities that you’ll want to take advantage of. If you’re already in the foodservice industry, you’ll be in a perfect position to get a leg up on the competition.
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