Ways To Make Quick Money Launching...
A Personal Chef "Fast Cash" Business
Table Of Contents
- Ways To Make Quick Money:
- Launching A Personal Chef Micro-Business
- What You Gain From This Venture
- Who This Venture Benefits Most
- Who Will Succeed
- Who This Venture Benefits Most
- The Venture Step-by-Step
- Basic Requirements
- Startup Equipment
- Delivering The Service
- Running The Operation
- Marketing This Baby
- Making The Moola
- Simple Cashflow Estimate
- Startup Equipment
- Insights and Caveats
- Online Videos
- Maintaining Your Equipment
- How To Avoid Burning Food
- How To Cook Quickly
- Nurturing Your Customers
- Maintaining Your Equipment
- Additional Resources and Final Comments
- Make A Professional Impression
- Set Up An Initial Consultation With Your Client
- Cook and freeze or refrigerate meals for clients to later reheat and eat
- Come in and cook a meal for clients to eat immediately
- Is she too busy to cook?
- Does she not know how to cook?
- Does she want to eat healthier food?
- Is she on a special diet?
- Does she need help preparing for an upcoming party?
- Create A Menu
- Divide your menu into categories such as breakfast, lunch, dinner or themes like children parties, romantic dinner for two, or by food type like desserts, drinks, or style selections like Italian, Mexican, Indian dishes, sandwiches, soups, etc.
- If you plan to cook freezer-friendly dishes for your clients, you should know which dishes can handle a freezer, and how long they last before spoiling.
Put an asterisk (*) beside each dish that is freezer-friendly. You will need to charge extra for them, if you are going to purchase plastic containers for freezing.
- Layout your menu with a description for each dish as well as its general ingredients and price. If it's a diet menu, then include the number of calories for the dish.
- On your menu place photos of your best looking dishes. Letting people see what your food looks like can help to stimulate their appetite. Spend a little time with a brochure template or pay a graphic designer to prepare a nice print out for you. Don't skip on presentation here.
- Consider creating weekly meal plans that you can easily customize for certain type of clientele like high carb families, vegetarian singles or Atkin dieters.
- Add to your menu offers for special cooking events like party dinners, romantic weekend breakfasts, or private gourmet dinner lessons.
- Whenever possible, bring samples of your dishes to a client consultation.
Not only do samples make it easier for clients to decide on meals, but it's a kind gesture that will leave a good impression.
- If you have a client who is really picky about ingredients, offer to discuss your recipes to select what is most appropriate to meet the need.
In the event that you have clients who want you to prepare recipes of their own, let them know that you can't establish a total price for the meal until after you've gone shopping for the ingredients and prepared the meal at least once.
You can give her an educated guess, but it's far better to be accurate.
- A Day In The Life Of A Pesonal Chef
- On Friday you consult with your client and she decides to have you show up Monday morning at 10 AM to prepare and freeze 3 meals for her family.
- On Friday you make a list of the ingredients to be purchased and decide which shops you'll need to visit to purchase the ingredients.
- You wake up at 5 AM Monday morning. By 6 AM you've packed your car with the necessary equipment, including pantry items and a Styrofoam box filled with ice, if you know that you'll be purchasing perishables and be on the road for several hours, buying ingredients for this and other clients.
- You're first to arrive to some grocery stores, where you start developing rapport with the owners and the staff. This will help you get better deals in the future.
You face less of a crowd and more available food, while you shop only for the ingredients that you need. Remember that you aren't getting paid for the time you spend shopping. Shop at a fast clip.
- Always select the freshest produce.
Most stores have a cyclical inventory method for their products. Older veggies, fruits and breads, practically anything that has a short expiration date, are brought to the top of the pile and newer products are placed at the bottom. Reach for the back or grab products from underneath piles to get the freshest items.
Befriend grocery shop workers, produce workers, butchers, seafood distributors and bakers in your area. Let them know about your business and how much you appreciate their good quality food. People are grateful when they receive thanks for the work they do, and often give you inside knowledge about how to get better products.
Ask them about the times when to expect fresh produce at their store. Get tips from them on how to distinguish the best and most fresh items.
If you build a solid relationship with a local store and become a regular customer, see if you can get a discount on your purchases.
- Arrive to your client's home at the appointed time or preferably a little earlier.
- Put any perishable ingredients immediately into the fridge or freezer.
- Prepare the kitchen for work.
Have a box or bin that will hold all your ingredients in one place so you won't be running around the kitchen looking for them. Be sure to return them to the same place where you found them. You don't want your clients to complain that they can't find their own ingredients after you've been to their kitchen.
Pull out your cooking tools and set them up in designated places in the kitchen so that you know where they are when you need them. Put them all in the same place after you're done using them, so that you collect them together in a pile and not lose any of them.
- Start going through your "step-by-step" process for preparing the meal and stick to the process. Do not experiment on client's time!
- Always clean up after yourself while cooking.
Don't allow spills to go uncleaned. You'll save yourself a lot of time if you clean spills immediately and wash tools as you stop using them. Plus this habit will provide you with an optimal work environment.
If possible, wash any pots or pans that you use immediately after usage, else put them into hot, soapy water to keep the food from hardening.
- Store the meals appropriately after you have completed cooking. If any meal requires special instruction, leave a note at an agreed place, such as hanging from a magnet on the fridge, for the client to read.
Avoid storing hot or very warm food in the fridge immediately after you've cooked it. Let it cool close to room temperature, otherwise it will collect condensation inside the container in the fridge. This will affect its quality before the client tries it.
To cool food to room temperature faster use a hand-held fan to speed up the cooling process. You could also leave the food in a pot or container and place it in icy water for a few minutes.
Put food in well sealed, small containers. This prevents air from entering and spoiling the food. Before sealing the container remove all air from it.
Place a label on the container with the name of the dish, the date you cooked it, an estimated expiration date and brief reheating instructions.
When you cook and freeze a meal for you client, it's important that on the label you also give step-by-step instructions on the reheating process, such as "Toss bag into boiling water for 5 minutes" or "Reheat oven to 450-degrees. Place contents in casserole. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of shredded mozzarela cheese. Bake for 10 minutes."
Personal chefs provide basically two services to their clients:
When you meet with your client for the first time, be sure to establish which service you will be providing.
Personal chefs primarily cook and freeze meals for their clients. Coming to a home to cook a meal for immediate consumption is usually done mainly for special occasions like dinner parties because it takes more effort and time. It's a premium service.
During your consultation listen to your client's needs, understand her preferences, and set expectation for the services that you'll be providing.
Your client's menu will be entirely based upon the information that she provides you at this consultation so be thorough in your discussion.
Make a list of questions to ask that will give you the information you need to establish a menu and meal plan for your client. Here are some questions that may be helpful:
Why is your client asking for your service?
Does your client want meals to be frozen for later or would she rather you cook a meal for immediate consumption?
Consider that visiting with a client to cook a meal for immediate consumption is equivalent to giving this person a restaurant experience at home. This is how you should explain the service.
This level of attention requires higher compensation for the extra time and effort involved than when you're simply preparing a meal to freeze or refrigerate for reheating and later consumption.
Does your client have any food allergies or sensitivity to certain food?
- It's critical to find out early on whether your client or anyone in her household has any type of food intolerance or if there are particular types of food or meal styles that neither one likes. This way you can avoid proposing them in your menu.
Which type of food does your client like and which type dislike?
- Give your client an opportunity to indicate which ingredients are most favored and in what combination. Find out how willing the client is to trying out new food arrangements. Perhaps the client hates raw broccoli and prefers cabbage, but she might be willing to try broccoli if prepared in a stew rather than a salad.
Does your client have preferences for certain ethnic foods?
- Inquire about ethic food preferences or requirements. Some clients may not be permitted to eat red meat or pork for religious reasons. Some may require that beans be prepared with lard or not at all. Find out what the ethnic or cultural preferences might be and determine whether you can deliver to them.
What meals will you cook for your client?
There is a number of ways to go about finalizing a meal plan with your client.
One method is to listen to your client's needs and preferences, then present your menu to determine which dishes best fit her expressed needs.
Create a meal plan on the spot based on what you can make available from your pre-existing menu.
A second method is to listen to your client's needs and preferences, then offer to create a meal plan based on the information received.
After the consultation research and organize a meal plan, and email it to your client for confirmation.
A third method is to listen to your client's needs and preferences, then put together a meal plan based on the information received. But offer to show up on an appointed day to begin cooking.
There's no confirmation on your client's part about the meal plan since, for some clients, the factor of trust will rule their judgment. They will be willing to let you decide the meals that they should eat.
Therefore, be flexible and come prepared to try any of these methods depending on the kind of prospective client that you meet.
What days will you come to cook and what hours will you work?
A client might want you to show up on Monday to cook and freeze meals for the entire work week, rather than show up everyday Monday through Friday.
Another client might want you to show up early in the morning 3 times per week to prepare supper, while another might prefer you to show up only after 6 PM to prepare next day's breakfast.
You have to know when you want to work and how to deal with perishables. Set up a fixed schedule for preparing your client meals and insist on keeping to schedule.
Some meals cannot be rushed. Frozen meats take a certain amount of time to defrost. Some legumes take a long time to boil. You need to stick to schedule.
If, for example, you are going to freeze a food that you prepared, then you'll want to know how many servings to freeze on a single occasion to make possible the right amount of food for consumption later in the week when the client defrosts the entire meal.
You set up all these expectations with your client during the scheduling discussion.
How will you enter your client's home?
- Find out whether your client will let you enter the premises unannounced or scheduled days and whether you will need a key. If you're given a key, purchase a key safe where to keep it.
Always receive written permission to enter a client's home and list in the written form the purpose of your visit and what you are explicitly permitted to do while on the premises.
Does your client's kitchen have the appropriate cooking tools?
Take a tour of your client's kitchen. Note any tools you may have to bring yourself. Also scope out your work space and visualize the best areas in the kitchen to accomplish your cooking.
Kindly ask your client to leave her kitchen clear of clutter before you arrive to begin cooking. You don't want to come to a kitchen with a dirty table and dishes piled in the sink, it won't allow you to work properly.
Does your client have storage space in her freezer and fridge?
If there is not enough room for freezing, you and your client will have to discuss other options for storing food. Also make sure your client has enough storage-ware to freeze the food properly.
How will your client pay for your services?
Perhaps you could work it out so that your client pays a deposit upfront to pay for groceries, and the rest is paid after you finish with the cooking.
Whatever the case, ensure that your client is happy with the payment agreement, and that it gives you income on a reasonable basis.
What is your client's contact information?
Get your client's contact phone number and email. You'll want to confirm your arrival with your client 24 hours before you show up to cook.
If you know that your prospective client leans toward a particular service, then before showing up at the consultation prepare a trial menu or meal plan to work from.
Example: You have a prospective client call you for a consultation because she has an upcoming anniversary party.
Prepare a menu made out for an anniversary event with descriptions and pictures of the food you could make. This makes it easy for the client to choose and visualize your services.
Established personal chefs usually have a menu with over 200 dishes. That's more than some restaurants!
But don't feel overwhelmed, they didn't start out with that many dishes. They were beginners once too you know.
A menu with 200 dishes is a nice goal to reach in a year, but for starters a menu with a dozen or so scrumptious dishes isn't bad.
The trick is to keep trying new recipes and techniques. The more you are engrossed in cooking, the quicker your confidence grows and your menu flourishes.
Here are some helpful guidelines for organizing your menu:
Since the information provided so far is probably a bit overwhelming, here's a detailed example of what you are likely to experience during a cooking assignment:
Clean your client's kitchen.
If your client has cleaning equipment, then use them to do the cleaning work. Otherwise pull out your own cleaning tools and get busy.
Clean all your cooking tools and put them back in their respective storage containers. Clean your work area stove, oven, table, counter, sink, microwave, etc.
Use boiling water to sanitize any area that might contain bacteria. Go over everything with sanitation wipes.
Leave your signature.
On your client's table or counter leave a small sticky note with a few words of thanks and gratitude for having the opportunity to serve her. Leave some candy or little treat to go with the note. You'll find that a small gesture like this leaves a huge impression.
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