How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business


From estimating your start-up costs and finding clients to cooking for special needs and staying profitable, this book takes you through every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based personal chef business. Whether you’re just starting to learn the trade or are an experienced chef looking to be your own boss, each chapter ...
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From estimating your start-up costs and finding clients to cooking for special needs and staying profitable, this book takes you through every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based personal chef business. Whether you’re just starting to learn the trade or are an experienced chef looking to be your own boss, each chapter will guide you on how to build your own successful personal chef business.
Look for useful charts and worksheets throughout the book, including:

Equipment Checklist
Sample Menus and Recipes
Client Worksheet
Client Questionnaire and Interview
Sample Invoice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762763665
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Series: Home-Based Business Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 542,575
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Vivaldo, whose Globe book How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business is in its 6th edition, worked as a personal chef while writing that book. In the cooking classes she teaches across the country, she meets students at every level and has seen a marked increase in interest in the personal chef field. She is an experienced chef and caterer with a degree from the California Culinary Institute.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
So You're Interested in Becoming a Personal Chef     1
Personal Chef: A Definition     2
The Traits of a Good Personal Chef     3
Who Hires a Personal Chef     4
The Importance of a Culinary Background     5
Different Clients, Different Food     8
Your Personal Chef Personality     10
How This Book Is Organized     12
Creating a Kitchen to Go     13
Getting Ready     13
Getting Your Clients Ready     14
Outfitting Your Portable Kitchen     15
The Importance of a Good Knife     16
Pots and Pans: Used vs. New     16
Dry Pantry Ingredients to Always Have on Hand     17
Food Safety     17
Smart Purchasing: Get to Know Your Local Grocers     22
Working with Suppliers     22
The Next Step     24
Business Plan for the Personal Chef     25
Writing a Business Plan     26
The Legal Side of Food Preparation     33
What You Need to Know about City Ordinances     33
How Your Local Health Department Affects Your Business     35
When You Need an Attorney     36
Insurance: Protecting Yourself and Your Clients     37
Written Agreements     37
When the You-Know-What Hits the Fan     40
What to Cook and How to Charge for It     41
How to Estimate the Right Food Quantities     41
From Planning to Cooking     43
Accounting for the Personal Chef     48
Determining Your Profit     50
Putting It All Together     55
Food Costs and Your Menus     58
Calculating Your Labor     60
Cost of Disposables     60
Reheating Instructions and Nutrition Information     61
Accounting Software     61
Computer Software and the Internet     62
Marketing Your Personal Chef Business     65
Market You     65
The Initial Breakthrough     66
Keeping a Portfolio     66
Defining Your Style, Food, and Credentials     66
Your Public Image: Your Business Name and Logo     67
Dressing the Part     69
Designing Promotional Pieces     71
The Constant (and Fun) Task of Promoting Yourself     73
Getting Referrals and Repeat Business     78
Tracking Your Success: Are You on the Right Road?      78
Client Communications     78
How to Organize Your Day     83
Organizing Your Time     84
Knowing the Basic Cooking Methods     88
Packaging and Labeling     90
Cleaning Up After Yourself     93
Branching Out: Creating Additional Income Streams     95
Creating a Larger Network     95
Expanding Your Business     96
Accepting a Position as a Full-Time Private Chef     97
Catering and Special Events     97
Menus and Recipes     99
Comfort Food     99
Kid Friendly     103
Classic Kitchen     105
Low Carb     107
Low Fat     108
Asian     109
Mexican     111
Italian     112
French     115
Cold Weather     116
Hot Weather     119
Upscale     122
Vegetarian     126
Vegan     128
A Brief Culinary Dictionary     133
Recipe and Menu Resources     143
Useful Weights, Measures, and Guides     149
List of Personal Chefs Interviewed     161
Organizations for the Personal Chef     163
Business Resources     167
USDA Food Pyramid     169
Index     171
About the Author     177
Sample Forms     178
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