If you are especially talented in the kitchen and enjoy preparing meals for other people, a career as a personal chef could be a great match for you. More and more people are turning to personal chefs for menu planning, and to prepare healthy or gourmet meals on a regular basis. You can choose to work independently or with a team of other personal chefs to take part in a very rewarding career. Here's how to become a personal chef.
Choose a specialization. You can become a personal chef for any type of food, but if you want to get started in building your own business right away, specialization is a better choice. You might choose to specialize in only vegan food, for example, or focus strictly on desserts.
Start researching recipes and menus. You can attend classes in menu planning or simply educate yourself on how to develop complete menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Practice, practice, practice. Sharpen your cooking and baking skills so that you can become as efficient as possible with your technique, and explore different recipes and menus to accommodate for various tastes.
Join an online personal chefs network. You may be able to find services and resources for independent chefs looking for ways to build their own business. This can help you get started in attracting new clients and finding projects to work on.
Create a business. If you're ready to branch out on your own, establish a business from your home or retail kitchen so you can start taking orders immediately.
Build a client base. You'll need to start networking with other culinary professionals and community members to share the news about your business. Create business cards and invest in some basic marketing to get your name out in the community.
Keep track of referrals. Ask new clients to refer you to others so you're always busy with new customers. Create a referral tracking system where people can get a special discount for referring a friend; this can help you build your business much more quickly.
Approach new clients. Find out who may need personal chef services in your community by networking and staying involved with your neighborhood. Word-of-mouth marketing can really help you promote your services.
Ask previous or current customers for a testimonial. If you've established a website or brochure, don't be afraid to include testimonials of happy customers. Their recommendations can help support your business and attract new clients.
Be patient as your business grows and you work on getting new clients; the whole process can take time, but is also very rewarding. Keep up to date with food trends and creative insights form the culinary world by reading publications and collecting recipes. Consult a nutritionist or food expert if you're interested in creating healthy menus or recipes for weight loss.
Make sure you are certified and licensed to serve and prepare food in your community; check with your local chamber of commerce for details on setting up your business.