Home Based Job: Personal Chef


Are you looking for a home based job? Do you have the skills to prepare meals for others? Why not consider becoming a personal chef. This is your opportunity to make money while you work from home, doing what you love to do: cook.

Personal Chef Versus Catering Service

It's important to understand the difference between offering a catering service and becoming a personal chef. Some individuals and groups cannot afford to hire a full catering service. Their budgets and events are small, and therefore they look to hire a personal chef to cook on  site. They provide the kitchen and supplies. You may in some cases be asked to shop for supplies, in which case you would charge for your time.

A catering service is expected to get the supplies and prepare the meals off site. Therefore, a catering service owner must have a kitchen (or access to one) that meets the license requirements and inspections of your state's department of health. This makes start-up and operating costs more expensive than becoming a personal chef.


Word-of-mouth marketing is crucial when you freelance as a personal chef. Your reputation is your most valuable asset. You'll want to decide the types of clients you want to serve so that you can establish yourself in that community and make a name for yourself. Personal chefs cook for individuals, groups, businesses, corporations, associations and colleges. How you determine who to serve will depend on your skills, abilities and passion. For example, if you love cooking organic meals on a small scale, then you might take jobs cooking for individuals in their home. However, if you enjoy managing larger projects, then you should seek freelance jobs with corporations.


You can charge anywhere from $15 to $60 an hour working as a personal chef. Your fees vary depending on your location, types of meals requested and the budgets of your clients. In addition to your hourly rate, you will charge clients for any cooking supplies they ask you to buy. Be prepared to estimate your fees in the instances where you'll bid on a job. Research the competition and past projects that have won bids to help you determine the correct bid amount.


There are many ways you can make working as a chef a full-time home based job. You can teach cooking classes. For example, a local retail store may want to market a particular kitchen appliance or ingredient. As part of their marketing strategy, they may hire a personal chef to teach a cooking class to shoppers, using the items that the store wants to sell. Also, you can establish yourself in a particular community by cooking for their special occasions and other events. When you provide quality customer service and great food, people will pursue you, and your existing customers will hire you repeatedly.

A personal chef is a home based job that is ideal for anyone who loves to cook and serve others. However, you have to be creative and pursue opportunities if you want to work from home full-time. The key is to do every job well, so that your clients can do your marketing for you, while sending you repeat business.


Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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