Private Chef Daily Routine

by Alex Tishman

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on How To Become A Private Chef.

Highlights:

  • The benefit of being a private chef is autonomy and the ability to create your own schedule based on your personality, needs, and desires.
  • Private chefs can earn up to $50K per year, and more if willing to put in the work. Income comes from private events, classes, and demos.
  • As you gain in confidence, skills, and prestige, you’ll be able to increase the amount that you charge per event.
While it may seem like you have greater control over your destiny and a free-and-easy routine working as a private chef, the truth is that your days will need to be structured in order to be successful. The benefit of being a private chef is having the ability to have a looser schedule than someone working in the public sector.

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Highlights:

  • The benefit of being a private chef is autonomy and the ability to create your own schedule based on your personality, needs, and desires.
  • Private chefs can earn up to $50K per year, and more if willing to put in the work. Income comes from private events, classes, and demos.
  • As you gain in confidence, skills, and prestige, you’ll be able to increase the amount that you charge per event.
While it may seem like you have greater control over your destiny and a free-and-easy routine working as a private chef, the truth is that your days will need to be structured in order to be successful. The benefit of being a private chef is having the ability to have a looser schedule than someone working in the public sector.

The trade-off is that you have to manage yourself and ensure that things get done well, and on time. You must be on top of every aspect of your business. In order to do that, it’s pivotal to establish some kind of regular routine. The one that I have provided below is by no means the way every private chef structures—or should structure—their own week, but it will give you an idea of what to expect if you’re considering pursuing this career track yourself.

Monday Morning Routine
  • I’m typically up by 8 o’clock to check email, calendar, and bookkeeping spreadsheets, in order to stay on top of client deposits, paychecks, expenses, and taxes.
  • If there’s an event that day, I’ll double-check my prep list, equipment, and ingredients, and then print out directions and make a confirmation phone call first thing that morning.
  • Write up any recipes I’ve been working on, in order to have them ready for the classes I’ll be teaching over the course of the week.
  • Make a list of expenses for the week, so that my bookkeeping is broken up into the appropriate categories and I have a good handle on the week to come.
  • Make confirmation calls to ensure that everything is on schedule for whatever event I may have coming up in the next day or so.
Weekly Schedule
  • I typically have 2 to 3 private cooking classes per week, plus 1 or 2 private events like dinner parties, and a demo every couple of weeks. Most weeks, I’ll have events Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
  • Dinner parties are usually on Friday or Saturday nights, with the occasional Sunday brunch.
  • Winery demos are typically on Sunday afternoons.
  • Based on whatever my schedule and planned menus look like for the week, I’ll make multiple shopping lists to ensure that I’m able to stay on track with my budget and bookkeeping.
  • Shopping is an integral part of being a private chef. I typically go on Tuesdays to purchase whatever supplies and equipment I’ll need for the coming week, but may shop as much as 4 times in a single week to get everything I need.
  • Days typically end around 9 or 10 o’clock, once I’ve cleaned up after an event, returned home, and unpacked the car.
  • I generally work about 2 weekends per month, with 2 weekends off to recharge.
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