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topic id 33199: IDEA- Integrity & Balance by Customers & Pros
topic id 32384: Private Chef/Catering Pricing
topic id 32826: Raising prices but do not state what the prices are!!!!!
topic id 26197: Paying twice for the same lead
topic id 25265: Pricing
topic id 24883: The purpose of promotion and set your budget in advance
topic id 22503: Leads
topic id 22064: Questionable leads
topic id 14288: Declined "Leads" charged
topic id 19454: Marketing Executive From Thumbtack Chooses Promoted Lead, Then Radio Silence

Private Chef/Catering Pricing

Hey fellow chefs!

I wanted to share with you some thoughts I'm having on pricing. I realize different cities/towns have a differenty supply and demand circumstances, but in major cities like Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, Miami (I'm in San Francisco) many of you need to start charging more. I've looked at hundreds of profiles and I see chefs willing to do events for $50 per person. This makes sense if the group is over 15 people. But, what if you're contacted by a potential client and they have 9 people and want to book you at $50 per person. So this is $450. Let's do some math. Cooking for 9 people is going to take at least 60-90 minutes of shopping. Then you'll likely need to prep for at least 3 hours. Then you'll be on-site for another 3 hours. Possibly 1 more hour driving to and from the venue, and then the food is going to cost anywhere from $150-$250. Let's say your food cost is $150 ($16.66 per person which is pretty low).

You spend:
1 hour shopping
3 hours on-site
3 hours prepping 
1 hour commuting
$150 for food cost ($16.66 per person)

You charge:
Take out $150 for food. Now we're at $300.
Take out 8 hours of time using the above listed categories and you're making $37.50 per hour. 

Is this worth doing for $37.50 per hour? Once you pay taxes on that it's closer to $26 per hour.

-Dont forget to factor in yearly liability insurance - $300-$1000 per year depending on your circumstances and if you have employees/contractors. 
-Thumbtack fees for getting leads
-Gas or mileage/depreciation
-Health insurance
-Web hosting fees
-Other equipment
-Kitchen rental (if this is applicable to you)

You get the point. All I'm suggesting is everyone raise their prices across the board. Clients have no clue how much goes into pulling off a great event. Where I live, a sandwich, bag of chips and a drink is $20 dollars EASILY. A cut of Prime NY Striploin at a steakhouse is easily $40-$65. Think about your prices and try and keep your food cost below 30%. Get great photos of your food and bring up those prices!

If anyone every wants to talk business or get some help with building a really sound process for getting more customers faster, drop me a note anytime to or contact me through my site at

PS - We've got to push Thumbtack to build a feature where we only accept clients who are willing to hit a minimum amount. For my business, we don't leave the house unless the event itself is going to cost $800. If there was a way to filter for this, I'd have it set. Keep asking for this feature - your business needs it. 

Keep cooking, 


Occupations (2)
4 responses

Re: Private Chef/Catering Pricing

@Miseenplacesf Hi Chef, I dig your menu! You are the only Chef (besides myself) who serves Casarecce. Do you make your own? Also, if you don't mind another question.... what substitution is available for the Harissa?


Keep on Rockin' 

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Re: Private Chef/Catering Pricing

We don’t make our own casarecce, although we could since it would be an easy one to make! That’s great you make yours. Sub for harissa would be Calabrian chili paste from Tutto Calabria. Obviously it would depend on what you’re making though.
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Re: Private Chef/Catering Pricing

@Miseenplacesf Thanks.

Level 4

Re: Private Chef/Catering Pricing

Great information.  Your website looks awesome and your menus are enticing.