BUILDING YOUR CLIENT BASE


UPDATE: July 2016 - The Chef Alliance no longer offers retail gift certificates through LifeExperiences, Samba Days or Chef Experiences.  Instead, Chefs can now market their services directly through retail partners, giving them more control of their brand, their price-point, their profit margins etc.


As with any new business, getting clients to book your services is a major source of concern.  What is the best way to go about it?  Is it to advertise in the local newspaper, hand out flyers at a nearby train station, or do you go to networking events?  


Over 10 years ago (since 2004), we at The Chef Alliance recognised this as a major barrier for Chefs looking to get into the Personal Chef business.  Hence, the birth of Chef Experiences.  


Chef Experiences markets the services of Chefs who are part of The Chef Alliance across Canada, helping them to grow their business without much effort, hence allowing them to focus on what they do best - cook great food!  


This is achieved in a number of ways - 

  • by marketing Chefs' profiles in various websites
  • by marketing Chefs' profiles through social media
  • by selling gift certificates in 5000+ retail stores
  • by selling gift certificates through online retailers
  • by offering gift certificates through rewards programs such as Airmiles and Aeroplan
  • by booking Chefs for events to fill their work calendars


Since member Chefs have liability insurance and are actively in the Personal Chef business, it is a win-win situation.


One concern of Chefs accepting these events is that they would typically charge their clients more for similar events.  The following are just a few of the soft costs of doing business that are overlooked when these Chefs are ‘pricing’ services for their clients, but which we have to factor into the remuneration (or amount paid to Chefs):


Liability insurance

Believe it or not, but there are chefs who don't invest in this important business cost, leaving them open to financial ruin if they are sued, or cause damage to a client’s property; chefs are covered for all events booked through our office, taking this fear out of the equation.


Marketing

Our job postings are generally for guaranteed clients, since they are in possession of gift certificates; no time is wasted ‘selling’ or explaining your services to the client.  Once you are assigned an event, thee is no need to compete with other chefs.  The same cannot be said for other potential clients who may contact you directly.  Also, remember that most of the Job Postings are gift certificates that have been sold in retail stores; as such, marketing fees paid to these retail stores has to be factored in.  These can often be upwards of 30%.  If you're familiar with selling your services through Groupon, Teambuy etc, which take over 50% of the retail price offered on their website, then you should be aware of this type of structure.

Administration

We gather much of the information required to conduct the event prior to assigning the event to a chef; this saves the chef time during the consultation process.  We also provide the client with information about you, making them more likely to hire you again in the future.

Credibility

Being part of The Chef Alliance, as well as our retail affiliates who sell our ‘Chef Experiences’ (Shopper’s Drug Mart, RBC Visa Rewards, Aeroplan, Airmiles... ) gives your Chef business added credibility than Chefs with no alliances.


Fill Your Calendar

Most importantly, however, is that Chefs must remember that these are jobs that they would not normally have had access to, since the Clients cannot book with the Chefs directly.  Chefs only respond when they have an opening in their schedule, so they are filling in time when they would not have been working.  ​There is no pressure to respond to Jobs; Chefs simply respond when they are available for something that has been posted.  


Gain a Client

Being given the opportunity to introduce your service and skills to a new group of clients is better for your business than holding out for a higher paying event which may never materialise and sitting at home with no income coming in for the day.  You also get to promote your service for the 'next time' they need a Chef.





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NEED INSURANCE?


PROTECT YOU & CLIENTS

FOR LESS

WITH


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