One of the first questions we get asked is, “how much does it cost to hire a personal chef?” The answer is, “It depends” because everyone has different needs for and expectations about what’s for dinner. The amount of time it takes to cook a volume of meals and the cost of food are the main variables.
Factors that determine the cost of a personal chef
Some services, like ours at Honest to Goodness Personal Chef Services, charge an hourly service fee plus the cost of groceries, including options for organic or conventional. Other personal chefs in Seattle charge a flat fee for packages based on the number of prepared meals you receive. When a chef cooks in your home versus doing meal delivery, the service fee will be higher because your food preparation is more personalized. You also pay more for a private chef’s years of knowledge and experience in working with special diets if you have that need. Therefore, a realistic range for you to budget for an in-home chef is $250-450 per week plus the cost of food.
These are the factors in determining how much it costs to have someone cook your meals. Keep in mind, you are paying for a service, not just the actual food. Hiring a personal chef is hiring a service that allows you to spend your time on activities other than menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Another consideration to remember when evaluating the cost to having someone cook for you is how much it costs to eat out for dinner several times per week. For instance, in Seattle, the average dinner price for eating out is $30 per person. In 2018, the average for a casual lunch out was $12.93. The average per person price for a meal made your your in-home personal chef is $25.00. Prepared meals can be more or less expensive than this, of course, based on the reasons described above.
Look at the value-adds, not the cost
So far, this post has addressed the cost of a personal chef. Now, let’s look at the value of a personal chef. You can eat nutritious meals at home instead of unhealthy restaurant food. You eat together as a family or as a couple at your preferred time instead of right before bed. Skip the grocery store lines! You eat more variety and a more balanced diet. You have a clean kitchen on your cooking day. Your kitchen gets organized. You might lose weight. You spend less at the doctor.
In closing, how much does it cost not to hire a personal chef?