As I am always saying in my webinars, FB lives and in my group, looking for extras is the best way to serve your guests better and earn more money doing it. Having a private chef in your vacation rentals for one night of added luxury is an extra that most guests will remember for long!
If you are listing your place on one of those platforms for vacation rentals, you might have notice that they offer travelers those extras.
To attract direct guests, mentioning having a private chef available on request for your vacation rental is definitely a plus to be added to your website!
Being able to create long-lasting memories for your guests should be the goal as that way they will come back to your place again and again or they will tell their friends about this amazing place when they come back.
Today, I had the chance to interview for you, Amaryllis a plant-based private chef in London, in the United Kingdom.
Let’s see her story and tips about being a private chef for vacation rentals
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started being a private vegan chef?
I moved to the UK and realized that I didn’t want to do the typical ‘office and 9 to 5’ job after.
I was a passionate home cook, vegetarian for 6 years and vegan for the past 3, and I absolutely loved everything that has to do with cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.
While working part time, I focused all my energy to learning more and cooking more in my free time.
I started developing my own recipes and menus, tested them on family and friends and my food was not only approved but also praised by all – vegans and meat eaters – this gave me the confidence to open my business and do this full time.
How do you market and promote your plant-based private chef services?
Through vegan markets, eco conscious and eco promoting conferences, online advertisements… But word of mouth is the best marketing tool!
How did you set up your private chef business? What do you think is important when creating such a business?
I already had a lot of things I needed to cook in my own kitchen – all I had to do was get it registered with the council and get a food safety and hygiene certificate.
The things I didn’t have, like disposable crockery and cutlery (which I always make sure is compostable and fully recyclable), signs for farmer’s markets, food warmers and similar, I had to buy.
In the beginning it’s most important to reinvest money earned back into your business and be OK with not earning a living wage for a while – this is where having a support system (money on the side, supportive partner/family) is really important.
How did you stand out from the competition?
This was my mistake – I thought that as a vegan chef you already do stand out from the competition.
But there are two problems here:
a) There are more and more vegan chefs and vegan catering businesses each day. You have to find your own personality and the way you present your self to people has to be unique, but always approachable.
Editor’s note: That’s why I always tell people who are on the fence trying to enter the vegan market for their vacation rentals, to do it NOW, later on, it will be the same as in the Food & Beverages industry, it will be saturated!
b) Meat eaters are very hard to convince to try vegan food. I though – OK, if I cook good, why would anyone refuse to eat it – just because it’s plant-based? – yes, people refuse to eat vegan because they think it will not taste good. You have to convince them it will and it’s not an easy thing to do.
What advice do you have about becoming a private chef for vegan people?
The food has to look good (and of course taste good, but if it doesn’t, what are you doing being a chef? :D) and you have to market it vigorously.
How did you price your services?
I looked at how much I invest in something and how much I want to get in return, and also seeing how the competition prices its services and how much people are willing to pay for what.
Are you only working for vegan people?
No, actually most of my clients are vegetarians and people who are interested in switching from eating meat to incorporating more plant based foods.
My services make it easier to start enjoying vegan food, because, for example, if I’m doing vegan meal preps and my clients particularly like some dishes, I will give them advice on how to cook with those specific ingredients, so they can do it on their own in the future.
It’s not always about profit for me, as I see this business as a form of changing our world as well.
What are your top 5 tips for becoming a private vegan chef?
1. Promote yourself and your services vigorously .
2. Make friends in the industry – attend conferences and socials.
3. Be open to doing multiple private services
4. Make sure to have either private or restaurant experience before applying with a recruitment agency, as their recruitment process demands this.
5. Have a sample menu at hand for family style meals, sit down multi course dinners and finger foods.
Hope you liked this interview! If you are looking for a plant-based chef for your guests with different dietary needs, here is her contact.
Over to you, do you offer extras for your guests in your vacation rentals, have you ever had a private chef?
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