New demand for personal chefs amid delays in the restaurant industry

A chef who garnishes the main dish of salmon at the client’s house with sauce.

Source: Christine Hyatt

During the coronavirus pandemic, the personal chef business is booming as more consumers choose to eat at home rather than in restaurants.

The National Restaurant Association estimates that the virus will cause the restaurant industry to lose $ 240 billion in sales this year. The blockade has led many Americans to spend more time eating at home, such as delivering meals in restaurants, cooking at home, or the work of a personal chef.

“It’s a shame that Covid-19 has brought our work to the surface, but many people are considering a personal chef or home dining experience as a great alternative to today’s dining experience. Brian Driscoll, co-founder of Driscoll Cuisine & Cocktail Concepts, a personal chef company based in Glendale, Arizona, said:

The American Association of Personal Chefs estimates that 5,000 to 6,000 personal chefs work nationwide. Unlike private chefs, who are employees of a particular household, personal chefs own a business.

The personal chef industry began decades ago due to the demand for outsourcing meal preparation, according to Angela Prince, a membership and partnership manager for the trading group. However, special opportunities have also become part of the business, and some companies, including Driscoll Cuisine, have chosen to focus most of their efforts on attracting these customers.

According to Praser, the industry was in the midst of a boom, causing a pandemic and accelerating this trend.

Many consumers were still uncomfortable with participating when restaurants began to reopen for indoor and outdoor dining across the country, especially if they had a fundamental health condition. The diner may know and trust the members of the party, but not know who occupies the table next door. While the National Restaurant Association disagrees with the findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked eating out to an increased risk of transmitting Covid-19.

Also, how to get to restaurants today is very different from the same period last year. The menu is modest, waiters wear masks, and dining at parties of 6 or more can be illegal.

For consumers celebrating anniversaries and birthdays, a personal chef’s meal helps compensate for the disappointment of missing a typical festival. For example, a bride and groom who moved their wedding to Zoom and canceled their wedding reception instead decided to celebrate with a close family at a more intimate dinner prepared by a personal chef.

Co-founders Monique Hayward and Brian Driscol

Source: Christine Hyatt

“Many demand has stagnated because we lost all the opportunities, such as Easter, Mother’s Day, and graduation,” said Monique Hayward, co-founder of Driscoll Cuisine.

However, not all personal chefs are seeing such a surge in sales. Personal chef Katie Simmons has owned her own Chicago-based business for eight years, specializing in cooking for busy families and people with dietary restrictions.

When the pandemic first occurred, Simmons’ business was cut in half.

“People were really watching their budget, and they were at home and were more inspired by cooking,” she said.

However, in the last few months, the demand from consumers who want to eat, especially with their own health in mind, has returned. Simmons said interest in dinner parties at home is much higher, but he has to decline the request because he lives with people who are at high risk of complications from Covid-19. It was.

The pandemic also caused an economic crisis, with unemployment reaching 7.9% in September and US gross domestic product plummeting 31.4% from April to June.

For some consumers, that may mean that the personal chef is over budget, but Hayward said the cost of the personal chef is similar to the same experience at a restaurant. For example, a five-course dinner with wine pairing created by one of her company’s chefs costs about $ 250 per person, including service and fees.

“People who are already concerned about spending this kind of money on this kind of experience are already a bit more resilient to the recession,” Hayward said. “In general, no one in the target market or demographics is concerned about the cost itself. It was mostly pandemics that scared people.”

Personal chefs who are currently enjoying sales growth can quickly become more competitive with their customers. More restaurant closures mean a flood of chefs who aren’t working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 128,190 chefs and chefs worked in the United States last year, and employment in the food service industry and taverns has plummeted by 2.3 million since February.

“I’m a quality of life manager and I’m definitely seeing a lot of interest from what we call a physical store chef,” said Praser, a crisis thanks to more flexibility and higher time. Quality of life added that the trend began before.

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