This week I talk about how you can grow your personal chef business using vacation rental properties like Airbnb and VRBO. This has been where the majority of my business has been coming from for the past five years.
I’ve talked about it as part of other podcast episodes but thought it warranted a standalone episode. If you want to make more money cooking as a personal chef or caterer, tune in to find out my top tips for acquiring more customers staying at rental properties.
Do you have tips you’d like to share? Let me know. Connect with me on one of the platforms below.
CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS
Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites
Sponsor- The United States Personal Chef Association
Over the past 30 years, the world of the personal chef has grown in importance to fulfill those dining needs. While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it allowed personal chefs to close that dining gap. Central to all of that is the United States Personal Chef Association.
Representing nearly 1,000 chefs around the US and Canada. USPCA provides a strategic backbone for those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification, and more. It’s a reassurance to consumers that the chef coming into their home is prepared to offer them an experience with their meal. USPCA provides training to become a Personal Chef through our Preparatory Membership. Looking to showcase your products or services to our chefs and their clients, partnership opportunities are available.
Call Angela today at 800-995-2138 ext 705 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for membership and partner info.
Hello, everyone, this is Chris with the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. If this is your first time tuning in, this is the show where I normally talk to guests. They are usually culinary entrepreneurs and people in the food and beverage industry, not working in restaurants. So people like caterers, personal chefs, chefs doing research and development and cookbook, authors and so forth. But today I'm doing this little mini episode, what I really want to talk about is how you can grow your personal chef business using Airbnb. That doesn't have to specifically be Airbnb, it can be verbo, any kind of vacation rental. The show is not endorsed by any of those companies, though I am open to partnerships. So if you're listening hit me up Airbnb and VRBO executives. So this was one of the big things that really transformed my personal chef business, I started to notice a trend with my customers, I was starting to see more people hire me to cook while they were staying at a Airbnb. And as this continued to happen more and more, I thought, Wow, this would be a really great way to keep getting business. And if I can find a way to grow this aspect, I won't really have to spend as much money on advertising. At the time, I was taking a lot of business through thumbtack, that's a whole nother thing. I really don't love thumbtack or recommend them anymore. And it costs a lot of money. So I think we all want to save as much money as we can and get the most return on our time and money. Right. So anyway, let's cut to the chase. How do you do this? First off, if somebody hires you, to cook for them, and they are in an air b&b, I highly recommend you talk to the person who hired you and see if you can get the contact information, will they share an email or a phone number or something some way that you can get in contact with them. The hardest thing when working with Airbnb s and verbose is they don't want the consumer to be able to go outside their system and book these places, which makes sense, right? So you can't really go on the Airbnb website, find a place and contact the property owners directly, you would have to book an experience there. And I guess you could maybe go through the booking process and send them a message. But that can be problematic, you might get banned or blocked. And I don't really recommend doing that. So you go to a place you find out that it's an Airbnb, get the contact information that person. Second of all, when you're in that house, poke around a little bit, I've been to a lot of places that have, whether it be a QR code on the fridge or cards laying out with their contact info, you can probably find the contact info while you're there, whether it be the email, or a website or a phone number. And I'd recommend getting that information so you can get in contact with these people. Because the key to this is you're going to want to be in contact with the people who run these houses. But let's say you haven't been hired at one of these places, and you kind of want to break the seal. Look for places that have a name, you know, 289 Smith Street in Hagerstown, Maryland is not going to cut it. But so many of these places now are kind of wanting to give you this experience and they name their places, you know, I've cooked up places that are called the fingerboard in or the distillery house. And quite often you can Google them and find an independent website or get contact information. And that is a way of kind of going around this whole Airbnb VRBO website system. For me, I've had a lot of success, also finding ones that are not in major metropolitan areas where people would potentially be going out to eat so you know, I live near Washington, DC, people book an Airbnb in downtown Washington, they're probably going to be going out to the restaurants, you know, maybe even ones they can walk to. So I've decided to focus on, you know, for me, and like Virginia wine country, people renting this cool cabin that's kind of out in the middle of nowhere. You know, they have great wineries, but not necessarily a place where everyone wants to go out to dinner that evening. Now, let's go back to the part about you've got the contact info for the people who run this house this place. What do you do? First of all, I recommend everyone have some kind of media kit. They're really easy to make. I did mine in PowerPoint. It's like five pages of slides. If anyone has questions or wants to see a template, reach out to me and I can give you some guidance but my Has my headshot. It's got basic info on the experience how it works pricing, I have a sample menu, I have some reviews, a couple of pictures, and then a page with all my contact info and social media, make it real lean and mean, you know, five slides at most. And send that to these people, and let them know what you do say, I'm a personal chef, I would love to come to your property and cook for your guests when they stay there. Pitch it like it's a value add, you know, when my wife and I go places, we often look at restaurants, because we love going out. So if you know we're looking to stay somewhere, and I can't see any place that I would want to eat while we're away, I might not book that place. And I'm sure there's other people like that. So that's how I propose it, say, hey, you've got a beautiful place, I would love to be able to come and provide a culinary experience for your guests. Would you mind sharing this info with them? When they book, it would be simple enough for them to just take that five page, PDF, PowerPoint, whatever, and just send it as part of the welcome message to people staying there. This has worked over and over and over for me. Just last week, I did three events in six days working for the same Airbnb owners, they have two properties in the area, you know, you can totally build your business on this if you're in an area that has Airbnb ease and places to stay. A couple more bits of advice here. One thing I'd say is you can always offer to go cook a complimentary dinner, I've done that before, if it is going to be really beneficial for you to start being maybe the preferred chef, one of these properties, go to a dinner for two or even four for the people who own this place. For what I consider a very small financial investment, you know, get in there and show them what the food is like what the experience is like, it might make it easier for them to recommend your service. And another thing if they are one of these places that you have realized is on social media, tag them, don't you love that. When you do a dinner and your customers post up on Instagram, showing your food, do the same thing. If I'm at the fingerboard in cooking dinner for guests there, I will take pictures of that dinner post on social media and tag that business the fingerboard in they will most likely repost that or share it. I know it's 2022. And so many of you know how to do this. But I did want to just make sure that that was something that you were thinking about. Beyond that I don't really have much today. I just have talked about this a number of times both on my podcast and when I've been guests on other podcasts and people are always asking me to expand on it. So I thought rather than kind of bury it in another episode, I would just drop this little mini episode this week. So we could talk about this. And if anyone has any questions, you know where to reach me, Chefs Without Restaurants on Instagram, send me a DM or chefs without email@example.com. And I was so excited today to get right into this. I jumped right in and didn't do all my normal intro stuff. But I do want to say the show would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. My key sponsor this year has been the United States personal chef Association. I would really love if you stick around and listen to the ad that will be coming up just in a minute. And one last thing. Please check out chefs without restaurants.org You'll find links to how to sign up for our email list, how to join the private Facebook group and all kinds of other good stuff. So go there. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I hope it brought so much value to you. If you really love this, give me one of those five star reviews on Apple podcasts. And please stick around for this word from this week's sponsor the United States personal chef Association. Over the past 30 years, the world of the personal chef has grown in importance to fulfill those dining needs. While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it allowed personal chefs to close that dining gap. Central to all of that is the United States personal Chef Association, representing nearly 1000 chefs around the US and Canada. USPCA provides a strategic backbone to those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification and more. It's a reassurance to consumers that the chef coming into their home is prepared to offer them an experience with their meal. USPCA provides training to become a personal chef through our preparatory membership. Looking to showcase your products or services to our chefs and their clients. partnership opportunities are available. Call Angela today at 1-800-995-2138 extension 705 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for membership and partner info. Go to chefs without restaurants.org To find our Facebook group, mailing list and Chef database. The community is free to join you'll get good opportunities advice on building and growing your business and you'll never miss an episode of our podcast Have a great week