March 8, 2023

It's Time to Stop Nickel and Diming Your Clients - Provide an All-Inclusive Experience Instead

It's Time to Stop Nickel and Diming Your Clients - Provide an All-Inclusive Experience Instead

On this week's podcast, I address the issue of nickel and diming your customers. Instead, I offer the alternative, which is providing an all-inclusive experience. I believe that many costs, such as providing china and linens, or covering travel expenses, should be considered a part of the cost of doing business. If you want to position your business as high-end or luxury, you should figure out your total costs, and give the client one number instead of an itemized bill.

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Chris Spear:

Who likes to be nickeled and dimed? You go to purchase those already expensive concert tickets. And at checkout, you have to pay almost double because of Ticketmaster fees. Whether it's getting charged for bags on a flight or being surprised with an"employee wellness fee" on your restaurant check, I think most of us have had enough of this. I see a lot of newer personal chefs and Facebook groups asking about itemizing components, other services such as travel reimbursements, and providing China and linens. Today, I'm going to tackle that. This is Chris and you're listening to Chefs Without Restaurants, the show where I speak with culinary entrepreneurs and people working in the food and beverage industry outside of a traditional restaurant setting. Before we get into this week's show, I want to talk about an exciting giveaway I'm doing right now. This Saturday, March 11. I'm doing a six course collaborative dinner with Chef Matt Collins in Bradley Beach, New Jersey. You might know Matt, I've had him on the show a couple times. Now. There's still a couple tickets left for the dinner, which are $125 a person but for you Chefs Without Restaurants listeners, I'm giving away a pair of tickets completely free. This giveaway is for the 6pm seating this Saturday and brightly beaches near Asbury Park, if you had no idea where that is. So please only enter this contest, if you're definitely going to come because we want to fill all these seats up. All you need to do is send me a DM on Instagram at Chefs Without Restaurants. That's it, no jumping through hoops, just let me know that you want to come. I'll be choosing a winner by this Friday morning at 9am. Eastern time. And for all those who are interested and enter and don't win, I still think we're gonna have a couple seats left if you want to purchase tickets. Okay, no sponsor message this week. So let's just get into the show. To address this right off the bat, I want to say that I'm not talking about crazy requests when I talk about including everything. What I'm talking about is what I consider the cost of doing business. Every business has its startup costs and things that I think should be included in their basic service. Now, while you're definitely free to do whatever you want, I'd like you to think about making your experience all inclusive. This might change depending on your brand and how you want to position yourself in the market. And I plan to do an episode on branding and positioning at some point in the future. If you offer a less expensive service, then this might not apply to you. Just today, I had a customer reach out to me for a dinner, her budget was 20 to $30 a person, she's definitely not my ideal client and I passed on the job. I don't actually know many chefs who do dinners for people with budgets like this, but I wouldn't expect that you'd be providing China for free of charge. If you're even doing a dinner like this. For for those of you doing dinners that are in the 100 to $200 and up range. I don't think it's unreasonable for you to purchase China. It doesn't have to be fancy, you can go to Ikea or goodwill, drop maybe a couple 100 bucks. Again, I think it's the cost of doing business. But I think it's something that's nice and can definitely set you apart. The same with linen napkins, I bought some pretty basic ones on Amazon. They're about $1 Each, they hold up for a few dinners, and it's not really a big deal for me to wash them at home. Again, I think it's something that sets me apart. And I don't charge extra for this. I've always said that I provide a restaurant experience. And when you go to a restaurant, they don't make you bring your own China or charge you a China service fee, at least not yet. The same with mileage. Let's say you're going to be doing a dinner for 15 people at $150 ahead, it's 70 miles away, which is maybe further than you normally travel. So you add a travel fee or you charge for mileage. Why would you do that? I'm not saying that you have to do these things at a loss but build it in if you would normally charge $100 for dinner or 150. But it's further away than you normally travel, tell the client that dinners are 125 ahead if your price is normally 100 or 175 ahead, the difference should more than cover for the gas. I'm just recommending that you don't quote them $100 ahead and then tell them there's a travel fee. And then tell them there's a fee if you bring China or rent China, I just think that's kind of tacky. And people don't really like that. I know I don't I saw someone saying today that they are charging like a$15 fee if they have to bring chafers Yeah, I guess if you have to rent them or chafers are expensive, I bought a couple of us chafers at a restaurant supply store. And it was totally worth the investment. Again, I think when you have a business there are some things that you just have to buy. And that's how I look at this. You know, write it off on your taxes as a business expense and within a couple of months, you know or yours that worst case scenario, it'll pay for itself. This is just really short episode today. This is all I wanted to do was come and talk about this because again, I see it over and over in Facebook groups when people ask for advice on starting personal chef business and people DM me all the time about this. So what are your thoughts? I've talked to a number of guests. Most of my guests also agree that should be wrapped up in a package price. But like I said, I also want to hear your opinions. What are you doing what's worked, what hasn't? Let me know you know where to find Mi Instagram at Chefs Without Restaurants or send me an email at chefs without I have a lot of recorded interviews in the can that I just need to edit and get out there. So we will be back to those really soon. I look forward to sharing those with you. In the meantime, thanks so much for listening, and I hope you have a great week. Go to chefs without To find our Facebook group, mailing list and check database. The community is free to join. You'll get gig opportunities, advice on building and growing your business and you'll never miss an episode of our podcast. Have a great week.