Every December Candy and I put together posts designed to help you address the big looming change in the calendar and get a fresh start on the new year. Some people want to build their business, some want to expand services. Others want to identify new ways to help their clients—perhaps bringing health or nutrition expertise to a specific range of people or simply deciding they want to be more efficient and rent commercial kitchen space for prep. And some chefs are looking to find more life/work balance for themselves.

Whatever your new ideas are for 2018, we want to help. We can start with the basics, getting you more focused with business plans that will help guide you through the year as well as a checklist for prepping for what’s coming. We can help you figure out marketing, if that’s an issue. We can provide you with inspiration from fellow members if you’re interested in specializing in a specific type of client or healthcare issue.

You get the idea. Since we’ve written about all these over the years I thought I’d put together a round up of these posts for you that are just as fresh and relevant now as when they were first written.

General Review:

End of Year Checklist: Start here for the basics—from reviewing and updating your business plan to reviewing your equipment and organizing records for taxes.

Making Changes in 2017? Tell Your Clients Now!: Candy addresses how to talk to clients about issues like price increases or other changes in service.

Time for Your Year-End Business Review: Candy’s advice for reviewing the past year and making plans for what you want to create in the new year—from how to enjoy your business more, evaluating your income streams, and marketing.

Is a Commercial Kitchen Right for You?: Most personal chefs travel to clients’ homes to prep meals, but some chefs are opting to rent commercial kitchen space. Here’s why and how.


Five Venues for Marketing Your Personal Chef Business: If you’re looking for marketing inspiration, check out these tips.

Can Public Speaking Help Your Business?: Members offer tips for getting started in public speaking

Are You YouTube Ready?: Here’s why you should start doing video to market your business—and how to do it, from fellow chefs.

Five Essential Marketing Tools for Personal Chefs: We get down to the basics, from photography and business cards to a Facebook page, good website, and chef’s coat.

Marketing Your Business Through Williams-Sonoma Chef Demos: Member Anne Blankenship explains how she got into doing demos at the retailer and how it works.


Serving Clients with Dementia: Christine Robinson and Dennis Nosko of A Fresh Endeavor Personal Chef Service talk about how they work with dementia clients and their family.

Cooking for Patients with Cancer: Member Gloria Bakst explains how she helps clients with cancer.

Cooking for Special Diets: Tom Herndon of Hipp Kitchen gives insights on cooking for clients with special needs.

How to Create a Vegan Menu for Clients: Here we learn from Jim Lowellbach of Custom Provisions about how he developed a vegan menu for clients.

Cooking for Seniors: Do seniors need personal chefs? Yes, and here’s why and how to best serve them.

Taking on Special Diets: A Personal Chef Challenge: Food sensitivities?: Yes, you can handle this. Learn how.

These are just some of the many posts we’ve written over the years to help you go further in your business and meet your life and professional goals. We have search capability so if you’re looking for more information, put it in the search engine and see what else comes up.

And if you have any questions or concerns about running your personal chef business, give Candy a call or shoot her an email. She loves to hear from you!

What have you got planned for 2018? Anything we can help you with?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

And if you are a member and have a special talent to share on this blog, let us know so we can feature you!



Back in March we talked about the idea of  having YouTube videos as part of your marketing arsenal. APPCA member Beth Volpe of Savory Eats by Beth let us know that she just did an online video for an L.A. radio show, discussing ways to eat healthy even with a busy schedule. Beth, who earned a certificate from Escoffier Online Culinary Academy, uploaded the videos to her website and they’ve been garnering views. We think this has been a great way for her to promote her business and introduce herself and her skills to potential clients.

We asked Beth to share with fellow members her experience making the videos. We wanted to know how the show found her, how she prepared, how she decided on the topics to cover, and how it felt to be on camera. We also asked her what she learned from the experience and what may come next. So, here’s Beth’s response:

I was contacted by a representative of Lunch with The Finance Bunch, an online radio show that features entrepreneurs in different fields.  I was asked to do a cooking show featuring recipes that would be easy for a busy working person to prepare and from that meal, make another meal for the following night.  They wanted budget friendly recipes.  They found me through a Google search and confirmed their decision after viewing my website.

As far as preparation was concerned, I searched my database for recipes that I know are easy, fast and budget friendly.  I didn’t prepare myself for being on camera since I really have not had experience on camera other than a demo that I did a couple of years ago.  That was live.  This was pre-recorded.  They shared with me the process once I got there.  While it wasn’t live, I operated as if it were.  The biggest problem I had was looking into the right camera.  I was forever looking at the crew in the room and talking to them as opposed to talking into the camera.  Sometimes I was talking into the food camera. 

There were little goofs that most people would not notice.  Like showing how to cut a tomato and putting the diced tomato into my trash bowl.  I caught it right away but I am not sure the regular person would.  I knew that the cameras would stop rolling once the food was placed in the oven.  Even though the host set this up as if they were visiting my kitchen, it was not my kitchen.  The oven actually turned off each time I increased or decreased the temperature.  I’ve never seen that happen before so my food took longer than expected to cook.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I don’t think the host was that familiar with her oven either.  They edited the taping but that was a bit of a surprise.  The host wanted well-done meat.  It was not well done when I took it out but not sure well-done meat would have looked very good on camera. 

I really enjoyed doing the video.  I wasn’t nervous at all.  It was my first time doing something like this and I did learn from it and think the next time will be easier. I would love to do more videos.

My son Brian helped me promote the video via my Facebook business page, which took people directly to my website where they could view all four parts of the video. He did all kinds of little tweaks to personalize the video.  We have been tracking it with Google Analytics which is a great way to see how many people are accessing that page on my website.  I’ve had over 100 new people visiting that page on my website just to view the video.  I was also interviewed by the host during the show and it gave me an opportunity to talk about the personal chef profession and my niche which is people that have dietary restrictions. 

One thing I did learn from all of this is that social media is so necessary if you want to get your business known.  I am on FB and I have my website.  However, I don’t use Twitter or Instagram.  We decided to hire a social media person who can manage this for us and put my name out there in places I have not explored yet.

Do you create videos or do TV/online appearances to help promote your business? Tell us your experience and how it’s impacted your visibility.

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

And if you are a member and have a special talent to share on this blog, let us know so we can feature you!

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