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Catering Chef Jobs – Five Economic Apps to Consider for a Chef Job Here’s how to navigate gigging opportunities for private cooking, event catering, meal preparation and culinary instruction.
In the wake of COVID-19, many chefs and would-be chefs may be wondering about the future of restaurant work. When restaurants closed due to the pandemic are allowed to return to business, the landscape will undoubtedly look very different. Regardless of whether restaurant jobs for chefs will be limited for some time after the crisis, chefs and culinary students may be able to look to income opportunities in the gig economy.
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The term “gig economy” was coined by journalist Tina Brown in 2009 to describe a growing economic shift in which many workers are giving up permanent employment with a single employer, instead stringing together a series of freelance projects or “gigs” to make a living. In a related interview with NPR, Freelancers Union founder Sarah Horowitz estimates that about a third of the American workforce works this way, including those in the food service industry.
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Over time, this practice of workers looking for gigs instead of work, piecing together a freelance or self-employed existence, has led to a number of websites and corresponding mobile apps that aim to connect freelancers and gig workers with job opportunities. Many of these apps offer special opportunities to chefs, either as full-time freelancers or in addition to a full-time job.
Matt Kelly, founder and CEO of one such app called My Table, recognized a specific need to create freelance opportunities for chefs, along with his culinary school-trained business partner, citing the often intense atmosphere of full-time restaurant employment: “Like My Table is grew and it became obvious that chefs have an even greater need for such a platform that provides a more rewarding and convenient career,” he says. “I think personal chef opportunities are a great option for culinary school graduates or even those still in their academic programs. It offers so much freedom and choice which is important when starting your career.”
MiTable alum and chef Kati Ottomanelli (Health-Supportive, ’20) agrees: “MiTable gives young culinary school graduates the tools to succeed, right from the start. For someone like me who is not attracted to working in a restaurant, MyTable allows me to comfortably cook in my own kitchen for my clients, earn and enjoy at the same time. I knew starting my own private chef business straight out of school would be a challenge and having an app specifically for this purpose really helped me learn and grow as a chef.”
Chef Russell Moss, a career changer, was recruited for a private chef app straight out of culinary school and has built a full-time career out of the business he created this way, most recently working through Thumbtack. He specifically echoes Kelly’s point about the element of freedom in the work. “Oh, absolutely, you can do whatever you want,” he says, in terms of offering private cooking classes, catering or group dinners, and whatever schedule you stick to.
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Economical apps allow a simple interface between chefs and clients, with a lot of information available in the app about both parties before the connection is made: what the chef’s style is, often with sample dishes, as well as the client’s interests in their event. “I can pick and choose clients and I’m able to be very picky,” says Moss. “The clients are the best part and the thing I really enjoy the most.”
Along with Mi Table and Thumbtack, here’s a look at five gig economy apps and the possibilities they offer chefs.
My Table connects chefs with potential clients looking for someone to prepare or deliver a meal, cater an event or offer home cooking classes. Chefs set their own hourly rates and menus, with in-app profiles through which customers can directly select a specific chef. And participation on the platform is extremely flexible: “You can cook for one customer a day, one customer a week, one customer a month or just cook enough to pay the rent and have some spending money.” You set your own hours, cook the meals you love and interact with caring clients on your own schedule,” Kelly says.
Table at Home is also an app that specifically connects private chefs with clients, with a mission to provide authentic, home-cooked meals and experiences. On this platform, clients propose an event, desired menu style and budget. The “event” in this case can be anything from a dinner for two, to a family-style Thanksgiving feast, to a big dinner party, and beyond. Chefs on the Table at Home platform can then bid on a suggested menu for a given event. This allows chefs to adjust their prices accordingly, depending on how hard they want to work a particular event, while clients can also request that specific chefs be included in the offering.
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Thumbtack’s welcome statement on its website is, “Find local professionals for almost anything. Consequently, Thumbtack is a broader economic platform that serves a variety of fields, covering everything from landscaping to coding to dog grooming. Chef capabilities similar to those available in My Table are also in demand on the platform: private chef services, catering and cooking instruction. The site allows potential clients to set filters in their searches to get a list of freelancers that match their needs.
Check out this post on Instagram Celebrate Graduation. Sweet treats are on their way. Book a bakery. A post shared by Thumbtack (@thumbtack) on Jun 12, 2019 at 12:52pm PDT
You might think of Airbnb as just a place to find vacation rentals, but since November 2016, Airbnb Experiences has become a platform for locals around the world to host authentic experiences in their hometowns for interested travelers (and sometimes other locals!) ” Cooking! ” is the #1 experience type on the platform, with over 3,000 opportunities worldwide. Chefs can offer classes in their homes, from complete dinners to teaching specific techniques such as dumplings, truffles or fresh mozzarella. Hosts can also plan group dinners at restaurants or offer themed tours of markets or specialties in their neighborhoods, where the chef’s expertise makes for an especially enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. Hosts set their own personas, as well as the frequency of events.
Knowledge of food is useful in many areas, not just practical cooking. And just as there are plenty of permanent positions for culinary school graduates outside of restaurant kitchens, there are also relevant gigs available. Like Thumbtack, Upwork is a free platform that covers a wide range of industries, but is particularly rooted in digital work. That being said, there are still many opportunities for those with culinary credentials to find projects so inclined. Chefs interested in recipe development and editing, food writing, food styling and photography, or cookbook editing can find opportunities on Upwork. Once you create a profile on the site that indicates your rates and areas of interest, you can bid on available jobs posted by clients. Whether your interests as a chef are purely in cooking or are broad enough to include other aspects of the culinary arts and related fields, gig economy applications provide many opportunities for current or aspiring chefs. but fantastic food for the pupils and students we are privileged to work with — and it is the drive and determination of our people that really make it possible. Our teams are united by a passion to inspire students through delicious and nutritious food and create outstanding educational experiences in schools, colleges and universities across the country.
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If you believe you have the skills, ambition and shared values to help us deliver on our promise, we may have the perfect job for you. From a school kitchen to a facilities management role, explore our diverse range of full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs below and discover the many opportunities available to you at , and you’ll also benefit from being part of the wider Compass Group UK & Ireland.
Can you help us bring great tasting food to pupils and students across the UK? In one of our dynamic school catering jobs, you will play a vital role in enriching the educational experiences of children and young adults with healthy food that suits their tastes and preferences.
We are wholeheartedly committed to creating a safe, secure and inspiring environment for our pupils and students to enjoy nutritious meals and develop lifelong social behaviour. As part of our cleaning and facilities management team, you’ll help us achieve this by looking after the schools, colleges and universities we’re proud to partner with.
We are always looking for motivated people to lead our fantastic teams across the UK. In one of our exciting supervisory or management roles, you’ll help everyone from our catering assistants to our quality control specialists to progress in their roles, whether you’re at one of our independent schools,
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