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Can there be an Airbnb for Personal Chefs?

July 6, 2017

by Gil Eiges, manjya

With a community of thousands of chefs and cooks in Ontario alone, and a growing demand for personal, healthy and local cooking, it’s only natural that such a marketplace would evolve to support the community and industry.

Think of how Airbnb has changed the travel and hospitality industry, it has:

  • Increased the supply and variety of available places to stay
  • Allowed people to make extra money out of their spare rooms and apartments
  • Brought people closer and generated more interpersonal interactions

How can that be applied to the personal chef and catering industry?

Running a Personal Chef business is fun and rewarding but also very challenging. Its three  main challenges are:

  1. Seasonality
  2. The need to constantly market and grow a customer base
  3. Maintaining adequate profitability

A Personal Chef business can have cash flow highs and lows, busy and slow times. Marketing and sales can take a lot of effort, time and money away from your kitchen time. This is where leaning on tools such as manjya helps, as they have the business and marketing expertise that brings clients to Chefs.  Chefs provide the culinary and client service expertise that make clients happy.

Food Starter and manjya have recently partnered to allow the Personal Chef community access to a great cooking facility, as well as provide them an effective marketing vehicle to promote their services and grow their business.

manjya is a simple-to-use, online portal that connects clients with Chefs.  Be it for a busy working family where time to prepare meals is scarce, for a special dinner party at home, or an event at the office, clients are able to find a Chef for their needs.

How does it work?

Clients enter the site and specify their request (this includes the number of people, location, food preferences, allergies, etc.).  The Hire a Chef request form can be found here.  This request goes directly to the in-boxes of Chefs in the manjya network. Each Chef decides whether they would like to submit a proposal to the client for the event, including a customized menu and quote. From there, the client can communicate with the Chef and together, fine-tune the menu and quote. 

The manjya site, just like Airbnb, handles the collection and payment from clients, and follows policies that protect Chefs from risks of non-payment or last-minute cancellation by the client. 

manjya can also help Chefs with menu planning, pricing and other business-related aspects of a small cooking business so that Chefs can make the most of their time, and do what they do best.

Chefs work autonomously from one another, and are completely independent in setting up their menus and pricing, so these bids can vary quite a bit depending on the service the Chef will provide and the level of sophistication they offer. Each client and Chef has their own unique personality and characteristics, making each job uniquely special. 

Chefs who wish to be in the manjya network need to follow the food and safety regulations of Ontario, hold a valid Food Handler Certificate, and an insurance policy (manjya can help with getting insurance in place as well).

Obviously you need to have the love and time for cooking, however, it does not have to be a full time job.  A great benefit is that you can bid for work according to your terms and availability.

About manjya

manjya was created out of a love for people, community and food and to help grow the Personal Chef community and consumption of locally and personally-made nutritious food.

It was co-founded in 2015 by Mia Andrews who is a Personal Chef and founder of the Canadian Personal Chef Association, together with Gil Eiges who is an entrepreneur with diverse experience in the tech industry, a cooking enthusiast and foodie. Stephanie Cudmore, a recent addition to the manjya team, brings years of marketing and social media marketing to the group, and is a Personal Chef herself. 

The manjya service is currently available across Ontario and will be expanding soon across Canada.

Curious about joining manjya?  It’s free to register as a Chef and we are here to help with the process and answer any questions you many have.  Connect with us here or email us at [email protected]

Please read some stories about manjya Chefs on our blog, or on our Facebook page.

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