This depends a bit on you and how excited you are to try new things. We suggest you put in a fairly general request (maybe just specify the food types you like e.g. Italian, and any you don’t e.g. shellfish) and then see which proposal you like best. Once you have chosen a chef, feel free to work with them to adjust the menu (e.g.change the desert they proposed). You can message them to discuss this, and they just then need to update the proposal
Of course! Often customers will be inspired by a picture or menu on our Inspire me page or see a profile they like. After you submit a meal request, you can specifically invite any chef on our platform to propose on your meal request. Just press the ‘invite’ button.
More than a week is recommend, especially for popular times like a Saturday night or if you want to book a in-demand chef. That being said, last minute ‘day before’ requests can often get picked up by chefs who decide to work last minute.
Generally, a reasonable number of chefs will respond the same day you post your request. Most customers make a decision after getting 2-4 proposals. The key is to make a decision fairly quickly as otherwise there is a greater chance the chef has already accepted another job
There is no charge or commitment if you cancel a request before confirming a booking with a chef through our site
If you cancel after confirmation, there are cancellation charges - 30% of the meal price up until 3 weeks before the meal, 50% for cancellations made between 3 weeks and 48 hours before the meal, and a 100% charge for any cancellation made less than 48 hours before the meal booking time. These charges are to compensate chefs for lost work opportunities and ingredients purchased, and the platform for booking management.
Yes you can, but this needs to be done with the agreement of the chef. The chef has the right to propose a new price, which should be done through the platform. In general, customers are strongly advised not to make last minute changes as it is makes it harder for the chef to deliver a great experience.
As a guest in your home, chefs are advised to take good care of your kitchen and belongings. Accidents can and do happen. Chefs will not be held responsible for accidental breakages like dropped dishes, however they will be held responsible for any deliberate breakages resulting from misuse. If there is a dispute, Table at Home will mediate.
The chef is responsible for cleaning up after preparing the meal, leaving the customer's kitchen in the same state as they found it. This means wiping down kitchen surfaces, putting pots and plates in the dishwasher. Sometimes customers prefer to wash certain delicate items themselves, or not have a dinner party interrupted with plate collection. You should discuss this with your chef.
Table at Home collects payment from you on our site via credit card, and then pays the chef directly. You do not, and should not, pay any monies directly to the chef. The agreed price is all inclusive of ingredients, tips, travel, etc. The experience in your home should be all about the food, not payment.
No. Table at Home has an all inclusive pricing policy so as to make the in home experience as pleasant as possible. The price you paid on our site is the full price to you, no tips or extra payments are needed. Chefs cannot solicit any tips or extra payments. Lack of adherence to this will have the chef immediately removed from the platform.
The chefs that you book through Table at Home are independent private chefs - not catering companies.
The expectation is that they will use your kitchen and cooking equipment, and that you will provide suitable plates, cutlery, etc. for the meal. If you do require the chef to provide or organize these things, then that should be outlined in your request.
After you have confirmed a chef, they will contact you to get an understanding of what cooking and serving equipment you have, and if they need to bring any specialist cooking equipment.
Customer reviews really help chefs build their reputation on the platform, and of course give other customers a sense of what the chef is like.
The day after the meal you will be texted a link to provide a review. Click on this link, and you should be taken to a summary page for your booking (if you are logged on). Press the 'Review chef' button on this page to provide both a star rating and comment for the chef.
If you get stuck, click here for more detailed instrucutions.
Table at Home offers a feature called Group Pay, where a group of friends or colleagues can split the bill for a booking.
The person who submitted the request is required to first confirm the booking, at which time they will receive a 5 digit Order ID in their Meal Confirmation email.
- Share this 5 digit Order ID with the friends whom you want to split bill and have them go to our Group Pay page to provide their payment details. Both you and your friends will receive text confirmations for all confirmed payments
- The confirmed payments from your friends is deducted from the total order value. You pay the remainder (e.g. you confirm a meal for $600 and your friends confirm payments of $400 - you will then be charged just $200)
- All Group Pay bill splits need to be finalized 3 days before the meal
- Payments for all orders are processed the day before the meal
- Note - your friends do not need your username and login to use Group Pay. Just the 5 digit Order ID
Table at Home offers 2 ways to hire a Private Chef:
- Select and request a Set Menu offered by a Chef
- Request proposals from multiple chefs
For Set Menus; you can browse the Set Menus offered by Chefs in your city. Each Set Menu has a standard price per person and a minimum number of people for a booking. When you select a Set Menu you need to enter a date for the meal and the number of people, plus any explain any changes you may want. The Chef will then respond with a final proposal to confirm their availability and any price adjustments for changes. To confirm the booking you just need to Accept this proposal.
For Request Proposal bookings; you just need to enter a few key details like a date for the meal, your budget and any food preferences. Chefs near you will then compete for your business by submitting proposed menus with pricing. To confirm a chef, you just need to Accept the proposal you like.
Table at Home is a booking and communication platform that facilitates you finding and hiring a chef. When you confirm a Chef through our site, you are contracting directly with the Chef.
Customer Tips and Tricks
Tips for success choosing a great chef
Many of the top rated chefs get booked out in advance, so try put your request in at least a week in advance, especially for a special occasion. However, last minute requests can often get picked up by chefs who decide to work last minute, so don’t hesitate to try your luck on a Monday morning for that Tuesday night dinner date you have planned.
All chefs are encouraged to post photos of their work. Many have amazing photo portfolios that will make your mouth water. Check out the ‘food porn’ to get inspired on a food style for your next dinner party or find your dream chef.
Chefs are creatives at heart. We have found that you get the best results when you give them a fairly free rein to propose a menu. So tell them you want vegetarian or have a craving for lamb, but don’t give them your grandma’s risotto recipe. That being said, don’t be afraid to ask them to suggest another desert when you like the main they have proposed.
Who better to tell you what a chef is really like than a fellow customer. When trying to pick between 2 chefs, often the comments from other customers can help you work out who you want.
A chef is coming in to your home on the trust that you are giving them a space to be successful. This does not mean that you need to provide a kitchen straight out of a Williams and Sonoma catalogue but it does need to be clean and tidy, and as described in your profile.
Tips for successfully hosting a chef in your home
This will help them to create their magic, and take them through where things are kept so they don’t have to ask during the meal.
Do this when your chef first arrives. Generally, it is expected that you will help them carry the plates out to the table. Often people love to have the chef explain the dishes being served at the table. Some people want a dish served like a photo they saw. Whatever it is, the key is to talk about it.
Your chef has put his or her creative heart into your meal. Don't put them in a position where they feel they can't succeed to their own standards.
This means no big sink of unwashed dishes or a stove that doesnt work. Set them up for success so that your meal is a success.
They are a guest in your home and sharing something special with you - their cooking. Be nice, offer them a welcome drink, and make it a special experience for both of you.
We have an agreed full price policy that aims to make pricing and payment clear and simple. Chefs are not allowed to accept additional payment (like tips) at the home.
Table at Home organizes payment on your behalf from the customer via credit card. We use a company called Braintree (part of Paypal) that charges your customers credit card then transfer the funds to you (minus our booking fee) through Venmo. Transfers generally take 2-5 business days from the date of the booking.
1-3 business days after your first booking, you will receive a email from Venmo to set up a Venmo account and link it to your bank account. This email will be sent to the email you have on file with us. You do not need to do anything with Venmo before the booking.
IMPORTANT - To ensure your Venmo account is set up correctly and payments go through smoothly, please make sure the name and date of birth you have on file with us is accurate.
Table at home charges a 15% booking fee for all jobs based off the price being charged to the customer. There is a minimum fee of $15, and reduced rates are offered to highly performing chefs on the platform
Yes you can, but you need to just specify one price. For example, you could propose to cook either a roast lamb or baked fish for a dinner menu, however you need to propose the same price for both options (i.e. make just the one bid)
Customers need to make the first move after you have sent them a proposal. After a Customer has sent you a Message, you are able to respond and follow-up with them as often as you like.
We have this 'first move' rule so that Customers do not receive multiple solicitations from Chefs that they are not interested in.
We currently have no way to edit a submitted proposal.
If you need to make changes to a submitted proposal, you should delete your current proposal, go to the Find Work page and find the Customers Meal Request., then submit a new proposal
Note - you need to submit your old proposal before you can submit a new proposal.
You will receive a text message notification when a Customer requests one of your Set Menus. You should click on the link to see the date of the request, party size and any changes the customer may want.
If you are interested in the gig, you should submit a proposal to confirm your interest and the final price after any changes requested.
Once the customer has accepted this proposal, you will receive a final request to confirm the booking. You then have 2 hours to confirm the booking.
Committing to cook for a customer is a serious commitment. Imagine if you were hosting 6 guests for dinner, and at the last moment your chef cancelled. Our rules are that if you cancel more than 1 confirmed job in a 3 month period you will be removed from the platform. A no show results in immediate removal. Obviously, if there are exceptional circumstances like a serious accident or death of a family member, we will make exceptions.
If a customer cancels a confirmed job they are charged a fee of 50% of the full meal price up until 48 hours before the meal, and a 100% fee for cancellations after that. You receive these cancellation fees (minus our booking charges) as compensation for lost income and ingredients already purchased.
You will receive the funds from any cancellation charges, less our 15% booking fee. This is to compensate you for
Customers are strongly directed not to do this after a booking is confirmed. However, if the customer does want to make any last minute changes then they need to do this with your agreement. You are allowed to propose a new price which should be organised through a new proposal in the platform.
Absolutely not. All payments should be done through the platform. Any instances discovered of direct payments made for jobs booked through the platform will result in your immediate removal from the platform.
Punctuality is a serious reflection on your professionalism as a private chef, so try not to be late. If for some reason you are running late then first contact the customer to let them know. If you are unable to reach them via phone, text or email, then please let us know so we can try to help.
Customers Reviews are critical to your success on the platform. Both your average 5 star Review Score and Customers comments are displayed on your Profile and to Customers whenever you submit a proposal.
The day after a booking, your Customer is sent a link to provide a review of your services. It is also a good practice to gently remind your Customer to give you a review with a thank you text or email.
To give you a review, Customers simply need to click on the link in the text message we send them. Note - they need to be logged in to the site to provide the review. If your customer is finding it hard to give you a review, we have instructions you can share with them at https://tableathome.com/2018/05/table-home-submit-review-chef/
Accidents can and do happen. You will not be held responsible for accidental breakages like dropped dishes, however you will be held responsible for any deliberate breakages resulting from misuse. If there is a dispute, Table at Home will mediate.
You are an independent contractor, and thus are responsible for any liabilities that accrue from the work you book through the Table at Home platform. Please make sure you safely operate within the law.
Yes, is is your duty as an independent private chef to declare this income to the government. You can also generally declare the expenses you had in making this income (ingredients purchased, travel costs, etc.) as a tax deduction. So, save those receipts!
In addition - please note - gigs booked through the Table at Home platform are a direct contract between you (the chef) and the Customer. Table at Home does not collect or pay any taxes on your behalf.
No - you are not employed in any way by Table at Home. We act as a communication and booking platform for you to find gigs as Private Chef. Bookings made through the Table at Home platform are a direct contract between yourself (the chef) and the customer. Table at Home charges you a fee (our 15% booking fee) for providing the platform for you to find and manage these gigs.
Please note - Table at Home - as a communication and booking platform, does not collect or pay any taxes on your behalf.
Chef Tips and Tricks
Top tips to win work
Chefs with amazing photos of their work and an engaging 'About me' often get work coming to them. Make sure your photos have good lighting and the food is well plated. When describing who you are as a chef try to give customers a sense of your cooking style and who you are as a person. Avoid over using Chef cliches like 'farm to table, 'seasonal' etc. You want to be memorable.
Don't suggest your favorite fish dish if they have asked for no seafood.
This isn't like a restaurant where customers can look at what others are eating, you need to win them over with words and photos!
In general, Customers are more responsive to Chefs proposals received within the first 2-6 hours after they have posted their request. And as a result, in the majority of cases, one of the first three Chefs to propose on a Request wins the job. The quicker you submit proposals, the better your chance of winning.
You have the option to add some Set Menus to your profile. It is a good idea to have 3-4 Set Menus on your profile to show what you can do for various price points and event types.
A good mix could be:
- A lower end dinner party menu for $40-$60 per person with a minimum of 10 people
- A higher end dinner party menu for $100-$150 per person with a minimum of 2 people
- A cooking lesson experience
- A Brunch or BBQ menu
Top tips to deliver a great meal experience in a customer’s home
This is the first impression that you will make with your customer. Make it positive and turn up at their home at the agreed time. If you will be late, let them know. It’s basic good manners and professionalism.
You were chosen based on the menu you proposed, so stick to it unless you have organised changes with your customer. It is up to you to manage sourcing the ingredients, so be careful with certain in season foods that may not always be readily available.
Everyone has their ideas on how the perfect meal should run. Avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings by having a quick talk after you arrive at your customer’s home to agree things like who will bring the plates out, do they want you to describe each plate, and of course where the right pots and pans are.
No grumpy chefs please! Creating a good impression will go a long way to receiving a good review score and referral work.
Take care of your customers kitchen and equipment as if it was your own. You will not be held responsible for accidental breakages, but please no Greek plate throwing.
This is actually a rule. Payment is collected through tableathome.com so as to make the in-home experience as pleasant as possible. The price you quote needs to be the full price, including all ingredients, our fees, your travel costs, etc. You cannot ask the customer for any additional money, including tips. Lack of adherence to this will have you immediately removed from the platform.
You must clean up after you have cooked your meal, leaving the customer's kitchen in the same state as you found it. Remember, this is the last impression that customers will have of you, so make it a good one and don't ruin all your good work from earlier in the night.”
Tips to build your business
With countless well qualified and reviewed chefs on the platform, one of the best ways to be noticed is with great photos. Some may call it ‘food porn’, however you want to describe it, the enticing nature of mouth-watering pictures of food is hard to ignore.
At its core, the Table at Home experience is built on trust. One of the strongest pillars of that trust is customers trusting what other customers have to say about you. Customer reviews are a key criteria for selecting (or not selecting) a chef. Make sure that every customer gives you a review so you can build a robust profile!
You are able to have up to 7 Set Menus on your profile. Offer a range of Menus at different price points and for different events so as to capture as many opportunities as possible. For example offer both a lower end dinner party menu for $40-$60 per person, and a high end dinner party menu for $90-$150 per person.
Also - offer cooking related experiences such as pasta making or sushi rolling.
Just as in the restaurant world, the chefs on our platform that really stand out (and have work coming to them) have built a signature style. It starts with having a signature dish but can go so much farther. Build a consistent theme in your photo portfolio, showcase a signature menu, etc. It can take time to find something that resonates with customers, but when you do, your success is assured.
You cannot ask the customer for any additional money, including tips. Lack of adherence to this will have you immediately removed from the platform.
It is up to you to manage sourcing the ingredients, so be careful with certain in season foods that may not always be readily available.
If you cancel more than 1 job in a 3-month period you will be removed from the platform. If you are a no show, you are immediately removed.
A traditional chef's’ outfit is not required but you must be dressed in a manner that allows you to safely and hygienically cook.
We continue to invest a lot in building Table at Home as a active and fair marketplace for Chefs to find gigs to work as a Private Chef. We are protective of our baby 🙂
As a result, Chefs are not allowed to direct Customers off the Table at Home platform or complete bookings outside of the platform where Table at Home has provided the introduction.
- Chefs cannot reference their external websites or catering businesses or provide emails or phone numbers in their profile, proposals or set menus
- Chefs can provide their phone number or email to customers if specifically requested by the customer
- Chefs cannot accept bookings or accept payments from customers outside of the platform where Table at Home has provided the introduction
Chefs who do not adhere to these rules will be removed from the platform.
You must handle ingredients and cook in a safe and hygienic manner that meets or exceeds local requirements. Above all else, don't let your reputation be ruined by poor standards.
Remember, this is the last impression that customers will have of you, so make it a good one and don't ruin all your good work from earlier in the night.
Some other ways to reach us:
+1 202 643 9635 (Customers only)
Note - All Chef applications must be done online. Click here to apply