Increasingly, Personal Chefs and Private Chefs are found working in the kitchens of average Canadian families. Much like a gardening or cleaning service, these professionals are becoming an integral part of our lives. Longer commute times, dual-income households and hectic extra-curricular activity schedules make cooking healthy meals difficult for families. Sure, there are lots of meal-delivery, frozen meal and meal-kit options, but these are not ideal for every household.
This is where Personal Chefs and Private Chefs come in, because they tailor menus specifically to each clients' dietary needs - taking allergies, likes/dislikes, health goals etc. into consideration. Meals are freshly prepared in the clients' homes. Personal Chefs can cook for several clients - on a daily basis or on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule, and can also handle small dinner parties and private cooking lessons. Private Chefs cook daily for a single family or client.
Even though Personal Chefs and Private Chefs are working in their clients' homes, liability insurance is essential. A slip-and-fall that is a result of a Personal Chef or Private Chef's negligence, for example, could result in a lawsuit, since they are ultimately responsible for their workspace. Any breakages or damage to their clients' property, even if unintentional, would also be solely their fault. Food poisoning claims can leave the Personal Chef or Private Chef responsible for medical bills and lost productivity. These events could cost thousands of dollars in medical, legal or replacement costs. Without liability insurance, this could make the difference between running a business and going through bankruptcy as you would be personally liable for the costs. Clients are knowledgable of these issues, and usually require proof of liability insurance to be presented during the initial interview stage, before signing a contract. This is where Chef Insurance comes in, and our Success Managers are always ready to assist and answer your questions.
Your local government will require that food for sale be prepared in a kitchen that has been inspected and meets health standards. Cooking in your home kitchen will not be acceptable unless it has been officially inspected and passes their criteria, is independent from your family kitchen and solely used for your business (i.e. not personal, home cooking). This can be costly, especially if you have to have to create a new kitchen space. Personal Chefs and Private Chefs don't have this expense since they cook in their client's home, and only transport the groceries required to prepare the meals.
We understand that sometimes a client will ask their Personal Chef or Private Chef to cater large events, such as weddings and corporate events, rather than interviewing and hiring a catering company that they are unfamiliar with. Although our standard coverage covers Events up to 20 people, we can increase this to cover Events up to 200 people. This Large Event Coverage (LEC) can be added to our standard packages at any time. Read more about LEC.
Your accountant can advise you on how to set up your business to take advantage of tax rules relating to business expenses. You should also discuss the best way to set up your business (e.g. a sole proprietorship, a corporation etc.) to declare income, whether you need to charge sales tax etc. Remember, it is a crime to earn income, including tips, without declaring it to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and there can be serious consequences for doing so. Being convicted of tax evasion can also lead to fingerprinting, court imposed fines, jail time, and a criminal record. When taxpayers are convicted of tax evasion, they must still repay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest and any civil penalties assessed by the CRA.
There are many practices that are OK for a home-cook preparing food for their own family that are not OK when preparing food for sale or for clients. If you have not already done so, you should enrol in a course to get up-to-date food safety training. After all, anyone working with food can have a serious effect on the health and wellbeing of those consuming the food - it could be a matter of life and death. Being armed with the necessary knowledge of how to handle food correctly, is essential to any foodservice business.
The Chef Alliance is a leading foodservice association in Canada offering Chefs and Entrepreneurs a place to grow their business. They can benefit from liability insurance to protect their clients and finances, peer support strengthen their business, discounts to lower their business costs, market their services and increase profits. This leaves them time to concentrate on what they do best - cook great food!