The Cost of Hiring a Private Chef

If you’re in the market for a culinary professional, but you’re not sure what the costs or benefits are, then look no further! We’re here to answer all of your burning questions, helping you to understand all the costs involved when hiring a private or personal chef.

Firstly, let’s define the differences between a personal and private chef. Private chefs are often individuals hired by a sole client. Their job is to prepare daily meals for their client and/or their families and will often live in the family home. They’re usually hired by people with more money to spare, such as celebrities, professional athletes, CEOs and high net worth individuals. Their services can cost anywhere between $90k – $160k per year.

A personal chef provides a service that is usually more affordable for the average person. They provide value by:

  1. Customizing meal plans and menus based on an individual’s preferences
  2. Procuring the freshest ingredients possible at their client’s local supermarket, farmer’s market or other preferred vendor
  3. Bringing the ingredients to their client’s home or business to prepare their meal/s
  4. Packing up anything the client doesn’t eat, then labelling and storing it in their fridge or freezer
  5. Cleaning a client’s kitchen!

Some chefs will bring their own cooking kits, while others will use their client’s utensils, and the whole process should take between 2 – 5 hours depending on the meal, amount/s and style of cooking. Visits from a personal chef can be weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. It is entirely up to each client and their budget.

The Cost

Rates charged by a personal chef can obviously vary. Some will charge an hourly rate, while others will charge a fixed rate. Fixed rates will sometimes include groceries, but more often than not, a personal chef will charge a fixed rate for the service (however many meals that may be) and the cost of the groceries on top. As this is the most common pricing model, we are going to focus on that for the purpose of this article.

Service fees

Taking out the cost of food, the service fee is a good place to start when talking about how much a personal chef will set you back. As an example, let’s look at the average price for a serving of 12 meals. Of course, if you’d like your chef to cook more servings of each meal, the service fee would increase, but the cost per meal would decrease. So, on that basis, the following information should be taken as an approximation.

In the US, research throughout the personal chef industry suggests that the average service cost for a personal chef, if preparing 12 meal servings (so 4 – 6 different entrees), can range between $100 – $400. That’s a median of around $200. With larger cities such as LA, NY, Chicago etc., prices increase on average to between $300 – $400. Because of their location, these chefs will usually be highly skilled and popular, with several years of experience in high-end restaurants and the hospitality industry.

Typically, the lower-end cost for a personal chef – if we’re to use the same metrics as above – is between $100 – $150. This is often due to the fact they’re part of a larger franchise or network, or they have a team of chefs working for one business, which allows them an economic benefit. This doesn’t mean they provide any less quality or value though. On the contrary, chefs in these types of services often have a long-term client base, which allows for a sustainable business model that keeps costs low and service excellence high.

Grocery fees

When it comes to the cost of groceries, many clients are able to set their own budget and choose where the ingredients come from. This usually sets a precedent that continues throughout the duration of the professional relationship. On average, costs can range from $45 – $90 per service. However, if a client would like organic, kosher, high-end or specialist ingredients because of dietary restrictions, then the costs will inevitably increase.

Overall costs

Considering all the above, it’s worth noting that the overall cost of hiring a personal chef is worth it when the benefits are weighed up. A personal chef allows their clients to save precious time and energy, whilst ensuring the food they eat is of a high quality. Unlike eating out, the food on their client’s plate is entirely chosen by them – from concept to delivery – and cooked to perfection by a professional. With this in mind, it can be a reasonably priced solution for a lot of people looking for a unique culinary solution.

Visit us at to see what private and personal chef services we can provide for you.

For anyone out of our catchment area, visit the United States Personal Chef Association website: who will provide certification and training guides for personal chefs across the US.

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Al Martino Agency
60 East 42nd Street
Suite 1028
New York, NY 10165

Al Martino Private Chefs International Agency
Al Martino Private Chefs International Agency
(212) 867-1910 • (212) 867-1915
(212) 867-1917

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Al Martino Private Chefs International Agency