Should you tip your Private Chef?
Personally I never expect or require a tip or gratuity. I know a few that add it into their pricing/invoices which I do not understand because it takes away the meaning of a tip/gratuity. I certainly always appreciate a tip when one is earned, its always a very nice gesture from your host/client. I think sometimes its hard for clients to consider adding a tip because of the perceived high cost for our services. With rates of $125-$150 per head for most parties up to about 12-15 guests it gets pretty expensive already. I always explain the process to my clients so that they can better understand the actual value and effort/work required to make these amazing meals and experiences come to fruition. It’s a three day process outside of the actual process of building a menu and going back and forth with the client, that alone can eat up several hours/days/weeks on its own. Once all that is figured out/agreed/paid, its time to do all the shopping. Most of us do not have access to wholesale purchasing because our ordering amounts are to small so that means figuring out what items you can find at what farm, store, etc…. Sometimes that may be 5 stops at 5 different places all over the Boston area. That can easily eat up an entire day. Then you have a day of prep and the final day of prep, packing, and traveling to the destination. Once your there its unloading, setting up, final prep/cooking for service, plating/serving, packing back up, and of course the intense cleanup of the kitchen including all the equipment, dishes, silverware, putting things away etc…… Then the potentially long drive home while exhausted. Maybe some would say that aside from the actual cost of all that goes into doing a customized private dinner, a tip is warranted or earned… I leave that up to the client. I price all my events based on actual cost and do not price based on assumption of a tip or gratuity at the end of the night. So while most clients tend to tip at the end of the evening, there is no standard that states its an expected requirement.