View Full Version : Urgent question for Rawkinlocs and anyone else doing this as a business!
01-15-2007, 05:40 PM
I may be getting hired in the next week or so as a raw food chef for a couple of the people that work here in the apt. complex that I live in. My questions for you already doing this is:
How do you decide the prices?
What percentage of the price is the actual making of the food?
How do you determine the prices if you are buying some things in bulk?
It all happened very fast and kind of on accident. I was making some stuff for our family and the maintenance guy was here and I let him try some. We started talking about everything and he said he was trying to lose weight. I let him know I was going to the Level I class on Saturday and that I would be getting my dehydrator out of storage at the beginning of February and one thing led to another. Then the property manager tried some and asked if I would let her sample some more things so that she could pay me to make more of what she ends up liking! I didn't have to do anything! The food spoke for itself and then everybody just kept asking me questions, which I was more than happy to answer, and everything just snowballed from there!
So any answers/advice/help would be GREATLY appreciated! There is only one iddy-bitty health food store here, so I have to mail order a lot of my ingredients. But I'm only in this area until April and would LOVE to get the "raw food word out" as much as possible while I'm here!
Thanks in advance everyone!
01-15-2007, 06:22 PM
Well, I haven't began doing any food prep FOR people (yet) and that is something I have to begin planning out as well.
But what you want to do is firstly, create yourself a PRE-MADE listing/menu of foods that you are willing to prepare...things that don't cost a lot and don't take up a whole lot of time, yet things you've tried and find yummy (although tastes do vary and what you like, they may not and vice-versa).
Secondly, create for yourself an ingredients list for each recipe and then determine your costs for the items. If it's stuff you buy in bulk, I guess that can be a little trickier but I guess just overall maybe kinda 'guesstimate' what it will cost to make a particular recipe.
Then, decide on what you want to charge for your TIME and WORK...not just the cost of the food and kinda come up with a price from there.. Most things don't really cost a whole lot unless it's stuff like cacao butter, almond butter, etc.
But again, I'm not really experienced in this area...just some things that I thought of when considering doing this sort of thing myself. But there are a few members here who have done it...Maraw is one I believe so maybe if she has time she can give you some pointers as well!
Best wishes to you in this new endeavor!
01-15-2007, 06:30 PM
Thanks Rawkinlocs! I really appreciate any and all help! Hopefully more people will post too! The more the merrier right? LOL! BTW, I seen your sites, and you have such a beautiful family (you included)! Thanks for your help!
01-15-2007, 09:33 PM
Anyone else care to offer help/advice/suggestions? I'm hoping to get lots of really good ideas here from those of you who have BTDT. Thanks!
01-15-2007, 10:29 PM
I have wondered about this also. If I wanted to hire someone how would I know what I should be paying? I just found out that if I go to pricey exotic Sedona Az I can buy a head of organic cabbage for $8! OMG!
01-16-2007, 03:29 AM
i just wanted to say congrats shine72...what an opportunity.. and I'm curious about this as well because I'd like to some day teach and maybe be a personal raw chef as well.
01-16-2007, 06:44 AM
Thanks luckitri and luna99! I'm hoping to get more feedback, so hopefully soon we'll have all the answers we need!
01-16-2007, 08:57 AM
I am not on the board very often, but I felt drawn to your post. I would love to help you with your questions.
Are you the same Sunshine that is signed up for Alissa's 5-day Accelerated Class in March? If so, give me a call. I am the Elaine that helps Alissa teach her Level 3 Certification.
What you are seeking is exactly what you will be learning in Alissa's class!! It is one of those skills that you learn best by going through the experience. I would suggest sitting down and doing the math. The numbers vary greatly depending on your expenses and what you are seeking to accomplish. Since you mentioned that this is urgent, I am happy to run some numbers with you. Feel free to give me a call.
For everyone else interested in starting your own raw food businesses, Rawkinlocs pointed in the right direction. You start with the math. With respect to Alissa, I'll also strongly suggest signing up for Alissa's Level 3 certification course. :D
Congratulations Sunshine on a wonderful opportunity. You are going to be great!
01-16-2007, 09:40 AM
Yes, I'm the same Sunshine! Small world huh?! LOL! I will probably give you a call tomorrow if that's okay? Today is going to be spent playing catch up on things I didn't get done yesterday cause I was in a "raw food groove"! LOL! DH and the kids were happy about that though. And that's what started this whole thing! Thanks! That'll be awesome! I plan on doing some research too to try and find some of my ingredients (nuts) a bit cheaper!
01-16-2007, 10:26 AM
When I first went raw my daughter and her mother in law asked me to help them with eating more healthy. Since they both worked together and long hours they didn't feel they had the time to prep food themselves so I offered to make them what I was making for the day and my son who also worked at the same place would deliver it when he went to work. Soon I had 7-8 people counting in on any given day. I was more interested in getting my daughter to eat raw/healthy then making money so I told them that whatever I spent during the week would be divided by who counted in and they I would add $10.00 per person to the ticket. This allowed me to eat my food for free and make about $70.00 pocket money as well. I did this for almost a year and then I went on a long trip and when I came back I didn't start up again. They asked me to but I was to busy with other things and felt that if I did it again it would have to be for MORE money as it really tied me to the house preparing everyday. It had really become a business and I wasn't making business money LOL. It cost them about $65-$75 per week. What they got was:
Breakfast smoothie 24 oz, lunch was often something made from Alissas book like Angel Hair Pasta and Marinara, Nori rolls, Pad thai, Mock Salmon lettuce wraps, Almost Tuna,Enchiladas, Lasagna, Ravioli. I usually included a small salad. I also included a snack of flax seed crackers with avocado,tomato, cuccumber, sprouts or the mock salmon or tuna. Then about every otherday I would include a few "cookies" or a piece of pie or torte.
Doing this accomplished 2 things for me 1) I was able to feed myself and the 4 kids still at home as part of the "cost" for free. and 2) Because I was responsible for the masses I had to stay with it myself! Not to mention the pocket change of about $70 cash per week.
The down side was that it did limit my "free" time as I still had 4 kids at home that I also home school and we often did field trips etc that had to wait or be passed on.
By the way every one loved everything I made and often would send requests for a certain item to be made again. At some point I made almost everything in the book with only a few "I'll pass on that next time" comments.
When I first went raw I found a food delivery service in Santa Monica and ordered from them a few times so I could taste what real food would taste like and it cost about $100. per week, plus $20 delivery charge. The whole week was delivered on one day and while the food was good after a few days I didn't want to eat something that had been sitting there 4 days in a wrapper! The weeks food included 4 entrees, 2 soups, 3 salads,2 deserts.
Good Luck on your venture!
01-16-2007, 10:36 AM
Thank you sailaway! I have the same idea about wanting my food to be very fresh. . . but I do not have time to prepare it. Many people wish to venture into doing this but having access to a kitchen that meets health code requirements is an issue. If we get rid of all of our animals or move - otherwise I would have to pay for access to a kitchen. My family just adopted a cat and he knows he is not to be on the kitchen counter but every morning I find him there.
01-16-2007, 10:46 AM
Sailaway - Thanks for the IRL experience help! That's good for me to keep in mind. I was actually thinking about doing it twice a week for the people who want it, so that the food will be fresher than once a week. Thanks again!
01-16-2007, 10:49 AM
for anyone who has experience as a personal chef or preparing raw for others... how long were you on raw and how much experience with 'cooking' raw did you have before you felt ready to 'cook' for other people?
I really am interested in starting a business eventually ... but I'm definitely not ready to do so now (I've only been 'cooking' raw and experimenting with recipes for about a month and a half to two months now). I also feel like I would need at least six months to a year under my belt of eating raw... or at least some time to show some of the results I've personally felt from this way of eating... such as weight loss, feeling great, health benefits, etc.
I want to take alissa's five day course but don't think I'll have the money to do so in march. :(
My biggest piece of advice is do not undervalue yourself! You need to set an hourly wage for your work then add cost of food and supplies on top of that. I do it by menu. Preparing raw food takes a lot of time and it can be tiring being on your feet so long. If you are not being properply compensated it will become a chore very quickly.
Good Luck and have fun!!
01-16-2007, 02:47 PM
I have done some raw food preparation and catering, and families have flown me to location to cater for week-long events. The way to determine your price, is to weigh a few different factors. Firstly : Do they want one gourmet meal, or enough food to last a few days? Either way, keep it just simple enough while remaining simple and delicious, and buy in bulk if you can. Raw food is expensive, especially nuts. You can have a conversation to get an idea of their likes and dislikes, then present them with a list of items you can prepare. If they want one three or four course meal, you should decide what items go together.
You have a few options for price : Charge per person, per item, per hour, or one flat rate. I usually get a rough idea of food cost and estimated time (including shopping, etc). Then see what sounds fair to you... I usually charge $20 per person for a small dinner (5-6) people, and $35 per hour (not including the cost of food) for an all day event.
Definitely value your time :) Trust me -- it's always more work than it initially appears.
Let me know if I can help you in any other way..
01-16-2007, 04:08 PM
Thank you so much! See, that's where I have to be careful. I do have a tendency to undervalue my time/effort. Bad habit that I need to get out of.
Sunshine :D (That feels so strange, typing it to a Sunshine when it's from a Sunshine! Looks like I'm talking to myself! LOL!)
01-16-2007, 05:19 PM
I'll echo Sunshine's recommendation not to underestimate the time things take or the value of your time.
I'd also recommend you see if there are any small business courses in your area or books in your library. For example:
* Do you have appropriate licenses? What do they cost?
* Do you understand tax implications? This would be taxable income, but I'm not sure whether it's just ordinary income or self-employment. Self-employment wages are taxed at a higher rate than normal, because there's no employer to pay a share. Will you need to pay estimated taxes if the business grows so you are not delinquent at tax time?
* Do you need insurance and what does that cost? It's easy to think you can skip this, but what if someone gets sick and sues? Your personal assets could be at stake.
* What about web site or other administrative costs to run your business?
All these things should get factored into setting prices. Maybe this is just a test for you to see how you like it, but you are potentially taking some risk if you ignore licenses, taxes and insurance.
I'm not involved in raw foods prep, I'm a strategy and marketing consultant working with large animal protection organizations, so someone in the field may have more directly applicable ideas here. Sorry to bring up all the lousy stuff, but you (and anyone else going into it) may want to consider it.
01-16-2007, 06:40 PM
You can check the rawvolution.com website to see their menu for the week. They charge $100 for food plus shipping. I did a $100/wk deal here for a bit with a raw chef/restrauntier. I liked his stuff much more than the one time I tried rawvolution and he delivered it to me. I got 2 soups, 3 or 4 meals, 2 dessert and a couple small things (can't remember too well). I really felt like he sold himself short for what I got and in the end, I think he ended up having financial issues. I agree...don't sell yourself short. But these are good guidelines. Have fun!
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