How do I charge?

Joined Jun 3, 2020
So I am a beginner personal chef booked for intimate gatherings and small parties. I was recently booked for a brunch this coming Sunday for about 12 guests self serve style nothing major. Now the food is taken care of the client will shop purchase and provide all the ingredients needed. I am merely there to cook and set out the food. Cleaning and everything else will be handled by the client. I charged them so far a $50 reservation fee and $25/hr for my services that starts as soon as I arrive. There is also gratuity for parties more than 6 guests. Am I charging too little? My colleague mentioned a travel expense since I will be coming to them. I also feel for the menu alone and by me working solo I should make sure I am receiving fair payment for my services. I was also booked for today back to back basically but this is a 2 guest 1 entree dinner for a client I have previously worked for and a dish I made the same client for the last event she booked. She loved it and wanted it for a friend. But I have to pick up the food, travel to her house, prepare, plate, and serve her and her guest. Clean up required as well. However she is on a bit of a budget. I thought about charging her a $100 reservation fee simply for the last minute booking and because she has canceled in the past prior to me establishing a reservation fee. Also grocery fee, travel fee, and my hourly rate. I’m not sure I am doing this right and need help. How do you know what to charge? What costs and what is just customarily part of the job?
Joined May 5, 2010
I have a catering/personal Chef service where I live. I cook for people in their homes, dinner parties, funeral, graduations, ect.
I have a basic fee of $40.00 an hour. I add to that, the cost of travel expenses.
Since I live and work on an island, there is an automatic fee for leaving the island to shop for ingredients, I can't get here.
The pricing issue is something that is driven by location really.
Where I live most of the people here wouldn't blink an eye, if I charged $800.00 for a 4 course dinner for 4 people. I have only 2 regular clients in my personal Chef side. Mainly desserts and Hors d Oeuvres.
In your situation, irrespective of whether you shop, and or clean up, you still need to make a profit.
Your basic fee should be by the hour. Any additions like, gas, equipment, staff, also are worth your time and money, do not leave them out.

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