As a national organization APPCA has members serving clients across the country. We know that the coronavirus has hit different regions with different intensity over the past five months. That makes it challenging to determine on a national level what the appropriate approach is for serving clients–beyond CDC recommendations and ServSafe guidance. Each member is bound to be guided by local and state health regulations. For some, there’s more flexibility due to fewer outbreaks. For others, there may not be any real options in a total shutdown.
It’s a confusing time.
We’re seeing a variety of approaches being taken by personal chefs. While there are some who just don’t feel comfortable going into other people’s kitchens Christine Robinson and Dennis Nosko of A Fresh Endeavor Personal Chef Services in Boston are going full speed ahead:
“We are cooking for a select number of clients and have maintained the same routine since March, with a couple of add-ons,” says Christine. “We cook in their homes and have established a ‘safety plan’ for each household…we dress out of the dryer, we are masked and carry sanitizers, cleaners, and just got a new UV wand…depending on the house we use their cookware or ours, or a combo…we maintain distancing, take our temps several times a day and have remained healthy…our habits were formed early in the pandemic, and we have modified and enhanced them as needed…some clients have not come back yet, a couple have, and we have added new people…we clean everything when we arrive and again when we leave…honestly, I like the routine and the attention to detail…we spend most of our downtime at home and do not venture out where crowds may be, and have eaten at home since March 15th except for three take outs from Chipotle…so far so good but we are not letting our guard down…”
Another chef is choosing to cook at his home for clients and then making a delivery at the client’s front door. This chef keeps the food in an ice chest and texts the client to make sure they’re home before leaving.
Similarly, we have heard from a chef who is making “to go” meals for clients from a commercial kitchen.
Another potential piece to puzzle out is payment. Anyone who ventures out to shop for food or other provisions knows that retailers prefer not to take cash or checks these days. Likewise, you are probably not eager to take anything other than virtual payments. Here’s a link to a site called Clockify, which lists 16 payment methods for small businesses, along with the features that they say are important, including transaction fees, processing times, payment methods, and transfer limits.
As difficult as this year has been, you all know how important you are to your clients. In some cases, you’re probably a lifeline to normalcy–something we’re all seeking these days. And you’re providing people with exactly what they need: delicious, healthy food that is an important factor in fending off disease. Perhaps, like Christine adds, you’re even doing a little bit extra for your clients.
“We go out of our way with the precautions but try to normalize this unfathomable situation as much as possible for our clients with humor and sensitivity…we have a standing rule with all clients that we are out in the stores more often than they are and are happy to pick stuff up, so have running lists with most of them as we know the local stores really well and can be in and out quickly…”
Who wouldn’t appreciate that!
Are you serving clients in your region? How are you going about it?
Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.
And if you are a member and have a special talent to share on this blog, let us know so we can feature you!
No comments yet.