Private chef as a format has been dictating a sizeable market, that strives gourmet experiences, across the world in the recent past. Catering to over 100+ countries, Take A Chef is a platform that provides tralior made experiences through their widespread fraternity of private chefs. Akshay Nayak spoke to Nathalia Ordoñez, product development manager, Take A Chef to understand the brand’s functionality, business in India and future roadmap
The F&B industry has kept evolving with new formats of service coming into play time and again. The trend that has been picking in the world over since the recent past is, having a private chef for a special occasion. The concept is retrograde wherein the food connoisseurs don’t go out to experience the culinary delicacies, but the chefs visit their homes to bring the experiences right at the guest’s home.
‘Take A Chef’ is a platform that allows you to hire a professional chef for a private event. They offer a new culinary alternative, allowing you to enjoy a personalised gastronomic experience by the hands of a private chef in the comfort of your home. Take A Chef takes an 18 per cent commission per reservation.
Giving details about the functioning of Take A Chef, Nathalia Ordoñez, product development manager informs, “Take A Chef allows clients to reserve the services of a private chef in their city. As a client, you begin a request through our website with all the details of the event such as the number of people who would be enjoying the meal, date, time, address, culinary preferences or restrictions, etc. This request is sent directly to all the chefs available in the area. The chefs that are interested and available will send their suggestions for a personalised menu, and then, the client reserves the menu and the profile of the chef they like the most! Profiles include a photograph of the chef, pictures of their food, culinary background and a personal description.”
An experience-driven product
Experiences are what people look after nowadays. Ordoñez feels, dining at a fine dining restaurant could be an absolute memorable experience, but it is an experience that people get to repeat often, or may have seen before. Expressing the idea that led to the founding of Take A Chef, Ordoñez says, “When we began our company, we wanted to give the common person the opportunity to live an experience that was once only reserved for the elite, and experience a private chef service in the luxury of their own home, under their own rules (menu, pricing, chef). Our clients are absolutely delighted, and “memorable” is a world commonly mentioned in our reviews. We have really found a way of letting everyone experience something that truly wasn’t thought of as accessible in the past.
She informs that in the first years of launching, most of the clientele reached out to Take A Chef to host a special event, such as an anniversary, valentine’s day, a graduation or a birthday. “Our market has shifted dramatically over the years, and what we are seeing now is that our main clientele derives from travel agencies and luxury villa rentals,” adds Ordoñez.
Business in India
The Spain-based company which caters to over 100+ countries also operates as a platform for private chefs in Bengaluru, India. Ordoñez says, “The beautiful thing about Take A Chef, is that we are just the mediators. Our platform allows every client and chef to dictate their own rules. If you are located in Bengaluru, it is the chefs that live in Bengaluru that will have access to your request. The chefs will develop a menu according to your specifications, and you will then receive multiple options of chefs, with their corresponding menu proposals. Once a chef sends you a menu, you have access to message them directly, make changes to the menu, communicate your needs, etc. The client only has to pay once they are completely comfortable with the chef they are speaking to and the menu they have chosen! We are just providing a tool for clients to find their perfect chef, and vice versa, in Bengaluru, India and worldwide. We currently have 28 chefs operating in Bengaluru through our web.”
Though private chef is a big revenue generator for Take A Chef, the brand also organises other alternate services including show-cooking activities, long-term-employment placements, cooking classes, weekly meal plan drop-offs, celebrity chefs dining experiences subject to availability, and multiple-day services.
The roadmap ahead
Briefing on the performance of Take A Chef, Ordoñez says, “Since the last quarter of 2018, the Take A Chef team has seen tremendous growth, and we now have an on-boarding team, and a sales team within the company. The onboarding team recruits over 50 chefs daily, through a meticulous interviewing process. This has allowed us to grow our network daily, and whichever place we get a request from, if there are no chefs available, we will find them.”
Take A Chef’s business initiated in Madrid, and for the emerging years Spain was the only market they dominated, but sooner than later they were able to enter the rest of Europe, adds Ordonez. However, last year, unexpectedly, the Caribbean Islands, USA, and Mexico became Take A Chef’s leading markets in terms of demand and offer, states Ordoñez about the company’s growth prospects. “Our goal by the end of this year, without a doubt, is to enter the South Asian markets as a strong leader as well. Our efforts in product/menu development are now dedicated to South Asia. Our on-boarding team is on the lookout for the best and emerging talent, and our sales team is forming strong business relationships in the region. Indian Cuisine is hard to match! From street vendors to home cooking, it is just incomparable. There is no way someone will be able to compete with the strong culinary traditions, that is why we do not want to enter that race but simply want to build a new road! Interestingly, India is the ninth country from where most of our requests come,” she concludes.