We do not buy and sell food at Friend That Cooks. We sell chef’s time at an hourly rate. Our clients also do not pay us for groceries. They send us to the store for them with money they provide for groceries. By not collecting money for groceries ourselves, and selling them back to clients, we avoid having to charge and pay sales tax on our service.
You provide the chef with cash, a credit card, or a grocery store gift card to pay for groceries. The money must be left at the home for the chef to pick up on the day of service prior to shopping. We do not buy and resell food, but rather provide a service that includes shopping for you, so we cannot accept payment directly to us for groceries. Please make sure you provide more money than the chef estimates they need each week. The receipt and any change from cash purchases will be provided by the chef upon their return and stay at the home, along with the shopping list, creating total accountability.
The money needed for grocery shopping depends greatly on where a client has the chef shop. An average amount for a family of four is $90-120, but can be 50% higher or more at premium markets like Whole Foods. Our chefs don’t make their menus until we arrive at our client’s homes so we can utilize any ingredients they have on hand to limit waste and save money on groceries. They also stick strictly to a list and avoid impulse buying so most families experience significant savings on their groceries.
Whether you tip or not is completely up to you. About 1 out of every 8 regular weekly clients, and 1 out of every 2 party or cooking lessons clients, choose to tip their chef. It is not expected and our chefs do not rely on tips as income.
Instead of forcing clients to pay for service during weeks they don’t need to like other meal services, we allow our clients to take a week off from service when they don’t need it. During these weeks, we charge our clients a “holding fee” to keep their spot reserved in the chef’s schedule. Most of the holding fee goes directly to the client’s chef to supplement them for their lost hours. Charging the fee not only helps the chef but prevents our clients from having to pay for service and groceries when service isn’t needed.
Our service is offered at an hourly rate and clients pay for the chef’s time used, then provide shopping money for groceries separately. The average amount of time for a chef to menu plan, shop, cook, and clean up for a family of four is 4 ½ to 5 hours. Smaller families and individuals require less time. Larger families require more time. If you would like more specific estimates for your situation, select a city from the "Services & Rates" button above or contact us.
We accept credit cards, cash, checks, or gift certificates purchased from our online store. You must also provide shopping money on the day of service for the chef to buy your groceries. Groceries can be purchased with your credit card, prepaid debit, cash, or a gift card to your local or preferred grocery store.