What It's About
A catering chef serves up a tasty side dish.
Words of Wisdom
Chris has some great advice for anyone interested in a similar hustle; "Ask any of your friends and family who wants to have a dinner in their home. Go try it out, see if you like it, and see how feasible it is for you to do. Again, there is almost no overhead, or capital expenses. Do it one time and see if you like it."
One of my craziest experiences was having to cook a dinner for two on a boat. They had told me they had rented a boat to take a sunset cruise on the Potomac, overlooking the monuments in Washington, DC. We planned a multi-course menu for their dinner. When I got there, there was a propane grill, that was maybe 10 inches, and had a tiny camping style propane tank. I had brought a portable electric stoves, but the captain said there wasn't enough power for it, so I had to leave it in my car.
Notes from Chris
Chris Spear always wanted to be a chef. He grew up with an interest in cooking and at sixteen began working in kitchens. From there, he went to college and earned a degree in culinary arts. After graduation, he entered the industry, working as a chef for a catering company. To say that Chris loves cooking would be an understatement… but that’s only the appetizer to his side hustle story. The main event is that Chris was a hard working, diligent employee who took great pride in the food he prepared for customers. And yet, several years into his career, he started looking for something more. Something to make a little extra money that was hopefully food related. Turns out it was the job itself that would lead to this possibility. You see, his company catered large events for dozens or hundreds of people. Sometimes, though, they were contacted for smaller private functions of only a few people. Often in the customers' own home. Instead of turning down the business, which wasn’t in their wheelhouse, they offered Chris the opportunity to take on these morsels... and he loved it. Preparing a meal for someone, for a special occasion, in their home tapped into his love of food in a profound way. That’s when he decided to go from the frying pan into the fire. He began by calling and emailing everyone he knew to let them know his plan. Soon, he had a bite—also known as his first customer. He also whipped up a brand name, Perfect Little Bites. He’d been working a full time job and building his side hustle for over five years. It was time for him to quit that day job and go all in. He knew that Perfect Little Bites might rise like a cake or fall like a souffle. But either way, he had to take the chance. And it worked. With more free time to pay attention to his business, business grew. There have been some down periods but Chris propped them up with lucrative months. On average, he takes home around sixty thousand dollars per year in what is now his full-time hustle. He also has plenty of time to actually take off. For dessert, Chris is now working on a consulting business he calls Chefs Without Restaurants where he aims to coach hopeful chefs in how to start their own private cooking business. He’s already earning an additional five hundred dollars per month with that, so it might not be long before it becomes a permanent addition to the menu.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Learn more about Chris and his private chef business at his website, PerfectLittleBites.com and check out his new hustle, Chefs Without Restaurants at chefswithoutrestaurants.com.
- Private Chef Turns Performance Food Into $30,000/Month Hustle: A California professional uses her autoimmune disease to learn about healthy performance food, creating two businesses in the process.
- Line Chef Makes Millions Cooking Up Apron Empire: A chef sets out to reinvent the humble apron, growing it to a multi-million-dollar company while still working in restaurants at night.
- Nacho Average Tacos! Chef Puts Twist on Mexican Culinary Classics: A San Diego chef turns her weekend catering gig into a popular brick and mortar restaurant for visitors on both sides of the border.
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