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Restaurant vs Personal Chef

I was recently out for dinner with my wife and 4 friends. We had a nice bottle of wine, an appetizer each, and our main course. The service was decent, but when the bill arrived it prompted a discussion about the cost of a restaurant vs hiring me as a personal chef.

We concurred that an at home personal chef experience is often better bang for your buck.

First of all, the wine! At restaurants you pay $8-15 per drink or glass of wine. And bottles of wine range from $80-$150 for a nice, but not extravagant bottle. With Wine & Ginger, I make wine or cocktail pairing suggestions and you pick up from the LCBO. Your costs is $25-$40 for the same bottle of wine.

Secondly, at a restaurant (medium to high end) you are looking at $80- $120 per person for an appetizer and main course, possibly including dessert. with Wine & Ginger we customize your menu and most of my meals come with 3-4 courses including an amuse bouche, an appetizer, and main, along with dessert if you want. And my price range is from $100-150 per person depending on the menu selections.

Next is the tax and forced 18% gratuity on parties of 6 or more at a restaurant. My costs are all in and you are more than welcome to tip me, but it is at your discretion and not forced. Tips should be offered for service. Not mandatory because of group size.

Which brings me to my next point. Service. Even at the best restaurants, service can still be dicey. Whether they get too busy, they are short staffed, or you encounter someone who isn't having the best day, the service can really impact the enjoyment of your meal/evening. With Wine & Ginger, I am honoured to be part of your plans. I enjoy interacting with the guests if they want, sharing info about the menu items, etc. And because I am only serving you and your guests, I can devote my time and attention to you and your needs.

Lastly, there is the convenience factor. In addition to paying as much or more to go out, many don't factor in the costs of cabs/ubers, parking, etc to get to where you are going. People must make reservations that mandate your start time, and limit how long you can stay. But with Wine & Ginger coming to your home, you have the convenience of starting when you want. So you can let cocktail hour linger a little longer, or feed the kids first if they are there. And yes, I can also accommodate kids meals if needed . As well, you can space out your courses as you like, and take as much time as you want to move through the evening.

The overall experience with a personal chef should feel fun and indulgent. I buy the ingredients fresh the day of, arrive at your house a few hours prior to prepare the meal on site. I serve each course when you are ready, and while you're enjoying yourself, I clean up and leave you to finish your evening in the private comfort of your or your friends home.

It really is that easy. But lets recap the numbers again, because this is why I love what I do:

Lets assume the same dinner of 6 for comparison:


Bottle x 2 of wine - medium $160 ($80 per bottle) - $27 per person

Appetizer- $15 per person

Main- $50 per person - protein with 1-2 sides

Dessert- $15 per person

Total bill per person is $107

+ tax 13% =$120.91

+ 18% gratuity = $142.67

Now we look at Wine & ginger

Bottle x 2 of wine - medium $60 ($30 per bottle) - $10 per person

Amuse Bouche- $15 per person or dessert $15 per person

Appetizer- $15 per person

Main- $60 per person - protein with 2 fresh seasonal sides

Total bill per person is $100

no tax

no gratuity mandated - optional only

So as you can see, the numbers speak for themselves!

Hiring a personal chef isn't splurge, its a treat. An experience. And one that is often assumed out of reach for many. But whether you're looking for a quiet night in with your spouse, a dinner party, or a special occasion, Wine & Ginger can make it memorable without breaking the bank.

Check out my sample menus for inspiration or drop me a line and lets talk about your next experience.



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