Matt Redler of Chefit

Personal chefs for everyone, why other players in this space failed, and the future of eating.

Matt Redler is the co-founder and CEO of Chefit, a marketplace to book a personal chef at the same price as a restaurant meal. You can follow Matt on Twitter @RedlerMatt.


If I wanted to book a personal chef through Chefit, what would that experience look & feel like, end-to end?

Today, our booking process is a bit insane while we operate out of a duct-taped MVP.

Diners head to chefit.com and view all the local chefs (and their menus). After finding a menu they're interested in, the customer will fill out a form where we get the basic information of their dinner. We then reach out to the chef to see if he/she is available. After which we send the client another form to actually order off the chef's menu.

Lastly, we make an invoice and send it to the client for payment. This is insane... I know :) We're currently rebuilding the platform from scratch to allow chefs to input their availability on the backend, and for clients to filter chefs by availability when they're searching on our site. This way, they can find a chef, order, and pay in one swift process.

The chef will arrive at the diner's home with ingredients and kitchenware (pots, pans, kitchen knives) in hand. The diner provides the serve-ware (plates, utensils, etc) which allows the chef to leave as soon as the meal is served instead of eaten.

In less than 90 minutes from when a chef arrives at a home, a beautiful, fresh, home-cooked meal is served family-style.

Which side (demand/supply) is your priority now and why?

Acquiring chefs has been relatively easy. We've learned that many restaurant chefs are shook at the thought of operating their own micro-traveling-restaurant with Chefit.

Our opportunity is in stark contrast from the typical restaurant job, where chefs are in a high-stress, high-labor environment, cooking someone else's menu for absurdly low pay.

Our current focus is proving out that families can see Chefit as a utility and not a novelty. By bringing the cost of personal chefs down from $70+ per person to restaurant prices ($15+ per person), we're hoping to be an everyday "what are we doing for dinner" solution.

Tell me more…

For the longest time, because personal chefs were so inefficient and therefore expensive, chefs could not succeed unless they were a borderline celebrity chef with an ultra-wealthy clientele that could subsidize their one-dinner-a-night career.

The category we are building — efficient, casual, personal chef services — has not only made personal chefs accessible to everyday families, but has also made a dream career option a reality for restaurant and amateur chefs.

We couldn't be more excited about helping talented hard working people start their own micro-restaurants. More than half of our chefs have never been personal chefs before. Yet, clients rave about them. These are insanely talented individuals that were previously boxed out of their ideal career because of a poor business model.

We're happy to say that we've fixed it — and are democratizing the personal chef space for chefs and families alike.

In the past, a few companies in this space shut down due to regulatory issues and unsustainable business models. What did they do wrong and what are you doing different and right?

The major players that were killed by regulatory issues relied on chefs cooking food in their own home and selling it to others.

This recently changed in California, and may be the start of a larger trend nationwide. That said, being a personal chef — meaning going into a client's home and cooking for them —  is legal nationwide.

The two startups that were unsuccessful in their attempt to build a personal chef marketplace failed largely because they were set up as a single virtual restaurant rather than a peer to peer marketplace.

These services would offer a single menu online. When customers would order, a random chef would be summoned to the home to cook. Ultimately, these startups had to worry about ingredient costs, food waste, and paying hourly workers regardless of demand. Imagine if Uber had to pay for the gas of all of its drivers, and pay those drivers an hourly wage regardless of whether ride requests were coming in.

Essentially, Chefit is set up as a platform that connects chef's micro-restaurants with nearby families. The chefs create their own menus, set their own prices, and are responsible for their ingredients. In exchange for handling the business side of the operations, Chefit simply takes a cut of every check.

Why is right now the perfect time for Chefit to exist?

For one, ordering food of one's phone is becoming a consistent behavior trend.

More importantly, 75% of families with kids in school have both parents working. As a result, convenience is becoming the number one factor around food decisions and people are settling for cold, soggy, unhealthy food delivery far too often.

I believe this is the perfect time for the rise of a dinner solution that is the same price and level of convenience of food delivery, but a 10X better food experience because a local chef cooks the meal fresh in your kitchen :)

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