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Personal Chef as an added benefit

Hello… I’ve connected with a Personal Chef in our area and want to offer it to our guests if interested. Do I have to add it as an ”experience”? Or what’s the best way for anyone that’s done it?

@KenH may have some input


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For Airbnb to accept it as an experience, it has to be more than a service the guest could just hire for themselves. It would require some special participation by the guest, maybe an unusual menu—something that differentiates it.

Make sure the chef has insurance to cover them if someone should claim they got food poisoning. Seems unlikely, but it’s certainly something guests could pull.

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I would not add a Personal Chef as an Experience. I would just highlight Personal Chef Services Available and then have a detailed explanation of what Meal Plans they can choose from and the costs for each plan (see below).

As a Personal Chef myself, I just offer our guests a menu of a dozen or so Breakfast For Two options which they choose from, and then I prepare in random order during their stay. I just wrap the cost of breakfasts into the per night cost of their stay. They don’t have to eat my breakfasts, but they don’t get a discount if they choose not to have my breakfasts.

In the initial greeting message I tell them that I can/will prepare foods for any of their “dietary requirements” – gluten free, keto, lactose intolerant, low/no salt or sugar, etc. I have also offered to prepare special lunches or dinners, but only twice in five years have I had someone want a special meal – a first anniversary repeat of their wedding dinner, and a birthday breakfast and dinner.

If I were the Personal Chef being offered by you, I need to know if you want me to prepare individual meals – breakfasts, dinners, etc. Or if you want me prepare all three meals every day for the duration of a guest’s visit.

You, on the other hand, need to know what I will charge for those services, and whether you or the guest will be paying me, and when. You also need to know that Personal Chefs normally bring all their own pots, pans, utensils, spices etc, and they buy the the groceries, they don’t use yours or groceries a guest has bought.

You need to sit down with the Personal Chef and work out some Meal Plans: a one-time fancy Dinner Party, breakfasts only, lunches only, dinners only, and 3-meals per day for every day of their stay, not just hit and miss this day and that day but not others… Get the Chef to commit to a fixed price to you/the guest for each package.

Meals should be offered Family Style only – that is everyone gets the same dish at each meal; not Mom gets one thing, Dad gets another and little Billy gets something else.


A cooking class would better fit the definition of an experience


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It’s probably worth noting that if a host is serving meals to guests, local regulations might be brought into play. Although our rentals are not far from @KenH’s the situation is very different as we come under different jurisdictions.

Here, I would need a commercial kitchen that had 6 monthly inspections if I were to cook and serve food to guests.

There’s also the issue that @muddy mentioned - whoever is supplying the meals needs to have great insurance. As hosts we can be liable (or at least, guests try it on) if we simply recommend restaurants.

Ditto. In addition, we would need a shed load of expensive licences from the council as we’d be effectively classed as a restaurant.

Spanish hospitality regulations are time consuming, expensive and, depending on the province, sometimes it’d be easier opening up a house of ill repute next to to the Sistine Chapel!


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Thanks for all the responses. I guess I should have been more descriptive. The Chef actually has her own business where she delivers the meals she’s prepared at home. It would just be offered if they want and they would contact her and set up delivery. I have many that stay for special occasions and thought it would be a nice perk instead of going to a restaurant.

In addition to what @JohnF and @jaquo said, in my jurisdiction, we would have to collect sales tax on the food charges. We don’t have to collect (or remit) sales taxes on the room.

I would add it to my online guidebook like any other item of interest since she has a business listing. I have a paragraph in my listing that refers guests to my guidebook if they’re seeking suggestions for local activities, restaurants, boat rentals/cruises, tours etc. I was surprised how many people use it.

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So it’s not really different from leaving takeout menus from local restaurants in the rental?

I wouldn’t really see it as an advantage for the rental that could be advertised or promoted.

Yes the guidebook! Thanks for reminding me I will use that!

Like I say in my bio, I’m just a photographer, but I do want to add my two cents to this discussion.
I photographed several $1 million plus homes in Reunion FL that included (for an extra fee) a chef, a maid, and even vehicles with drivers.
Another home that had 15 rooms, yes it was huge!, included a maid, it was part of the package and was not optional. When I asked the homeowner why they included this, they explained that the cost of the “maid” offset any damages people where prone to do to the property. So it was really a maid/guard/deterrent type of thing going on here.

Oh, there are plenty of properties where I live that come with maid service, and it isn’t just the super high-end ones. It’s because cleaning help is relatively inexpensive, so most homeowners employ them. And it does keep things at bay if the guests are being particularly messy or negligent.
But chef service is somewhat different, as depending on where the listing is, it could contravene local health regulations. If the chef has his own business and carries his own insurance, that’s a different story.

As I’ve said before, when guests are staying for more than 8 days, the host would be well advised to go and change linens and clean the rental half way through the stay.

Not just because it’s a much-appreciated service, but because it enables the host to keep an eye on the place and deal with any transgressions there and then. I don’t give guests a choice with this. Just “I will be changing your linens and cleaning the apartment on Wednesday”.

I give them the option of morning or afternoon so that they can arrange to be out if they so wish. (Most do). Guests like it but it’s a great deterrent too.

I would definitely do that if I had an entire place listing. With my private room/bath home-share, it isn’t necessary. I’ve asked if they wanted me to do a quick clean when I offer them clean bedding and towels, but all have said it wasn’t necessary. And in about 90% of the cases, that was quite true- the space was left clean and tidy when they checked out.

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