Downtime is a gift...

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The Weekly Dish
August 29, 2016

Downtime is a gift…

You just found out that your client is going on vacation in two weeks and you now have an open cook date. What's the first thing that pops into your head? 

If your first reaction is that you're bummed you will be out your $300 service fee, then read on...

It just happened to me last week. I had two days open up due to scheduled vacations. 

It doesn’t matter if you're just starting out or you're an experienced personal chef. You are going to have downtime. The real question is what are your going to do with it?

Here’s the key:

View cancellations as a gift.

It’s really as simple as that. If you can view the open day as a gift, then the possibilities are endless.

So what do you want to do with your free day?

Try to fill it

Use your free day to fill it with a potential new client that is on your waiting list. If you're just starting out and don’t have a waiting list, ask around. Maybe one of your current clients has a friend that would be interested. Or perhaps you could reach out to one of your earlier inquiries. Your free day could be an opportunity to try out a new client! 

What now?

So what do you do if you can’t fill it with another cook date? It’s a free day, so what is the most important thing you can do for your business that day?

  • Trial Cook Date: If you're just starting out, conduct another trial cook date. Trial cook dates are a great way to improve your skills. See if you can schedule the cook date with a new family that can potentially recommend your service to others.
  • Blog posts: How are your blog posts coming along? Spend the day creating 2-3 posts for your blog to help improve your Google search rankings.
  • Research New Recipes: Are you targeting the gluten-free crowd? Then take the day to research and prepare a few GF dishes. Start in the morning and take pictures as you go for a blog post on your site.
  • Enrich Yourself: Take a cooking class in person or online. See if you can assist another local chef that you admire. Or, go to a new restaurant and experience new dishes that you could offer to your clients. 
  • Recharge: If you’ve been pushing it pretty hard, make it a “you day.” I’m not talking about sleeping in. Get up early and go to a yoga class or take a hike. Do anything as long as it’s not at home. Get out and get inspired by visiting a class in something you’ve never tried before. Or visit a spoken word night at a local coffee shop. Just get out and experience something!!

As for me, I thought about reaching out to my waiting list, but I chose to spend my two “gift” days creating a bunch of new content for our Personal Chef Now school.

Let us know what you do with your “gift” days…

-Bonnie Goodman

Product Showcase

Each week we will bring to you a product that’s should be part of any personal chef’s kit. We do not have any affiliation with these vendors except that we actually use their products.



At over $80, the Thermapen Mk4 is not cheap, but after the first time you use it, you'll never part with it. This thermometer takes a full reading in only 2 to 3 seconds! It’s incredibly accurate and built to last. I put off buying for over a year because of the price - live and learn.

Things that are making us happy right now…

Each week we will share things that may or may not be relevant to your personal chef business, but are making us happy nonetheless. Let us know what is making you happy and we will share it here in future newsletters!

  • A fun podcast: Some of you may have figured out that we took the title of this section directly from one of our favorite podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour. Listening in on their podcast is like having a fun filled dinner with friends talking about why certain movies, TV shows, books, and music succeed or fail. Each week they make us happy, so we decided to name this section after them.
  • A new film: What’s also making us happy this week is a movie trailer with Eddie Murphy that opens next month called Mr. Church. If the movie turns out half as good as the trailer, then it could be one of the feel-good hits this fall. AND, his character is a personal chef! Here is the link to the trailer, but be forewarned that it’s one of those trailers that summarizes the entire movie:

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Let us know what you think

We would love to hear what you think about our quick newsletter. Do you like the format? Do you have suggestions for future articles? 

Until next week,

Bonnie & Greg Goodman



Bonnie Goodman

Since 2010, Bonnie has been a successful personal chef in the Orange County area. Since 2011 Bonnie has been booked solid serving busy families, seniors, business professionals, celebrities, and professional athletes. Bonnie centers her cooking style around allergy-friendly and healthy homestyle meals that the whole family can enjoy.

When Bonnie started her Personal Chef business she was grateful for some of the Personal Chef Associations like the APPCA and the USPCA. Unfortunately there was not a fully immersive program available to teach her about building and growing her business. Bonnie decided in 2015 to launch the Personal Chef Guide to help new personal chefs enter the market and grow their business.