I have this personality trait where I love being organized and efficient. I’ve even created a system for visiting the grocery store.
Yes, I still go to the grocery store instead of having food delivery to the house. I could have food delivered to my house or my client’s house, but my clients sometimes live in the country and food delivery is not even available out there yet. As well, there are a couple things that could go wrong. I want to make sure that the avocados I’m going to use for guacamole are super ripe. I don’t know that the person picking out the groceries and delivering to the house are going to know that I need to make guacamole today. I need those avocados to be ripe. Yes, I still go to the grocery store myself.
When I go to the grocery store, I actually don’t carry a purse or anything with me. I like to keep it as simple as possible because the moment you put something down, you might forget about it, or at least I would forget about it. I don’t bring my phone in or a purse. I put my credit card in one pocket and keys in the other. I carry my paper grocery list and a pen. You of course could bring your cell phone with your grocery list, or a tablet, however you want to do it. It’s your business. I’m just telling you how I like to run my grocery shopping trips.
Make a List
The grocery list is actually an organized system in the pattern that I’m going to be going in the grocery store. Obviously, I’ve been to the grocery store a gazillion times. I’ve got this place memorized. They might move the produce around a little bit. They might move the cans around a little bit, but it’s pretty much the same way all the time. I create my grocery list in the order that I walk through the pattern in the grocery store and I do the same pattern every time. It’s just my thing, I guess. Again, I like to be super efficient. When you do the same system all the time, you become better and better, faster and faster at the system.
Create a Flow
I go through the grocery store starting with produce, cans, cheese, and I end always with meat and seafood so they can stay the coldest.
Know the Cashier
When I go to check out, because I’ve been to the grocery store a billion times, I know all the cashiers. I know when someone is new and I know to go to the cashier who has worked there longest or is the most efficient. I truly just want to get in and out of the grocery store.
As I mentioned, I go to the same store all the time. I chose this grocery store because it has the largest organic produce selection than anybody else in town. I do suggest going to just one grocery store. If you do go to multiple grocery stores, make sure your clients know this, then charge a larger fee than you would if you went to one grocery store. If you go to a grocery store, one for produce, another for seafood, and you also go to the farmer’s market, that’s a whole lot of traveling and doing things outside of cooking. Make sure that you charge a higher price than you would if you were someone who just went to one grocery store and got everything.
You may wonder if people ask, “hey, can you pick up some milk while you’re at the grocery store?” Truthfully, if they just ask for that one item, it’s probably just an occasional thing. Yes, I’ll go ahead and pick up some milk. I’m not going to charge extra. I don’t really like to nickel and dime like that. Probably if they ask me every single week, “hey can you pick up these five to twelve items?” Oh, for sure. I’m definitely charging extra for doing their grocery shopping on top of the cooking. These are groceries outside of what I’m using to make their meals.
I’m even efficient once I get to the cashier and put my items on the conveyor belt. I put all the cold items together and produce together because when they go to bag it, it’s going to be a lot faster when all the items are grouped together. Again, efficiency! I’ve got systems here.
Park it Right
Once I have everything in the bag and take my cart out to the car, I always park my car as close as possible to the car return. I pull up to the car, unload, return the car and I’m out. If I had to walk a lot further to return my cart, it would cut into my efficiency pattern. You know, I’m all about organization and efficiency.
That’s just a picture about how I run my grocery store trips. I thought you might be interested in the day to day about how a personal chef works.
If you are interested in becoming a personal chef, I do have a workshop coming up. If you have any interest in becoming a personal chef from absolutely nothing until getting to your first client, let me know. I have a link below and I’ll put you on the list to let you know as soon as that course comes out. Meanwhile, I really appreciate you watching. If you ever have any questions at all, my email is below. I love answering questions, so thanks again for watching. Have a good day.
Personal Chef Questions Welcome!
Virginia Stockwell has been in the professional catering and personal chef business since 2005. She offers mentoring advice at VirginiaStockwell.com and her YouTube channel “How to Become a Personal Chef”.