Cozymeal an ‘Airbnb for chefs’ has grown significantly in just four years expanding from two cities to 26 and with another 50 markets planned for 2019.
What the platform does, is allow customers to book top chefs for cooking lessons, exhibitions, team building exercises at work, or just have them cook for them at home. It seems like a perfect service for people who need catering but want to go upscale. Maybe some people have a magnificent place for a meal, and want the food to be really special, Cozymeal matches people with the right chef.
All chefs have been vetted for quality, so customers can book a chef according to the cuisine they want to eat and know that they’re getting someone who really knows their stuff.
Cozymeal founder and CEO Sam Nasserian told Fast Company how he got the idea when he found that eating out at restaurants had become too loud. He found it hindered the dining experience when he couldn’t hear his dinner partner over the din of the crowd.
He also said that he had a number of close personal friends who were chefs and they suffered from the difficult lifestyle associated with the job. Long hours and often aggressive work atmospheres, poor work-life balance and a generally low working wage for a highly skilled and creative job meant that some of them were experiencing burnout.
Cozymeal was meant to give talented chefs an alternative source of income. It is also supposed to get the very best from the chef. When you’re cooking for 100 or 200 covers every night, everything is at scale and it’s all about process. If a chef can get paid the same money for cooking for ten people, then they can concentrate more on ingredients and cooking with care, they may also be able to experiment with details that they might otherwise not be able to.
According to Nasserian, the Fast Company writes, the average full-time American chef earns $5,646, working five days a week at unsociable hours. With Cozymeal a chef can earn $7,864 a month working part-time, roughly three to four days a week. They choose their hours, menu, location, and frequency. Cozymeal takes between 20%-30% of the booking value as commission.
The trend for taking chefs out of the kitchen and integrating them more and more into our lives continues. Chefs are no longer stuck in the kitchen, they are on our television screens, our social media, our markets and in our supermarket aisles, perhaps the home is the most natural place for them to be.
Just as Airbnb completely disrupted the hotel business and Uber did the same to taxis, Cozymeal, should it reach its potential would be on a collision course with restaurants.
Restaurants are under increasing pressure with overheads and staff retention, food supply and profit margins. We know that the food delivery market is booming, and many restaurants have chosen to through their lot in with the delivery platforms. Chefs looking for a more direct way to connect with the customer could, in the future, easily do so by cutting out the restaurant ‘middleman’.