If you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry, you know how exhausting it can be to stand on your feet all day – especially for chefs over 50 years old. The meager salaries often aren’t worth the back pain and long hours.
Thanks to one ingenious service, however, experienced chefs no longer have to suffer the physical and financial demands of working at a restaurant because they are now being hired to cook for you instead.
CozyMeal is an organization that pairs professional chefs with individuals who want quality culinary service without the fuss of restaurants. Not only does this provide a relaxed face-to-face experience for everyone involved, but it also means that chefs don’t have to suffer through a strenuous workweek for a modest income.
Currently, the website allows customers to book chefs from all culinary backgrounds to host fun food-related events, from catering dinner parties to teaching cooking classes. The flexible hourly payoff means that chefs will collectively walk away with 2 to 3 times their original salary in a restaurant – and all in exchange for a much more pleasant experience.
Cozymeal founder Samad Nasserian says that he first got the idea for the platform after he heard about the stressful challenges of being a chef.
“I had several friends who were chefs, and I would often hear how difficult the chef lifestyle could be, and how low their incomes are in the restaurant industry,” Nasserian told Good News Network. “Chefs often graduate from culinary school with $40K-60K in debt and with their extremely low income, it’s very difficult to pay back the debt.”
Additionally, Nasserian considered the benefits of being able to have an expertly-prepared meal without the stresses of having to find a good restaurant.
“On the other side of the culinary world, I enjoyed discovering new cultural experiences, but I was often frustrated by those restaurants where I found it was often loud; the quality of the food was mediocre; and there was never an opportunity to interact with the chef.”
“Therefore, I decided to create Cozymeal, an online marketplace that connects guests with some of the nation’s top chefs for intimate one-on-one culinary experiences.”
Almost half of the 250 chefs currently working for the platform are over 50 years old, the rest of which are mostly aged between 30 and 40. Though they all have reaped the rewards of Cozymeal, several of these success stories are particularly inspiring.
“I receive regular thank you notes from our chefs,” Nasserian tells GNN. “Some of these notes and personal stories are especially heartening, like the story of one of our Los Angeles-based chefs who was struggling with cancer when she joined Cozymeal. We not only provided her with a good income and better lifestyle (something which was not available to her in the restaurant industry), but the joy of entertaining Cozymeal customers helped to improve her spirits, which then helped her with her recovery.
“Another one of our chefs (a former owner of two pastry shops and former chef of several French presidents) was my Uber driver until I asked him to join Cozymeal,” he added.
In the coming year, Nasserian says that the platform will be launching an app and expanding their services to more national and international cities. Not only that, but Cozymeal expects to double the amount of chefs on their freelance staff, as well as hire bar tenders and food guides.