Picture the scene. You’re swiping away on Tinder and suddenly, instead of a creepy message, the offer of a cool job interview pops into your inbox. Sounds like a hallelujah moment, right?
Well we spoke to Ariella Young, a super sassy entrepreneur and the founder of MyChefit. She uses Tinder to recruit chefs for her business and she believes that the app is the new LinkedIn. Interested to find out more? Read on, you won’t want to miss this.
1. Why did you decide to start Mychefit? Tell us about the company
I have an emotional connection to why I started this company. I suffered from coeliac disease and chronic inflammation from certain foods so I started cooking at home more, instead of eating out and buying processed ready meals. I am feeling happier, healthier and I don’t get tired in the afternoons as I often used to be. Plus I sleep 3-4 hours less than before AND I have more energy. I thought why don’t I start a company that helps other people become happier and healthier as well.
If restaurants and home food delivery services had a love child, it would be Mychefit. We are an online marketplace for professional chefs and consumers. You choose your menu and tell us where, when you want the chef and how many people will be in dining. The chef then comes to your house 45 minutes before the dinner is served with all the ingredients, does all the preparation and cooking, and even cleans up afterward. The end result? A dinner party at your own house with the food prepared entirely by the chef and all the setup and cleanup work done for you.
2. Recruiting on Tinder is pretty unusual! Why do you do this? Does it work?
Great question. Just to make it clear, I don’t recruit ALL the chefs via Tinder. I thought why not try something less corporate and more fun and there it was -Tinder. I think it’s the new best friend of LinkedIn. So I combined the both. It has worked very well. It is fun for both sides. I found Tinder works just fine for me because you see people in different virtual environment where they are more relaxed. People always come across as more authentic and real.
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Also I think most people’s first judgments and impressions are based on visuals – everything other than the words you speak that communicates to others what you’re about. Lets face it, looks count for everyone, in any field. The only overreaching caveat for us is being talented in the kitchen and being good with people.
Every chef is thoroughly vetted and we check their backround. With Mychefit, chefs have the opportunity to generate extra income, create portfolio for themselves and meet with interesting people that show appreciation for chef’s labour.
3. Is this the only way that you recruit?
No, there are not many chefs on Tinder and I think I know them all by now! We have an application process that begins on our site that helps us understand a chef’s qualifications and background. We also check chef’s references. Sometimes people are perfect on paper (education, work experience etc.), but your intuition still tells you not to hire him or her.
I also like to go to restaurants where I love the food. I go to the kitchen and speak with the chef if I can, or I leave my card for them to contact me. Chefs can use Mychefit not only for extra income, but also as a platform to reach people in a way they couldn’t do at many restaurants. They can get real feedbacks and create portfolio for themselves. We believe food really is an art form where chefs are the artists and I don’t think they are appreciated enough for what they do in the kitchen of many restaurants.
4. Have you had any problems with doing this?
Yes, we had some problems like chefs running late to the customer’s house once or twice. But they were not my Tinder chefs. They were the chefs I acquired via LinkedIn ironically. However we have not had any big problems. In fact most of the time diners invite the chef to the table and guests were asking for the chefs’ cooking tips and recipes. It has been fun so far. I always say I don’t want to work with everyone, I just want to work with the right people.
5. Where did your inspiration come from for your business?
I remember my grandparents used to take turns cooking on Friday evenings when all they wanted to do was hang out with family and grandchildren instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Sadly there was nothing like what we offer back then. The demand for good food is everywhere. We are a great service for busy people who can use us as a tasty, convenient, seasonal, and affordable solution to dining. We also provide concierge service for guidance in match making with chefs for their event.
Our aim is to democratise private dining experience for everyone so it is not reserved for only super rich. We source and prepare all the ingredients for each dinner in our main kitchen in order to maintain consistency of experience and quality of the food. Chefs collect ingredients, then cook, serve, and clean up in the customer’s home. Payments are done via our booking system online.
6. Did you identify a gap in the market?
If you think about it there is only two ways to dine in 21st Century. Go to a restaurant or order food delivery, unless you have the time and energy to cook after a long day at work. Why do we have to go to a restaurant? Why can I not have it in the comfort of my own home where I control the music, wine list and menu. The concept is great for entertaining! You can have guests at your home and get to spend quality time with them instead of spending your time with grocery shopping, cooking etc. It’s also cheaper than going to a restaurant since you provide your own wine.
On Christmas day in 2015, the chefs were invited to the dinner table to eat with families. I was very much touched by that. I hope Mychefit will become big and help chefs to generate extra income and make people smile. It also helps people spend undisturbed, quality time with their family and friends.
7. What would your advice be to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I am still trying to figure that out for myself. I went to law school and worked in an international law firm in Asia. After that I thought, I know all about how to start and run a business, but I knew everything in theory but nothing in practise. I am now a huge advocate for taking small steps. Test your ideas, try, fail, measure, repeat and commit to be persistent. Start ups are so hard and commitment will be the only thing that will get you through the chasm.
8. What advice would you give people wanting to get their start-up noticed?
Design yourself to be a more ‘free range’ person. The world is your stage. Tell your story with credibility and passion. Starting a business from scratch is so hard that I feel like I am having 50 rounds with Muhammed Ali every day. I have learned that an impossible deadline becomes a chance to show how dedicated you are and if your brand is generating controversy – it’s also potentially generating publicity.
Get 10%of your first booking with the code “LISTFORLIFE” until April 2016.
To book a fresh menu and chef with Mychefit , just visit www.mychefit.com