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Tipping Guidelines for Vacation Chefs

It is the dream of every family to have an in-home chef who can prepare luxury meals on a regular basis. A full-time chef, however, can come at an exorbitant cost that is hard to justify over time. A private chef may be hired to prepare a special meal for a special occasion instead. But how do you tip a private chef appropriately? Here is a guide for tipping your vacation chef.

Booking a chef in the area can be a great way to explore new culinary experiences when traveling with a large group.

Hiring An Independent Vacation Chef

If you plan to hire a chef for a meal or a whole day, be sure that you have the space to accommodate the chef. The average hotel room will not be able to house a full kitchen, so you may be better off booking a suite or event space instead. An experienced travel curator may be able to help you book a private chef experience for your luxury vacation.

Consider first what is included in your package before tipping your private chef. The cost of a private chef is usually lower than that of a catering company, but they may charge extra for putting together your menu, serving multiple courses, traveling to your home, and purchasing ingredients.

A private chef will usually charge per head, increasing the price based on the quality of the ingredients or the number of courses. Start out with a tip of 20% as a rule of thumb.

Hiring A Chef With Their Own Business

It is not uncommon for private chefs to run their own businesses and not accept tips. The reason for this is due to the fact that it is not customary to tip the proprietor of a business. In such a case, you may decide not to tip at all or to present your private chef with a token of appreciation through a bottle of wine or whiskey if this is the case.

Hiring a Hotel Private Chef

A gratuity will usually already be included in your final bill if you hire a private chef. A service charge of 20% may be applied. An extra 5% tip can be added if your chef goes above and beyond to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Tipping Logistics For Your Vacation Chef

Most restaurants serve gratuity after the meal is over as far as tipping is concerned. When you know beforehand what your meal will cost, you can set your tip aside in an envelope for your private chef to collect before departing. It is common for diners to tip in cash, although tips are sometimes included in a single check as well.


Your private chef and servers always appreciate a tip. You can't beat a memorable private chef experience when you're on vacation, especially for those who want to learn more about the local food industry. Hopefully, this guide to tipping your private vacation chef will prove useful.


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