Meal Prep Chefs Comparison

Foodom vs. Shef & Other Micro-Kitchen Platforms for Meal Prep Chefs

By Foodom published on 8/27/21

Not sure which personal chef platform to work with? Do you want to understand the difference between Foodom and other chef micro-kitchen platforms that provide meal prep services? Here’s a simple breakdown of why Foodom is the clear choice for you!


Foodom is an online marketplace connecting local vetted cooks with people that want everyday meal prep in their own kitchen, creating magic in an affordable and safe way while reducing food waste. There is no subscription fee and clients get to choose the type of cuisine they want when they want it.

Our menu offers a wide range of international cuisines and dietary staples to ensure every family member’s meal prep needs are met at an affordable price. Our customers simply:

  • Choose which menu items they would like prepared
  • The quantity of each item they’d like 
  • And if they would like to purchase the groceries or have their chef do the shopping for them (additional fees apply)

From there, as a chef on the Foodom platform, you will:

  • Shop (if needed) and cook the menu items selected in the customer’s home
  • Take care of clean-up after the food has been prepared
  • Accommodate special requests to meet client dietary and food restrictions as needed

The key advantages of being a chef on the Foodom platform:

  • Cooks and chefs can earn 2-3x more than current employment opportunities available
  • Foodom does not require a certified kitchen, permits or special licenses to do what the chefs love
  • You can have a quiet and pleasant work environment and the freedom to create various types of amazing food on your terms
  • Have scheduling flexibility and business support through Foodom to grow your own food business
  • Engage with like-minded peers to share recipes, learn how to further grow a personal chef business, and be mentored by more experienced chefs in the Foodom chefs community
  • If you need to take a vacation or are out sick, you don’t need to worry about losing your client base. Foodom chefs work together and support one another by picking up the slack when needed.
  • Foodom offers additional incentive programs where you can earn more money through our chef referral and the upcoming recipe creation programs

See what chefs say about cooking with Foodom by clicking here!


Unlike Shef or other personal chef platforms, Foodom chefs are vetted before ever stepping into a customer’s home and require the following:

  • A valid food safety certification
  • Carry general liability insurance
  • Pass an annual criminal background check
  • Pass a cooking test prior to working in a client’s home
  • Provide references about their cooking

Since chefs are not doing meal prep in their own kitchen, they are not required to have a MEHKO permit. Many other platforms do require this permit. 


Foodom’s commission is 20% of the meal prep service fees, so chefs take 80% of the service fees and 100% of the tips. The customers pay fully for the groceries and containers purchased for their meals. The customers pay at the time an order is placed,  and chefs are paid within 48 hours of completing an order. Foodom service fees include:

  • Cooking the meal
  • Packaging, labeling and storing food if needed
  • Clean-up of the customer’s kitchen after cooking
  • Optional extra services with additional fees include grocery and container shopping

Because you are cooking in a client’s home, there is no legal limit for your income, or number of meals created per week. If you were to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week on the Foodom platform, you’d have the potential to make $100,000 per year and more.


Shef is a platform that enables cooks to sell homemade food to their neighbors. Menu items are uploaded by each individual chef based on the type of cuisine they can cook and what meal prep they are doing on a given day.  Like Foodom, there is no subscription fee, and the client can choose the frequency they want to book the meals, the cuisine type, and the quantity.

The Shef cook is required to:

  • Buy all of the ingredients for the meals they prepare
  • Prepare the food in their own kitchen
  • Allow the food to cool and chill to 41 degrees, then package it for delivery
  • Drop orders off at a Shef distribution center in their area



Cooks that work with Shef need the following to get started:

  • Attend an open information video call to answer any questions about the platform
  • Sign up and send in a sample of their dishes
  • California requires in-home cooks to carry a valid food safety certification
  • Though not stated as a requirement, it is recommended in their FAQ that cooks get general liability insurance
  • Since cooks are preparing food in their own kitchen (not a client’s) due to AB626, they need to apply for a MEHKO permit. Depending on the city, permits can cost $650 and up, which can be cost-prohibitive for a cook getting started. Not all states and counties are offering the MEHKO permit either. In some counties, AB-626 wasn’t approved and it’s illegal to cook food at the cook’s home. In most states in the US, this is illegal as well.
  • Create their own menu of dishes, plus have photos taken of the dishes for their personal Shef page
  • Have the appropriate cookware and utensils to cook in their own kitchen
  • Purchase their own food packaging items and materials to cool menu items to the required 41 degrees for delivery by Shef



Shef cooks earn:

  • 75% of the fee charged per meal, 5% which is less than Foodom, and 100% of the gratuity
  • Due to legal requirements in California, cooks cooking out of their home cannot earn more than $50,000 per year or sell more than 60 meals per week.

It is important to note that on Shef, the dish price includes cooking, ingredients, and food containers, thus cutting into the net earning potential on each meal cooked. 

Meal planning with an in-home chef vs. microkitchen for meal planning
In-home chef vs. Microkitchen cooks for meal plan

Overall, getting started, paid, and running a business is easier as a Foodom chef vs. a Shef cook.

  1. There are fewer upfront costs and non-cooking responsibilities required if you work with Foodom
  2. When joining the Foodom chefs partner program, you are welcomed into a community of chefs that support you, while Shef cooks are on their own
  3. Finally, there is no legal earning cap with Foodom since AB626 does not apply when cooking in a client’s home and if you cook with Foodom you can make more than double than cooking on other platforms

Get started on Foodom as a chef here. 

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