Foodom vs. Shef & Other Micro-Kitchen Platforms:
Which is Right for You?
By Foodom published on 8/9/21
Foodom's In-Home Cooking Service
Foodom is a service where the client chooses meals from a variety of hundreds of options on the website menu, and a personal chef will come to the client’s house to cook all of the dishes in a few hours’ time. All chefs can cook all types of cuisines and all the dishes on Foodom. The client buys all ingredients ahead of time (or even grows them in their own garden or farmer’s market!) or the chef can shop for the ingredients for an additional fee. The chef prepares the meals in the client’s home, stores everything in containers, and cleans the kitchen when finished. There is no subscription fee, the client chooses the frequency they want to book the meals, the variety, and the quantity.
Shef Personal Cooking and Delivery Service
Shef is a cooking and delivery service by cuisine type (Chinese, American, Middle Eastern, etc.), and then offers chefs that specialize in that cuisine. The chef presents a limited menu that they are cooking for the day you want the order in one cuisine style only. The chef buys all the ingredients, prepares the food in their own kitchen, and it is packaged and delivered to the client’s doorstep chilled for later re-heating. There is no subscription, the client chooses the frequency they want to book the meals, the cuisine type, and the quantity.
Customization of Foodom vs. Shef
Chefs that work with the Foodom platform cook in the client’s home, and are in communication with them prior to their arrival. Clients can let the chef know if the dish needs to be gluten free for example, and that they will have those ingredients available to the chef. Clients may also wish to use their own garden veggies, or organic food they picked up at a farmer’s market. They can also ensure chefs are only preparing their food in an allergy-safe environment. With Foodom, clients are also able to choose from hundreds of dishes of all different cuisine types, allowing them to have Chinese food one night, then a Mediterranean dish the next night or even in the same meal. Clients appreciate the variety of options!
Cooks that work with Shef offer a limited number of dishes that they are cooking that week, and only specialize in a particular cuisine. Everything the chef offers is, for instance, Indian-style cooking, which doesn’t offer clients much variety. Clients are also not in communication directly with the chef, and there are no notes sections on the website, so they can’t request special dietary changes. Clients get the food the chef is preparing that week for everyone ordering from them on Shef. This can be very limiting for families with finicky food preferences, medical dietary restrictions, or people on popular diets like Keto or Paleo. The site even states in their FAQs that if you have severe food allergies, you should not order on the platform as they cannot guarantee the food safety of the chef’s kitchen. More over, the chefs are not required to have their kitchens inspected or certified.
See the full grid to compare:
Costs on Foodom vs. Shef
Foodom usually suggests requesting orders for up to 10 servings (there is no extra fee for 4 servings vs. 10 servings) so that clients have enough for leftovers, and it keeps food costs down to around $7-8 or less per serving (including factoring in grocery costs, shopping and service fees, and a tip). As more dishes are added, food prep costs change, as the chef can often multi-task (make rice while cooking chicken, etc.). With Shef, you are paying by individual serving per dish (at between $14-25 per serving, including fees, tax and a tip), and a client reported back that the serving sizes were fairly small.
On Foodom the chefs cook at the client’s home, they clean after and leave the kitchen sparkling clean. Each of the chefs carry general liability insurance.
On Shef and other micro kitchen platforms, most of the cooks are cooking out of their own kitchens. Even with the MEHKO permit, the kitchen is not getting inspected or certified and there is a trust factor that the cooks will keep their kitchens clean, which is a concern for many. In addition, we couldn’t find a requirement to carry a general liability insurance on Shef and the other micro-kitchen platforms. From client’s interviews and feedback, we learn that the general liability insurance is important to them, when they order food delivery service, either from restaurants or via the micro-kitchen platforms.
Clients that use Foodom on a regular basis often choose the same local chef. They develop a trust and familiarity with the chef and Foodom. The chef also grows to know food preferences, and can suggest new items they might want to try. Foodom then adds the items on the platform, for everyone to enjoy the new dishes. Clients have the freedom to choose to try different local chefs at any time. Foodom automated the complex personal chef service and saves both the client and the chefs hours of work for each one, to enjoy a seamless experience, to make it simple and enjoyable doing on a regular basis. Foodom connects the community to help and support each other, the clients support local chefs with new cooking gigs and the chefs help clients to boost their health, reduce stress and increase their overall well-being.
The chefs on Foodom are joining a community of experienced chefs where they can learn, grow, or mentor. The community and Foodom supports their needs, such as if someone is on vacation and not able to service their regular clients, Foodom helps arrange another chef to step in. It takes a village.
On Shef, there is no personal contact with the cook. Clients order food off of the Shef platform, and it is delivered DoorDash-style to the client’s front door with no contact.
Free up time to invest in what matters most
Whether you decide to use Foodom or Shef, having someone to take care of the meal prep for you will free up your time to do what you love. Foodom customers report that they found time to work out before dinner, some do yoga, some are cycling or growing a garden. Another family reported that they have time to sit down with their kids, ask about their day while looking in each others’ eyes. This mindful attention goes far with the kids and the spouse!