How Shef Works
Mitch Scanlan avatar
Written by Mitch Scanlan
Updated over a week ago

Shef is a community-based marketplace that enables cooks to sell homemade food to their neighbors. Over the last several years, we've helped shefs feed thousands of people around the country and provide thousands of donated meals to healthcare workers and other not-for-profits.

Shef customers represent a wide cross-section of people from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life. Like many of our shefs, many customers are immigrants and expats who use Shef to enjoy comfort food from their home countries. Just as we do with all our shefs, we welcome every customer into the Shef community with open arms.

Cooking on Shef

Cooking on Shef can be a rewarding way to share your culture through food while earning a meaningful income. Selling food through the Shef marketplace lets you be your own boss as you build a food-based business. You set your own menu and decide when and how often to cook and what to charge your customers. Your orders are all placed ahead of time, giving you time to source your ingredients, then prepare and package your orders without wasting any food. We’ll notify you of all the orders in an easy-to-read list. Once you’ve finished cooking, you’ll safely cool your dishes and prepare them for delivery. Once your customers receive their food, you’ll get the chance to hear how much they enjoyed it.

Cooking from Home

Regulations vary depending on where you're located and what type of food you're selling. Please check your local laws to determine whether you're allowed to cook and sell food from home. If you live in a region that has not yet implemented home cooking laws, you can still prepare food as an approved shef if you cook out of commercial kitchens or other legally permissible facilities. All shefs are required to comply with applicable licensing and food safety laws in their jurisdictions.

For general information, please see the Responsible Cooking Guidelines for your state.

Applying to Become a Shef

Anyone who is passionate about cooking can apply to sell food through Shef! We work with a wide range of shefs, some of whom have worked in restaurants and some of whom have never cooked professionally before. Shefs are required to comply with all legal requirements applicable to the type of food they're selling in their location and go through a multi-step process before they’re fully approved to sell food on the platform.

We’re always looking for enthusiastic people who are passionate about cooking delicious food. If you’re interested in becoming a shef on our platform, please visit our Become a Shef page. Once you submit your information, one of our teammates will happily reach out with next steps!

Please note: All shefs who sell food on the platform must be over the age of 18 and eligible to work as a 1099 contractor.

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