Family Tries To Hire A Private Chef For $250 A Week & A $150 Grocery Budget For A Family Of 3

"This position will require 4-5 hours a week," the ad states. For 8 meals. For 3 people. Plus snacks.

chef angry about craigslist ad in which family tried to hire a private chef for $250 a week Reddit / SHOTPRIME / Canva Pro

Modern life is no easy task; for many, that means hiring extra help. But as is all too often the case, just because someone has the privilege to hire help doesn't mean they have reasonable expectations — or even a basic awareness of how much things cost.

Take, for instance, a family that has gone viral after posting an ad on Craigslist seeking a personal chef at rates and on a budget that is not only unfair and exploitative but downright preposterous.


The family tried to hire a private chef for $250 a week and a $150 grocery budget.

"HAHAHAHAHAHA yeah right! Now, what's the real story?" I hear you say. But unfortunately, those numbers — which are completely divorced from reality, for starters — are exactly what the family posted.

It seems this family is firmly in the vein of people who think the work they hire other people to do is quick and easy and should be paid as such. But of course, if that were true, they wouldn't need to hire people to do it for them in the first place, would they? 

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But who's counting when you're the type of privileged person who probably thinks a housekeeper should scrub an entire McMansion for a $20 bill and a Chili's gift card because "the house is smaller than it looks and we're pretty tidy!" I digress. Let's get to this preposterous ad.

The ad asks the chef to make 3 people 8 meals a week, plus snacks, all within 5 hours.

Even after typing that out, I still can't believe it's real, and yet it is. "Our family is seeking a talented and reliable chef to prepare weekly meals in our home," the ad begins. "This position will require 4-5 hours of work per week (all on one day, preferably Saturday or Sunday)."

Oh, is that all? It takes an hour to caramelize a single onion, but certainly, eight entire meals and a week's worth of snacks can be whipped together in the time it takes to watch "Gone With the Wind"! Easy peasy! 

craigslist ad in which family tried to hire a private chef for $250 a week Reddit


But it gets so much worse, reader. For fun, consider that when you take a comedy class, you learn that jokes have three parts — the set-up, the build, and the punchline. Bear that in mind as you continue reading what this absolute joker wants their "personal chef" to make.

"Four complete dinners," (set up); "various snacks and breakfast items," (build); "with enough leftovers for additional meals" (punchline! The audience falls off their chairs laughing so hard they throw up! In the distance, sirens!)

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The family also wants the chef to do all the shopping, keeping in mind special dietary restrictions, for $150 a week.

Honestly, forget everything I just said because THIS is the real punchline. Who exactly is this person? Do they live in space? Have they even BEEN to a grocery store in the past two years? This is more absurd than that scene in "Arrested Development," where Lucille Bluth assumes a single banana costs $10.


The federal government's suggested grocery budgets — notoriously low-balled and have been found to be wildly disconnected from actual prices amid our staggering grocery inflation — currently set a moderate weekly grocery budget for a family of three at $200.

And that's the moderate one! That doesn't include anything "fancy" or "expensive" like, say, fresh fruit or vegetables — those are only for the expensive grocery budgets according to the USDA — and certainly none of the specialty foods often needed for "dietary restrictions."

@yourtango The government's recommended grocery budgets are deeply out of touch with what Americans are actually spending on food #inflation #budgeting #grocerybill #groceryshopping #usda ♬ original sound - YourTango

The family is also only interested in "qualified" candidates with "culinary experience"—so, you know, someone who went to culinary school, as opposed to you or me just going over there and boiling a pack of Ball Park Franks and leaving a box of Cap'n Crunch on the counter, as is commensurate with their budget.


And for all this — impossible demands and a seasoned professional to handle them — the family is paying $250 per week. Sure, for "4-5 hours a week," that's between $50 and $62.50 an hour. But given that the average Thanksgiving dinner takes AN ENTIRE DAY AND A WEEK OF PREPARATION to cook, four to five hours seems utterly divorced from common sense. 

angry chef michalPuchala / Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro

More to the point, private chefs who commented on the ad when it made its way to Reddit said that $80 an hour was a more standard rate. They estimated that this person's order would take a minimum of EIGHT hours of work just for the cooking alone — not including the shopping, prepping, and planning. 


The moral of the story? Domestic work is work, whether you think it's menial or not. If you want to hire people to do it for you, you need to pay them accordingly. 

That means accepting THEIR rates as seasoned professionals running their own businesses — not throwing numbers at them that you concocted while wishing on a star and rubbing a rabbit's foot during a fever dream you had where a whole family can eat for a week for $150.

And if that's too much to ask? Well, good news: There are usually coupons for TV dinners in the Sunday paper. Clip clip!


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.