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Old 20.10.2011, 00:33
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EF Service Time Wasters

Hello you,
This does not pertain to anyone on here that has posted a need for service help that I have responded to, whether I helped or not.
What this does pertain to is my own personal mistake of ever offering my services in the cooking or catering department on this forum.

While I have done numerous catering, home cooking, demonstrations, and actual restaurant work, ANY contact I have had with interested folks on here have always resulted in me taking the time to do the research requested(I almost feel like people contact me for this so they won't have to go and do it themselves), making the phone calls for arranging materials, doing pricing, exchanging countless emails with what these folks needs are-including special dietary-ethnic-ratio of meat to fish to vegetables-etc, requesting these dates off from my own place of work, arranging other people to also take time off, or assist with arranging materials, but most importantly spending a lot of time.

I do this same work for the restaurant or two I have worked for while here(just to keep in a local swiss time frame), with clients who come to see us directly, with the same type of requests, except when people come to a caterer or a restaurant direct I think there is a different respect or sense of business that is given. As the result being, as I always go out of my way to give the lowest cost, best quality, presentation, and attention to detail, we get the business and do the function.

I regret starting a thread offering my services as a Chef on the English Forum. Every time I get some one who has read the thread, which was posted almost from the day I joined, it always turns out to be a waste of my free time. People who want to plan parties, or use chefs for their own enterprising ideas, or scheme up some way to get rich in Switzerland because they believe all expats are rich, and you can pay cooks that are American, American wages like we are all still in the US. Well, please, don't think of me. I am tired of it. I'll help move your couch, clean out your attic, re locate your garbage, scrub your toilets, fix your mailbox, thank you.

And thank you to the people that have offered me real opportunities, it was nice meeting you.

Something I have over 20 years experience in, please don't try to nickle and dime me. I am thoroughly tired of it.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
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  #2  
Old 20.10.2011, 00:39
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

You are obviously upset Cornfloozed, but I am not absolutely sure what about
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Old 20.10.2011, 00:41
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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You are obviously upset Cornfloozed, but I am not absolutely sure what about
Read the thread for clues
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Old 20.10.2011, 01:21
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Hello you,
please don't try to nickle and dime me. I am thoroughly tired of it.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
Only when selling stuff
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Old 20.10.2011, 01:25
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Only when selling stuff
You know on that note, I did want that jeep, but RHD! I couldn't get my fears over it. Plus you sold it apparently?
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Old 20.10.2011, 02:33
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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You know on that note, I did want that jeep, but RHD! I couldn't get my fears over it. Plus you sold it apparently?
Wuss!! Gave it away in the end as a gift. i'm nice like that.
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Old 20.10.2011, 04:00
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Read the thread for clues
underpaid? no payment? sorry to hear of your frustrations dude...hope all is well otherwise
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Old 20.10.2011, 04:23
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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underpaid? no payment? sorry to hear of your frustrations dude...hope all is well otherwise
Yeah, it's just I am tired of all these inquiries, all these questions, all this time people want me to put into their requests, and they aren't serious.
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Old 20.10.2011, 07:47
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

Bad luck dude. You should have posted this on that "Chef" thread.
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Old 20.10.2011, 07:55
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

I can see a problem when people have no idea what a function costs. They might assume that they can get a 3 course meal for CHF 25 per head, and when you offer a speciality for CHF 50 each they think that you are too expensive and take everyone to a restaurant instead.

Maybe you can offer customers several dishes with suitable prices? Then if they agree, you could go ahead and make a tailored offer.
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Old 20.10.2011, 08:11
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Only when selling stuff
..a bit late now but Ricardo is better for me than the EF for selling stuff. I got so many questions about a couple of items when you could use Google then trying to give away sofas people wanted free delivery too.
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Old 20.10.2011, 08:27
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

Sorry to hear that the time and effort you put into working for some was wasted, Confloozled. It sounds to me like you might need to revisit your business plan and make some changes in order to protect yourself. Do your clients sign any sort of agreement or contract prior to your beginning the work? Couldn't you ask for a deposit prior to beginning the research/work, in order that you are not left uncompensated for your time and effort put into the job should the client decided to cancel?

I think Ittigen has a point, as well, in that some clients/potential clients are probably not aware of what the final price per head will be; perhaps you could be as transparent as possible regarding cost estimates and your past experience providing similar services, in terms of final cost, in order that no one is surprised and then decides to back out. Are you accurately pricing out your jobs from day one, or are you finding yourself coming back and telling your clients that the cost will be higher than you initially expected? If that is the case, maybe you need to spend some time delving more deeply into your figures in order to come up with a per-head cost that will cover your expenses and provide the necessary profit in order to make your venture worthwhile and enjoyable.

Good luck, and I hope you are able to sort it out so that you can continue your cooking as a job, not just as a hobby.
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Old 20.10.2011, 09:19
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

Can you do fish and chips with mushy peas?
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Old 20.10.2011, 09:23
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Yeah, it's just I am tired of all these inquiries, all these questions, all this time people want me to put into their requests, and they aren't serious.
why not delete the post/thread, then you'll get no more time wasters.
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Old 20.10.2011, 09:28
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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..a bit late now but Ricardo is better for me than the EF for selling stuff. I got so many questions about a couple of items when you could use Google then trying to give away sofas people wanted free delivery too.
Must admit the most problems I have had is when I try to give stuff away. Even putting a small monetary value on something (10chf or so) seems to make people realise they are in a "proper" buy/sell situation and suddenly their requirements become more reasonable.

Oh and the person who tried to charge me for buying a box to post me stuff ... a little initiative?? (clue - Aldi and Lidl do boxes for FREE) do you want me to buy your stuff or what?

There is something about the internet. The arms length anonimity means that people treat you in a way they would not face to face. Confloozed I think this is why you are so much more successful in your restaurant based work where people speak to you face to face.
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Old 20.10.2011, 09:44
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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There is something about the internet. The arms length anonimity means that people treat you in a way they would not face to face. Confloozed I think this is why you are so much more successful in your restaurant based work where people speak to you face to face.
This goes for a lot of things. The internet, and in particular when people hide behind fictional names, brings out the worst in people.

From what I can gather about Confloozed's work system, if it were me I would insist on a telephone call of max 30 minutes to gather the details and expected budgets etc, then any further work would need to be paid for e.g. by a reasonable deposit to do the research that is deductable against the final bill but forfeited if the customer decides not to progress. This is a fairly common way of doing things in some service industries.
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Old 20.10.2011, 10:30
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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This goes for a lot of things. The internet, and in particular when people hide behind fictional names, brings out the worst in people.

From what I can gather about Confloozed's work system, if it were me I would insist on a telephone call of max 30 minutes to gather the details and expected budgets etc, then any further work would need to be paid for e.g. by a reasonable deposit to do the research that is deductable against the final bill but forfeited if the customer decides not to progress. This is a fairly common way of doing things in some service industries.
I agree with this system: a 30 minutes "free consultation" call, where you gather the basic facts and present a very general, standard "price list" (e.g. based on prior work, on what you normally charge) making absolutely clear that these are indicative values for a standard service, and you will get back to the potential client the following day(s) with a more personalized fee quote based on their circumstances. Tip: break down every single item of that quote - this is for X, this is for Y, etc.

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People who want to plan parties, or use chefs for their own enterprising ideas, or scheme up some way to get rich in Switzerland because they believe all expats are rich
Different scenario, similar idea: I am peeved about people who ask tax questions on the forum regarding very specific, personal, and complicated tax situations. Mind you, not the general questions, like can you recommend someone, where can I find this info, has anyone had experience with this, etc. but the people who ask things like "I am setting up a company in country X, but I have operations in Y and Z and I live in T,...what is my tax liability? Oh, yeah, my wife/ husband/ significant other/ dog/ cat/ lizard is also engaged in X...".

I might be biased in this, but sorry buddy, not on an internet forum and certainly not for free. And people then get mad when someone suggests "you need to ask a specialist for this".

(Sorry for going OT, Confloozed - took the chance to get this off my chest - I usually just ignore and move on, but this morning I feel b**chy).
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:20
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Yeah, it's just I am tired of all these inquiries, all these questions, all this time people want me to put into their requests, and they aren't serious.
which reminds me...you never cooked for me at your restaurant...
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Old 20.10.2011, 21:22
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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which reminds me...you never cooked for me at your restaurant...
Want me to put together a dried foods plate, and mail it to Asia? That offer still stands. Maybe if you want to stop on by...?
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Old 20.10.2011, 21:42
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Re: EF Service Time Wasters

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Anyone else have a similar experience?
It's like many service businesses where you are not simply selling wiggets.

The art is to get some money up front asap from customers and know when to cut them loose and recognise them as time wasters - even if they are on the EF...
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