July 17, 2014
The LinkedIn for chefs is how they bill themselves, and since winning best pitch at our Tech Cocktail San Diego Mixer & Startup Showcase, Chef’s Roll hasn’t been sitting idly by. In fact, they’ve been cleaning up pretty nicely.
They’ve been in the spotlight a lot, but this past Mother’s Day they were contacted by Fox News for a special article. The tagline for said post was: food dishes that remind chefs of their own mothers.
The Chef’s Roll team was asked to produce 10 viable chefs for the program, so they took to the platform and invited some celebrity chefs with the addition of one chef who had just graduated culinary school. It was great for Fox News, better for the chefs, and best of all for the Chef’s Roll team; they were able to demo their product in a practical, real world setting for an international news outlet.
Needless to say, it was a huge hit all around – a true win-win-win. And that success brought even more attention to Chef’s Roll as The Food Network reached out to them for a casting call not long after.
Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen asked the team to personally reach out to 13 of their Chef’s Roll chefs for a casting call on the show. The lead casting director had seen their platform and recognized that it was a great pool of talent to bring in fresh, professional auditions.
“We’re building the power to make a chef’s career even though we’re relatively small in the space still,” says Frans van der Lee, co-founder, President, and COO of Chef’s Roll.
It’s a flashy way to get into the center of focus, but the best part in all of this is that Chef’s Roll was designed specifically to cater these needs. In a normal day to day, kitchens need to fill space and attract talent which is relatively hard to do.
There’s a lot of turnover in the industry, but having a tool like Chef’s Roll can help when you need to tap into a large host of potential new hires. And seeing as how all the professional features are geared towards chefs – something LinkedIn hasn’t figured out yet – the success rate for chefs on the platform is impressive.
Not all of the chefs signing up are culinary school students either. Recently, Chef’s Roll welcomed celebrity chef Michael Mina to the platform. He also had his entire PR team get the chefs for his 20 nationwide restaurants on the platform as well.
“Chef Mina is a great mentor,” says van der Lee. “He’s a nice guy who truly wants to help promote his executive chefs in any way possible.”
Chef Mina understands the need for promotion in his field as well, but he’s not alone. This past March Chef’s Roll launched a job board for food organizations, restaurants, and affiliates to post their open positions on.
Currently, they are working with Starr Restaurant Group out of Philadelphia. Starr recognizes that in the short term they may fill a few slots here and there, but in the long run they’re going to see a major payout.
“Our goal is to get 1 million chefs on the platform,” says van der Lee. “And when we reach that, this will be the only job board that anybody ever needs to post on.”
The trend of success has been following Chef’s Roll’s wake for a while now, and it’s not looking like it will stop any time soon. To bring more users onto the platform, van der Lee and the rest of the team debuted their ‘Freemium’ version of Chef’s Roll.
Chefs who don’t want to commit to the subscription fee of $19 a month or $99 a year can build a free profile and begin connecting with new opportunities. Users can list their education, experience, skills, expertise, one food photo, and a vision statement paired with their bio, head shot, current employer, and basic information.
“As we like to say: Chef’s Roll, making chefs famous since 2014,” says Lee.
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