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Gourmands delight: HBS students let you find your own personal chefs with “Chefstro”

Harvard Business School students Rohan Pradhan and Dipish Rai have launched a personal chef service in Boston called “Chefstro” to take the stress out of entertaining dinner guests.  Pradhan and Rai, both about to enter their second year, came up with the idea by observing their busy classmates. “They love to host, but they don’t have time to shop, cook, and clean,” Rai explained to Bloomberg Businessweek. “We started to dig into the business of creating a seamless experience, one that appealed to both chefs and customers.”

One of the first-year courses at HBS, entitled “Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development” (FIELD), challenges 150 teams of six first-year MBAs to bring a business idea to market given only $5000 as seed money. Of the 150 ventures that were presented to a panel of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, Chefstro finished in the top 10.

Committed to developing Chefstro beyond FIELD, Pradhan and Rai spent months assembling a list of chefs, poring over menus, and solidifying their IT platform. Chefstro was incorporated in June and officially launched July 17. According to Pradhan, they’ve served over 150 people thus far.

To use Chefstro, customers visit the website, select a type of meal–options include “Classic Dinner Party,” “Romantic Dinner for Two,” “Bunch Menus,” and “Cocktail Canapés”–and choose a menu based on cost per plate (ranging from $30 to $100). The website finds a chef who matches your selections, who then brings ingredients to the customer’s home on the desired date and prepares the meal.

Since Pradhan and Rai return to HBS this fall for their second year, they’ve been creating a team to help run the business while they’re in school. But they have no intention of letting business school slow their momentum. Pradhan and Rai are looking to expand Chefstro’s scope, beginning with New York.

“We are selectively doing experiences there to get a better sense of the market,” says Rai. “If all goes well, this will be our jobs when we graduate.”

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