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AIBU to think that £25-30 for a housekeeper/cook is just taking the mickey?

(72 Posts)
YankeeDad Mon 21-May-18 22:15:02

This is to solicit mumsnet wisdom regarding what is the realistic cost of domestic help in London, and how to find someone good at a reasonable rate.

I'm looking for a part-time cook / housekeeper to come in 1x / week in order to reduce the workload for DP and myself by cooking a meal or two and washing up in the kitchen.

Word-of-mouth has not yielded anyone promising, so I've tried the route of contacting some agencies advertising for cooks / housekeeping help.

They are coming back with rates of £25-30 / hour (mostly £30) (!) Granted, this is London and it's expensive, and the "going rate" of £10-12 for informal help that I've sometimes heard about may be a bit on the low side, but £30 seems like a LOT, especially as it does NOT include the agency fees: for that they add another ~15-20% on top.

Can anyone in London provide advice on whether this is really the going rate for someone who can cook in London (in which case we'll need to reconsider this plan), or if not, how to find someone at a more reasonable rate: go to other agencies? (if so, which ones? ) Negotiate down? (ie do agencies always start with an unrealistically high asking rate)?

RedHelenB Mon 21-May-18 22:16:18


senua Mon 21-May-18 22:17:54

For that sort of money you can get a nice ready-meal.

DesignedForLife Mon 21-May-18 22:18:05

I'm in the wrong profession it seems.

formerbabe Mon 21-May-18 22:19:30

For that sort of money you can get a nice ready-meal

I thought the same thing! Nice ready meals and buy a dishwasher!

eightfacesofthemoon Mon 21-May-18 22:19:59

You want a proper cook
Not sure what you would expect to pay. Can’t you get some fancy high end ready meals in
Or I’ll do it for you. I like cooking. 18p/h

Namechange128 Mon 21-May-18 22:22:08

Could it be down to minimum per visit? How many hours are you looking for? I live in zone 3 and on local FB sites you can get plenty of people - usually mums of older kids, or older women - who will come and cook nice home meals for a few hours and clean up for £12-15. £25-30 is surely based on a properly trained cook, like in a fully staffed house?

CertainSlant Mon 21-May-18 22:22:17

The problem might be the hours.

A full time housekeeper who did all the cooking and cleaning would be about £10 - 14 per hour net. I guess someone doing the odd job here and there has to charge more.

Alternatively maybe they are sending you chefs who usually do dinner parties, and you need to specify you are looking for someone to do batch cooking and clean the kitchen, not canapés.

FleeceDetective Mon 21-May-18 22:22:25

Are you looking for actual cooks/chefs?

Thewhale2903 Mon 21-May-18 22:22:55

Hmm i would say, having a housekeeper and someone to cook, living in London, 25 to 30 would be pretty normal. You might lossiy get a cleaner for 12/hour but that's unlikely in London I would imagine.

WindDoesNotBreakTheBendyTree Mon 21-May-18 22:23:14

Get a cleaner
And go out for dinner more

TroubledLichen Mon 21-May-18 22:26:54

It will be more per hour as you’re not employing someone full time, once a week is barely part time and it won’t be worth them travelling to you for less than a certain amount. If this person is a cook/chef then by coming to you they’re not taking a shift in a restaurant or say catering a function so why would they take your job unless it pays the same. A decent housekeeper in London also a) probably won’t do much cooking and b) will already have a full time job.

If it’s about not cooking why don’t you just order deliveroo? Even if you get really fancy and eat off real plates then surely it’s not too much bother to chuck them in dishwasher afterwards?

Furano Mon 21-May-18 22:30:13

This is what deliveroo is for

Notcontent Mon 21-May-18 22:31:10

I think it’s quite hard to get exactly what you are looking for. I know lots of people in London who are not wealthy but very busy and could do with that kind of help, and it’s tricky! Word of mouth is the best way - see if anyone has a cleaner who is good at cooking - or otherwise just get good quality ready meals plus a good cleaner!!!

Notcontent Mon 21-May-18 22:33:16

Ps in my part of London the going rate for a cleaner is about £12 per hour (but not through an agency - agencies are expensive as they take a big cut).

GreatWesternValkyrie Mon 21-May-18 22:33:54

Try cookery schools, maybe they would have students who’d be happy to do a handful of hours at a lower rate than you’ve been quoted as a way of gaining some experience whilst training. I think you may struggle otherwise for the reasons Troubled!ichen has outlined.

Bitchywaitress Mon 21-May-18 22:35:36

To the poster upthread, I can't believe people do a few hours for only £12 that's shocking.

To OP. What's driving the cost is the agency's cut of around 50%. (Can be more!) The cook might have to spend (say) 30 minutes get to you and to the next job. So that's really £8.33 per hour for a 2 hour job at £25ph when you factor in the travel time between jobs. Remember with this type of work there are often gaps in the day so people have to charge more.

Yarboosucks Mon 21-May-18 22:36:40

Bloody hell - I am not in London but I am in the South and I am paying my cleaner £15/hour!

senua Mon 21-May-18 22:37:27

Wiltshire Farm Foods

YankeeDad Mon 21-May-18 22:40:17

To respond to some of the questions asked:

-We have a cleaner, but she's not much of a cook.

-Timing would most likely be Saturday morning, not too early, so not incompatible with having a restaurant job elsewhere or a full-time housekeeping job elsewhere, for a person who wants to add some extra income to that.

-Main reason for not getting takeout = to get healthier meals that taste good, i.e. lots of fresh veg, organic or slow-grown meats (not factory farmed), herbs and spices (not oil and salt and sugar), etc.

-We're not looking for a professional chef, but do want someone who can bring or find a few good ideas about how to make food both tasty and healthy

LakieLady Mon 21-May-18 22:41:51

Yes Yarboo, in my part of Sussex you'd have to pay £12 for a decent cleaner, and some charge £15 and have waiting lists!

Ginkypig Mon 21-May-18 22:42:04

You want a cook and a housekeeper so you have to be expected to pay for that.

A cleaner would cost minimum wage-15 an hour
A cook depending on their experience and qualifications could cost minimum wage to 30 an hour.

So combining both rolls into one person will cost more but less than hiring two people.

Nothisispatrick Mon 21-May-18 22:42:45

Surely there is a reason only wealthy people have private chefs

expatinscotland Mon 21-May-18 22:42:59

So get a takeaway delivered and a cleaner. What do you expect? You're asking for a restaurant experience in your own home. Would you expect to eat out, the two of you, a nice meal in a restaurant for £10-£12.

Nothisispatrick Mon 21-May-18 22:43:02

That reason being the cost, obviously

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