You love to cook, but you also love to get paid. 

Service pay

Service pay

⏳You're paid via PayPal  five days after appointments (e.g. Saturday for Monday appointments) to allow for cost-sharing of cooking errors.

You're paid for the completion of appointments (not hourly). Successful Elves average $25-$30/hr ($80-$90 per shift of 3+ hours).

Type Shift pay Standard tip Total
Recurring appointment * $65 $25 $90
Single appointment $55    $25 $80

* A recurring appointment is when you cook for a customer that has put dinner on autopilot with you (e.g., every other Monday at 3pm). These appointments will include an icon on your schedule and appointment pages.

💡When you cook for new customers, invite them to book one of your available weekly spots. Sometimes just mentioning this idea gets you a weekly customer. 


The default tip is $25, but a customer can adjust this amount higher or lower.

Infrequent service pay

  • For short, sample appointments (a single night of dinner), your shift pay is $45. These are rare (from a gift) and an opportunity to get a new, recurring customer.
  • If a customer cancels on you on short notice (after 5 pm, 3 days prior), you're paid a $35 cancellation fee if not re-booked by 4pm the day prior. But customers can cancel within 30 minutes of bookings for no fee. 
  • If you cancel on a customer, see these terms.


⏳ You're reimbursed via PayPal when you close your appointment (e.g. 5pm for a 3pm appointment). 

Purchase card

Purchase groceries and staples on any personal card. We recommend (but do not require) you use a PayPal cash card linked to your PayPal account so money goes out (groceries) and comes in (reimbursements) from the same account. Keep a PayPal balance over $200 to cover any grocery bill. 


💰Your customer reimburses you for the amount used of checked items in your staples list. 

For example, since you didn't check off jasmine rice, you'll get reimbursed $.00. 

If you tap the image to display a checkmark, you'll get reimbursed $0.81 (the amount used). 

💡If your customer supplies any staples, remove the checkmark next to the item. They won't be charged and you won't be reimbursed.  


💰Your customer reimburses you for your reported grocery costs.

On your grocery list, you'll see estimates of your total grocery bill and individual items. 

  • You'll be reimbursed for the full purchase unit, even if some is wasted.
  • When you close your appointment, report your grocery total (not including staples).

💡Keep your receipts for groceries and staples separate. 

Don't buy personal stuff for reimbursement. 

Receipts are viewed by both your customers and support. If you make an honest mistake, just let us know. Theft is grounds for removal from the platform.


See your payments page for a list of your payments from the last 30 days and the option to download all payments. 

Transaction fee
For every payment, you're charged a $.25 PayPal transaction fee. A single transaction may include multiple payments (e.g. your shift pay from three appointments) to minimize your transaction fees. 


As an independent contractor (not a Dinner Elf employee), you're responsible for paying your own taxes ( read some tips). No taxes are withheld from your payments. 

At the end of the year, a 1099 is provided by Paypal (not from Dinner Elf).

💡On your payments page, you can download all of your payments. Your reimbursements can likely be treated as business expenses. 👍


You are covered under a $1 million insurance policy for the work done during your cooking appointments booked through the Dinner Elf platform.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us