Common FAQ

Introduction

ONCE UPON MY KITCHEN gives you an opportunity.

 

An opportunity, to meet people, from your own neighborhood or from a different parts of the world, and taste the flavors of their amazing home kitchen.

 

An opportunity, to showcase your own cooking skills and have some fun with it.

 

Moreover, an opportunity for you to take a leap of faith, walk a different path and open your mind to something new.

 

Our single minded aim is to celebrate each and every home kitchen and allow it to establish its own rightful place in the sun. We strongly believe that the stories that these kitchens have to tell are the sweetest and yummiest. Most awesome food is cooked right there and the flavors created in these home kitchens are unparalleled.

 

It’s a simple concept, you search for a meal that excites you, book it and enjoy. Whether it is in a city you are going to travel soon or in your own neighborhood, we bring you the endless possibilities of relishing authentic distinctive meals that leave you gob smacked. It’s a great way to eat somewhere you never thought you would, something you never expected and above all meet someone you otherwise never would have.

 

As for the hosts, we have created a platform that aids all the passionate home cooks, irrespective of their current profession, to bring together a menu that would wow the world. A menu which has their signature, style and story written all over it.

 

We see the potential of each home kitchen to be a revenue generating unit and give everyone the opportunity to make an extra buck, meet interesting people or just purely let their passion for food come alive.

 

Create a meal that boasts your distinctive style, opens your heart and doors to people from all parts of the world and share the story of your kitchen.

 

In short, whether you are alone or out with a group of friends, whether you are hosting or joining in as a guest, whether you are in your own backyard or exploring a city in another continent, here’s an opportunity for you to be in an unusual place and relish an unusual meal with an interesting person. And if this idea excites you …

 

Welcome to Once Upon My kitchen and to a new style of social dining.

How do I sign up? What are the advantages of logging in via facebook?

First of all, it’s good to know that signing up with Once Upon My Kitchen is free. We have laid out two simple options. You can either sign up via facebook or via your preferred email id.

 

The facebook login option automatically fills out some of your profile information, which saves your time and gives you an additional verification for your account. Please be assured that none of the other members will be linked to your Facebook account, and you can control the information provided to us by setting your privacy preferences on Facebook.

 

Alternatively, you may choose to login via your email id and feed the necessary information.

 

Signing up takes you to your dashboard. Some of the information we need is drawn out from the website you have chosen to sign up with. The rest will be prompted to you as and when you progress, so please make your choices appropriately to aid quick profile building.

 

At Once Upon My Kitchen, signing up means one step closer to yummy food.

FQ: Friendliness Quotient

Once Upon My Kitchen is a unique community marketplace that introduces a new style of social dining. It’s unique because it explores the possibilities of social interaction via a special place; A home kitchen. To do that successfully, we use a concept of FQ that you may be unfamiliar with. Here is a short explanation.

 

Once Upon My Kitchen aims to turn a new page in the way people socialize and hang out. Essentially, this platform brings together strangers from different parts of the world to meet and enjoy the food from amazing home kitchens. While this is an exciting and fresh concept we perceive the most obvious snag. A question that all of us, venturing into a new territory would ask:

 

“How do I know it’s going to be fine?”

 

Whether it’s your safety you are worried about or just the personality of your new dining partner, you are bound to wonder a bit.

 

We decided to take this concern head on. So, besides creating a detailed profile for each and every member, we have introduced the concept of FQ, a friendliness quotient. It gives you a fair idea of how many friends and links the individual has.

 

Each member gets to build their FQ which is a product of the social community links you have linked to your profile, like Facebook, the reviews and references the member generates. Additionally, address and phone verification adds on to the ranking.

 

A more detailed understanding of their personality or cooking skills comes from references that they receive from friends and family, which will be listed under reference section of their profile. Each host and guest can invite any number of their friends to write recommendations for them.

 

Similarly, reviews gives you a glimpse of the experiences of other Once Upon My Kitchen community members who have interacted with them, either as a guest or as a host.

 

Irrespective, be assured that, it is not compulsory for any of our members to be part of any other social community for them to be a member.

 

In the absence of such links we advise you to boost your profile with extensive information, get your friends to write detailed references and put up many fun pictures as you wish. This will give other members a fair idea of your cooking skills or interests and background. You can also activate phone and address verification request and request for a verification of your homes address and phone number from our end. This will give you a special verified tag.

 

Honestly, for that, an open mind is probably more important than a high FQ!

 

Seating

A host can decide while creating the menu the total number of people he or she can accommodate for that particular meal. As and when the booking is accepted the table gets full. Which means that there is an opportunity for a great mix of people to be there for that particular meal.

 

If for any reason any guest would want to book the meal privately with the host, he or she can send a request via the inbox message which is opened up post booking confirmation. Kindly note that it is up to the discretion of the host to choose to accept or decline the request.

 

Response time

What it means to a guest?

 

Response time is the time taken by the host to respond to your booking request. Once you book, the host need to accept the booking within the stated response time to ensure that the booking is confirmed.

 

The response time varies from host to host depending on their personal preferences, so please make a note of it while reviewing profiles. Once you book, we process your payment and block the amount but do not deduct the amount. The payment is only deducted when the booking is confirmed by the host, within the response time. If the host doesn’t respond within the response time set by him/her, we cancel the request, release the payment that was blocked and give you other options that you can choose from.

 

What it means to a host?

 

Response time is a very crucial aspect of your profile as a host and it is set by you. It lays down the time within which you choose to respond to all the booking requests. It gives you enough time to review profiles and provide confirmations. Plus, it will help your guests plan ahead of time and the payments to go through seamlessly.

 

If you do not respond to the booking request within the response time set by you, we will consider it cancelled. Which means that you will lose out on that booking. Please ensure that you set up a standard response time right at the beginning and keep a close eye on it. Note that this can be altered and edited by you any time; with each menu if you wish.

 

It’s just a matter of habit, once you get comfortable, you will find that logging in and keeping your profile and response time updated is a simple and easy step.

 

The options for response time are provided during your profile building or first menu upload. Please select one option from the following:

 

Response time options:

 

1. Instant

2. 0-24 hours i.e. 1 day

3. 0-48 hours i.e. 2 days

4. 0-72 hours i.e. 3 days

 

Cuisine type

Once Upon My Kitchen is a community that explores the food coming out of home kitchens all over the world. These kitchens are not commercial setups and the food cooked in them is unique. The flavors, textures, aromas and styles of cuisines in these kitchens are the reflections of an individual’s cooking style. So it goes without saying that these menus may not fit into a very strict cuisine type. So while creating your menu as a host, feel free to click on multiple options if that is what you plan to do.

 

However we have tried to place an indication of the various cuisines a particular menu gets its essential inspiration from so that you can pick and choose the broad options that you prefer. Whether you are a host or a guest, please note that a menu does not necessarily have to fit into any of these standard categories. It could be a fusion of multiple cuisines or a more modern take on a traditional cuisine.

 

The possibilities in these home kitchens are endless. And the surprise of discovering them is the real joy.

Meal type

Meal type is pretty simple. It basically tells you what kind of meal it is – a breakfast, lunch, dinner or Tea. Besides that we have provided the option of hosting snacks and special festival menu options.

 

Once Upon My Kitchen aims at giving everyone an opportunity to create their own special signature and tell their own unique story.

 

So as a guest or a host you can pick and choose how and when you wish to interact with other members. It could be over a tea party or over a great local dinner.

 

Morning, noon or night, there’s always someone out there, ready to share that bite.

Ingredients index

Well, obviously it’s practically impossible to list down all the ingredients used for cooking a meal. Specially, if the ingredients are secrets handed down over generations!

 

But this index points at key ingredients used such as types of meats, nuts, dairy products, etc. which could be essential for someone with dietary restriction or to respect ones religious sensibilities.

 

As a host there is a simple column you can fill in your menu planner that lets you broadly specify what has been used. And as guests you can review the list to know more. The idea is to not get too picky. If there is something you absolutely cannot deal with in the listed index, you can write to the host once your booking is confirmed.

 

It’s a community of foodies. And if you truly love the idea of sharing and meeting people over food, you have to believe that everyone will be looked after and fed to their liking.

 

Don’t let a peanut stop you from enjoying the rest of the meal.

Commissions, Taxes & Service Charges

Payment Specifics/ Commission:

 

Once Upon My Kitchen divides the commission equally between the host and the guest. Also a Convenience charge of equal amount is levied from both host and guest. The commission is 10% for host and 10% for guest. The convenience charge is 3% for host and 3 % for guest. Please note that a standard service tax of 12.36 % in levied on these charges.

 

Taxes & Service Charges

 

Please note that the service tax applicable as per the standard norms may be applicable to each booking payment. These will be indicated to you at the time of the booking according to the booking specifics.

 

The personal taxes paid by the host are not the responsibility of Brag Consultancy Pvt Ltd, Once Upon My Kitchen or any of its sister concerns. Please take the advice of your local tax advisors and follow the local taxation rules as per the country of your residence and proceed with your personal tax payments.

 

Commission fee

 

We have set up a commission fee, that would be standard to all the hosts and guests irrespective of where they are from or what they are offering or how often they participate. Please note that this commission fee structure takes care of the cost of running the website, its overheads, and the team.

 

Please also note that the commission fee is equally divided between the host and the guest.

 

What does it mean for the guest?

 

When you search for a meal the commission fee is already included in the price shown to you.

 

What it means for the host?

 

When the host puts in the cost of a meal it will immediately add the additional commission fee charged to the guests and show it as price to the guest.

 

The indication of the amount that would be reimbursed to the host – host payout, after deducting their own commission fee can also be viewed while creating the menu and at the time of setting the price.

Policies: Refunds and Cancellations

As a host:

 

As a host you get the right to set up the policies you wish to apply. Your kitchen -Your rules, which means that once you have confirmed to the guest they will need to follow the refund or cancellation policies as set by you.

 

Unless of course you as a host you yourself cancel the meal or booking, in which case the guest receives full refund. This will however affect your placement in search listings. So try and avoid cancellations post confirming the booking.

 

As for setting up the policies, please be objective when you set them up. Bear in mind the time you will need to plan and prepare the meal and base your policies accordingly. For your convenience, we have given you simple options to choose from. Just tick on notice time you need and the amount you will be ready to refund accordingly.

 

Please ensure that you keep your policies guest friendly and at the same time ensure that your time, effort and cost incurred are well taken care of.

 

Refund policy options:
1. I do not appreciate cancellations – 0% refund
2. I am ready to meet half way – 50 % refund
3 If not today, let us meet some other day – 100% refund
Day prior to the meal: 0% refund, 50% refund, 100% refund
On the meal day: 0% refund, 50% refund, 100% refund

 

As a guest:

 

Once you have booked and sent a request to the host, you can cancel with full refund (after deducting the 3 % convenience charge) only before the host confirms. Once the host confirms the policies set by the host are applicable, depending on when you apply for the cancellation, if it’s well in advance or on the day of the meal. Depending on the notice period the host has set your refund will be processed. Hence please view the cancellation policy selected by the host at the time of booking.

 

If the host cancels the booking full payment is refunded to the guests.

 

Please note that a charge of non refundable 3% convenience fee will be levied on all Guest Refunds except when the host cancels.

 

The website does not allow rescheduling as of now; we will be looking at this option in the near future. So if a guest wishes to reschedule, he needs to cancel the current booking and choose the options available for new dates and time.

What is a dashboard?

Once you login or sign up, you will be directed to your dashboard.

 

In simple terms, the dashboard is your home page. It holds all the essential links on a single spread so that you can view, edit, alter and communicate effortlessly.

 

Alternatively, if you are surfing the site and wish to get back to your dashboard you can just click on your profile Picture and it takes you back to the dashboard.

 

The key links are:

 

Profile: Which shares your name, address, interests, passions, likes and dislikes in food, allergies etc.

 

Photos:Which you can upload, share, view and edit.

 

Menu: As a host, obviously the most important aspect of your dashboard. You can put up the most creative menu you can think of.

 

Calendar: You can set and edit your dates of availability so that all the interested members can view and plan.

 

Accounts: It takes you to all your payments method options, transaction history, invoices and its details.

 

Message: Holds all your private inbox messages from other members and the Once Upon My Kitchen team.

 

Bookings: Shows you all the bookings you have requested, responded to, cancelled, upcoming, shortlisted or past.

 

Review & references: All the comments and recommendations from your friends and from other members who have interacted with you via Once Upon My Kitchen.

 

Besides these the dashboard has your profile Picture, FQ and displays your notifications and alerts.

How do I boost my profile? What are the key elements of my profile? How can I edit my profile?

Once Upon My Kitchen is a unique community market place where people who truly believe in the awesomeness of home cooked food come together to enjoys each other’s company over a meal.

 

For members to get to know you better please share as much information as you wish. Let us know of your likes and dislikes. Favorite food, countries you have travelled. Best memories of a meal. The more you share the better are your chances of sharing a meal.

 

Key elements of your profile of course would be your introduction, photos, basic information and the interests and limitation of your palate.

 

We have provided the edit option. Please click on it at any time to update or edit your profile. We recommend all our hosts and guests to keep the calendar and profile updated so that it gives confidence to all the other members that you are an active interested member of the community.

What are the perks of booking via Once Upon My Kitchen?

There are many reasons why you would find it ideal to do all your bookings and keep all communications to be routed through Once Upon My Kitchen:

 

1. Security - All our payment systems are secure, reliable, and convenient. Both for the host and the guest this is a safe and secure gateway to ensure that the payments are processed seamlessly.

 

2. Payment Guarantee - For the host its reassuring that we collect guest payments up front and in full when you confirm the booking. This relieves any doubts and reaffirms that you get paid for the meal you have so painstakingly planned.

 

3. Cancellation Policies – It’s also assuring for the hosts that Once Upon My Kitchen upholds your cancellation policy from the moment the booking is confirmed. Which again gives you full clarity on your status until the end of the meal. And the same goes for the guest, any cancellation from the host and you are assured a full refund.

 

4. Payout on Confirmation - As for the guests it is also reassuring that Once Upon My Kitchen does not release a host payout till the meal is attended. This means they can be confident that their money is safe and secure until they relish and enjoy the meal.

 

5. Flexibility - Both for the guest and the host our payment system ensures flexibility. There are numerous friendly options for paying & receiving money.

 

6. Once Upon My Kitchen provides a security blanket against any grievances; miscommunication or financial irregularities so that both hosts & guests can co exist and thrive in a mutually beneficial manner.

Photos

A Picture speaks a thousand words especially in a community that has diverse members who are getting to know each other. Your photos will play an important role.

 

You can upload a photo by browsing your computer and uploading a nice picture from any of your files. Put up a few other cool photos of a meal that you plan or your dinner area. These can be linked to a particular menu or edited /deleted as and when you wish. There is also the privacy setting options that allows you to choose who you are comfortable sharing the pictures with.

 

Guest Photos:

 

While building your profile please put up a profile picture. Along with that do put up photos of your home, family and friends or your travels or whatever you are comfortable with.

 

Also please put up pictures after a meal with the host on the Once Upon My Kitchen website. It will be great if other members can see your Once Upon My Kitchen interactions. Or even the photos of the food you ate. The fellow foodies of Once Upon My Kitchen will be very appreciative.

 

Host Photos:

 

The profile photos are the most important ones to begin with. Besides that share pictures of you food, kitchen, a special dessert, your family or other Once Upon My Kitchen guests enjoying a meal at your place.

 

It’s hard to remember your camera when you are having so much fun, but do try and take a few snaps with your guests when you are hosting a meal and put them on the Once Upon My Kitchen gallery or share them on various social media options. It’s a great way of communicating your story to fellow members and future guests. It doesn’t need to be too elaborate; even a few decent pictures from your Smartphone would do.

Calendar

It’s an important part for this rendezvous to come true. It simply tells everyone the days you are free and available for a meal and to meet other members and marks out the days you are not.

 

Guest

 

As a guest your calendar is very simple. It lays down the details of all your Once Upon My Kitchen appointments past, current and future. It’s more to view your activities on a single page. And keep track of your bookings.

 

Host

 

As a host your calendar is very crucial. Every time you update, the date/day is displayed on top so that other members see you as an active host.

 

Please ensure that you clearly mark out your available dates and time correctly and keep checking from time to time.

 

Please ensure that depending on your meal type, being lunch, dinner or whatever you wish to serve, you have the correct time logged in for your guests to arrive.

 

Please flag off the specials. If you plan to have a special meal which is unique, highlight that on your calendar so that your guests know it’s not to be missed.

 

All the members who are either browsing the site or missed a previous booking with you will immediately gravitate towards checking out your calendar to see the next available date they can join you. To ensure that they receive correct information and plan well in advance, keep your calendar updated.

Dos and Don’ts

1. Keep an open mind and try this at least once to see how it goes.

2. Try and keep a detailed profile for other members to know you better.

3. Be sensitive to the cultures and traditions of your hosts and guests and be respectful of their choices.

4. Do not treat this platform as a commercial set up and treat either the guests or the hosts as clients or servers.

5. Do not offer or receive payments besides the payment gateway provided for your transactions on the website.

6. Do refrain from giving any controversial social or political opinions to the guests and ensure a warm, friendly atmosphere at all times during a meal.

7. Do follow the protocol of bookings and cancellations.

8. Ensure that all the requirements for food and ambience are met before the guests arrive.

9. Always honor the booking once you confirm your acceptance.

TakeAway-Introduction

For HOST:

 

Agreed, that being a Host on Once Upon My Kitchen is super exciting and rewarding. You get to cook, which is your true passion and at the same time get to meet loads of new people. But lets face it. It’s not always possible to entertain at home even though you absolutely love to do so. Life is such. Sometimes your schedule or co residents schedule is so crazy that hosting at home seems cumbersome if not impossible. Or maybe you are just shy and wonder how it would be to host a stranger. Whatever the reason, don’t let anything or anyone hinder your skill and talent of cooking delicious food and sharing with people who are so eager to cherish it. Choose to offer Take Away.
In your Dashboard’s Menu section, under Create New Menu, each Host gets the option to choose from – At Host Home or Take Away or of course always the ideal option… both!!

 

What to remember while offering Take Away?

1.  First of all, this is super convenient. Specially if you or your guests are too shy or too busy. Just cook up your yummilicious food and pack it with love in disposable containers. The Guests will come around the time slotted by you to pick it up. This way you both take your first step of saying hello to a stranger. #hellostrangergoodbyefriend

2.  Since its not going to be a long stay its best to keep the food ready as per the time fixed. This way the guests will not be delayed.

3.  Use fresh and new containers. Avoid using old used containers. Simple disposable plastic containers and silver foils are available all over the local markets. Lets ensure that your precious food is packed in a manner it deserves.

4.  You can choose to offer the same menu as “At Host Home” as well as “Take Away”. That too on multiple dates. So to make it easier for people to relish your food try and slot as many dates as possible for each of these options.

5.  Avoid giving out any expensive boxes that you expect to be returned back post the meal. Not that our guests wont, but they may get caught up with life and you may miss your precious tupperware. Who doesn’t!!

 

For GUEST:

 

Its great that you too believe in the awesomeness of a home cooked meal. Well, that’s precisely the reason you are here, right? But lets accept it. Life can get busy. And even though you keep planning to book a meal with us, it never really works out that way. In these times, when we can barely manage to have a meal at an old friends place, it can get difficult to reach back home after a long hard days work to get dressed. And dine with a stranger. Or maybe you have all the time in the world but are way too shy to eat at a stranger’s home. If you fall in any of these two categories “Take Away” is a great option.
It’s a fab way to break ice and warm up to the idea of Once Upon My Kitchen. You get to meet someone new. Even for a short while. So go ahead. Book a meal today. And take with you a lil piece of healthy homemade food heaven instead of that greasy run of the mill stuff you keep picking up.

As a guest, the choice of opting for At Host Home or Take Away is given in our search. Besides this even on your main booking details page there is an option to choose, before you pay.

 

What to remember while opting for Take Away?

1.  Ensure that you reach the host address around the time slotted by the Host to pick up your parcel.

2.  Check that on the booking page you have made the right choice, before you go ahead with your payment.

3.  And lastly. No matter what. Ensure that soon you keep your diary and your courage open for an At Host Home meal as well. Trust us, there no greater joy than having a bite at the home of one of our amazing hosts. Till then, choose to enjoy the goodness of yummy homey food in the comfort of your couch at home .

Host FAQ

How can I be a host?

Once Upon My Kitchen is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a full time professional, a home maker, a student, scientist, or musician. If you can cook something yummy that you feel the world should taste and if you like to meet interesting people from all walks of life – it is perfect for you. You can do it individually or as a family or with your flat mates and friends. It gives you an opportunity to display your hosting skills, meet interesting people and above all make an additional buck for you to enjoy some extra perks.

 

It’s as simple as A B C. Join in with a free membership, upload a menu with a few pictures and set your calendar. And you are all set.

 

Once you receive a request, you have the liberty to review the profile of your guest, check his or her credentials and decide freely before you accept. You have the full freedom to accept or decline the person. Once you confirm its time to rock and roll. Dish up your menu and enjoy the company.

 

The website is designed specifically to ensure that it’s simple and easy for you to maintain your profile. You can choose your available dates, upload as many menus as you wish and even decide on your own pricing.

 

Remember to boost your profile and make it more interesting by building it over time. Write about yourself, your cooking interests or hobbies and passions. Upload cool pictures of your food, friends, dining area or even your goofy dog.

 

Plus you can edit your profile and calendar as and when you wish. As a host you get full freedom to review the profiles of all your guests and get all the information you wish to have about them, in advance, before you decide to accept or decline a request.

 

Once the your meal is hosted and the Guests have left, all you need to do is just send us a payment alert and we will forward the payments due to you. It’s a great opportunity for you to make a substantial financial contribution, by using your skills and free time. The extra income you make via Once Upon My Kitchen will help you buy special stuff, take a vacation or even just dine out at other Once Upon My Kitchen spots and meet other interesting members of this community.

 

Please refer to payments section for more information on payments.

 

I wish to host but something holds me back!

Relax. There is no formula or format to be a host. In fact we want you to stay away from any formats. Whatever style you like to receive people in, whether it’s an easy going laid back relaxed atmosphere or a ‘special attention to every detail’ kind, it’s your call.

 

Be assured that it’s irrelevant whether you cook every day or only occasionally, tend to follow recipes or cook in an experimental style. Whichever way, if you have delicious food to offer, without doubt, there are people from across the globe eager to get a bite.

 

Just sign up and list your menu. The options are endless. You can put up the menu for a relaxed lunch, a three course dinner or offer tea with some homemade cupcakes.

 

As a host, how do I decide the pricing? Help me decide the price for my menu!

 

We understand that as a host, pricing would be your most challenging decision. But don’t worry, we can guarantee that in no time you would be a pro at it. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when you work on your pricing.

 

1. List down the key ingredients and what it would cost you to buy them at a retail outlet. This will give you a fair idea of the basic cost you would incur to cook the meal.

2. To really present the most unique desirable flavor to your guests its best to continue making your regular home food but just make extra for the guests. This way the guests get to relish the most authentic flavors of your kitchen and hosting becomes cost effective.

3. While pricing, make a special note of extra prep time or effort involved for any particular menu. If the price is exclusive for that reason, don’t forget to make a special mention while writing about that menu.

4. Work out the competition scenario. Analyze, how much other hosts in your neighborhood charge or the restaurants and food stalls in your neighborhood price their meals. Obviously you do not want to compare your food as it is different from any other kitchen. But, this gives you a better idea of the value you can provide. Try and charge below the standard norm initially so that your guests are tempted to give you a shot. Once you receive rave reviews, and get popular, you can re-evaluate.

5. Please calculate the deductions that will be made before the payouts are forwarded to you. Bear in mind that the 3% convenience fee and Once Upon My Kitchen commission fee of 10 % will be deducted before you receive your payout.

6. Most importantly keep in mind the price charged to your guests. Like you, they too pay the commission and convenience fee of the same amount. Once these charges are added, the price per person goes higher than what you started with. This will be shown to you while you set up the price in menu planner. To keep the cost reasonable and help them choose you, price your menu as the best bang for the buck that anyone can hope for.

How do I receive my payment?

Once the meal is hosted and you have sent us an alert for your payment, there comes the second best perk of being a host. It’s time to get paid.

 

When you receive a payment for a booking, we call that payment to you – host payout. Each payout will be made after deducting the fees & commissions as applicable. We only transfer the host payouts via Bank Transfer currently. Our secure payment system supports only one mode of payment as per the banking regulations of the country we are based in currently. But rest assured we are working hard to ensure that soon more options are available for our hosts to choose from.

 

Note: You can write to us about any other payout method preferred by you. We at Once Upon My Kitchen shall constantly endeavor to provide you with your choices and hope to fulfill your wishes.

 

For the host payout to be transferred smoothly please provide us with the following bank information

 

Name as per Bank account, Bank account number, Bank name, Bank branch address, Bank branch swift code or IFSC code.

 

At the time of setting your profile you can choose one default option. If you wish you can edit and provide different bank account details to receive your payout.

 

When do I get paid?

For the convenience and smooth running of all the systems, and to provide our team ample time to process the payments bearing in mind the differences in processing time and for payments to reach you in your diverse destinations, we will set up host payout cycles. The payout cycle would be each fortnight and depending on the time of that particular meal service each payment will fall into a cycle. Which means that every 15 days the payments will be processed.

 

Which simply means that the host will receive payouts for all meals hosted between 1st and 15th of the month anytime between 16thand 31st of the month. And payouts of all meals hosted between 16th and 31st of the month will be done any day between 1st and 15th of next month.

 

How do I plan my menu?

Planning the menu is the fun part. Remember, your menu is the real expression of your style of cooking and tells the unique story of your kitchen. You have a free hand to plan and design as many menus as you wish. Take your time to choose each element of the menu and when you are happy with it, just publish. Oh and don’t forget to link it to a date /time on your calendar. Otherwise it cannot be booked. We do not want you to follow any rules or guidelines. Just follow your heart and have some fun.

 

Here are a few simple tips to help you start off:

 

1. Stay true to yourself: This is the most important tip. Your guests are keen to discover something authentic and flavorful. It doesn’t have to be too complicated or engineered. Just cook with your heart. Cook a meal that you would like to eat yourself and your guests will like it too.
2. Cook your regular meal: Most times what people relish the most is a simple home cooked meal. Just cook the kind of food you would otherwise make on any regular day for yourself and make a little extra for your guests.

This makes planning very easy, especially for new hosts.

3. Tell the story: Your menu is your signature. So it’s your call to decide what style you wish to cook in. you can make a family recipe, or do some experimental cooking or even make some yummy hamburgers and look out for other fun people to join in over a game.

Points to remember before the guests arrive. A ready reckoner for hosts

Once you have confirmed its time for you to save the date and get going. Just follow simple rules, the same ones you probably follow when you invite a few friends to come over. And your meal will be a hit.

 

1. Plan well: Please ensure that all the elements of your menu are well planned for the occasion. Your ingredients are sourced and the prep work done. Ensure that you always aim to meet your standards of taste & flavors. If you wish to make extra add-ons to surprise your guests, feel free to do so, but don’t make any compromises on quality of the main menu.

2. Tidy up: Your guests are looking forward to meet you and enjoy your hospitality. A quick tidy up of your surroundings will be a great asset in hosting effortlessly.

3. Double check the short notes: Please ensure that you have a quick look at the dietary restriction/allergies, of your guests in their profile. If they have mentioned any, bear them in mind and make the necessary adjustments. It would make your guests feel special and relaxed instantly.

4. Set the alerts: Last but not the least, set your alerts for each booking. It’s quite possible that as a host you may have more than one guest or may have multiple meals in one day itself. Please ensure you put up separate alerts for each booking so that you are on top of the game.

How to host a successful meal?

Alright, so you are all set for your meal and the guests are about to arrive. Here are, what we call the 5Ss that will help you make it a success:

 

1. Smile: The most important aspect of being a host is to make your guests feel welcome , do that with a genuine smile. It will instantly ease them and make them feel comfortable and connected to you.

2. Serve: Ensure that each guest is well taken care of and served properly. Just make them comfortable and pleased with their meal. You don’t have to make it too formal or rigid; a friendly and hospitable attitude is what everyone prefers.

3. Share: Besides serving the meal, share with them your experiences of cooking it. This is a community of foodies. So talk about each elements of your menu. Why did you choose to serve them that particular dish? Or what you normally prefer to cook and why? Where you normally source your ingredients or your recipe etc.

4. Surprise: It is always nice if you can add on something extra to the meeting. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or fancy but if there is a small gesture that you can make towards your guests to make them feel special they would love it.

5. Story: Its more than just a meal, a lot of your guests will probably be from another part of the world or positively be unknown to you and your life. They would be delighted to get to know you a bit more. And to know about your travels, interests, nearby attractions or where you bought that rug from. Share with them your stories so that meeting you becomes part of their fondest memory.

TakeAway Host

Agreed, that being a Host on Once Upon My Kitchen is super exciting and rewarding. You get to cook, which is your true passion and at the same time get to meet loads of new people. But lets face it. It’s not always possible to entertain at home even though you absolutely love to do so. Life is such. Sometimes your schedule or co residents schedule is so crazy that hosting at home seems cumbersome if not impossible. Or maybe you are just shy and wonder how it would be to host a stranger. Whatever the reason, don’t let anything or anyone hinder your skill and talent of cooking delicious food and sharing with people who are so eager to cherish it. Choose to offer Take Away.
In your Dashboard’s Menu section, under Create New Menu, each Host gets the option to choose from – At Host Home or Take Away or of course always the ideal option… both!!

 

What to remember while offering Take Away?

1.   First of all, this is super convenient. Specially if you or your guests are too shy or too busy. Just cook up your yummilicious food and pack it with love in disposable containers. The Guests will come around the time slotted by you to pick it up. This way you both take your first step of saying hello to a stranger. #hellostrangergoodbyefriend

2.  Since its not going to be a long stay its best to keep the food ready as per the time fixed. This way the guests will not be delayed.

3.  Use fresh and new containers. Avoid using old used containers. Simple disposable plastic containers and silver foils are available all over the local markets. Lets ensure that your precious food is packed in a manner it deserves.

4.  You can choose to offer the same menu as “At Host Home” as well as “Take Away”. That too on multiple dates. So to make it easier for people to relish your food try and slot as many dates as possible for each of these options.

5.  Avoid giving out any expensive boxes that you expect to be returned back post the meal. Not that our guests wont, but they may get caught up with life and you may miss your precious tupperware. Who doesn’t!!

Guest FAQ

How can I book a meal?

Once Upon My Kitchen, is for all occasions. Whether you are travelling abroad or you wish to dine out in your own city. If you truly believe in the awesomeness of home cooked food, it’s a great option for you to choose it while planning your next meal. It allows you to break the monotony and venture into the exciting possibility of having a great meal with interesting people in unique venues.

 

Just feed some basic information in our search engine like when and where you wish to dine. And all the options will be laid out for you. Choose the menu and the host that excites you the most. And book.

 

Once Upon My Kitchen membership is absolutely free. You can book by just logging in via your email or facebook. This will get you started. We urge you to build a robust profile so that we all get to know each other better and accepting your meal request becomes easy for the host.

As a guest, is my profile absolutely necessary?

Once Upon My Kitchen, is a social platform for the community members to interact with each other. Hence it’s important for us to know your interests, likes, dislikes, expectations and most importantly, your food allergies & dietary restrictions if any. Please take the time to share this information with us.

 

As a guest, going into the homes & kitchens of the hosts, it will be helpful if you allow them to get to know you well. And of course, know more about them and their menu. We have created an interesting platform that lets you do that in a quick and easy way without consuming too much time.

 

So go ahead and have some fun. Whether you want to book now or sometime later, it doesn’t matter. Just upload a few pictures, feed in some interesting information about your interests and travels. Or share with us your fondest food memories, the quirks and the madness of your palette. Because we would love to know.

Feed in the exact date to get the exact price. If you do not give the dates in search the most basic rates of each hosts menu will be displayed, which may vary when you go to book on a specific day.

Payments

Please note that all the amounts are indicated in the local currency of the host, as a standard practice. But it doesn’t not have any indication on the nationality of the host. We have placed a currency converter at relevant pages, which you can use to convert any value.

 

Also please note that the currency converter may not be in real time, hence will be indicative. At the time of payment there may be slight variation depending on the real time currency rate fluctuations.

 

Once you have selected an option, you can proceed by clicking the book now option. This takes you to final bookings page and the final page gives you the details of your booking. Ensure that you double check the date time, host name and breakup of the value.

 

Select the pay now option and you will be directed to a secure payment page.

 

Our secure payment page offers you multiple payment options like: credit card, debit card and net banking. Of all major Visa, Mastercards and Diners. (Important note: If you would like to have had an option which is currently unavailable please write to us. We at Once Upon My Kitchen will continue to work hard to ensure that each member gets all the options of his /her choice.)

 

Once you receive an alert of successful transaction, your booking request will be forwarded to the host. At this point we just process the amount and block it, but do not deduct any amount. Which means that we block the said amount with your service provider but do not deduct the same till the host confirms the booking. Once confirmed, the amount will be deducted and a receipt will be sent to you.

TakeAway Guest

Its great that you too believe in the awesomeness of a home cooked meal. Well, that’s precisely the reason you are here, right? But lets accept it. Life can get busy. And even though you keep planning to book a meal with us, it never really works out that way. In these times, when we can barely manage to have a meal at an old friends place, it can get difficult to reach back home after a long hard days work to get dressed. And dine with a stranger. Or maybe you have all the time in the world but are way too shy to eat at a stranger’s home. If you fall in any of these two categories “Take Away” is a great option.
It’s a fab way to break ice and warm up to the idea of Once Upon My Kitchen. You get to meet someone new. Even for a short while. So go ahead. Book a meal today. And take with you a lil piece of healthy homemade food heaven instead of that greasy run of the mill stuff you keep picking up.

 

As a guest, the choice of opting for At Host Home or Take Away is given in our search. Besides this even on your main booking details page there is an option to choose, before you pay.

 

What to remember while opting for Take Away?

1.  Ensure that you reach the host address around the time slotted by the Host to pick up your parcel.

2.  Check that on the booking page you have made the right choice, before you go ahead with your payment.

3.  And lastly. No matter what. Ensure that soon you keep your diary and your courage open for an At Host Home meal as well.Trust us, there no greater joy than having a bite at the home of one of our amazing hosts. Till then, choose to enjoy the goodness of yummy homey food in the comfort of your couch at home .