FAQ

Tip: See our full support site for more answers.
 

OVERVIEW

So, how does this work?
A background-checked cook grocery shops, prepares dinners right in your kitchen, and cleans up. We’re affordable (starting at $10/serving), convenient, and some say magical.

When did you start?
We started Dinner Elf in 2014 in Austin and expanded to San Antonio in 2018. Since then, we’ve cooked over 50,000 dinners. Read the story of why we started Dinner Elf.

Do you have any online reviews?
All Elves have customer reviews on our site. See external reviews on Yelp from Austin and San Antonio.

How do customers use Dinner Elf?

  • Many give Dinner Elf to celebrate, help, or thank. Give Dinner Elf after a baby, illness, or big sale.
  • Many get Dinner Elf during a busy week or every week during a busy season of life.

Can you cook elsewhere and deliver to me?
No. We focus exclusively on in-home cooking. Your dinners will be prepared with whole ingredients, love, and personal touches for your family. Everything will be fresh and made very local (your kitchen).
 

GIVING

How can I give Dinner Elf?

  • Gifts – Give a dinner package starting at $50. Give them the food they want, when they want it.
  • Group gifts – Anyone can start a group gift so family and friends can easily give dinners online.
  • Corporate giftsAdd your logo to this memorable gift. Celebrate, help, or thank your clients and staff.

When should I start a group gift, instead of a gift?
Start a group gift if multiple people might contribute. You’ll end up giving a larger gift.

How can I redeem a gift?
Book an appointment and enter your code on checkout.
 

APPOINTMENTS

What areas do you serve?
Check your zip code for specific availability, but we serve greater Austin (including Buda, West Lake Hills, Dripping Springs, Lakeway, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Spicewood, Georgetown, and Hutto) and greater San Antonio (including Boerne, Cibolo and Schertz).

What happens on my appointment?
Your Elf buys groceries en route to your home, cooks in your kitchen for 2-3 hours, cleans up, and leaves dinner in your refrigerator.

How much is cooked?
Elves cook three nights of dinner (main and side) in a 2-3 hour cooking appointment. Dinners are stored in your refrigerator. New customers can choose a sample appointment of one night of dinner to try our service.

How do I order?
Pick three dinners from our large online menu and book your Elf. After you hold your appointment, you can pick your menu up to 5pm the night prior to your appointment.

How much is it?
Dinners start at $10/serving. We offer dinners in 2 sizes:

  • “Family size” serves 2 adults plus 2-4 kids and starts at $40
  • “2-person size” serves 2 adults and starts at $33

These prices include shopping, all groceries and spices, and clean up. Learn more.

What times do you cook?
We cook seven days a week from 8:30am until about 7:30pm. Elves set their own schedules.

Can my Elf cook for me during the dinner hour?
Yes! Look for appointments that start around 4pm. You can eat your first night’s dinner hot. Your other two nights of dinner can be reheated.

How soon can I get an Elf?
Depending on availability, you can often get an Elf as soon as the next day.  We offer on-line booking from 1 day to 30 days in advance.

Can I order just once?
Yes.

Can I get the same Elf each time?
Yes.

Do I have to be there?
No, you can leave a key or stay while your Elf cooks.

What will you need from me?
You only need a microwave, oven, stovetop and basic kitchen equipment (e.g. pots, baking sheets, etc). Elves provide containers, all groceries, and cooking tools.

Do Elves clean up?
Yes, your kitchen will look great. All pots/pans will be hand-washed and put away (Elves don’t use your dishwasher).

What is your cancellation/refund policy?
You can cancel up until 5pm three days prior to your appt for a full refund of your $35 deposit. Learn more.

Would this work for my elderly parents?
Usually, yes. If your parents aren’t computer-savvy, we recommend you place their order(s) online.
 

FOOD

Where do you get ingredients?
Your Elf buys groceries at your local store (HEB, Randall’s, etc.) in route to your home.

Can you accommodate my food allergies or special diet?
In general, your Elf can omit any ingredients and you can provide substitutes. Learn more.

Do you offer organic?
Yes, for a small up-charge your Elf will purchase all organic or premium groceries when available from your local grocery store. Learn more.

How often do you update your menu?
We add a seasonal menu every three months (typically in Jan, Apr, Jul, and Oct).
 

ELVES

Are your Elves insured?
Yes, all of our Elves are background checked, insured, and really nice. If you’ve ever had a cleaner in your home, our service will feel familiar.

Do I tip?
Yes, we recommend tipping $15 for good service.

 

Tip: See our full support site for more answers. Or use the little chat bubble on this page to ask any other questions!