When you offer cooking classes, you aren’t just competing with other chefs in the area who might also be offering cooking classes. You are competing with the dozens of activities that people have available in your area. The key to filling your classes is to tap into those in your area who have a true love for food and learning new things. One key demographic is the people who already watch cooking shows, such as the Worst Cooks in America show on Food Network. This show seeks to find the worst cooks out there, send them to boot camp, and teach them how to cook.
Hosting a Worst Cooks Event
You can repeat the show’s success by seeking out the worst cooks in your area. While you’ll want to name your event something unique so as not to confuse people into thinking it is affiliated with the show, you can use the theme of horrible cooks who want to learn to cook better to reach out to the community.
Create the Event
Your first step is to create the event. Some key things you’ll want to include:
- A catchy event name, such as Bad Cooks Competition or I Burn Everything Boot Camp
- What the theme will be (will you teach them just one dish?)
- Decide how many cooks you’ll take for the event
- Find people to head up each team or cook and mentor them
- Select judges to judge the dishes and eventually choose a winner
Find the Cooks
You’ll need to get the word out about your event. Some key ways to do this include:
- Sending a personal note to your mailing list. If people are eating in your restaurant, for example, it might be because they don’t cook very well.
- Announce the event on social media
- Advertise in local papers and on radio
- Listen to your regular customers. Are any of them stating they are horrible cooks or know someone who is?
Using Event Planning Software to Stay Organized
When you are coordinating a number of bad cooks, judges, and mentors, it can be difficult to organize everyone. It is vital that everyone stays on the same page throughout the planning stages and beyond.
- Hold online meetings.
- Coordinate on items such as press releases, flyers, rules.
- Send reminders to make sure everyone knows when to be at the event and in what order things will occur.
- Allow members to send invites to family and friends to attend the event.
The more organized you are before the event, the more smoothly the event will go on the day it is held. You can never plan ahead enough for all those little things you might not have expected to happen.
Getting Mileage Out of the Event After the Event
Once the event is over, you should still utilize the event to get some free PR.
Free Weekly Papers
Send press releases to the local newspapers about the winner of the event, what the prize was, and why he or she won. If possible, include a photo. Local free weeklies love to feature local residents in this way, so write the release more like an article.
Promote the Winner
Promote the winner in you store or restaurant by hanging up their picture along with a note about who the person is and what he or she won.
Send out notes to your mailing list about who won the event. Take the time to explain anything exciting, funny, or interesting that happened during the event. Be sure to mention when the next worst cooks type event will be held or how they can find out about classes you have coming up.
Utilize Social Media Again
Once again, you’ll want to use social media. It’s a great idea to create a hashtag and promote the event while it is going on by posting photos and updates. After the event, you can announce the winner. Finally, let followers know where they can get more info on your classes and other events.
A worst cooks type event is likely something your local competition hasn’t thought of, so it can give you an edge. At a minimum, you and your patrons will have a lot of fun with this event, which will get them talking to others about what you have to offer.