Date night Cooking Class & Business Building

Have you ever been to a cooking event?  Clay and I never had but when we saw an event being held near us that fell into our current wheelhouse,  we were in! The event was a Keto cooking class being held by a young local private chef and held at Studio Twenty Seven, a 1930’s bungalow with a mid century vibe that’s now an intimate event venue.

The cost was $25 a person and stated that we would have a prepared Keto meal upon arrival and a presentation.

We were pleasantly surprised that the event drew so many attendees being as keto is pretty specific but also excited that it’d draw so much interest and we were happy to engage with others and share this journey.

Was it a hit or miss? Both.

The young chef began his Keto journey for personal weight loss and health with remarkable success!  It’s truly given him new life that he’s exuberant to share with others.

He’s beginning a new venture of providing prepackaged Keto meals using locally grown grass fed meats and grown vegetables,  putting together a local keto community and doing so while working a full time job!  It sounds overwhelming and I’m sure it probably is and thus the heart and potential are absolutely there but he could use a hand with preparation and event planning.

I’m a believer and would love to help him realize and facilitate his dream.  I’ve offered and he has my info.  I hope he’ll take me up on it.  I believe the venture could benefit from my experience in presentations, business building, event planning, marketing, public speaking, creative thinking and in the kitchen.

Upon entering the building, everyone seemed to be wandering about like lost sheep as there was no one to greet and instruct them. No one knew where they were to go or what to do so we all just finally found a place to sit and wait.  This first impression wasn’t a hopeful one and lowered the guests expectations for the evening ahead.  The guests however,  were all very friendly and set about introducing themselves and making connections which really saved much of the atmosphere  in the room.

Without being introduced to those hosting the event, we were brought drinks and handed plates of food.  At $25 a plate, I was more than a little surprised at the meal and especially so as our host was a chef.  It consisted of a plain baked chicken breast and a huge pile of brussel sprouts and nothing else.

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After we were served, our host did emerge and introduced himself and told us part of his story and the venture he’s embarking on.  Each guest introduced themselves and all were engaging, asking questions, sharing their experiences and offering answers for those who were keto curious.  By the end, our host found a piece of paper so everyone could add their contact information.

We all felt pretty excited at the prospect of meeting up again for another event and many keeping in touch with one another.  Our host even explored the idea of getting together and actually cooking something together next time.

My Fatal Flaw: My fatal flaw is this and I do it constantly in every situation. It’s  a quickfire ability to analyze almost anything or situation and immediately determine areas and ways of improvement.  In those situations I have generally two thoughts, this could be done better and I could do this better. Haha Sounds terrible of me but it’s really not based on a belief that I have extreme skills but rather that natural ability to see weak areas that could be better fortified.

There is the possibility that this was merely a money making event for the host.  Possible but he really did seem to have a passion for his mission and a dream for the future so….

My suggestions:

In every business there are sayings that are tried, tested and true…

It takes money to make money.

While you can begin a business on a shoestring budget and I have, you must invest in it and it’s growth. This is especially true while building it from the ground floor.  You are playing the long game here, seeding income into it and making little initially to build it up in clientele to make a lot later.

First impressions make or break you.

A first impressions can either secure a long time customer or ensure you’ll never see them again and that is a loss of long term income.

Word of mouth is your strongest advertisement.

This is absolutely true.  When a customer is delighted with your product or service, they will tell their friends and recommend you every chance they get.  The opposit is also true.  When a customer is dissatisfied, you not only lose that customer but can count on losing the potential business of at least 10 of their friends.

People are natural reviewers.

Google, long ago realized this and made use of it with Google Reviews.  Long before I’d even imagined blogging, I was a Google Reviewer.  My reviews of businesses and photos have been viewed by millions.  Make sure you use this to maximize your ventures potential and that your review is a positive one.

Be clear about what the event is and name it to imply such.

“Keto cooking class” implies it’s first, a cooking class, secondly about keto.  I expected a cooking class where we’d be cooking a keto meal and was excited to learn some interesting keto recipes from a chef! Turned out..not at all.

Hospitality at the door is your first impression.

Make sure your guests are greeted and feel welcomed.  Have them sign in with their contact information. This will help you invite them to future events.  Consider giving them name tags to encourage their interaction with one another.  Give them a handout with information about you, your mission, what the event is about and include how they may connect with you.  They won’t be familiar with the structure of your event, so help them by directing them where to go next.

Take advantage of helping hands.

Have someone greeting or have a helper plating food.  We all have friends, family or supporters that are willing to help so use that where needed, even consider a quest speaker but be sure to express gratitude for the help.

Do your homework and be prepared.

When putting on this type of event, you must know your subject, anticipate questions and be prepared to answer them.  The event offered very little information about keto at all for those who came hoping to find out what it is, how it works and how to begin.  Most questions were either not sufficiently answered or had to be answered by keto experienced guests.

The most important focus for the evening and the long game, is the food …and for a few reasons.

The most important reason to focus on the food is for the purpose of promoting a Keto diet, wooing potential customers to your line of ready made keto meals and building a keto community platform for reoccurring events. You have to get the guests excited about the food!  Show them how good a keto meal can be!  This is your investment in building a clientele.

Secondly, when your potential customers are paying $25 each, they’ll expect far more than a plain chicken breast with a pile of often disliked, brussel sprouts.   There’s nothing to get excited about here.

Thirdly,  an understanding of the macros involved with keto is essential and essential in providing an authentic keto meal. The macros of keto are highest in fat followed by protein with minimal carbohydrates.   The afore mentioned meal was off balance though a clean eating option.  Keto macros should fall near 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs.  Though the meal provided fell near only 13% fat, 52% protein and 35% carbs.

There are absolutely delicious keto meals that are truly exciting that will help the guests to determine that keto doesn’t have to be merely a diet but a happy and healthy lifestyle.  Offer a full meal of exciting food, a salad with decadent, fat rich, creamy dressing, pork medallions with cream sauce, cauliflower mashed potatoes and bacon sauteed fresh green beans. Finish the meal with a keto dessert and bullet proof coffees.   This type of meal may cost a tad more but you’ll gain customers that will share the experience with all their friends and you’ll need a larger venue for your next event!

Lastly, don’t send your guest home empty handed.  Give them a recipe or two to try at home.  The little touches will deliver a huge impact.

In short, invest in your vision,  give every event your very best and utilize all the information, tips and experience that others offer you but above all, be passionate about your dream and others will be passionate about it too.

 

 

21 comments

  1. I hope he takes you up on providing some assistance. I would have been furious to show up for a class that didn’t have an actual class, plus served only food I can’t eat!! But, I agree that first and foremost he needs to have greeters and someone directing the attendees for a better experience!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You handled this situation well. I would’ve been right there with you critiquing what could be better. Bonus though…the minimal meal gave you plenty of blog-worthy material!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it’s a fantastic idea and can be wildly successful if put together well. I also think creating an event page on FB was his best idea. That’s how we all found out about it. It popped up on our FB notifications as an event near me. An actual cooking class would’ve been a blast! And, I’m positive you could pull it off smashingly! Go for it!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think you summed it up perfectly! I do hope he’ll consider taking advantage of offered help and really get his vision moving toward fruition. If he drops off the radar and feels it’s just too much effort for his busy life, I may be swayed to make a run at the keto community event myself. Might be fun. Dieting together always makes it more fun.

      Liked by 2 people

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