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Pampered Chef: Theme Show Cooking Classes

  1. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    My director suggested at a recent meeting to hold a monthly cooking class. People would pay to reserve a spot, and then use this money towards their purchase.

    I created a survey within my last newsletter asking who would be interested, what types of classes, what day of the week worked best for them, etc. I have been overwhelmed with the response! I have had people asking me just about every day when these are going to start. They are excited about this and most are telling their friends as well.

    SO -- I know someone on the boards, forgive me I forget who, has done the Kids in the Kitchen class. Has anyone done any other types of cooking class? Any tips, advice, suggestions would be most helpful. I will be doing the first class in April.
    Mar 26, 2009
  2. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

    I've done the Kids classes - but I'd be really interested in seeing the survey that you sent to your customers!
    Mar 26, 2009
  3. candiejayne

    candiejayne Veteran Member

    I have thought about doing this, but I have never really thought it through. I'd love to hear what others have done, if they've done it.
    Mar 26, 2009
  4. legacypc46

    legacypc46 Senior Member Gold Member

    I ran a cooking club for a social group where we used to live. It wasn't PC-related (though it did generate some sales since PC-products are about all I have in my kitchen). The response though was OVERWHELMING. They were thrilled to have a relaxed cooking class. (I featured recipes that sound gourmet, but are actually pretty straight forward and easy.) I could fit 14 people at a time, and it was always full (I met with two groups every month.)

    Here's what worked for us; take from it anything you think might help you out.
    - The primary rule of thumb is to do what works for you (versus over-extending yourself in the name of customer service. :))
    - I had a VERY small kitchen, so I used an area right off of it. I cleared the rug and set up a long table and shorter one (like a T). (The craft tables at Target/Walmart are great.)
    - I had one station for every two people, using assorted cutting boards as their workspace.
    - I put the mega stainless steel bowl in the middle of the table as my 'garbage bowl' and laid out the tools we would be using (I did include some non-PC items, which had the side-benefit of generating comparisons)
    - Our group did five recipes in a three hour session (the last hour was dedicated to eating and socializing), but three recipes in a two hour block would be a lot more manageble.
    - When you identify your recipes, go price the ingrediants before you publish a menu. (This way you can avoid any unexpected financial suprises.)
    - Everyone was hands-on as much as possible. This is what they enjoyed the most. It's one thing to watch how to dice an onion; it's another to actually do it. (After each session, I got emails saying they'd made the recipes at home and how excited they were.)
    - Once we were ready to serve, we cleared the dirty tools to the sink and served on the same tables. I definitely recommend paper plates and plastic cups (unless you want to feature dots or SA, of course). Fortunately, it seems there are always some gals who enjoy the clean-up role...thank goodness!
    - I stressed from the get-go that the club was intended to be relaxed and informative....that we would learn together. (I didn't want them to view me as an expert, though I did research stuff to help them out.) We also agreed up front we wouldn't take ourselves too seriously. We had a blast.

    I realize this doesn't have a lot of concrete suggestions (and our group was probably more involved than what you want to do) but I wanted to emphasize that the desire and interest for this kind of thing is out there. Good luck; hope it is a great success for you!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
    Mar 26, 2009
  5. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    Yes- I'd love to see what you put in your newsletter also! I was thinking of offering a Kids class or theme, but would love to do adults too! That's one of the reasons I started PC. :D
    Mar 26, 2009
  6. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    Legacy - thanks for sharing. I especially like the fact that you stated you were all learning together, as I am certainly no expert.

    Send me an email if you'd like to see what I sent to my customer base. pattiplew@gmail.com
    Mar 27, 2009
  7. babywings76

    babywings76 Legend Member Gold Member

    I'm sending you an e-mail. :)

    (Would you mind posting it on here? A lot of people are probably curious and going to be flooding your inbox with "Me too" requests.) :)
    Mar 27, 2009
  8. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    Sure I'll post ...

    Within my mid-month St. Patty's Day email I wrote:

    I'm starting something new! I will be holding monthly cooking classes in my home beginning in April. I'd love to hear what types of classes you would are interested in. Please take a minute or two and complete my short survey. Click here to start.

    The survey was short & simple ...

    1.Which cooking class would you be interested in attending? PLEASE SELECT ALL THAT APPLY.
    1) Chocolate! Chocolate!! Chocolate!!!
    2) Kids in the Kitchen
    3) Power Cooking
    4) Meals in 30 Minutes
    5) Budget Friendly

    2. At my cooking class, guests will be asked to pay $15 to reserve their spot. This $15 can be used towards a purchase the night of the class. Guests will go home with a recipe, knowledge gained from the class, a little gift from me, and a full belly! Does this sound like fun?!
    Yes - I would love a full belly and an evening of fun!
    No way - I've got too much fun in my life already!

    3. When would be the best time for you to attend a cooking class?
    Friday evening
    Saturday afternoon
    Saturday evening
    Sunday afternoon
    Mid week evening

    4. What other type of cooking class not listed above are you interested in?

    I got a variety of suggestions as well as the ones I listed above (Italian, Cooking with Herbs, Stir Fry, Cooking from the Garden, etc). I'm only charging $15 as my contacts don't seem to respond well to things over $20!! I'm confident most people will spend more than $15. I have a very large kitchen and can easily fit 10 people at a time.
    Mar 27, 2009
  9. KristinS

    KristinS Member

    Patti - this sounds great! I see you set it up like it's a link to the survey. How did you do that part of it?
    Mar 27, 2009
  10. Humble Beginnings

    Humble Beginnings Advanced Member

    Hi Patti,

    I'm thinking of doing this, what were the results of your survey? Have you started the classes and if so how is it going?
  11. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    Hi Carol-
    I've been holding at least one cooking class a month here in my home. The response has been good, not great, but enough for me to submit a show from each of them. I've done Budget Cooking; Pizza; Canning & Freezing; Quick Meals; & Kids in the Kitchen.

    I love the fact that the classes are here and I don't have to travel! I 'charge' $15 per person, which can be used towards a purchase in the catalog. Most people spend more than this. I wanted to make it affordable up front so that people would attend.

    I'll be doing a Power Cooking class next month .. hoping to tie it into 'back to school' busy mom's schedules, etc.

    Hope this helps.
    Aug 9, 2009
  12. pcchefjane

    pcchefjane Senior Member Gold Member

    So you give them the full $15 off their orders and not just $10 to use part of it to cover your costs? I know I have a hard time getting sales from my KITK classes every month...
    Aug 12, 2009
  13. KellyCooks

    KellyCooks Novice Member Gold Member

    This might be what I need to help get me to Disney. I just sent out my customer e-newsletter with a link to a 3-question survey that I created with SurveyMonkey (easy and free).

    I will charge $20 with $15 going toward an order that night. I also said they can opt for one of my gift certificates to use toward a purchase another month. I might end up changing it to $10 toward a purchase. I'll have to see what I end up putting together for my menus.
    Aug 13, 2009
  14. Chef Bobby

    Chef Bobby Veteran Member Gold Member

    I went to a cooking class at an ex Director's house. Even though a few people asked about ordering something from PC, she never brought it up. She did have a few small baskets of cash & carry items in a different room. Fed Ex made a PC delivery while I was there. She had 3 different recipes going at the same time (everyone was divided into groups). I didn't care for that because you missed out on learning 2 of the 3. She charged $35 each and had a limit of 9 people. They didn't get anything free except the food we prepared. She said she had a waiting list. Since then, she has started a business called Young Chef's Accademy where she only teaches kids classes. She dropped out of PC.
    Sep 2, 2009
  15. sandra foy

    sandra foy Member

    I am also sending you an email!!!
    I like to see what I sent to your customers.
    Sep 2, 2009
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