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Pampered Chef: Cooking Show Times

  1. Stephanie S

    Stephanie S Member

    I have two quick questions that I'm looking for some input on:

    1) How long do your shows typically run, and how do you ensure they are 'short and sweet'? Basically, I'd like to get in and spend some time with the host. Do the demo (cooking time really interferes with keeping this short and sweet). Take the orders and answer any questions. And get out so I can get home and have a bit of an evening to myself before going to bed and getting up for work the next morning...

    2) How do you control the customer flows at 'check out time'? Even when I request that they hold onto their order form, Mix 'n Mingle, and that I'll call them when I'm ready to help them, I always find a line forming.....
    Jan 24, 2006
  2. pchefinski

    pchefinski Advanced Member

    As for your recipe, try to do a little prep before your show, either at home (if you have the ingredients beforehand) or at the host's home before the show begins. If a recipe calls for slicing a tomato, slice 2/3 of it up before the show. If it calls for a small chopped onion, cut off a chunk to demo, and then chop it up beforehand. Break off your piece of garlic so that when you're demo-ing, you just have to pop it in your garlic press. Need to peel/cut carrots? Peel them almost all the way beforehand, so you only have to swipe the veggie peeler over it twice instead of 10 times. Our prep bowls are great for holding the ingredients that you've already prepped before your demo.
    I learned this the hard way--I stood in front of 3 people and chopped and sliced for 20 minutes, when I could have had it done beforehand. Once I started doing some of the prep before the demo, it made my show A LOT smoother and quicker. Besides, when you pull out a tool to demo it, people seem to lose their focus if they're watching you slice 15 olives. You want to make it quick and easy.
    The best thing to do is to practice your recipes at home, so you can figure out ways to prep & demo them more efficiently. I went from having 10 different things on my menu for hosts to pick from to having 2.. so that I could practice the recipes and get them down pat..
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2006
    Jan 24, 2006
  3. :p That is good information!
    Feb 21, 2006
  4. janel kelly

    janel kelly Advanced Member

    I have a problem with people either standing in line or just leaving their order forms in a big pile. I talked to my director last night about it and she said if they leave a big pile of order forms just take each order form and find the person it belongs to and ask them if they would mind coming and sitting with you for a couple of minutes while I total their order. That way you can take their wish list, ask if they would like to book, and give them a recipe. I plan on starting to do this at my next show.
    Feb 21, 2006
  5. sweet

    sweet Member

    What I do for "tally time" is ; I ask them to bring the survey slip at the same time that there order and at the beggining of my show I tell them that we will have a one-on-one time so that I can answer any question or concern they may have. People don't like to let other know what there finance are. I tell them often in the show that we will have one-on-one time and I never had people stending in line or pilling up there orders.
    Feb 21, 2006
  6. krzymomof4

    krzymomof4 Veteran Member Silver Member

    I try to prep some of my ingredients before hand. I have alot of people request the Banana Toffee Pizza. I am afraid to prep the bananas because they will turn brown, but I feel like I am hunching over that egg slicer forever. Any suggestions for that?
    Feb 21, 2006
  7. Ann F

    Ann F Advanced Member Gold Member

    Use your colander set! Put some lemon-lime soda in the small bowl with the small colander set inside. Have most of your bananas sliced and in the soda. You can give them a tip and show your colander at the same time. The acid in the soda should keep the fruit from turning brown.
    Feb 22, 2006
  8. All of my shows are now EXPRESS shows !!! I make the entire recipe before the guests arrive !! The house smells great when they get there and they can eat during my "demo" (keeps them from talking to each other too) !!! I either demo a potato or the cucumber and lime demo !!! I talk about each product I used for the recipe and spend time on cookware and stoneware !! I also go over host benefits and recruiting very quickly (like during a "normal" demo). This is working great !! The guests love it cos they also want to get home and have a little evening left too !!!
  9. Ann F

    Ann F Advanced Member Gold Member


    What is the cucumber and lime demo? It smells good from here!
    Ann F.
    Feb 23, 2006
  10. A Full Demo with just a Lime & Cucumber!
    AND How to Use a Wish List!

    By Julie Gizzi, Executive Director

    Sometimes you might want to make something at a Kitchen Show that bakes more than 20 minutes. Sometimes you want to simplify the demo a bit. Here’s a possibility that is easy for you!

    Every month I choose 1 recipe to demo at all my shows. I do not make an additional recipe even for garnishing! When I made the switch from 2 recipes to 1 every part of my business flourished from sales, to bookings to recruiting! This month I’m doing the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Celebrations Show where I’m preparing the Molten Chocolate Skillet Brownie from the Fall/Winter 2005 Season’s Best Recipe Collection. It has a 35-40-bake time, which is too long for a demo. So, I make the recipe as soon as I arrive at the host’s house and as guests are arriving they smell the wonderful aroma of chocolate wafting through the air. The aroma is to die for and creates a mood of anticipation right away!

    So, if you’re making the recipe before the guests arrive how can you demo the products? Easy! Here you’ll find a complete demo that will keep your presentation focused on the products and lots of them!! No one will eat the food you’re working with so you won’t have to worry about presentation!

    Here goes:

    Ingredients Needed: in addition to the recipe you’ll prepare ahead of time ask the host to provide a lime and a cucumber

    Use the first couple of pages of the kitchen show outline found in your Recipe for Success under “Presenting Kitchen Shows” that covers the Show Opening, Host Rewards Program, Offer the Business Opportunity and Show Closing.

    When you arrive at the host’s home prepare the entire recipe that you want to go into the oven, clean up the products you used and set up your work area for the show. No need to prep the lime & cucumber at all.

    Products needed for the Lime listed in order of demo:

    Cutting Board – mention the features/quality
    Lemon Zester/Scorer – show how to zest for coarse shred perfect for garnishing
    Microplane – show how to zest for super fine shred, mention uses for gingerroot,
    nutmeg, Parmesan, nuts, & chocolate
    Chef’s Knife (or Utility Knife) – slice lime in half
    Citrus Press – invite a guest who loves to make Margaritas or Mexican Food to
    juice ½ the lime into the Easy Read Measuring Cups
    Easy Read Measuring Cups – holds lime juice
    Juicer – juice the other ½ of lime and explain it works especially well for larger
    citrus fruits and has a built in measuring cup in the base
    Adjustable Spoons – pour juice from juicer into spoon and pour into the prep bowl
    Prep Bowls – hold the juice

    Products needed for the Cucumber listed in order of demo:

    Lemon Zester/Scorer – show how to score (zest, too)
    Vegetable Peeler – peel the cucumber all or part of it
    Crinkle Cutter – slice off one end and slice a few slices (talk about other fruit and
    vegetables you could crinkle cut – watermelon, carrots, celery, potatoes)
    Utility Knife (or Quikut Paring Knife) – cut remaining cucumber into 3 equal
    chunks without the other end
    The Corer – show out to take the “burp” out of the cucumber by removing seeds
    Ultimate Slice & Grate – slice the seeded chunk using the adjustable or v-blade
    Finally a way to show the julienne blade - stand one of the other chunks on end and slice off a small sliver to allow the cucumber to lay on its side, then julienne (with the food holder)
    Apple Wedger – wedge 1 chunk into cucumber sticks
    Food Chopper – invite a guest to chop the skin left over from the julienne chunk
    2 Kitchen Scrapers – scrape all the slices & julienne pieces into a bowl
    Batter Bowl or Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl – Hold the cucumber pieces
    Basil Blend Canola Oil – Add 1 tablespoon of oil to cucumbers (measured or not)
    Italian Seasoning – Add 1 tablespoon seasoning (easy recipes for dips also)
    Small Mix N’ Scraper – Stir with scraper
    SA Small Bowl/Caddy or Small Square – Pour cucumbers into for serving
    Serving Spoon – Serve cucumber salad (you may choose to eat this salad, or not!)
    Chillzanne Rectangle Server – show how you could serve veggies in the server that
    is then placed in the Woven Rectangle Server
    Woven Selections Rectangle Server – Discuss the other Woven Selections pieces
    and their versatility for serving and home décor and use as fruit baskets, etc.

    The total value of these products NOT including the cookware/stoneware is over $400!!

    The Outline of my demo is as follows:

    1. Introductions of Guests/Share a little about me and why I started my PC business
    2. Teach about the cookware. . . show the burnt rice falling out of the Generation II cookware! Talk about the Roasting Pan, too!
    3. Serve the Food so they can eat while I demo
    4. Demo the Lime & Cucumber Products in the order listed above.
    5. Teach about Stoneware
    6. Recruiting Activity. I say: “Now I’m going to give you the opportunity to ask me anything you can think of about what I do – you can ask how often I do shows, what I love about my job, how much I typically make per show, what it takes to get started, anything! I’m going to set my timer for a short amount of time and pass around this product (pick something small like a quikut knife or Season’s Best) and when you get the product ask me a question about my job. When the timer goes off whoever has it gets to keep it!” I set the timer for 2 minutes. Be sure to answer the question briefly in a way that is general enough so they can imagine themselves doing this. For example: “if someone ask “How many nights a week to do you this?” You answer: “I do ____ shows, but what I love about this business is that you’re your own boss and you get to decide how many or few shows you would like to do.”
    7. Prize Drawing/Wrap Up show.

    I do like to use the “Did You Know Cards” to be sure I’m talking about bookings, recruiting and cook’s tips throughout the show. Hand them all out at the beginning and ask that after each product the guests share 2 Did You Know Cards.

    With a demo like this there is no “dead” time. It moves very quickly! I don’t go into a ton of detail for every product, but I do offer quick tips on the variety of things you can do with them. For example: with The Corer I like to share ideas like: use it to core an apple, pear, plum, cucumber or leftover baked potato! With baked potatoes run The Corer through the center about 3 times to make an extra large hole so you can stuff it full of leftover taco meat. Warm it up, add grated cheese and you’ve got a fun way to use leftovers!


    When I’m setting up I like to lay the products on the table in front of me in order of how I’ll demo so I stay organized.

    If you have a group of 7 or less guests consider giving everyone a tool at the beginning and inviting them one at a time to come up and show that tool on the lime/cucumber in the correct order.

    Demos need to be informative, fun and interactive. Keep it to no more than 50-60 minutes from the time you begin with introductions to the end when they start placing orders.

    How to use the Wish List

    If you’re using the new write-in sales receipts and need help in using the wish list here’s an idea that is working for me. Sometimes guests forget to order something they wanted because they got distracted or couldn’t find it quickly in the catalog. This activity could really increase the sales at your show!

    Before the show I take a copy of the wish list and highlight all the tools I’ll be showing for the cucumber/lime and the tools I used to prepare the cake. I do not include cross-selling items. Either at the beginning (if the group is over 15 people) or at the end I do a wrap up of all the tools they saw (or will see). I ask everyone to pull out their wish list and let them know I’m simply going to list off the items they saw in action. I ask that they circle each item that is listed alphabetically within each category so they’ll be able to locate what they saw. I do not teach anything about products at this time. I just want them circling the products so they don’t forget to order something they wanted at some point during the demo. They’re welcome to take the lists home if they like or give them to me and I can contact them when the products they did not order go on sale.

    Then I let them know they can write down those items that they want that day on their write-in sales receipt.
  11. kimmers

    kimmers Member

    Very nice info Pampered Heathery. Thank you very much.

    Feb 24, 2006
  12. pamperedval

    pamperedval Member Gold Member

    Did you know cards -

    Does anyone know what these are? They sound like they'd be helpful for a show and I haven't seen them before - if anyone could post them here I would really appreciate it!

    I'm in my 4th month and I can't seem to decrease my show time - maybe trying the express show idea will help me to shorten the party so I'm not taking so long...

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

    Feb 25, 2006
  13. mrssyvo

    mrssyvo Veteran Member

    Hi Val, It's Sue- here they are. I have not used them yet, but I am thinking putting them on card stock and laminating them.

    Attached Files:

    Feb 26, 2006
  14. kimmers

    kimmers Member

    My director passed on a good tip for these. She color coded them. For example blue for booking, red for recruiting. She would pass them out at the beginning, and then during her show if she needed to concentrate on something she would just say "Someone who has a blue card, please read it" or something along those lines.
    Feb 26, 2006
  15. LOVE the Did you know cards !!! Thanks so much !!!

  16. pamperedval

    pamperedval Member Gold Member

    Thanks Sue -

    Those are going to be helpful!

    Feb 26, 2006
  17. heat123

    heat123 Legend Member Silver Member

    If you want a shorter show you could just offer Express shows where you prepare the recipes before hand and just do a quick potato, cucumber or lemon demo to show off and talk about some product. It only takes 20 or so and then you could add more info about other product, specials, offers etc. that way you are in and out of there to save more peace time at home!

    I haven't had any problems with taking orders since I started in Nov. I simply station myself at the table and for some reason at all my shows people come up individually one after the other with out any lines or problems? I guess I'm lucky so far!
    Feb 27, 2006
  18. labook

    labook Guest

    I try to offer a recipe that I can prepare at least the crust the night before. For example the Clubhouse Chicken Squares.....bake the crescent rolls ahead of time and the Taffy Apple Pizza or Fruit-topped Triple Chocolate Pizza....make the cookie ahead and just have the host give you the ingredient to take home. I also prepare most of the toppings ahead and leave a little for demo.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2006
    Mar 18, 2006
  19. beepampered

    beepampered Veteran Member

    intros later

    I have been doing the guests intros during the show instead of at the beginning. I just have the Did You Know cards with "Name" written at the top and ask a few guests to introduce themselves when I'm doing something like chopping, reading the recipe or getting another tool out. This involves the guests a little bit and takes the eyes off me....BEE
    Mar 18, 2006
  20. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

    So how long do they typically run? Aren't guests sad to miss the recipe demo?
    Mar 18, 2006
  21. Chef Kearns

    Chef Kearns Legacy Member Gold Member

    I will tell you what I hear at my shows. The guests don't like coming and the food is already done. This is just what they tell me about past show experiences. They say they like seeing how to make the recipe and exactly how to use the products. Also while I am using a product I think of the many different ways I've used that tool in my own kitchen.

    I know it makes it easier and quicker when you don't cook, but for goodness sakes it is called a COOKING SHOW!! Many of you are having great success with this and congratulations to you. But really, it depends on the crowd. This is where good host coaching comes to play. You can speak with her/him to find out what they would prefer and what their guests would enjoy most. The demo/show really should be geared to them.
    Mar 19, 2006
  22. Ginger428

    Ginger428 Legacy Member Gold Member

    Where can I find the recipe for the Banana Toffee Pizza? Thx,Ginger
    Mar 19, 2006
  23. BethCooks4U

    BethCooks4U Legend Member Gold Member

    I have found that guests and hosts love the WOW's. Do the recipe at the show.

    If the crust needs to cool completely you can always have the host help you or be sure she's watching before the guests arrive. Or make that part while the guests are arriving and let them help you. If you can, move it to the cooling rack to help it cool faster than if you left it on the stone.

    When you draw the word picture on how you did it she will be excited and tell them for you. Much more powerful than you saying "I did this at home last night".

    They want quick and easy recipes and if you put it all together right there in less than an hour they ARE impressed. Oh, and, I always say "Of course, this will take you much less time because you won't be talking the whole time" or something like that.
    Mar 19, 2006
  24. Ginger428

    Ginger428 Legacy Member Gold Member

    I've got a question for Beth...Is it possibble to book & submit 2 shows for the same day? :confused: Thank you, Ginger
    Mar 19, 2006
  25. BethCooks4U

    BethCooks4U Legend Member Gold Member

    Absolutely! I have done that lots of times. One show was held in the morning and another in the evening for instance.
    Mar 19, 2006
  26. Ginger428

    Ginger428 Legacy Member Gold Member

    Thank you very much!!
    Mar 19, 2006
  27. LindaK

    LindaK Member

    I'm new, but I would have to agree that the point of a cooking show is to cook. I am all in favor of "Prep" work prior to the show so the guests don't have to watch you slice 15 olives...butI can't even imagine having the nerve to ask for a $15.00 check because I prepared the recipe before hand.

    Just my opinion. Good luck to those of you who find that this way works for you.
    Mar 19, 2006
  28. Susan,

    No the guests aren't sad they had to sit through the demo !!! Almost all of my guests at every show are working mother's and REALLY want to get home !!! Now on a Saturday afternoon....I have done the whole demo. But according to my hosts, they would prefer that everything is ready to eat when their guests arrive and that I just do a short demo (cucumber lime...which was recommended on a CD from National Conference by one of the speakers). I'm just doing what my hosts want !!! I have yet to have a host ask me to do the whole demo !!! I give them the choice and, in my area at least, they want the abbreviated version !!!! Truthfully, I probably would sell more doing the whole demo, and maybe I won't give them that choice anymore !!! LOL
  29. its_me_susan

    its_me_susan Senior Member

    I do love the "boutique" and fairs where you just present your wares and prepped recipes. But during those I don't sell much ~ but do book parties! :) I love do some of the prep work and have the brown sugar premeasured in a prep show so I can say "BAM!" for them when I dump it in... always gets a laugh. lol.

    And if a host is really hesitant to "put her guests" through the talk, I have offered the express show too. But after I tell her that I sell twice as much when the guests SEE me using tools, they usually go for the recipe. I have heard that the cuke/lime show work well too. I like the recipes though because there is a clear cut "beginning and end" in my mind.
    Mar 20, 2006
  30. that's a great idea to tell the hosts that a full demo brings in more sales !! I think I'll start doing that !!!! It will benefit both her and me !!!

    Thanks !!!
  31. ChefNic

    ChefNic Veteran Member

    What is the cucumber/lime show? Slice, dice, peel, juice them? and that's it, sorta like the potato demo?
    Mar 20, 2006
  32. koren

    koren Member

    Everyone thinks I am crazy, but I have now started doing a whole course demo at almost all of my shows. Usually takes about 1 and 1/2 hours, plus 30-45 minutes of folks lingering and chatting with each other.

    What are you thinking?, you say?
    The first time I tried it it was a huge selling show and everyone raved about how much fun it was. I noticed more sales. But even better, I noticed more bookings- folks who wanted a cooking show for fun with their girlfriends next month, etc.

    On top of increased bookings, I also found that I have more repeat customers, who come to lots of shows. I have a varied customer base, but probably more than 70 are from our church. One woman came to 4 shows in 5 months, and loved each one (and bought stuff each time).

    The trick: Recipe selection. (and a bit of prepwork). I choose 2 "quick' recipes with little cooking time- for example, the tapas/cheese crostini are a great appetizer, and the chocolate silk mousse is a quick and showy dessert. But we've used lots of recipe combos!
    Mar 22, 2006
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