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Sales Help me shorten my shows! (sorry, a little long)


Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
There's really no good section to post this under, so I thought I'd throw it here :). I feel as though my shows go long, and they are starting to get a bit shorter (after being in biz a year) but I still feel as though they are taking way too long!

I know the cooking part should only be taking 45 mins, mine usually takes closer to an hour. By the time all is said and done my shows typically last 2 hours start to finish which I think is just too long! I'd like to shave at least 30 minutes if not more off my show.

Here are some things I do at my show:

I ask guests to arrive 15 minutes before the party actually starts. If we're starting at 3, I put 2:45 on the invites so that guests can come early to chat or allow time for those "running late" people. Never fails that we still do not get started on time because a majority of people do not show until right about 5-10 minutes after we were supposed to start. I think I may need to tell my hosts to NOT tell guests that the time on the invite is fake!!

I do a fairly short and sweet intro- maybe overall the whole thing takes about 2 minutes- about me, about what we're going to do today, etc. I have a script I took straight from a PC national sales meeting.

My shows are interactive. I ask each guest to pick a tool that we will be using so automatically everyone is involved and there is no hemming and hawing about "who wants to try the garlic press". The initial picking can take a few minutes if the crowd doesn't feel like participating though.

I assign a recipe reader and a ticket giver-outer (for my ticket game) so I can just focus on the guests, the products, and the show.

I try as much as I can to talk about each product WHILE the guest is using it, but I often find that I do most of the talking after she is done using the product. I have tried to cut my "spiels" about each product down as much as possible, with the exception of the forged cutlery and the cookware which I feel deserve it!

As the food is cooking I do my booking slide.

As the food is cooling I have the guests fill out the drawing/customer care slips. And then we do the drawing. Then I wrap up, thank everyone for coming, etc. etc. etc.

Guests eat and come check out as they please. I offer everyone a full service checkout which can be time consuming if there are a lot of guests. I always make sure to let people know if they have to leave early to please come see me right away so we can take care of their order.

Also- if I have a recipe that requires a LOT of prep work (i.e. the 3 garden veggie pizza) I will arrive extra early at the host's house to do some of the prep work or ask the host to buy pre-prepped items (i.e. pre-shredded cheese, pre-sliced mushrooms, etc. etc.)

So, that's it. What do you think? Has anyone else had the problem of their shows going long? It's especially problematic on Friday nights when my shows don't start until 7 b/c I work f/t.

Does anyone have tips on how they've shortened/streamlined their own shows? I try to keep it as simple as possible, but obviously there's more I can do! All tips and advice welcomed! Thank you!:chef:

Malinda Klein

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Apr 15, 2008
All my shows are interactive, and i've never passed out tools. I have everyone gather up around the table and who ever is in front of an item, uses it. I start Person A on an item/task, talk about what Person A is doing and the tool she is using. Then before Person A is done (i.e. cutting up stuff), i start Person B on a different task. I explain what they are doing and how to use the tools. When Person B is started on her task, I go back to Person A and ask how she liked the tool/task and so on. Then I start Person C with something...

*Prep work is the best thing to cut down the demo. If your cutting up 2 cups of strawberries, have all strawberries cut up except for 4. Same thing with carrots and other items. Leave only a small amount of food to be 'demo'd.

*Also, I"m not sure how many recipes your doing, but i always like to do 2 recipes, but i demo one at the show and have one prepared when i get there (and maybe just add the topping at the party).

*I love my computer, it helps shave off 15 to 30 minutes in time with big parties.

*I'm usually at a party for 3 hours (1 hour ahead of show), 10 minutes for intro, 20-30 minutes for demo, 10 minutes for wrap up, and 15 minutes of clean up, The longest part is the full-service check out. Make sure you have all your host/business packets together and ready. Sometimes people are just busy gabbing when they are eating and will sit for 30 minutes before talking to me.

Don't know if this helps... Sounds like you may be doing some of this already.


Senior Member
Aug 22, 2007
*Prep work is the best thing to cut down the demo. If your cutting up 2 cups of strawberries, have all strawberries cut up except for 4. Same thing with carrots and other items. Leave only a small amount of food to be 'demo'd.

Mine used to be long until I started doing this. It makes a world of difference. I come 1/2 hour before the show to do my prepping. People are leaving at 1 1/2-2 hours (if they are visiting), from show start time. I ALWAYS start on time. I give out tickets for those on time. Their time is valuable.


Veteran Member
Gold Member
Jan 9, 2009
I suggest looking at your cooking show sales average and average # of bookings for show. It sounds like you're doing well with talking about products. If your sales are high enough, you don't want to tinker with that. If you're not getting bookings, then maybe it is running a little long. You can tell you're going too long if you start losing their attention, if they're trying to fill in their order form while you're still talking, if they're racing up with their order and out the door. But overall what you're doing sounds good to me and it sounds like you're offering good customer service and have time to connect with people. Figure what your commission is per show and how many hours you're at the show. It's usually a pretty good "hourly" rate.


Legend Member
Staff member
Dec 6, 2005
Also, as for people coming late--that's going to happen. I'd put the real start time (no fudging the 15 minutes) and start within a few minutes of that time. Be sure to let your host know that you want to respect the time of those who arrived on time by starting as close to that time as possible. You'll feel less stressed.


Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I only do one recipe per show. Sometimes I will offer a dessert or drink recipe in addition for a host who has a lot of outside orders or has 15+ people, but I always pre-make the recipe or make it a quickie microwave recipe that I can do in less than 10 minutes.

I find that bringing my computer actually takes MORE time to enter all the items, etc. so I leave it at home now and enter the orders after.

My sales average per show is good- around $600. I have been averaging 2-3 bookings per show, but I almost always have one or two guests who comment "wow, you must be tired, this was a long show!" or "Do all your shows run this long?" or there are always one or two people that need to head out before the show is over.

The past few shows I've been a little quicker and no one has commented, but I still worry, lol.


Gold Member
Jun 9, 2006
with the laptop....if your hostess uses the evites or you have her guest list, enter the names BEFORE the show!!! I've only been able to do it for a couple since I got my laptop... and it's really nice!