How to Offer Private Cooking Classes in Your Restaurant

With so many restaurant options available to diners these days, it’s important to think of ways you can set your business apart from all the rest. Private cooking lessons are one way to increase interest in your cuisine and encourage people to eat at your restaurant. If you think cooking lessons might be a good idea for your restaurant, but don’t know where to begin, we’ll help you figure out some things to consider as you get started.

Benefits of Private Cooking Lessons

Cooking classes are great for brand exposure because providing guests with a fun experience will get them talking about your business, which can go a long way for word-of-mouth advertising. Similarly, you can take this opportunity to market the benefits of taking private cooking lessons to potential customers.

With people becoming more and more health conscious when choosing what to eat, private cooking classes can be a way to show customers the fresh ingredients that are being used in your kitchen every day. Opening your kitchen up to curious customers may help you gain trust and peace of mind, which can make you their first choice when dining out.

Decide on a Cooking Class Style

Soy products

When you offer cooking classes at your restaurant, you can decide how much you want your customers to be involved. Two popular cooking class styles are:

  1. Lecture-style demonstrations where your customers sit back and relax (perhaps with a glass of wine) and watch you explain step-by-step how to put together a dish that they all get to taste at the end.
  2. Hands-on learning where customers roll up their sleeves, put on some aprons, and actually make dishes themselves, under your guidance.

Both lesson styles can be effective in giving your guests a great experience, so you just need to decide what you feel most comfortable with and which style best suits the setup of your kitchen.

How Frequently Should You Offer Cooking Classes at Your Restaurant?

How often you choose to host lessons depends on your availability as a chef or restaurateur. You could offer a lesson once to see how popular it is, and then continue with them on a regular basis if you received positive feedback. Some chefs offer classes that are meant to be a one-time experience, while others are designed as a series of classes for patrons who want to hear more.

Another option to consider is hosting classes either on or right after major holidays. Create a romantic couples cooking class as an alternative to going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. Or, offer special Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, or Mother's Day classes for customers to enjoy with family members. If you want to partake in the holiday hype without opening your doors on special days, schedule a healthy eating class in January and market tickets as a great Christmas present customers can buy for their loved ones.

How Much Should You Charge For a Private Cooking Lesson?

There are a few factors to consider when selecting a price for your cooking class. Along with your location and types of cuisine, here are a few things to consider when coming up with a price:

  • What you plan to serve
  • If drinks are included with the price of admission
  • The quality of ingredients being used in each course
  • How many students you allow per class: Smaller, more intimate settings typically mean guests can receive more one-on-one instruction with the chef, which you can charge a premium for.
  • Your chef's or your guest chef's level of notoriety: If your cooking lessons involve a well-known chef, such as a cookbook author or television personality, customers will be willing to pay more for their tickets.

How Many People Should You Host at a Private Cooking Class?

Soy products

Make cooking lessons open to a designated amount of people, depending on the size of your kitchen. If you have the space, 20 people in your kitchen may be perfect for learning basic techniques or doing small prep tasks. If you’re looking to host a more exclusive, intimate event, narrow it down to five or six people.

Advertising your space limitations can create a sense of urgency in patrons. Knowing they may not get a spot can entice patrons to buy tickets sooner and encourage friends to do to the same. And if people call your restaurant asking for a lesson but you don’t have room, simply thank them for their interest and let them know when registration begins for your next event.

Stock Up on Separate Supplies for Students to Use

For groups that will be helping you cook, consider buying supplies that are separate from what you typically use in your kitchen. This way, you don't need to worry about a customer ruining your favorite chef's knife or piano whip. When the event is over, you can wash everything and store it in an area for cooking lesson supplies only. Aprons, mixing bowls, extra chef knives, and cutting boards are some food prep basics that can help with cooking classes in your restaurant. You can also provide recipe print-outs, so customers can take notes and remember what they helped you prepare.

Make Safety a Priority

Of course you want your guests to have the best experience possible at your cooking class, so take some steps to keep everyone safe and happy. Safety considerations are especially important if you choose to do a hands-on lesson. This is because your customers will actually be touching and interacting with ingredients and equipment that they may not be familiar with. Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you consider safety precautions:

  • Write up a liability agreement for your guests to sign. Accidents happen, so make sure your business is not put at risk. Having a written agreement ensures that everyone’s on the same page and your guests understand that there is always a risk of injury when working in a kitchen.
  • Learn if your guests have food allergies. Before class begins, take the time to ask students if they have any allergies. If so, take extra precautions to avoid cross-contamination when preparing their food.
  • Discuss basic guidelines. Explain all the basic rules of kitchen safety and sanitation at the beginning of class. Hopefully, everyone will be familiar with these already, but it never hurts to review.
  • Opt for demonstrations. If your recipe requires the use of large cooking equipment, consider keeping that step as a demonstration, rather than having guests work with your commercial appliances.

At the end of your cooking lesson, share the meal you've prepared with all of your guests. Customers will love telling their friends they helped make dinner at a restaurant, and they'll encourage more people to join your cooking classes. Also be sure to advertise your private cooking lessons in your restaurant, on flyers, on social media, and on your website. It's unique to find a restaurant that will open its kitchen doors to amateurs, so you could become the trendsetter on your block.

Posted in: Management & Operation|By Jessica Wieser
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.
External Link

You are about to leave the security of

We are not responsible for the privacy policy or any content, links or software, or any consequences from your access to or use of the technologies, websites, information and programs made available on this new site.

Do you want to proceed?