Whether you fancy a career change or want to start a business out of your hobby, read our tips on how to start cookery classes at home.
Refine your cooking skills
If you plan to teach others how to cook quality meals, you need to have top cooking skills. No one will have confidence in your classes if you burn your ingredients all the time! That doesn’t mean you need a cooking qualification or experience working under a top chef, but you should at least have the basics nailed. Knife skills, how to test that a steak is ready, knowledge of which vegetables are in season and confidence in cooking dishes from scratch are all good starting points.
Starting cookery classes may have sparked your interest because you have a passion for cooking. That’s great too! Bear in mind that you also need to refine your teaching skills. Run a practice cooking class with friends and family and gather their feedback. The more practice you get, the more confident you will become.
Decide on your offering
Your cookery class can be as general or niche as you like. It’s best to target an area in demand, although teaching niche cooking skills can position you as the expert in the field. You have to strike that balance. If you’re just starting out, play it safe and create a cookery class about a popular topic to get the bookings in. As you gain experience, you can then invest in expanding your offering.
Some cookery class ideas include:
- Cookery basics for students moving to university
- Kitchen safety for parents looking to teach their children cookery
- Focus on certain cuisines e.g. Italian cookery, Chinese cookery, French cookery
- How to make the perfect pastry
- Different dietary needs e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, vegan cooking
- How to make a recipe based on the ingredients left in your fridge
Cookery classes can normally fall into one of three categories - general cooking, technical cooking, and prep. General classes are more suited to beginners in need of strong guidance from a recipe. Technical attendees may be more serious about becoming a chef and the techniques covered may need one-on-one support. Finally, prep classes are weighted towards time management skills for those wanting to experience the pace of cookery schools.
Create your cookery class plan
Once you’ve decided on the topic of your home cookery class, it’s time to get planning! When you map out your cookery lessons you should consider the following:
- Lesson length - The lesson length will vary depending on the content you need to teach. You don’t want the lesson to be too long as it can overwhelm attendees, so make sure you concisely convey your cooking tips.
- Location - Your options will likely be your house, their house or a private kitchen. Wherever you decide, make sure you stick to strict health and safety standards.
- Lesson goals - Goals give the lesson structure and help attendees see the value in the course. The goal could be to create a certain dish in a set time, for example.
- Equipment and ingredients - Pots and pans, utensils, ingredients, these all need to be considered.
- Recipes - It’s best practice to teach from a recipe. You can create your own or take inspiration from your favourite celebrity chef.
Combine all of these things, and you’ve got yourself the perfect cookery class plan! Remember, this plan doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can always adapt if you find your lessons are too long or discover a new cooking gadget you’d like to try.
Finalise your cookery class details
Now that you’ve got the content of your cookery class sorted, you need to get your business head on. Some questions to ask yourself are:
How much will you charge for a cookery class?
You could set hourly rates or take one-off payments for your cookery class. Have a look at the pricing structure of the competition as this signals what people are willing to pay. To win your first wave of customers, it may be worth charging a slightly lower price than other classes in the area.
Will you give attendees the option to sign up for a six-week course?
Single cookery classes are ideal for those looking to refine a certain skill or want to get a taster for your service. Offering a longer form course on top of your regular classes opens up another revenue stream. Hosting a series of classes for the same group will help you create a community and encourage customer loyalty.
What will be your class size?
More advanced cookery classes may require one-to-one support. If you plan to teach to a group, these class sizes should be small so you can still give a personalised experience. Keep the available kitchen space in mind too.
Will you allow time for tasting the food?
Some cookery class providers encourage attendees to take their dishes home. Others allow time for tasting the food as a group. Although this comes down to personal preference, tasting the food together creates that friendly atmosphere as is a chance to socialise with your attendees. Going this extra mile again promotes loyalty and can help you differentiate from the competition.
How will you take bookings?
To stay organised and take bookings without the time-consuming admin, you’ll need to use a class booking system. This allows customers to browse your different cookery classes and the time slots available, book, pay and receive an automated email confirmation. Using a booking solution also means you can take bookings 24/7. No more phone call interruptions whilst you teach your class and no spreadsheets to battle with. Your diary will fill up in your sleep!
Now that you have the information you need to start cookery classes at home, it’s over to you! If you need more tips like how to advertise your cooking class to boost bookings, head over to our blog.
Start taking cookery class bookings with BookingLive
BookingLive offers a comprehensive booking solution for businesses just starting out, to established enterprises. Our class booking system sorts out the admin so you can focus on creating new recipes. If you’d like to see our booking system in action, book a demo today.
Our expert team welcomes any questions you may have, give us a call on 0800 1310 342 or email email@example.com.