How to Run a Cooking Class for Less

Got a brilliant idea for a culinary school but not sure how much cooking classes cost to run? Find out how to launch your business on a shoestring budget.

Resources 5 min read Mar 31, 2022
How to Run a Cooking Class for Less

Do you love cooking and want to turn your passion into a business? Right now, you probably have a few ideas that could work. But maybe you’re worried about the amount of money that you’ll have to invest. So how much do cooking classes cost to run?

Not many people know this, but you can start a cooking class business without breaking the bank! All you need is a little bit of know-how, the willingness to teach people, and a great concept. Read on and find out how you can start teaching cooking classes on a budget.

7 Tips on How to Teach Cooking Classes on a Budget

#1 Start small

A great way to start to teach cooking is to run your own private workshops, either at your home or in public venues such as community centres and libraries. By offering cooking classes, you are able to share your love for cooking while benefiting from the financial rewards of being self-employed.

If you are new to teaching cooking classes, you may want to start out with a small group. That way, you can gain some valuable experience before you even make a large investment, only to find out later that it’s not for you.

On the other hand… what if it turns out to be something you’re completely excited about? If you start with baby steps, you can grow at your own pace, perfect your craft, and later, sell it over and over again to different clients.

#2 Plan simple but still delicious recipes

There are many different ways to create a cooking class, some more expensive than others. The cost can vary greatly depending on the length, location, the number of attendees, and of course, the menu.

The most expensive part of a cooking class is the food and it’s going to be one of the most important factors in determining how much money you make from your new business. Simply put, if you create complex dishes, not only will they take longer to prepare; they will also end up costing more money.

So start with a few basic ingredients to create recipes and presentations that are easy to prepare and serve. You may not be able to teach intricate and complex cooking techniques, but you can still create sumptuous meals.

#3 Use readily available ingredients and utensils

Plan out your recipes in advance and choose ingredients that are easily found at nearby supermarkets or fresh markets. This way, you can save a ton by shopping for most ingredients – in bulk, if you can – and at the same time, you conserve time and money on shopping trips.

How about kitchen utensils? Every home has spatulas, cutting boards, and mixing bowls. Take them out of the cupboard and reduce costs on equipment rental fees. Also, by using accessible ingredients and common utensils, you are likely to make your class more relatable to your students. (Hey, I have that same exact garlic chopper!)

#4 Prepare a demo recipe

For each class session, have a demo recipe ready so students can learn by watching you cook the dish before they make their own meal. For example, let’s say you’re teaching a pasta dish. Maybe you can cut all of your vegetables into small pieces before class so you don’t have to spend much time dicing during hands-on learning time.

By preparing everything ahead of time, you can focus on your students during class and spend more time with each participant one-on-one. You then improve the quality of their experience, and keep them coming back for more!

#5 Hold the class at a cheap or free venue

If you’re planning on holding your cooking class in your own home, be sure to include the expense of food and drinks for your participants as well as any dishware and utensils that will be necessary for the class. If your class isn’t being held in your home, include any rental fees and cleaning costs associated with the location where you’ll be conducting it.

A tip: A cheap and effective way of attracting students to your cooking class is by holding it at a restaurant, cafe, or pub – a great source of alternative revenue for local businesses suffering from the pandemic. Not only will you be able to access their facilities and equipment, but you’ll benefit from their marketing, too. Also, it will also make it easier for students to get from place to place without having to find their own transportation.

#6 Find free or cheap ways to market your class

One of the biggest challenges of starting a cooking class is marketing. You can have the best chef and the most delicious recipes, but without students, you won’t be teaching at all!

So how much do cooking classes cost to promote? There are ways to market your classes and gain exposure at very little cost! For example, if you already have a website, you can put up your class on your homepage with some beautiful pictures of your dishes and videos of you being busy in the kitchen.

Are you active on social media? You can create a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business to promote your event. Try sending an email blast out to everyone you know asking them to spread the word about your class. Or go old school and post flyers or signs at local businesses, like coffee shops or grocery stores.

If you don’t have a website, put up your classes on marketplaces like WeTeachMe to get some free marketing and save on admin costs to boot. Imagine taking bookings by phone or email, while you’re also planning the details of your classes. Or scrambling at the last minute to fill the remaining open spots. Leave the marketing to the pros, so you can focus on getting your teaching business off the ground.

A final tip: Say “Yes!” to new opportunities

Do you know what the best business ideas have in common? They all start with the word YES!

We’re not saying that being an entrepreneur is easy, but here’s the biggest risk of all: not taking your chances, for fear that you might fail! Just be willing to take calculated risks. Sure, you might mess up (we all do at some point), but don’t let that stop you from taking action and trying new things.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you can better understand where to spend your time and most effectively. After all, the best entrepreneurs are the ones who are constantly trying new ideas and failing over and over again until they find something that works.

Ready to take your passion for food into a side gig or even a full-time business? Now that you know how to teach cooking classes on a budget, all you have to do is just to take your idea and get started!