Hosting your own supper club is a lot of fun. You can meet new people, get to know your neighbours, earn additional money and put your wizard-like cooking skills into the limelight!
However, supper clubs are a competitive market. Whilst the GC chefs often make it look easy, there’s a huge amount of thought, planning and hard work that goes into every event. In Part 1 of our “How to Set Up Your Own Supper Club” series, we’ll be looking at how to come up with a concept and make sure your event is positioned attractively!
The first thing to think about when setting up your supper club is what you’re all about. What is going to make your event unique?
You don’t have to be serving up fugu in an abandoned bike factory in Hackney. However, there has to be something unique about your events that makes diners choose you over a meal at a restaurant or another supper club.
Perhaps your events take place in a unusual location like Basement Galley? Or maybe your events are themed around famous books like The Literary Hour? You could be a Michelin chef inviting diners into your home like That Hungry Chef? Or perhaps you celebrate a relatively unknown cuisine like the Syrian Supper Club?
Once you’re sorted with your concept, the next step is to think carefully about your supper club name.
Try to pick something bold and memorable that conveys the personality of your events. Some of our favourites include The Water House Project, Chit Chaat Chai and The Fabulous Adventures of 698B!
An interesting name will help to intrigue diners and will provide a solid base to build your brand around.
Supper clubbers are looking for a different dining experience that they can’t get in a restaurant.
This means that the menu has to excite people enough so that they’re happy to book a ticket in advance. Menus don’t have to be crazy but they do have to be interesting and enticing enough so that diners are dribbling over their keyboard as they read it!
Like with every good business, you’ll need to make sacrifices when starting out. Don’t look at your first event as a money-making scheme but as a way to test out your ideas and measure the demand for your events.
As an example, look at one of our top Michelin-trained chefs. He started by pricing his events below £30 (BYOB) & now regularly sells out at £40 and above.
We recommend pricing first events around £25. Providing great value for money will help to get the ball rolling with bookings. Then once you’ve figured out demand and logistics, you can consider increasing gradually.
If you’d like your event to appeal to the maximum amount of people, it’s essential that the location is central and accessible.
If your event is further out (around Zone 3 onwards), it will be even more important for you to do targeted marketing to the local area rather than a general London audience.
We always recommend starting small. This might be the first time you’ve cooked for a larger amount of people or, for professional chefs, without a team by your side.
Hosting in your home or a small venue relieves the pressure of filling up lots of seats and serving a large amount of people at your first event.
For first events especially, it’s important not to run before you can walk. Give yourself sufficient time to market the event as it can be hard work. We recommend leaving at least 3-4 weeks for promotion.
Before you’ve measured the demand for your event, only announce one event. Diners are attracted by the scarcity of one-off event and by putting up multiple you run the risk of having a small amount of bookings across all dates. Once you’ve filled up your first date, you can always add more very easily.
See more advice and find out more about setting up your own supper club with Grub Club HERE.