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Most Successful Cooking Class: 15-Minute Meals

What if teaching clients how to cook became part of your training? What if a cooking class could help you recruit new clients into your facility? What if a teaching kitchen program could add dollars to your bottom line and create buzz in your community?

Putting a kitchen inside your gym can make all that happen.

Before you start envisioning eggshells on the floor and flour all over your machines, consider what we have learned at my business—AvenuFitness & Lifestyle in Houston. We began teaching quick cooking classes
on a simple folding table with a plug-in skillet and a blender smack-dab
in the middle of the training floor.

It wasn’t anything fancy, but we wanted food front and center in our
business. We wanted to help our clients begin thinking real food first
and training second. We wanted to teach people how to prepare healthy, home-cooked
meals on a realistic budget with respect to both money and time.

We constantly hear clients saying, “I don’t have time to cook.” To challenge this objection, we connected with a local chef, who prepared four simple 15-minute meals in under an hour.

After we sent an email blast and posted fliers around our studio to raise awareness, we quickly sold 15 spots for the $30 class. In this unique demo-only class, our chef was able to teach the how-tos and give clients tastings of each simple meal.

The returns from this simple class have been amazing:

  • Clients are preparing these meals on their own for
    their families.
  • Parents are getting their kids involved in preparing
    the simple meals.
  • A few clients are preparing two of the meals during
    one of their favorite 30-minute TV shows.
  • People are investing more time in cooking more meals, which means they are preparing healthier
    options than they were eating when dining out.

What we learned most from this class was to keep numbers small. Initially we had wanted 20–30 participants. This class helped us to realize we needed an intimate environment where clients felt comfortable asking questions, opening up about fears in the kitchen and becoming vulnerable enough to be honest with their excuses for not preparing home-cooked meals.

To read more about how to build a teaching kitchen in your facility, please see “Building a Teaching Kitchen in a Studio” in the online IDEA Library or in the July-August 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

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