This week, I plan to support the restaurant business by showing them the possibilities of virtual cooking lessons. I will think about how restaurants can adapt to the future. I am just kidding, but I will elaborate about how technology can help us offer creative solutions. If you are able to think outside of the box, there is a whole world full of possibilities that opens up to you. This principle does not only apply to virtual cooking. There is still scarcity when it comes down to creative solutions in the restaurant business.
When other people look at one direction, you should be able to look at a different way. I am going to provide you at the end of this article two mental models that give further insight into the opportunity of thinking differently.
Developing your mind is the best investment you can make.
The existence of creative solutions for complex problems
There are different ways how restaurants can win this creativity game. These are the most creative solutions I have seen on the internet.
Live, virtual team building
Nobody ever guessed that you could organize a team building activity online. Let alone that this activity was a cooking session. If you think about it, it is rather smart to do so. Everybody has a kitchen in their house which means there is no reason to leave your house in the first place. Some people, who always order take-out, will be amazed by how much they can achieve in their own kitchen. You do not need fancy materials to cook delicious food. What?! If you want to make these sessions even more engaging, you can make a game out of it. When people see something as a game, they will be more likely to leave a good review and truly enjoy the experience. They are also more likely to connect with people on the other side of the screen. Who said online meeting could not bring people closer together?
Turn your kitchen into a classroom
As a chef, you have your playground literally next to you. People are, generally speaking, curious human beings. They want to know what a chef does
in his kitchen. They want to see a clean and well-organised kitchen. They are curious to see the entire cooking practice. Ask yourself the following question, “Which restaurant would you be more likely to go to, a restaurant that you trust or a restaurant that is new?” Most likely you will choose the restaurant you trust. We are animals that love consistency and commitment. After we went three times to a restaurant, there is a higher chance we will go there over and over again. Build on that trust by being completely transparent. Can you see how this is not only applicable to the restaurant business?
Start by sharing an ingredient list and then make them choose their own adventure vibe. There are a lot of people on this planet who love baking. Maybe there could be an opportunity to target this audience. There are certain ways to make baking less boring. You can create a baking adventure. As we all know, there are more baking fails than triumphs. The analogy with life is striking! A restaurant shares an ingredient list beforehand and then allows everybody to use their creativity to make their own baking creations. The host can be the teacher who corrects all your mistakes. You can motivate your applicants afterwards to post pictures on Instagram and share videos on Tik Tok. We need this engagement to grow our business!
Ask anything to a chef.
There is no better authority to answer your cooking questions than a professional chef. We all have cookbooks on our book shelf that we only use in our dreams. The reason we never use them, is because we have never really learned to cook. We have never taken the time to learn the basics or principles. You do not need recipes to be a better cook. You need to ask a chef the proper questions during your cooking adventure and success at your next family
dinner is guaranteed.
Cooking lessons for kids.
If we would teach our kids to cook, they would be more likely to live a healthy lifestyle. They would be more likely to take charge of their own health. It will also motivate them to try different sorts of food. You have probably noticed that it is much easier to let children taste new food when they have made it themselves. That bias is called “the IKEA effect”. We value stuff more when we have made it ourselves. That was a free little secret.
Make cooking lessons as one of the favorite attractions of your restaurant
All of us have certain favorite dishes that we would love to re-create in our own kitchen. There is a huge opportunity for restaurants to share these recipes. This is content-wise naturally made for social media. People will have the drive to share this with family and friends. They will may even re-create this recipe on a future dinner party. There is no better branding than that! This is all happening right now. People are adapting to change! What are you waiting for?
You do not have to wait until the future changes. It is only in the present that you can change.
Is there a future?
I think there is a future because of the following reasons:
Cooking becomes more engaging and fun.
Cooking used to be a boring and mundane task. It does not need to be this way anymore. You can make cooking into a habit by making it a part of your identity. If you are a person who follows online cooking classes, there is more chance you will identify yourself with being a chef. There is almost no friction anymore to learn the art of cooking and to make it a part of your daily routine.
The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend
energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it. Good habits can range from telling the truth,
to flossing. -Kevin Kelly
You can recreate your favorite recipes from a restaurant and then share them with
In the future we will probably be able to have dinner parties again. You need to prepare yourself to be the best host ever. You can learn to become a chef
online. You can make the favorite dish of every family member. There is no reason anymore to not be liked. Actually, that is a lie. There was never a reason to not like you.
Social media is the place to grow your business even further.
The technology is there. The possibilities are literally endless. The only limiting factor is you. The future depends on how well you can implement technology to your advantage. There is no limit on better.
Talent is distributed unfairly, but there is no limit on how much we can improve on what we start with. -Kevin Kelly
The chef can become the superstar.
This week I have made a blog post about Tabitha Brown. She shows that you do not need high end cooking skills to make it as a celebrity. What you do need, is a joyful personality and a deep need to share your most precious feelings with the world. They will first praise you for being a chef and because you teach them the skills of cooking. Afterwards they will praise you for your unique personality. We always strive to see the human behind the face (mask).
Prepare kids to live a healthier life by giving them fun education at their fingertips!
Education is most of the time useless when it is not fun. Good education is fueled by enthusiasm. Your kids should experience all the stuff they could learn. You can not learn how to run by just reading a text book. At a certain point, you will have to start practicing. Kids show this wisdom in such an enlightening way. They just start when they feel ready. If you want to learn how to cook, you should be fully engaged in the cooking process. Make your kids be fully immersed in the cooking game. They will come to forget the existence of take-out meals. “Momma, what is that place with that big M?”.
Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points. -Kevin Kelly
Behind the scenes footage will spark curiosity.
Curiosity is food for the soul. It is because of curiosity that we have great leaders. I probably have recited this phrase 100 times before but there is no limit on how many times I can repeat this wisdom. One day though you will learn how to implement curiosity in a directed and meaningful way.
Second order thinking.
Virtual cooking lessons do not give a very evident ROI but it can help you with higher engagement rates. It can give you more social liking. People will remember you for providing support during harsh times. You do not only need to see things in a way of generating profits but you also need to think about building long term relationships. You need to consider the social structures that are in charge of the entire food culture. When you can think in this second order way, there is a huge chance you will be able to make it into a profit on the long term. Nobody has won a marathon by only sprinting the first couple of kilometres but giving up afterwards!
The map is not the territory.
The map of the current reality is not the true reality because it is only a representation of that reality. The current way restaurants operate should not be your point of reference. That means it is time to create and draw a new map. This principle also applies to your own life. Your current map is not your territory but you can always
choose to redraw your map. You can choose to pick another map. Maybe you can even share your map with somebody else. Be aware of what kind of map you have in your mind. Be mindful about the fact that this map is not the reality.
Your perception of the world is completely unique. It will also change from time to time. For example, in America, there has been a lot of hatred and protests after the killing of George Floyd by a policeman. The perspective of a lot of people about America has changed! To some people, that means they see the perspective of a world full of hate and resentment. To other people they see a world where pain and suffering is intensified by the lack of kindness and tolerance in this world.
Your perception matters!
Yes, there is a future. There still is scarcity of innovation in this field which means it is time to go after these opportunities! If you are not working in this industry, there is still so much you could have learned from this blog post. You could have learned how to implement creativity and second order thinking in your day-to-day actions and you could have learned that only your own mental limits are holding you back to become the person you want to be.
Hidden general ideas for everybody who was vigilant:
- Transparency builds trust.
- In life, we will fail more then we succeed.
- Take your time to learn the basics first.
- The IKEA effect.
If you want to have a blog post about one of these ideas, let me know in the comments. I have the great power to ramble about everything!