With the number of aspiring chefs today, it is quite understandable why cooking schools are growing in number. But although they are mushrooming, it doesn’t follow that opening a cooking school is a piece of cake. It requires money, time, and a whole lot of hard work. If you want to open a cooking school of your own, it’s wise to know what exactly you should do. Here’s a guide.
1. Write a business plan. A cooking school is foremost a business, so while you are brewing that business idea in your mind, sit down and put it into writing. The business plan must have all the details of your cooking school: the startup capital, your financial aids, target clientele, revenue models, projected income and expenses, and expansion ideas, among other things. Writing a business plan is a laborious process because you have to look into every small and big detail of your cooking school. But it will guide you through the process of putting up the business.
2. Develop your courses and programs. At the planning stage, start to craft your courses and programs to identify the scope of your cooking school.
Will your cooking school concentrate on pastries? Is it going to offer international cuisine courses? Will there be extra courses on beverages? How will you distribute the subjects to all the courses and programs?
3. Build the faculty. After identifying what to teach, it is now time to determine who are actually going to teach. You have to establish your cooking school as a premier educational institution, so hire competent teachers who are practitioners and can thus credibly introduce your students to the culinary world. This said, try to get chefs, bakers, and restaurateurs as teachers.
4. Gather the workforce. Other than the faculty, you may also need to hire an administration staff. This team will handle all the logistics, including the enrolment procedure, database of the enrollees, and school activities. As you expand, you can hire more employees to fill in other school departments such as Finance, Accounting, and Human Resources.
5. Find the location. The location should be accessible to public transformation and have large parking space. The building itself also needs to be spacious enough to hold multiple classes, has areas for cooking laboratories, and can accommodate large kitchen equipment. If you have found the place, arrange for the lease and begin to set up the school.
6. Obtain licenses and accreditations. You cannot fully operate your cooking school without first securing the necessary business licenses. So contact your city and ask the requirements you need to submit to get the licenses. Aside from this, you may also need to get accredited by certain organizations. Getting accreditations further establishes the credibility of your cooking school.
Start to advertise your school. Put ads on papers. Attend culinary events. Make flyers. You may have to spend extra for advertisements. But think of it as an investment. The more you get the word out about your cooking school, the more potential enrollees you can tap. And soon enough, you’ll get the return of your investment.