If you read my post on the way for foodies to network, you might be looking for some tips for starting a supper club as this is one of the suggestions that will really get you deep into your local foodie scene. There’s no real barriers to entry, as long as you have the will, there’s a whey (tee hee). It is, however, something that does require a deal of commitment, so check out my tips for starting a supper club and see whether you’re a passionate enough foodie to give it a go.
One of the most important tips for starting a supper club is to be flexible with the membership. Not everyone is going to be able to make every event; try and vary the times and days so that you might meet for brunch, lunch or dinner to try and get everyone involved. As a host, you need to make sure that you are being flexible enough to not pressure people into feeling obligated to show up; the meetings are supposed to be fun, after all.
If you want to start a supper club, you need to make sure that everyone stays in touch. Communication is key; your club simply won’t work if you don’t all regularly keep in contact with each other to schedule meetings and coordinate recipes. Email is the easiest way to make sure that everyone is in the loop, but telephone might be used as a backup for those who are not keen on technology.
Using themed nights is a great way to keep your supper club interesting. You can combine themed food with table decorations and fancy dress costumes – try Texan nights, Indian nights, Chinese dinners or even go all out and have formal occasions every once in a while.
If you’re looking into ways to ensure that your supper club works, you need to make sure that the process of menu selection is as democratic as possible. Don’t cook meals that only you will like; you are catering for friends, so make sure that you all want to eat the food. Once again email is paramount for this: you might want to get your associates to vote on which menu they like the best for your meet-up.
One of the key things to remember when looking into how to start a supper club is making sure that you keep the costs under control. Although you will all share the burden of paying for ingredients, it might be a good idea to total up the expenditure of each meal and split the price at the end, like at a restaurant, or take it in turns to host.
Advise your guests to bring Tupperware dishes with them to take home the leftovers, or buy some cheap tin foil containers. Everyone loves a doggie bag! Plus it means there’s no waste.
One of the best pieces of advice for supper club start-ups is to organize your meetings right from day one. Schedule how regularly you will meet; organize how you’ll pay for the ingredients, and who will bring the wine. Will you always meet for supper, or can you change to breakfast and lunch other weeks? All of these things need to be agreed upon by all members if you want longevity from your club.
If you are all friends beforehand, it’s a lot easier to organize a dinner club. However a good tip for starting a supper club is to make sure that you let the group gel together before you decide that the idea hasn’t worked. It might take three or four gatherings before you are all comfortable.
Not only will knowing how to set up a supper club bring you closer to your friends, or help you to meet new friends, it can be used as an experience to taste more wines and teach your guests about pairing wines with foods. You might want to take it in turns to suggest wines for the group to purchase, or the host might decide which drinks will suit their food best. Having at least one wine expert in the group will enrich the experience for all.
It’s important that while you should be flexible, you should always make sure that there are certain decided dates to your supper club. If you are going to meet on a certain date of each month, try and get everyone to stick to it – otherwise it’s too easy to find the club falling apart through lack of organization or attendance.
So what do you think? Have these tips for starting a supper club inspired you to take the plunge?