One of the greatest challenges in operating your Feastly meals is understand the nuances of pricing. Over the years we've gained a lot of experience and insight into what sells and doesn't sell. We want to arm our chefs with the most information possible to enter the marketplace and sustain a high level of performance.
Download the Feastly P&L Template - This spreadsheet is useful to understand the income and expenses of your meals.
New chefs will face a unique set of challenges in building up your audience. Once words starts to spread about your talents, you may find there is more flexibility in opening up your offerings. But, as a general guideline, new chefs should consider the following:
- START LOW - Unless you come with a big name, reputation or massive following, you will not be able to sell meals over $50 per person. It doesn't matter if you're including foie gras and caviar, people won't spend a lot on what the do not know. So, until you have a bounty of solid reviews, repeat customers and a buzz in our community, stick with lower priced options.
- REALLY LOW - If you can pull something together in $20s or $30s, people will experiment with you. If it sounds cool, it's a justifiable risk for many. That said, recognize that it is a risk and you need to convert people to fans. If you serve a $30 meal and blow their minds, they'll happily spend $50 the next time.
- TIGHTEN YOUR MENU - If you're dreaming of a 10-course tasting menu, focus down to one or two elements that really represent your culinary voice.
- UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMICS - If you are able to sell 20 seats at $30 of a tightly-produced meal (assuming a 30% food cost and $100 in labor) you'll sell $600 and walk with $320 - not a bad night. But if you overprice a meal at $60 and only sell 5 seats, that's $300, walking with $110. Higher price meals are nice in concept, but sold-out meals win every time!
- BE A MARKETER - treat your early meals as marketing expense. Nobody starts a business, even in the 'share-economy' without some expenses or opportunity costs. Have fun with them and really focus on delivering an experience to your audience. Read and embrace the lessons in our chef guide to help you understand what our Feasters are seeking.
For those of you who have been with Feastly for some time or even those that have been cooking, catering and doing other online gigs, there are some things you should consider.
- KEEP IT FRESH - If you're selling the same menu over and over, your audience will be limited. If you've impressed someone with one menu, they might not return for that same menu for a long time. But if you offer something completely different, they'll want to return sooner.
- MULTIPLE PRICE POINTS - Just because you have seen some success with Feastly or elsewhere, you're always seeking to bring on new people. If you regularly sell meals for $70 per person, consider offering a $30-40 scaled down menu to entice new guests. You always want to be converting people to regulars.
- UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMICS! Same as above (we cannot stress this enough) If you are able to sell 20 seats at $30 of a tightly-produced meal (assuming a 30% food cost and $100 in labor) you'll sell $600 and walk with $320 - not a bad night. But if you overprice a meal at $60 and only sell 5 seats, that's $300, walking with $110. Higher price meals are nice in concept, but sold-out meals win every time!
- PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS - Grow your following and offer variety by participating in Feastly events like Showdowns. These may not net you a lot of revenue, but they will certainly gain you followers who would like to attend your meals.
- ATTEND MEALS - the BEST way to pick up new followers is to attend other chef's meals. The guests at your table will most certainly add you to their crave list. It also creates a robust community amidst our chefs.