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Class Act: Cooking Workshops to Boost Restaurant Profitability

New York City is a culinary wonderland, with some of the best restaurants in the world, from the trendiest street fare to the most fabulous fine dining, and the skilled chefs that bring their recipes to life.

If you’re looking for a dash of inspiration to ignite your restaurant’s revenue options as the holiday season approaches, hosting cooking classes, either virtually or in-person, just might be the perfect addition to your menu.

But if people can get delicious food delivered to their door, you might wonder why they’d want the hassle of cooking. The answers are: it saves money, it’s healthier, and creating unique recipes for friends and family can be quite impressive. In short, learning how to cook like a chef is fun!

Whether you're in Manhattan or Brooklyn, a fine French bistro or a funky falafel food truck, with the holidays just a moment away, why not add a few classes to your kitchen repertoire?

Boost Delivery Dollars

One of the best ways to boost profits from cooking classes is to teach students how to make dishes that require your food as the main ingredients. Create a separate landing page on your website that lists ingredients for the daily or weekly featured recipe. Then link every item on the list to that landing page.

Below is an example.

Benefits of Hosting Cooking Classes

More Contact with Customers

One of the best ways to attract and retain customers is through consistent and positive interaction. A cooking class allows guests to develop a more intimate relationship with the restaurant and your chef.

Stand Out from the Crowd

How many restaurants in your area are currently offering cooking classes? Probably very few. So just hosting one class a week could be beneficial and help your brand stand out above the competition.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Make your own sushi

  • Bake your own Christmas cookies

  • How to make ravioli from scratch

  • Assemble a charcuterie tray for the holidays

  • How to make a gingerbread house

  • How to create pumpkin and gourd soup bowls

  • How to mix Mojitos and Margaritas

  • Wine pairing and tasting techniques

  • How to make risotto

  • How to make chocolate covered strawberries

Chef Interact with Customers

Chefs are in the back-of-house all day long. Holding cooking classes allows them to come out of the kitchen and mingle with the people they cook for on a daily basis.

Opportunity to Test Recipes

Cooking classes are the perfect way to test new menu items before they’re added to the menu, show different preparations that guests haven’t yet seen in the restaurant, and see diners' reactions. It’s a low risk opportunity to go over-the-top!

Expand Fan Base

In addition to turning guests into loyal customers, if you give away prizes at the end of a class, like a coupon for a friend to take a class next time, it inspires guests to spread the word. Distribute gift bags containing some of the ingredients for the recipe made in class along with a coupon for a discount on their next delivery order.

Attracts Business Clientele

Outside of your regular clientele, target local businesses that are searching for something different for team building exercises.

While you can offer to bring the class to the office, most employees would prefer getting away from their desk for a few hours and come to you. Then when it's time to select a restaurant during off hours, your restaurant will be at top-of-mind.

Hosting Virtual Cooking Classes

Just because we’re no longer hiding in our houses doesn’t mean people still don't enjoy doing things from home. Virtual cooking classes not only help promote your delivery business, but they also help you reach new customers.

Benefits of Virtual Cooking Classes

Connect with Customers Outside Your Area

The last few years have turned the virtual word into a reality for the long-term. And in a virtual world, you’re not limited to customers who live nearby. Virtual cooking classes expand your reach and give newbies a taste of your restaurant — even if they’re not close by. And maybe you’ll be on their list when they finally do visit your city.

Increases Engagement

Virtual cooking classes provide a way for your restaurant to experience exponential social media growth. Work with a local food influencer or have your students post pictures on Instagram or videos on Tik Tok. A large social media following can lead to passive income.

Lower Overhead Costs

With virtual classes, there’s no need to acquire a space large enough to accommodate a full class. You can work in the space that you already own. Students can buy their own ingredients aheád of time (and ideally order them from your restaurant) and use their own kitchen tools.

Popular NYC Cooking Workshops

From pasta making and sushi techniques to baking bread and creating gourmet desserts, the workshop options in NYC are endless with an array of cooking classes for everyday cooks, food connoisseurs, and aspiring home chefs.

Taste Buds Kitchen: Hand-Rolled Sushi and Dumplings

109 W 27th St 10th Fl

Between 7th & 6th Avenues


The art of sushi making takes years to master, but at Taste Buds Kitchen, the chefs will get you rolling by the end of the class! Students learn the basics of creating fresh and delicious sushi rolls that look as great as they taste.

Procuring sushi-grade fish is probably the hardest part of sushi-making, but the instructors at Taste Buds Kitchen will take care of that for you. All that you have to do is show up, learn how to layer the ingredients, roll them up into tasty rolls, and enjoy!

Cost: $180 for 2

Atelier Sucré: Couples’ Classes

104 East 7th Street

Btwn 1st Ave & Avenue A

East Village, Manhattan

Located in the heart of East Harlem, Atelier Sucré's commercial kitchen offers a space to create delightful, delectable sweets. Students of all experience-levels are welcome and are provided with all the equipment and tools needed.

Classes Offered:

Price: $76 to $80

100 Frost St, Brooklyn

No complicated souffles or baked Alaska at The Brooklyn Kitchen. Students barely need to know the difference between a spoon and a spatula because these guys will teach you literally everything you need to know. Participants will learn everything the aspiring home cook needs to know, from how to expertly sear a steak, make homemade pasta, work with knives, and work with puff pastry.

Classes Offered:

  • Knife Skills

  • Intro to Sourdough Bread

  • Chicken and Waffles

  • Fresh Pasta

  • Homemade Dumplings

  • Date Night

  • Vegan Pizza

  • Wine Dinner

  • & more

  • Prices: $45 to $150

Coppie in Cucina @ La Scuola Eataly

200 5th Ave, Flatiron

Eataly, considered the temple of all things delicious and Italian, students learn to cook pasta, pizza and more incredible Italian classics at the restaurant’s Flatiron location. The resident chef will demonstrate how to prepare regional Italian recipes and an expert sommelier walks participants through the accompanying wine pairings.

Tache Artisan Chocolate: Chocolate Making

63 Chrystie St

Lower East Side,

At this Lower East Side chocolate shop, the artistic design of each truffle and confection is just as important as the flavor. Students learn to create and mold sweet treats in a 90-minute lesson from the Tache Artisan Chocolate master chocolatier.

Price: $86

254 Bleecker St

Between Leroy & Morton Streets

Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Who doesn't love cheese? A staple in just about everyone's kitchen, guests will learn how to make classics like mozzarella or the ever-so-trendy burrata at Murray's Cheese classes. Suitable for just about anyone, guests can enjoy a class with other like-minded cheese connoisseur wanna-bes. Revered chef Lidia Bastianich curated the classes here herself, which means that both the content and the food is top-notch. Hands-on classes include making fresh gnocchi or Italian cheeses, while observation classes encompass topics like the history and techniques of savory baked pasta.

Price: Varies

Taste Buds Kitchen: Handmade Pasta

109 W 27th St 10th Fl

Between 7th & 6th Avenues


Thanks to the easy-going attitude and casual environment, pasta-making classes at Taste Buds Kitchen feel more like cooking in a friend’s kitchen than formal training. Instructors demonstrate the proper technique of making fresh pasta, then students get to replicate the steps at their personal cooking stations. At the end of class, participants are able to share a feast of homemade ravioli and fettuccine with their fellow students—and wash it down with plenty of wine!

On the Menu:

  • ​Fresh Fettuccine Pasta

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli

  • Hand-folded Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

  • Rustic Tomato Sauce

Price: $180 for 2

L’École Valrhona: Dessert Making

222 Water St between Jay St and Bridge St

Dumbo, Brooklyn

Chocolate lovers can take their sweet tooths to the next level with classes at Valrhona’s new Dumbo kitchen. Students learn how to make chocolate, caramel, Choux Pastry (éclairs and profiteroles), and Italian desserts like tiramisu.

Prices: vary

Wine Tasting 101 with Expert Sommelier

Guests can escape the hustle and bustle of New York City's bar scene and indulge in a unique Wine Tasting 101 experience that offers an intimate and serene atmosphere with friends.

Whether one considers themself a wine connoisseur or possesses a true admiration for wine, this class guarantees leaves the participants feeling satisfied. A proficient Sommelier leads students through a tasting of six different wines, including a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and a final red that rotates.

During this educational and immersive experience, guests have the opportunity to discover the diverse world of wine, from the tasting techniques and flavor profiles to grape characteristics and pairings.

Price Varies

Take Away

Hosting a cooking class can be quite an undertaking at first, but as many satisfied restaurant owners will agree, it comes with its own unique rewards. From basic culinary skills to cooking with wine, rolling sushi, or cooking authentic Thai food, cooking classes are a great way to add a new revenue stream to your business.

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By Eileen Strauss


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