Are you a chef or patissier with a passion for kids? If so, you’re in the right place. Teaching cooking and baking classes to children can be a rewarding experience — and a great way to grow your career and generate income.
Whether you choose to launch a culinary school for kids or an online cooking academy, you should start by focusing on your mission and business goals. We’ve laid out a few steps to help you get started!
1. Put together a business plan
If you’ve never designed a business, have no fear! Building a business plan should start by following a template. Think of this as a recipe for your future business — it will help you stay organized if you’re starting from scratch.
A business plan should have the following pieces:
- Executive summary: A simple summary of your business and its mission
- Company description: A longer description of your company, including who you are and how you serve your community
- Market analysis: Research and findings focused on the demand for your business as well as competitors in your community and online.
- Organization and management: An explanation of who you employ, their role in your company, and who is responsible for what. If you don’t have employees yet, you can explain your many roles.
- Services and products you offer: This section is for considerations, like what do you teach? Do you sell any products? What kind of content do you specialize in?
- Marketing and sales plan: Add details on how you plan to market your business here. You can evolve this section over time, but we suggest using it to organize your marketing efforts.
- Financial projections: This section is for considerations like: how much money did you save or borrow to start this business? How much money do you expect to make?
We recommend spending time working on your business plan and being open to letting it evolve as your business starts and grows. Having a strong business plan can be helpful if you are taking out a small business loan or receiving outside investment. It shows that you are serious and that you have professional experience in your field and a clear path to profitability.
2. Determine your focus
Once you have a plan, decide what you’ll teach. Start with your area of expertise and your passions. You may love making desserts or feel extremely passionate about plant-based cuisine — whatever it is, make sure that it sits at the foundation of your new business.
If you have a background in restaurants, you may want to specialize in teaching cooking skills that can lead to a career in the kitchen, focusing on skills and ingredients. If you’re a childhood nutritionist, your classes may take a healthy angle. There are endless options, just make sure to stay true to you!
3. Decide how, where, and who you will teach
Now that you’ve determined what you’ll teach, it’s time to think about the who and the how.
Here are some common age groups for cooking and baking classes.
- Toddlers: Toddlers range from 1 year to 4 years of age. Toddler cooking classes might consist of mixing, measuring, and combining ingredients with a parent or teacher present.
- Children: Children range from 5 to 11. Teaching school-age children about culinary arts can equip them with the skills to make their own meals and snacks, while inspiring a lifelong love of food!
- Preteens and Teens: This age group ranges from 12-17. Helping preteens and teens master cooking can help this age group build skills to use in the kitchen and beyond. Since preteens and teens are generally exploring their independence, cooking and baking classes can help them feel more grown up.
How and where
When it comes to starting a culinary school for kids, understanding the rules set by your local health department is important before determining how and where you will teach! Some states may allow teachers to use a home kitchen, while others may require a licensed commercial kitchen.
- In-person: In-person classes will require a physical space. Cooking classes require space for students to prep and cook safely. You’ll need multiple cooking stations to teach group classes!
- Online: Teach kids to cook or bake digitally from your home! Online cooking classes are easy to set up, so long as your kitchen is equipped with good light and room for a video camera.
- Both: By offering both online and in-person cooking and baking classes, you can reach more students.
For more guidance on teaching kids to cook, check out our full guide with cooking activities and kids cooking class ideas.
4. Invest in kid-friendly kitchen tools
Will your classes have demonstrations? To start a cooking school for kids — especially one with in-person classes or appointments — you’ll need to invest in kid-friendly cooking tools.
Here’s a list of essentials to get you started:
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Cutting Boards
- Baking Sheets
- Kitchen Scales
- Storage containers
5. Get ready to multitask
Launching online or in-person baking or cooking classes for kids requires wearing many hats (including your chef's hat, of course!). To get ready, make sure you have skills in the following areas:
- Teaching: Whether you’ve taught for years or are just starting out, opening your own children’s activity business will involve teaching students. Make sure your certifications are up to date and you have client testimonials that speak to your skills.
- Business management: You’ll need to be prepared to work in every department of your business, including accounting, scheduling, communications, and customer service.
- Technology: You’ll need to make sure you’re comfortable with using technology to teach classes, including speakers, registration software, and streaming tools.
- Being a role model: You’re about to start nurturing little ones and growing their relationships with food. It’s your job to be a good role model!
5. Set up a payment processing and registration system
Once you’ve written a business plan and decided on how and what you’ll teach, you will need a way to collect student registrations and payments. When you’re teaching cooking and baking classes, you’ll want your software partner to feel simple and straightforward so parents can discover and book your classes with ease. When you choose to partner with a good registration software, you will also benefit from software automations, seamless banking, flexible payment options, and financial reporting to make it easier to analyze where your business is thriving and where more work needs to be done.
If you’re starting a children’s activity business, Sawyer for Business has everything you need to make registration easy for your team and your customers. See why thousands of businesses love Sawyer for Business and why you will too.
6. Connect with your community
Once you have a business plan, location, team, and powerful registration software, you’ll be ready to start teaching. Our best advice is to connect with your community whenever and however you can. Marketing will naturally grow when you invest in your community. Consider joining local parent Facebook groups, partnering with your local business bureau, offering free trials, and hosting free events to get the word out. For example, host a healthy cooking class with a local doctor’s office or partner with a school to reach more families. Connecting with your community is key to unlocking success for years to come! If you partner with Sawyer, you can find great families on the Sawyer Marketplace.
We can’t wait to see how your business grows! To get more information on launching your children’s activity business for kids, connect with a member of our team today.