By Michael Tetreault, Editor
“Cooking classes are becoming a popular and fun way to engage with your patients, teach them healthy habits and invite new faces into your practice. Physicians across the country are starting to use these events as patient referral programs and seeing big return on effort!”
Contact Information: 302-684-0990 – http://udayjanimd.com
Milton, Delaware – MAY 7, 2014
On October 1st of last year, Dr. Uday Jani of Milton, DE changed his medical practice business model to a more personalized approach and interaction with his patients. Innovative and entrepreneur-minded, Dr. Jani and his staff took another approach to building relationship with his patients and local community by hosting an “Doc and Chef” event in which over 150 enthusiastic people attended.
“I am now able to take care of each patient in a comprehensive manner and be fully dedicated to their needs,” says Dr. Jani on his web site about the event. “Now, each time I see a patient, not only are all the presenting issues addressed, but there is time for all we want to say, all that I can teach and exploring all we can do together.”
“We are gratified by the many positive comments we received,” notes Dr. Jani.
- “Great info about merits of nutritious foods and how to prepare them! Thank you!”
- “Last night I attended a cooking demo and discussion with Dr. Uday Jani and Chef Matt Haley… It was a great talk and inspired me to slow down, breathe and find a way back to where I once was. I was a vegetarian for several years and vegan for three and those years were some of healthiest years I have had. Inspired……truly inspired. Mind, body and soul….it’s a balance …be healthy and take time for you….find that balance and be whole again. I strive for the magic three…time to renew.”
Planning Your Own Cooking Classes
Step #1 — Determine what kind of cooking classes you will teach.
If you or one of your staff loves Italian cooking, or making on-the-go healthy shakes, start with these types of simple classes first. If you are an expert bread baker, offer classes in these techniques. Make a list of your skills, even skills that don’t seem important to you at first. Maybe teaming up with your spouse, kids or staff is a good idea too. It’s quite possible that once you go through the list, you will see ample opportunity to offer a variety of classes that patients and prospective patients will want to attend again and again.
Step #2 — Know the law
Check with your local department of health as well as your county clerk’s office to find out if you’ll need any type of special license to provide this type of service. Due to the fact that you are not selling the food, it is unlikely that you will need to have an inspection. It’s a simple phone call and takes less than 5-minutes but it’s best to know before you begin. Offering classes in your patients’ or an employee’s homes can also be an option.
Step #3 — Gather equipment and set up
Be sure that you have everything you will need to teach your class. Nothing looks worse than not having a key ingredient. If your class attendees will be cooking, be sure to have enough for everyone. You won’t need five mixers, for example, but you will need to have ample mixing bowls, ramekins, measuring cups, spoons and ingredients.
If your kitchen isn’t properly equipped, see if you can offer classes through a local retail store (think Sur la table or William Sonoma). This can be great marketing for them and provides you a place to do your cooking. If you can’t find a store to work with you, you may be able to rent the space from your commercial kitchen.
Step #4 — Develop your promotional materials
Add your class offerings to your medical practice brochure that can be handed out at your office, service window to patients or anywhere in the local community. Also include this promotional piece on your website.
People love take-aways. And something that can easily be found when they put your recipe on their shelf at home. Be sure to print out enough recipe cards for everyone and on a color paper that people will know it’s yours. Be sure to include your practice web site and telephone number somewhere on the card and maybe the name of your practice too. If you’re doing a series of classes, make all of your recipe cards similar in shape and consider lamination too. Maybe you also want to think about a small recipe box so that when people attend each of your classes, they have an entire box or place in which to go to find all of your healthy recipes!
Step #6 — Plan well
You might find that your first classes will go along so well you don’t need a plan, but creating a syllabus and making notes for yourself will help to ensure that you hit all the points you want to make. You don’t need to plan every class to the minute, but having general points you want to go over will make teaching easier and help the class go smoothly.
Step #7 — Start Small
Once you get interest in your first set of classes; you’ll need to decide if these will be a series of classes or a one-time only thing–only accept a few students. This will help you get your feet wet, allow you to try new things and help you keep your nerves down if you are nervous about your new venture.
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