Real-time cooking demos

In-house cooking classes have long been a way for restaurant chefs to connect with consumers. With the official launch of Google Helpout at the end of November, chefs and restaurateurs now have a new option to reach potential guests across the miles.

The online teaching platform allows chefs to demonstrate recipes and dole out advice via a real-time video chat. Experts are vetted by Google in an initial screening process, and once accepted, set their own rates either per minute or per session.

Kitchit, a web-based service that connects users to local chefs for at-home catering and cooking lessons, promotes Helpouts led by several of its celebrity chefs. Consumers can chat with Douglas Keane, Joshua Skenes or Lorena Garcia for $149.99 for 15 minutes. The Bravo network also has launched a Top Chef University Helpout where its former “cheftestants” offer recipe help, menu planning advice, cooking tips and more for $14.99 for 15 minutes.

Even without a larger collective, it’s easy for anyone to set up a class. Would-be instructors will need to schedule a time through the site and pay with Google Wallet. In turn, this program has the potential to attract new customers and please existing ones, adding a personal touch to service. Interested chefs can apply for an invitation to get the process started at no cost.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Older brands try new tricks in their quest to stay relevant

Reality Check: A number of mature restaurant chains are out to prove that age is just a number.


At Papa Johns, delivery shifts from its own apps to aggregators

The Bottom Line: The pizza delivery chain’s business with companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash is thriving while its own delivery is slowing. But this isn’t the beginning of the end of self-delivery, CEO Rob Lynch says.


How the shift to counter service has changed Steak n Shake's profitability

The Bottom Line: Sardar Biglari, chairman of the chain’s owner Biglari Holdings, details how the addition of kiosks and counter service has transformed restaurants.


More from our partners