At Clapham Studio Hire, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting some incredible London Supper Clubs and pop up restaurants. From talented chefs who’ve wanted to do something a little different to their day to day restaurant cooking, like Sally Abe of The Harwood Arms, through to Food Stylists who’ve wanted to share their great cooking with friends and family in a more formal but fun environment, like the Pelican Canteen pair Katie Marshall and Myles Williamson. Through hosting these events we’ve been able to pick up some great tips on how to run a supper club, so we thought we would spread the love with some helpful advice.
One of the many reasons why people love Supper Clubs so much is the social aspect. Rather than sitting with in a more conventional restaurant you are in a social, eating environment meeting lots of new people. At first it can be a little overwhelming for guests (although they always warm up after they’ve had a couple of drinks) so make sure you set the tone by being welcoming and chatty, after all, you’re one of the reasons they came. Take time to step out of the kitchen and let your guests get to know you as this is what differentiates a Supper Club from a restaurant experience.
Make the space your own
Part of the fun of a Supper Club or pop up restaurant is they can be anywhere. For instance you wouldn’t automatically assume that a photographic and film rental studio would be appropriate for supper clubs. However, our specialist, bespoke kitchen and dining area is perfect for atmospheric and intimate culinary experiences.
Establish your vision and brand and infuse that throughout your venue decor. From using the right crockery to dressing the table with interesting pieces of ephemera, be as wild as you can!
Look at quirky venues that offer a blank canvas space. Or find a venue like Clapham Studio Hire that has a huge and unique prop collection that is included in your rental price. We have built up our culinary based prop collection not just for our shoots but also for events, pop ups and supper clubs.
What is the best time to host a supper club?
Supper clubs can be hosted at any time of day, with lots more experiential supper clubs like brunch and yoga popping up around London. Find out what your friends are interested in, whats the hot new thing, and try and integrate that into your Supper Club. Dinner events are generally the most popular. Leading Supper Club listing website Grub Club recommend holding events at no earlier than 7pm as otherwise this limits who can attend because of work commitments. Although they also say that whilst many people think of Saturday as the most popular day, if people really love the sound of an event, they’ll be excited to come whatever the day.
How much should a supper club cost?
This really depends on a number of key factors. Is this a one off event? Are you selling to your friends or the general public? Are you trying to make profit? Unless you are a respected chef who is doing a one off event we’d generally recommend starting at a more modest price; between £25-£35. This isn’t simply because you want to ensure you sell every seat (most people will guarantee selling out their first events simply through selling to friends), it also takes the pressure off, because the higher the charge, the higher the expectations.
How often should I host Super Clubs?
There are two things to consider; how often you feel confident hosting an event, and how confident you are selling enough tickets for each event. But regardless, we would always recommend starting with one or two dates and judging the success of those first clubs. By putting up multiple dates at the same time, you risk getting a small number of bookings spread over a number of dates.
Also do feel free to meet the team at Clapham Studio Hire for an informal chat about your ideas and plans. We can give you a tour of our space and props. We have co hosted many supper clubs and have a good understanding of what works within our space. We are also quite creative bunch and enjoy musing over menus and props to help you create a supper club to remember.