Another situation that I found multiple times during my study of food challenges is that most restaurants maintain one constant food challenge all the time throughout the year, but there are some restaurants that change their food challenge fairly often. Some restaurants change their challenge based on the season, and other restaurants change their challenge whenever they switch up their menus. Then there are other restaurants that change their challenge every quarter (every 3 months), and I even found a restaurant that changes their challenge every month. If you are considering whether to have one consistent challenge or to change your challenge throughout the year, here are a few ideas to factor into the decision before you begin creating it:

There will be no symbolism – This should be obvious, but if you constantly change up your food challenge, then there will be no symbolism involved with it that can be used in your marketing plan. You will basically just be advertising that you have a food challenge on your menu, and there really isn’t anything that special about it. People will still come to take the challenge, but there will be no real significance that ties the challenge to your restaurant. This reduces the chances that people will tell their friends about the challenge, and it definitely eliminates the chances that people will travel from far distances just to take your challenge. People will travel an hour just to eat at a restaurant famous for one particular challenge, but not to eat at just some average restaurant with a food challenge on the menu, unless your challenge is the only challenge around. Most of the challenge attempts will be by customers ordering it just because they are really hungry or they got provoked by a friend after a few drinks. If you are going to constantly change your eating challenge, I suggest limiting it to being just 2 stars in size at most so that more people try it, since it won’t be considered anything special.

There will be confusion – There were many times while searching on Facebook for food challenge information that I would come across a picture from a year ago, and I would see a recent comment asking whether or not the particular challenge was still available. If a restaurant is known because of a food challenge, people won’t have to ask if the challenge is available, because they already know it is. Also, a person may see a delicious looking meatball sandwich challenge on your Facebook page or website and want to try it, but then get disappointed when they find out you are currently offering a spicy wing challenge. If you are going to change food challenges, keep your social media updated along with your website and keep people less confused. I made hundreds of calls to restaurants to double check challenge information and make sure their challenge still existed, and sometimes a host or hostess would tell me just to check out the website or Facebook. The reason that I even had to call was because their website or Facebook were completely confusing with pictures of 2 or 3 different challenges. If you are going to keep switching things up, please keep everyone updated. If people are confused and don’t even know what challenge you offer, they are much less likely to want to attempt your challenge.

These are the 2 main things to think about before deciding to change up your challenge often. Changing your challenge because the original one was not working is a completely different story, and is not what this article is referring to. If you are a smaller restaurant in a small town that typically caters to the same crowd of local people, you may need to change your challenge every now and then simply because everyone has already tried the previous one. In this scenario, you definitely want to change things up and keep things fresh at your cafe / restaurant. If you are a restaurant that changes up your challenge often, please keep updated because we definitely do not keep track of all 3,000+ food challenges. This is a community based website and we depend on updates from the community of eaters, fans, and restaurant owners to keep things up to date. Make sure to contact us with the new challenge or restaurant details, and any other changes, so that we can change the information in our database so your challenge and potential customers are kept up to date.

Thanks for reading about whether your restaurant should host a consistent vs changing challenge!!

To go back and view other Considering A Challenge articles, click here.