This article really only applies in the United Kingdom and Ireland because that is the only area I’ve found this situation to occur, but there are a few restaurants that have chosen to host a monthly eating challenge contest rather than an actual food challenge. Here are a few things to think about if you are debating whether to have a food challenge or to spend a lot more wasted effort and time hosting a monthly eating challenge contest:

The more often an event occurs, the less special it becomes – In the shopping world, an annual “sale” is a lot more exciting to go to versus a “sale” that occurs every month. If you can’t make it this month, you can just go next month for the same experience. The same goes for sporting events and concerts. If your favorite singer only comes once per year to your area, you will cancel other plans for that night to make sure you are available. If he or she comes 12 times per year, its then not a big deal if you have to skip the event. The same goes for eating contests. The more often a contest is held, the less special it becomes. A proper contest takes a lot of time to set up and promote, and more than likely the event attendance and rewards from having the contest each month will not be worth the effort spent making everything happen, and they will continually decline.

There are too many variables every month – You cannot have the contest on the same date every month because the dates always fall on different days. You can have a contest the first Tuesday of every month, but what happens if some other big event is going on that night in your community? Usually, restaurants that have monthly contests have a different menu every month, which also requires the extra effort to keep planning new dishes. You may have many people interested in your contests, but nobody will ever know all of the details, so you will constantly have to answer questions about the date, time, food, prizes, and other details, and you will always get complaints because you can never please every single person. A challenge is constant, and all questions can be answered on the same advertisement. The variables of monthly eating contests change every month and again, the efforts to minimize confusion and make everyone happy are not worth the end rewards.

People have busy lives – A food challenge can typically be taken during normal business hours at any time the restaurant is open, especially if the challenger notifies the restaurant well in advance so that the restaurant can be prepared. This makes things convenient for people with busy everyday lives and families. A person may want to do your challenge contest, but that person may have to work or may have something else going on almost every month at that time which never allows him or her to compete which is definitely frustrating. Your contests may lack attendance simply because the people that really want to compete aren’t able to free themselves up to attend the event. On the other hand, if you had a challenge that person would have been able to have competed a long time ago when it was convenient for that person and family. Food challenges are much more convenient!!

Hosting eating challenge contests can be great and a lot of fun for your customers and restaurant staff, but they become less special the more often they are held causing the rewards to be less and less. The rewards decrease but the efforts to host the event typically remain the same, and soon become inconvenient for most parties involved. If you want to have an eating event that occurs often in your restaurant, you should consider creating and hosting a food challenge rather than hosting many small individual eating challenge contests.

Thanks for reading about whether restaurants should host a food challenge vs monthly contest!!

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