The right kind and type of food challenge along with fitting details and rules, all carefully selected based on the particular restaurant hosting the challenge, can definitely benefit any and all restaurants. While this is true, some bars and restaurants just weren’t meant to host a food challenge. Some people were born to play sports and some people were born to sing, and many people just weren’t born to do either. This also goes for diners & restaurants wanting to host food challenges, because some restaurants just weren’t meant to host one, and its best that they don’t. Telling every restaurant owner that he or she should host a challenge is just like telling every person singing karaoke that they should be a singer. It’s just not true, and you are setting them up for failure. They may try a challenge at their restaurant, but it will cause more problems than benefits. Here are different situations where it may be best for you to just not host a food challenge at your restaurant:

You or your restaurant staff are not 100% on board – Food challenges are a controversial subject in today’s society and not everyone agrees with them. No matter what you say and how wrong they are, it is really tough to get really ignorant people to change their mind, and you cannot force anybody to do anything legally. If you or numerous people on your restaurant staff do not believe that food challenges are moral and ethical, it’s best that you don’t have one because all efforts involved with it won’t be genuine, and your customers will not buy into wanting to try it. Even if your customers are asking for one, it’s best that you just don’t start one.

A large percentage of your clientele won’t be happy – As you read in Things To Consider Before Starting A Food Challenge, you will have customers that don’t agree with you hosting a challenge, and they may get vocal about it. These people have never touched a drink with all 5 fingers before in their lives because their pinky finger is always up, and you can’t do anything about that. If you start a challenge and have a lot of people complaining about it, you may want to think about just cancelling it. If you know that many of your customers won’t agree with you having one, it’s best to not create one, simply because you need their business. The miserableness of those few customers will ruin the fun for everyone else, but you don’t want to have to deal with that mess.

Your restaurant does not have any type of competitive atmosphere – If your restaurant does not have any type of competitive attitude, and you don’t really cater to the type of people that would even care that you had a food challenge, your challenge obviously will not work. A product may be the best of its kind, but that product won’t work if there is nobody that will buy it. As the restaurant owner, you may think it would be fun to have a food challenge, but if you know that 95% of your customers won’t care no matter what the challenge even is, you definitely should focus on other ways to promote your restaurant. It wasn’t meant to host an eating challenge.

These are really the only 3 reasons that a food challenge may not work for a restaurant. No matter how small or large the restaurant is, the right kind and type of food challenge can still work if people want it to. Even at a small restaurant in a small town that typically caters to the same people, a food challenge can definitely work. That particular restaurant might just have to change the challenge up when it seems like everyone that was wanting to try it already has. As we continue to Feed The Movement, food challenges and competitive eating will continually become more and more “accepted” by people, and the amount of ignorant “haters” will continue to decrease as well. Most importantly, more people will be wanting to try your challenge. You cannot change everyone though, and ignorance combined with freedom of speech is not a good combination. I have seen restaurants with food challenges get featured on the news because a particular columnist with the media outlet did not agree with food challenges. While many people will take your side in the argument, you don’t want that kind of press for your restaurant, so it’s better that you don’t create a situation that can start it. If people will disagree with you having a quantity challenge, try starting a small speed or spicy challenge. Buffalo Wild Wings took this approach and created a small and fun spicy challenge. If hardly anybody will want to try the challenge no matter what it is, then don’t worry about even trying to start one. This article pertains to very few cafes & restaurants, but I wanted to be sure to mention that food challenges weren’t meant for absolutely everyone.

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