It’s one thing for a restaurant to boast about an undefeated challenge if over 100 people have attempted it and the closest person was just a few bites away, but it’s a different story when a restaurant is boasting that nobody has even gotten close. The reason the first restaurant is having so much success is because people at least know the challenge can be beaten because people have gotten within a few bites. The customers have hope that they themselves can become the first person to defeat the massive challenge. If a really large challenge is getting a lot of attempts (breakfast challenges), 90% of the time its because the challenge is pretty cheap and it’s still a great value even if people lose because there is just so much food and they then have leftovers to take home. The price of the challenge in this situation matters much more than the prize because most people will have to pay the price anyway and not many people even have a prayer or shot at winning the prize awarded.

No matter what kind, type, or size of challenge you create, at least a few people will attempt the challenge in the very beginning simply because it is a challenge and those people want to try to beat it. If you tell people they can’t run up a mountain, some people are going to try to run up the mountain just to prove it can be done. You may get 30 people to try the challenge the very first month, but if not one of those people get even close to finishing 75% of the meal, then your amount of attempts will continue to decline and eventually you will go months without any challengers. What value does your challenge have for your restaurant if nobody even attempts it? It’s one thing if you have a 30″ pizza challenge that is actually a menu item that you sell a lot of normally, but it is an entirely different story if you have a challenge item that just never gets ordered because it costs too much and nobody can come close to beating it. You may be able to boast about having a challenge that cannot be beaten, but remember you are also boasting about having a challenge that is not making you money. People that boast about records do that to make themselves feel better about not getting paid for their work.

Another thing to keep in mind is that as increases the popularity of food challenges and also increases the number of serious competitive eaters that attempt them, there will be some eaters that can eat a lot more than others. Just like there is a star ranking system for challenges, there is a ranking system for eaters too. A 5 star eater is a person capable of eating more than 8lbs (3.5kg). Currently there are 5 star eaters that treat eating like a hobby and they do 5 star challenges without charging an appearance fee or anything. As opportunities continue to be created for everyone involved with  “the movement,” top eaters will begin to realize their value and they won’t be doing 5 star challenges for free anymore. If you feel the need to create a really “unbeatable” challenge that only top level eaters can defeat, know that there will be appearance fees necessary to attract those eaters. Owning a restaurant is a business, and for the better eaters, eating will soon become a business too. Any 5 star eater willing to do your challenge for free more than likely will not be sponsored by So if you don’t even have a cash prize involved, you may want to rethink your plans and design a challenge that regular customers can come close to finishing. Otherwise, don’t expect much success.

Starting a challenge that is unbeatable due to a ridiculous time limit is easily fixable. Creating an unbeatable challenge because it is just so big is not. Making the time limit 2 hours instead of 1 hour does not make your massive challenge that much more winnable. The speed of an eater has a geometric value. Eaters are very fast in the beginning and then they continue to eat slower and slower as their capacity fills up until eventually they are taking 1 or 2 bites every few minutes at a snails pace. Because somebody eats a 3lb burrito in 10 minutes, that does not mean that the same person can eat a 6lb burrito in 20 minutes. A person may eat 5lbs of a giant 6lb challenge in the first 20 minutes, but then it may take 20 more minutes to finish that last pound. Increasing the time is not some magical thing that makes your challenge easier to beat. If an eater can’t beat your challenge in 90 minutes, that person can’t win in 3 hours either. This is definitely by far the biggest misconception that restaurant owners have about competitive eating. Speed drastically slows down as the eater reaches his or her maximum capacity and “hits the wall.” When that point comes, he or she can only eat so much more. Giving that person an extra hour to finish the remaining 2 lbs is not going to change anything. That person will not finish.

If your challenge is unbeatable, nobody will attempt your challenge no matter what the prize is. The prize doesn’t matter if you can’t win. The same goes for your challenge. The amount you make from each challenge does not matter if nobody attempts it. If nobody is attempting your challenge, there is also no customers bringing groups along to watch them take the challenge. Having an “unbeatable” challenge is a lose-lose for everyone involved, so please create a challenge that is actually able to be defeated. For a large challenge with a good prize, you want many people to get halfway, with quite a few getting 75% of the way, with just a few people coming within a few bites, with a very elite few people actually winning. If you have no real prize other than it being free, it should even be just a little easier so that more people are willing to try it. If after reading all of this article, you still want to create an “unbeatable” challenge, please let us know when you create your food challenge. You can be featured as one of “The Dumbest Food Challenges In The World.” If you like money though and you want people to try it, hopefully you have chosen to create something a little easier that is “winnable.”

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