Supper clubs in homes and flats are incredibly trendy right now. Aspiring chefs are transforming their homes into mini restaurants and opening their doors to paying customers—ahem, strangers. It’s a fascinating concept.
The temporary nature of a supper club means the chef avoids paying the upkeep of a venue or staff, opting instead to use their home and enlist available friends and family to help host the event. This is a great idea, especially if the chef is testing an upcoming menu, as diners often get a very reasonable ticket price for the value of the food served.
But how does one discover these secretive events?
Eat With is a website that connects diners with unique experiences all across the world. However a quick search on Eventbrite reveals a supper club in London at 83 Dalston Lane, a bookable pop-up food venue. I’m relieved it’s not someone’s actual home address; sharing your address can go horribly wrong, as it did for an Essex family hosting a 15th birthday in 2013, resulting in 800 teenagers turning up!
So if it’s not listed online, how do you find out about these super low-key dinner parties? Another quick search on social media, and I’ve found a few cool supper club videos posted on several hosts’ profiles. Stalk some aspiring chefs and see if they have mailing lists you can join for details on future events—if this sounds like your thing.
But what are the complications involved in hosting a semi-secret supper club?
From a security perspective, you are inviting strangers into your home who could have a criminal background or personal vendetta against you. Or they could be really nice people who just enjoy great food. Proceed with caution.
Does the host need insurance? We would argue yes, as there are many things that could go wrong. Guests could get injured, possessions or the property could get damaged, and there could be legal costs. The host should be protecting themselves in case of all eventualities.
Legally, a supper club must be registered with the local council. Once registered, you will be inspected by the Food Standards Agency. They will visit your home, inspect your kitchen, ask some questions, and leave you with a food hygiene rating.
Could a supper club be turned into a legitimate business?
We don’t see why it couldn’t be. Once you’re set up as a sole trader, have undergone a council inspection, and have secured insurance, you’re ready to go. Even better if you have a big enough space to host. Rosie and Virgi from Suppers, host their seasonal supper club in their London warehouse—videos on TikTok make it look every bit arty and cool.
Image: Suppers by Rosie & Virgi
If you’re an aspiring chef, this could be a great way to dip your toe in before embarking on a full-time chef career. If you don’t wish to use your home, pop-up event spaces are on the rise in cities too; a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.