Group Cooking – FAQ and Testimony Videos
We’ve gathered some questions around group cooking that may be helpful to you and your group. We will add more questions as they come in from you and we feel are helpful to others! Don’t see your question below? Ask us in the comments.
1. Can I use my own recipes for our group cooking?
You can choose your favorite recipes for your swap, but remember that OAMM recipe cards do all the math for you. You can make separate recipe cards showing portions for 2, 4, 6, etc. and write the number of people who ordered that amount at the top. (See Kelly’s videos for more details.)
2. What if I don’t like all of the recipes on a particular menu?
Don’t forget that you can create custom menus using Swappable, one of the features of our Pro Membership. If you are the only one in the group who doesn’t want that particular recipe, you can use the Cost Analysis Worksheet to order “0″ servings of that recipe and order extra servings of another recipe.
3. Who keeps track of all the recipes, orders, members, etc.?
Designate one person to serve as an administrator (can be you or someone else) to keep track of group communication, reminders, maintain the cost analysis sheet, and be sure that every pays/is paid what they owe/are owed. You can also start a Google group or a Facebook page for your meal swap to keep track of things in one place as opposed to an email chain.
4. How big should my group be?
Keep it small for the first run and see how people like it and get bigger as you go. We promise you’ll get addicted. An ideal group size will 16-24 servings total (i.e. 4 families of 4 =16, 6 families of 4 = 24, but it can be any combination). If you have more members than that, you can break up into sub-groups. See the Planning Worksheet for more details.
5. How do I use group cooking to help build community relationships?
Meet at someone’s house for lunch/dessert/coffee and bring your coolers to load full of goodies. If you are a work group, plan an after hours get together if that is convenient. If you are a moms group, meet for a play date. Plan a mini menu and have a few friends over, cook, bag, enjoy the company of others. The possibilities are endless!
6. What do I do if members have food allergies/sensitivities or aversions?
Make sure to specify to the whole group if there are any allergies/sensitivities or food aversions in the group. Ideally, everyone in your group should be on the same page concerning menu type (i.e. gluten free, paleo, diet, whole foods, etc). You can make a special reminder card for everyone’s kitchen or have specially marked containers for families with allergies to minimize confusion. But make sure families with these issues are aware of the risk of cross contamination.
7. What do we do with extra food?
If you have extra meals that your family didn’t enjoy, you can use them to bless families in need – new baby, surgery, death, illness, and other circumstances. Your group may even decide to make extras on purpose so that you can give someone a “love bomb” of meals.
8. How do I know what recipes members liked/didn’t like and other feedback?
Have a de-briefing session a few weeks after the swap to see what people did and did not like and go over what could be done differently. Don’t do it right away! Everyone needs time to eat some meals and see how it works. You may want to work this into your regular group meeting (if you have one) or ask for feedback via social media groups.
There are so many different ways that a group swap can work. A few staffers put together some videos of their experiences doing group swap. We hope to bring you more videos like these as time goes on. Maybe some of them will feature your experiences!
- Kelly’s video series detailing a Whole Foods swap between co-workers
- Kelly’s video detailing her freezer cooking party