June 6

Summer 2023: Four Challenges in the Enrichment World

Blog, Cooking Classes, Featured

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Welcome to June! Hasn’t the year flown by?

BOOST was a huge success and summer school is just around the corner.

I love summer camps because it’s a full-day experience for kids, and we can teach hundreds of students in a short amount of time.  

Often a program will run from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and we’ll schedule five workshops in a single day:

8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

Since each workshop is for up to twenty students, we can teach one hundred students in a day!

Plus, our Chef Teachers love the work and get paid handsomely for those long days. The most I’ve ever taught in a single day is six workshops, and it was demanding but also easy. Each workshop flows into the next so well. It’s like a song you’ve memorized that you can play without thinking over and over.  

But summer is not without its challenges like:

  1. Some of your best Chef Teachers are traveling or unavailable

Since our staff is used to working in the afternoons from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. they often take time off to travel or do something else. I’d say the majority of our staff is available for summer, but there are some areas where we have to hire new staff to accommodate the hours.  

Also, some staff doesn’t have daycare or their young kids during the morning hours, so they can’t teach during that time.

2. The Day Starts A Lot Earlier

My entire team is made up of ten internal staff members from around the world in the Philippines, Brazil, El Salvador, Ukraine, and Dominica. They all work American hours PST 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and usually, we have our meetings in the early afternoons and mornings because our workshops happen after 2:30 p.m.  

This isn’t the case in the summer.

Our workshops start early, and our team has to be on call and ready for each workshop. We need to be ready in case a Chef can’t find parking, is running a bit late, or has a car issue. The vast majority of the time, nothing happens, but it does make the day begin and end earlier than usual.

3. The Fiscal Year Happens Right In The Middle of Summer

Contracts get booked really quick around the summer. As I mentioned in the previous post about Boost, we met a client and booked a huge summer series of workshops within three weeks. Most contracts take 3–6 months to close for a new client.

On top of that, the fiscal year cuts the summer contract in half. Often we will have to have two proposals and two invoices to reflect work done in June and another for July because they involve two different budgets.

It complicates things, but that’s the reality of the enrichment world.

4. Operations and Sales Have To Be Very, Very In Sync

Here’s a semi-fictional example of what I mean between the sales and operations departments.

Sales:  “Hey operations! We’ve got this new client in San Diego. Can you staff eleven sites for 150 hours of workshops?”

Operations: “Yea …we could…but when do the classes start?”

Sales: “In…like thirty days.”

Operations: “!?”

Sales: “We haven’t signed the contract yet, but it’s going to board on June 11th and classes start June 12th.”

Operations: “Ok, but it’ll be tough, it takes 30–45 days to hire and onboard new chef teachers.”

Sales: “Awesome thanks! Appreciate you…. oh, and there’s another district in Paramount I’d like to mention as well…”

And so, it goes…

Fortunately, we have sales hop into every operations meeting to give them as much notice as we can…but it’s not always smooth sailing.

Now that summer is pretty much booked, we’re looking ahead to fall 2023.

The bulk of our programs begin in mid to late June and once we get past those start dates, it’ll be smooth sailing.

At the same time, we’re taking meetings in preparation for fall 2023.  

We like to plan ahead, whether it’s an in-person or virtual-live workshop, so if you’d like to bring healthy culinary workshops to your students to get kids eating spinach, cauliflower, and zucchini in new, tasty ways let’s book a time to chat here: 

And here are our 3 most recent newsletters

Best,

Chef Eric Horwitz P.S.  The next post is about my adventures in Mexico! Stay tuned.


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Eric Horwitz

About LIFT

Eric founded LIFT Enrichment in 2010 because he wanted to help young kids develop their culinary skills so they could make healthy foods for friends and family for the rest of their lives.  He has worked with kids for over 15 years and enjoys their energy and enthusiasm for learning new things.  Eric studied abroad in Italy while at UCLA and discovered a passion for cooking.  

Eric Horwitz, Ceo of Lift

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