Finding the Right People
Getting people who mesh well together is always a challenge. One benefit of supper clubs is coming across all kinds of people. The good news is that you get to meet people. The bad news is that the chances of them being a great fit are pretty slim. One of the beauties of my supper club experience is that my wife and I have used the more formal supper club, where there are a lot of people, to find the smaller group that we really wanted to be friends with. In the end, dealing with a few jerks can be worth it if you get to know some very interesting people.
The solutions on how to find people to participate in a Supper Club are broad ranging:
- Neighborhood groups
- One of the easiest ways to find people and conveniently located.
- The Classic Supper Club model is based on our neighborhood. We have a neighborhood association that publishes a newsletter. There is a section that advertises participation in the supper club. I have actually heard of people that bought a house in our neighborhood because they knew about the supper club.
- Internet groups
- One site you could use to get started getting together with people over food is grubwithus.com. People get connected through the site, usually at a local restaurant.
- We all spend quite a bit of time with the people we work with. The subject of socializing over a meal is very easy to interject. When I lived in Delaware, I traveled with a guy I worked with. We would dine together on a Wednesday night and the subject of my supper club would come up. It didn’t take long for him to want to be part of the Saturday night supper club, where I would try to replicate the dishes we shared at a restaurant the previous Wednesday.
- Church groups
- School groups
- Facebook friends
The supper clubs I have been involved with have led to real friendships. We have formed clubs from the wide array of sources listed above and have learned there is no one right way to find the right people. Trial and error is the only way. Going through a few bad experiences makes you appreciate the good ones.
Finding the right people has some real benefits. While most of us know a thing or two about wine, it is great to have a wine and beer experts in the group.
My friend, Scott, is the perfect example. He is excellent at paring the right wine with the menu. Scott, like many wine “experts,” has an excellent wine collection and is great at offering up a few (or 10) delicious bottles from his cellar. Scott was such a good customer of the local wine store affectionately named “Germantown Baptist Wine and Liquor” by Scott’s wife Kathy that when he moved, the wine store flew their flag at half-mast for weeks.
In my neighborhood, we are also blessed to have a “beer guy” as well. Tom Schoelkopf worked for Anheuser Busch and is a great guy to have at a party. You can count on him to bring a good selection of Budweiser’s classic product as well as some newer products they are developing. For many of our supper club events, people are asked to bring an appetizer. Tom is famous for asking, “Do you want me to cook or should I just bring beer?” Somehow, the answers are pretty consistent