Recipes for Relief is ending its inaugural run today after raising more than $11,000 for foodservice workers like chefs and bartenders out of work because of the pandemic.
The initiative was launched at the beginning of May, at the height of the shelter-in-place orders that forced so many restaurants to close dine-in operations or shut down completely. As we wrote back then:
Recipes for Relief is a website where famous chefs and mixologists post recipes for meals and drinks. Each recipe features a title, the name of the chef who created it, and a short description. You can choose to purchase the recipe for $2, $5, or $10. All of the funds go directly back to the chefs or mixologists.
Recipes for Relief (RfR) was spun out of meez, a company building a recipe management software tool for professional chefs and mixologists, allowing them to digitize, edit and scale their recipes.
RfR was only supposed to last through the end of June but was extended through today. In that time, thousands of recipes were downloaded and RfR raised more than $11,000, all of which went to the chefs and mixologists posting content, with meez covering the operational costs of running the site/service. While today may be the last day to make purchases through Recipes for Relief, the site will be coming back.
“The main reason to stop for now is to build something much better and more scalable,” meez Founder and CEO, Josh Sharkey told me by phone this week. “My goal is to scale chef’s knowledge and IP, and what we did for Recipes for Recilief was a great step one. Next we want to create something that is genuinely a new revenue stream for chefs.”
Sharkey told me that unlike other avenues chefs have explored for revenue generation, like online cooking classes, a next-gen RfR can provide better scale. Instead of having to commit the resources and time to teach and record an online video cooking class, a cook could simply put their recipes up online once to reach a large audience.
One of the ways Sharkey wants to improve RfR is by helping content creators better market and monetize their recipes. During the first phase of the pandemic, the company learned that people tend to purchase whatever recipe had the best photo. The next version of RfR seeks to provide guidance around marketing tips like hero images as well as different pricing tiers.
With so many restaurants shutting down permanently because of the coronavirus, chefs and bartenders will be needing new sources of revenue, and ones that scale and provide meaningful income.
For those that can wait, Sharkey said that he is targeting a re-launch of Recipes for Relief at some point towards the end of this year, beginning of next.