Stephen: When you asked, have I tried "cookies", I presume you are not talking about a nice chocolate chip? (Or, perhaps you are......??)...........If so, I would have to talk to some of my more computer savvy folks on their use. Did you have something specific in mind for their use?
I was indeed referring to the food variety.
Our club has dinners, lunches, 'tea' during and or after seminars/gradings and some classes and even the birthday for certain members when the occasion warrants it. Essentially we foster a greater social life building community that people can take part in if they like or opt out of.
Because it is routine the members all chip in with helping set up, clean up after. Some will offer to cater the event. We are especially lucky enough to have an owner of a chain of Japanese restaurants who's son trains at the dojo so he will cater some of the meals for a good deal. All of this fosters that 'club' feeling that some people look for beyond just 'show up for training'. For those that just like to train and go home.. well, that is always there.
For those that like 'hit people in the face' well, that's their thing and they can go do that some place that makes them happy. I am all for people training in whatever makes them happy. To be very specific, if a person came to the dojo expecting to be like Seagal sensei in 3 months, I would explain how that is not going to happen training with us and they may find what they are looking for some place else (though it is Sensei's decision on such matters to refuse someone to train with us, not mine). I do mention to them that we do have cookies... and sometimes they come back after checking other places out because we have cookies and those places did not.