Food Glorious Food: Jobs In The Food Industry
Let’s face it, most of us like to eat. Food is an important part of life, and so from a financial perspective it’s a good option for both businesses and careers since it’s something that people are always going to want and need. If you’re a lover of food and are either looking to change your career or start a new business venture, here are just a few ideas for the direction you could take.
Set Up a Catering Business
If you have a passion for cooking, why not cash in on this and set up a business? People always need caterers for events like weddings, christenings, funerals, even business events. If you’re new to the game, start small. Cater for lunches and events with say twenty people and ensure everything is running well before taking on larger functions. As with any business, finding your niche is important. Decide who you will be catering for and what you will be serving. For example, vegan food has become very popular in recent years – you could serve luxury vegan dishes and carve out your niche this way. Alternatively you could choose a specific cuisine- Thai barbeque food for example and turn this into a selection of finger foods. Whatever it is, if you can find a gap in the market for something that people want your business will do well. Do your market research and find out what people want which isn’t readily available. You will need to make sure you obtain the required licenses. As well as a general business license, as you will be serving food the county or state health department will inspect your kitchen for safety to make sure it’s up to scratch. You may need to hire premises since there are lots of restrictions when it comes to preparing food to sell from a residential kitchen. For example pets aren’t allowed to even pass through the space, and you need a fridge solely for business use.
Go To Culinary School and Become a Chef, Baker or Pastry Artist
For many people who dream of working in food, the end goal is to become a chef, baking master or a pastry artist and reach the top of our game. But reaching the top of course means a lot of hard work, in the early years you tend to ‘pay your dues’ by working as a kitchen skivvy. Pot washing, sweeping up, peeling potatoes- all of the worst jobs get left to those in the lowest ranks. But it is possible to work your way up, you can learn on the job and gain the knowledge and skills needed in the kitchen. If you plan on going down this route, apply to some restaurants and go from there, you can find applebee’s application online and lots of other chains and eateries, Otherwise you could go to culinary school and have formal teaching. As a chef you could work in a restaurant, or eventually work towards opening your own establishment.
Become a Mystery Shopper
Working as a mystery shopper gives you the chance to enjoy free food while earning cash, what could be better? It’s not likely to earn you enough to be a full time job, but it’s something you could certainly do on the side. However most of the big retailers on the high street are signed up to some kind of mystery shopping scheme, so there’s plenty of work out there. You go about becoming a mystery shopper by signing up to an agency or independent company which then pays you to visit businesses anonymously around the country. They do this to make sure that specific standards are being met, but for you it can mean free food at a restaurant and being paid for your time. You don’t need any formal qualifications to do this, although there of course some skills you should possess, Good observational skills and a good memory will serve you well.
Take a Hospitality Route
Want to work in food in a broader context? Why not go down the hospitality route? Here you will oversee entire facilities which include accommodation as well as food services such as hotels and resorts. Hospitality managers work in all kinds of areas from financial to human HR to operations management and more. There’s a lot that goes into it, so attending a hospitality management school would b a good option if you wanted to go down this career path. You could find a program that prepares you to work for all types and sizes of accommodations. Other ways you could get involved would be to run your own hotel bed and breakfast. Here you have a broader role of running and maintaining the facility as well as serving food to guests.
Write a Food Blog
If you love food and you love writing, how about combining your passions to write a food blog? Blogging can be very lucrative, once you’re established you will begin to be contacted by sponsors who will pay you to incorporate a link into your posts or display an ad. You could share recipes, information on different types of cuisine, different ingredients and so much more. You don’t have to be a professional or have any training, although of course you should have a good working knowledge of what you’re sharing with others.
A business or career in food can be dynamic and exciting, so if this is where your passion lies there are plenty of options and routes you can go down. There’s plenty of money to be made and skills to be learned in this industry.
Would you ever consider changing your career to something in food? If so, what direction would you go in?