All right, who doesn’t love food? Pretty much everyone, right? But if you’re that special percentage who enjoys eating and is good at cooking or baking, you may be thinking to yourself, “Self, why don’t I start a business?” Of course, there’s a lot that goes into breaking into the industry, so it’s wise to do your research.
From the big decisions, like shopping for restaurant equipment and supplies, to the smaller, more personalized details, like finding custom printed folders to hold important documents in your office, everything you undertake is an investment. But if you’re a true foodie with ambition in spades, you just might make it!
1. Find your niche
The trick is figuring out how to separate yourself from the competitors. For starters, choose your strongest culinary skill, and try to specialize. If you find that you often whip out your mixer out of boredom and love to bake, then gourmet cookies might be your niche. Or, if you’re a sushi chef, why not try a tricked out theme like a mermaid for your business?
2. Try a food truck
A food trailer may be the perfect option if you’re an aspiring chef who isn’t quite ready to commit to a full restaurant where you have to pay for the additional overhead of a retail space. It’s also a good stepping stone if you’re thinking of opening a large-scale eatery since you can forgo extra expenses while testing your ideas with the public.
If you have your own recipes, a food truck is a great place to put them to the test. Focusing on a particular specialty will really help you stand out from the crowd. You can also incorporate catering as a side gig with a food truck. It will be easy since you have all the equipment and supplies onboard, and you can literally drive to the locations where you’ve been hired to cater. A lot of people hire food trucks for weddings, birthdays, and corporate events. You can even go the extra mile and wrap in an extra charge for after-party clean up services.
2) Offer a cooking class
If you have a brick and mortar establishment (or a big kitchen in your own home), why not hold a cooking class for people in your community? Offering the use of your cooking equipment is a great way to gain new traction with your establishment or your business plan. As the owner, you can custom design a menu for that evening, teaching participants how to prepare one of your most popular dishes. Maks sure to have business cards at the ready to pass out after the class has ended. It’s a great, free way to advertise your business. It’s also a great idea to offer options for those who suffer from food allergies. Gluten-free and dairy-free cooking classes are sure to pique potential customer’s interest.
3) Personal chef anyone?
If you feel extremely confident in your cooking skills, why not market yourself as a private chef? There’s an increased need for busy families who are looking for a personal chef to take the pressure off mealtime.
This foodservice industry usually requires you to prepare daily or weekly menus and meals for your hungry clients. Knowledge of nutrition, allergies, and special diets are a must for this position. Just keep in mind, if you’re used to cooking in a commercial kitchen, you’ll need to downsize the portions when cooking meals for smaller groups.
That said, if you’re looking to rub elbows with the elite, a lot of high-profile individuals want to hire personal chefs, so this could be your chance.
No matter what foodservice industry road you’re about to walk down, it’s important that you be fully prepared. If you’re confident in your skills and culinary education, you should do well.
The only secret is to make sure you don’t eat all your delicious samples before customers get to try them! Bon appetit.