Do you consider yourself the ultimate "foodie?" Do culinary trends titillate you and is gourmet the only way? Why not consider cooking up a career in the food biz?
As much as you may love it, if you're thinking that cooking isn't your strong suit, don't give up on your future in food so fast. There are ways you can take your "foodie" flair and put it to more use than just dining out. Think about what a joy it would be to take your love of all things food-related and embark on a career journey that you'll savor just as much.
Here are some cool jobs centered around the food industry for the foodie in you to relish. Let your culinary-based talents take over in one of these exciting careers.
It's all about the presentation, and when looks matter, a food stylist is called upon. All those perfect pics in magazines, on websites, in menus, and in advertisements don't happen by chance. And think about cooking shows, films, and commercials. The food always looks almost too good to eat. A talented food stylist is the force behind food looking phenomenal for those close-up shots.
As per The Art Career Project, "Professional food stylists are artists with a culinary flair. The food stylist must use color, shape, texture and food compatibility to create an artistic plate; one which is as appetizing as it is beautiful. Food stylists work in various industries; for photographers, magazines, restaurants and catering companies. If you are an artistic foodie—this job's for you!"
According to Dantastic Food, "The job of a food stylist has changed as advancing technology has made food photography a digital art. In the old days of film, food would often sit for hours under hot lights while directors of photography fiddled with f-stops and depths of field. These days, digital cameras make the process easier and faster – but quality food stylists still face challenges most other artists don't even need to consider. It's also important for food stylists to understand the ins and outs of photography and videography."
Does this job sound like it's just your style? Working with food can be just as satisfying as eating it, but you'll need some ammo. As per Urban Roots, "Although it's not necessary, many food stylists have a culinary arts degree from a culinary institute or trade school. An associate's or bachelor's degree in culinary arts can also be helpful. Studying art, photography and/or business may also assist in becoming a food stylist. Working or interning under an accomplished food stylist is a good way to learn some tricks of the trade."
Styling has never been so scrumptious!
In today's blog-obsessed world, nearly any foodie may consider themselves to be a "food critic" by snapping amateur pics of their meals, posting them to social media, and offering their reviews of what they've just chowed down. While fun for the foodie and interesting for those friends who may follow them, it generally doesn't result in a full-blown career in the critic's corner.
A professional food critic must, "Attempt to capture the dining experience and relate (it) to readers, viewers or listeners. Their commentary includes descriptions of the food, including whether the food was cooked thoroughly and attractively presented, and, of course, whether it tastes good. They also frequently comment about service staff and the ambiance of a restaurant -- whether the atmosphere contributed to diners enjoying their meals. Serving size and price are also frequently included," as per Chron.
If you are truly interested in being heard by the masses and believe your food critiques are in-depth, relevant, and beneficial to the culinary world, becoming a food critic may just be your calling. But before you quit your day job and set out on a career that seems like a (literal) piece of cake, know that it is no easy task to make your mark on the industry.
As per Sokanu, "This is a popular and competitive career, and can be difficult to get a foot in the door." There is much more to it than going out to eat and scribbling your musings of the meal.
Sokanu lists the responsibilities of a food critic as:
- Evaluating restaurant standards and food quality
- Supplying original written copy to newspapers, magazines, travel guides and websites
- Maintaining time management skills
- Meeting publishing deadlines
- Occasionally supplying original photography, or securing usage of restaurant's photos
- Competently interviewing industry leaders and venue representatives
- Delivering a written summary in a clear, unbiased way
If you have the work ethic as well as the foodie fire to pursue a career as a food critic, Study.com suggests taking the following steps to increase your chance for success in this sought-after, food-lover's dream job.
"Candidates for the position must have excellent communication skills. Students can gain the necessary writing ability through a degree program in English, journalism, or communication. Aspiring food critics also might choose to enroll in a culinary program or take courses in the culinary arts to learn about food composition, chemistry, and cooking techniques. Some schools offer courses in food media or food reviewing," notes Study.com.
After learning as much as possible in school, putting knowledge into play will come from getting work experience. Study.com recommends writing for a magazine, newspaper, or online publication, or work as a freelance food writer. And like many other jobs, networking is key to becoming relevant and respected.
Critical thinking for a food fanatic!
Do you have the type of personality that makes you a "people person?" Can you take charge, make decisions, and juggle many balls in the air at once? Are you interested in the restaurant biz and want to make sure things run smoothly and efficiently under your watch? If this sounds like you, a career as a restaurant manager may be your calling.
As per Target Jobs, the main responsibilities of a restaurant manager are as follows:
- Recruiting, training and supervising staff
- Agreeing and managing budgets
- Planning menus
- Ensuring compliance with licensing, hygiene and health and safety legislation/guidelines
- Promoting and marketing the business
- Overseeing stock
- Ordering supplies
- Handling customer inquiries and complaints
- Taking reservations
- Greeting customers
- Problem solving
- Preparing staffing/sales reports
- Keeping financial records
- Assessing and improving profitability
- Setting targets
- Handling administration and paperwork
- Liaising with customers, employees, suppliers, licensing authorities and sales reps
- Making improvements to the running of the restaurant
This is no walk in the park, but for a go-getter with lots of energy, quick-thinking ability, composure under pressure, and a no-quit attitude, becoming a restaurant manager can be exciting and rewarding.
You will need to study business and hospitality in school, but hands-on experience is just as valuable. Some cashiers and bussers start from the most low-level restaurant jobs and work their way up the ladder. Success is what you make of it!
If you love the vibe of working in a restaurant, enjoy meeting new people and making them happy, become a food server. You will be in a food-based ambiance while putting your friendly personality to good use. Your knowledge and love for food can translate into making sure customers have an enjoyable experience at the restaurant, and along with the quality of food, the greater the service, the better the time patrons will have. And you'll see their delight in your (hopefully) hefty tip!
There are so many opportunities to become a food server, as every town has dining establishments. Bigger cities will naturally have more options, but even small towns have restaurants, bars, fast food joints, and diners.
As per Snagajob, "Food servers perform a variety of tasks, from preparing the food, stocking supplies, serving, charging people for their food, handling cash, credit cards, and a cash register, cleaning tables and counters, resetting tables, greeting customers and answering questions. Food servers work on their feet for long periods, and are experts at customer service."
People may think being a food server is a piece of cake (no pun intended), but as you can see, there are many important responsibilities involved. You'll need lots of stamina and patience, as well as a friendly demeanor to be good at this non-stop job. Check please!
Stay out of the kitchen if you "can't take the heat," but be part of the food industry in a creative way that's just as rewarding!
Many people live together before getting married and have begun the process of combining accounts and sharing responsibilities. However, some people wait to do this only after marriage, and others wait until they're married to live together. Whichever path you've chosen, it's still crucial to know a few tips to manage money together as newlyweds to determine where you should begin and how you can remain on the same page.
Discussing Money Motivations
As we begin to share money with our significant other, we soon find out what one person may rank as a priority regarding money and the other may not. As such, sitting down and discussing money motivations is important. Two people who cannot agree on how to handle money may cause serious issues. This should include:
- How to deal with money following payday. Is a percentage put into savings? Is that the day to splurge on dinner, drinks, and more?
- The frequency and size of payments made to debts. Some people like to pay minimums, whereas others pay in full or make double payments.
- What do you each consider money well spent? Is it a new 70" 4K television? Is it an investment? Is it paying as much debt off as possible?
- How do you go about consulting each other before making purchases over a certain amount?
Establishing Financial Goals
After you evaluate the motivations behind your money and how it should be spent, you'll need to spend time together hashing out financial goals. As newlyweds, there are certain things on your list that you're going to want to save for. How do you go about that? How much of each paycheck will you dedicate to a particular fund?
Some things in the future worth making a financial plan for include savings and paying down debts. This is the time to be honest about your current financial standing. If you're looking to buy a home, you'll want to assemble a first-time homeowner financial checklist to begin to develop topics of conversation. Some of the things to consider setting goals for are:
- Student loans
- Car loans
- Future children
- A house
- Medical bills
- Delinquencies on credit reports
- Vacation and rainy-day funds
- Emergency funds
The more honest and open you can be with each other about the money you have and now the debts you share, the better. Implementing plans for the best ways to have the things that you both desire while still taking care of existing demands is important. These can be uncomfortable things to talk about; however, these conversations are necessary.
Following these tips to manage money together as newlyweds will allow you to have a starting point for conversations that can be tough to start. The sooner you and your partner get on the same page with finances and the responsibilities that come with them, the easier the transition will be and the sooner you'll find success.
It's the dream: money you can count on to keep rolling in, even while you sleep.
Passive income isn't entirely passive, of course. You'll put in work up-front to get the profits rolling, so don't relax in your recliner just yet. But with so many potential sources of passive income available to you, picking one or several will mean that the day you can finally kick back will draw steadily closer.
Real estate is a tried-and-true wealth builder for a simple reason: people will always need somewhere to live. Research the market in a growing community until you know a good deal when you see it. You can maximize rent by fixing up a deteriorating property or upgrading a mediocre one. The key is to hire a property manager to do all the day-to-day landlord duties for you—and you'll need a good one. Smart investors put their profits in another property and repeat the process until they have a diverse portfolio.
A YouTube Channel
You can start a blog if you're more comfortable hiding behind a computer, but consumers are more likely to prefer video content. Post a series of “how-to" videos to answer questions about whatever you're an expert in.
You can put up any content you want, but if you don't want to commit to regularly updating it, focus on “evergreen" topics that will draw clicks for eternity. Ads will create your income, especially if your channel grows in popularity. Better yet, sign up for affiliate marketing. If you recommend a product and provide a link to buy it, you'll get a small percentage of those transactions.
If you don't mind vinyl-wrapping your car with an ad for a company, you can get cash just driving around and running your errands. Make sure you contact a reputable company that doesn't ask for any money from you; if they're the real deal, they'll evaluate your car, your driving habits, your area, and more. Bonus: the brighter the ad, the easier it'll be to find your vehicle in the parking lot.
What's something that people will pay for but doesn't require shipping on your part? Finding that item is what can supplement your income indefinitely. Write an e-book, charge for your cross-stitching patterns, design prints that people can digitally download, invent an app, record a “masterclass," or whatever else you want. Every time someone new discovers it, the cash register rings. With a little more effort, this is a potential source of passive income for you that can continue to grow. Once you build up a customer base, they might want more products. The good part is that it's up to you whether you wish to give it to them.
Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.
However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.
And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.
I have used Airbnb for years and have had a grand total of one dispute over damages with a host. But by following these steps, I was able to effectively work with Airbnb to come to a fair resolution.
Step 1: Assess if you are actually at fault. If you are, pay for it.
We have all heard the stories of fat cat Airbnb management companies pulling in millions of dollars from hundreds of apartments, but the reality is that the average Airbnb host makes less than $1,000 a month. These are likely people just like you who are trying to supplement their incomes and stay in their home sasn rents in many major cities climb faster than wages.
If the damage is normal wear and tear, then the guest won't need to pay. But if you broke something through actions outside of regular wear and tear, even if it was unintentional, it is the right thing to do to pay for the damages you didino this person's home. The host will likely take the money out of your security deposit, but you may need to arrange for additional payments for larger damages to their property.
Step 2: Take pictures of the damage right away.
Pull out your phone and take pictures of the damage. Some people take pictures before they enter an Airbnb in case of any damages, but after a long day of travelling I rarely want to peek in every nook and cranny of an apartment. Still, it's always a good idea to take photos the moment damage occurs. You will want to have these photos in case of a dispute with the host.
Step 3: Contact the host through Airbnb immediately.
You should never communicate with a host through a medium other than Airbnb. Remember that communicating through the app is meant to ensure the safety of all parties. Airbnb will put less weight towards screenshots of text messages or your description of a phone call than communication within their app, which they know cannot be fabricated.
I always recommend communicating through written message rather than trying to call as that way there is a clear record of who said what and when. If there are damages to thAirbnb, you should want to contact the host immediately, first to show that you are not trying to hide the damages and second because you are entitled to accommodations that comply with the specifications listed in the ad. If the fridge in your Airbnb is not working, then the host has a responsibility to fix it to provide you with the amenities you paid for.
Keep your communication through Airbnb so there is a record in case of a dispute.
Step 4: If the host does not respond, contact Airbnb
In my own case, I had arrived at my Airbnb in a small beach town for a holiday weekend. When the wooden bed frame came apart as soon as we sat on it, we could not get a response from the host, who was likely enjoying their own festivities.
A host is supposed to be ready to respond to any issues during check-in and when they were not available, I decided to contact Airbnb. The Airbnb bot is available through the app (always go through the app whenever possible!) and I was advised to call Airbnb Community Support. I explained to the representative that the bed had come apart when we had sat on it (certainly normal usage) and was unusable. They advised us to wait while they tried to get ahold of the host, so we sat on the floor and put on a movie while we waited.
After about an hour, they reached out to us through the app and neither one of us had been able to reach the host. If you are still able to use the Airbnb, they will likely have you continue to stay in the accommodation if it is useable. In our case, because it was the only bed in the apartment and there was no room to put the mattress on the floor, they put us in a hotel and paid for half of the difference in price from needing to book a last-minute room.
Step 5: Wait for the host's claim in the Resolution Center
Hosts have up to 60 days to make a claim on a deposit, and you must respond within 72 hours. If you don't respond, then Airbnb will go ahead and process the claim.
Read through the host's claim several times before crafting your response. You will want to respond to any points they make in their claim that you disagree with. The host has to prove that you caused the damage in order to be awarded the money, so you will want to respond to any claims they are making. It doesn't feel good to be accused of doing something you did not do, but do not let emotion come into it. It is best to be professional and matter-of-fact as you go through this contentious situation.
Never pay a host directly. All damage disputes should be handled through Airbnb's Resolution Center.
Step 6: If you hear from the mediator, prepare your response.
If you decide to dispute the claim, then the host can elect to involve a mediator through Airbnb. They will gather information from both sides of the dispute and make a decision. The mediator's judgement is final, and you cannot escalate the situation any further. You must respond to the mediator within 72 hours or they will automatically rule in favor of the host.
A good response will have the following elements:
- Highlights from your positive reviews. If you have dozens of positive reviews all saying you are very respectful of the property, it would certainly be wise to point out your positive prior experiences with Airbnb hosts as a testament to your character.
- A complete and truthful description of how the damage came about. You may be tired of explaining what happened at this point, but this will likely be the last time. Thoroughly explain what happened so that a mediator just coming into the case can be armed with the facts. If the host is making up damages completely, point that out and explain how the items in question worked while you were in the apartment. This is your chance to tell your side of the story.
- Pictures of the damage. This is important for establishing whether the damage could have been accidental and if anyone in the dispute is being less than truthful. In my own case, the host argued that the bed that had broken was brand new and was solid wood, but the pictures I had taken showed that it was made from particle board. I think that was a big part of why I won the dispute, as the host was clearly not telling the whole story.
- All of your communication with the host. This is why you want to only communicate through the Airbnb app. The Airbnb mediator can see that your communications are undoctored, and the host cannot make any claims that you admitted to causing the damage when you did not. Showing that you immediately contacted the host and did not try to cover up the damage at all goes a long way in these disputes.
- A response to any unreasonable charges or claims. If you broke a wine glass and the host starts demanding hundreds of dollars to replace it, you would certainly balk. For my damage dispute, the host asked for $900 to replace the bed, and I expressed that this sounded a bit high for a particle board bed frame. If there is damage to the Airbnb, the host cannot simply make up a number they would like to charge. They must produce receipts for replacements or estimates for repairs.
- The phrases "wear and tear" and "reasonable use". Hosts are providing you a place to stay, but they cannot expect furniture to be in the same condition after months or years of use. If the damages could have come from normal wear and tear, point that out to Airbnb. Normal wear and tear is to be expected; if it's something like small scratches where the dining room chairs meet the floor, then that is to be expected after a while. Also, point out if the damages occurred during reasonable us. A chair should be able to support the body weight of a regular-sized person, a closet door should not come off the tracks when it is slid open, and you should not need to pay for damage that results from using a piece of furniture for its intended purpose. Doing parkour in an Airbnb is likely to lead to some damages that you would be responsible for, but making reasonable use of a piece of furniture should not.
- A response to the host's claim of purposeful damages. In my case, I questioned how the damage to the bed could have occurred if it was not caused by us merely sitting on a cheap wooden frame. I pointed out the bed was close to the wall and questioned how we might have caused the damages outside of reasonable and regular use of the bed. If a host is saying that you damaged the Airbnb, the onus is on them to provide an explanation and proof.
Step 7: Wait for a response
I waited anxiously for a final decision from the mediator but resisted the urge to reach out. The host must take time to draft their own response and the mediator must review all the pictures and evidence that is provided, as well as request any further documentation they need before making a decision.
In the end, because the damages had occurred from regular use of the apartment and I had maintained professional and prompt communication with Airbnb, they found in my favor. However, the whole ordeal did make me a bit more nervous about how I might be making myself vulnerable to spurious claims. In the future, I plan on taking a video of myself entering my vacation rentals and going through the apartment to show the state of the place when I arrive. Staying in a vacation rental may be an affordable alternative to a hotel, but you are certainly much more at risk of running across an unscrupulous host.