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!
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.