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!