Working in food isn’t all plain sailing, you’ll need the right certification and licenses to keep the public safe and ensure everything is hygenic. Food waste can be an issue because your stock will have a limited shelf life and if business is slow, you will have to throw away anything that isn’t used. However it has the potential to do very well, and if you love food this can be a fun, interesting and creative way to earn a living. Here are some ideas for how you could go about it.
People are always in need of caterers for things like weddings, parties and corporate events. You could offer menus for different types of events or you could specialise in one type. You could offer things that other caterers might not, for example how about vegan, gluten free or low calorie menus? You could offer interesting types of cuisines- these things could be a small element of your business or they could be your unique selling point. Just be sure to do your market research and find out what kinds of things people find catering companies lack in, that way you can step up and fill the void. Food can be simple buffet items or entire cooked three course meals- so there’s a lot to consider and work out when it comes to setting up your catering business. When you cater for an event you get paid up front, meaning that even if there’s waste food it doesn’t come out of your pocket. As you will know exactly how many people you’re serving, it means you can buy the right amount of ingredients and keep your costs down this way.
Meal Prep Service
In recent years there has been a boom in health. There have been a surge of gym memberships and a boom in the consumption of health foods. Health related searches on search engines relating to diet, exercise and wellness are increasing year on year. This means that health is big business, and as someone who wants to work in food you have the opportunity to do well. One thing that’s really taken off is meal prepping services, as people want convenience as well as health but they want to be able to fit it around their busy lifestyle. Having food delivered to their door that’s tasty, well balanced and fits with their health goals. You will need to carefully plan meals that taste great while include the right vitamins and minerals, are low in salt, sugars and oils. Be sure to send your meals for nutritional analysis so that you can properly label everything and ensure it meets FDA guidelines. You will need to update meals on a regular basis to keep things fresh and interesting for ongoing customers. It’s something you could do from any commercial kitchen, companies like Retracom can fit cooling and freezer rooms in these kinds of premises if needed which can be useful if your business grows. You may even be able to start off working from home if your kitchen is up to scratch, you will have to inform the relevant authorities though as there are certain changes you will need to make. For example, you have to have a separate fridge for your work and your home.
Cafe, Bakery, Sandwich Shop or Restaurant
Opening up one of these kinds of food places means you will serve food directly to customers. Running an establishment like this gives you lots of creative freedom. A restaurant can be particularly tricky and this is something that often should be tackled by professionals in the industry. But if you’ve worked as a chef and have experience working in restaurant kitchens then it could be the way to go. A bakery is another great option and gives you the opportunity to earn big profits, but again you do need to be a skilled baker to be able to make this work. If you’ve baked as a hobby for years and people like your work, perhaps you could take a course into things like cake decorating, pastry work or anything else which would give you the skills you needed. A cafe or sandwich shop could be a good way to go for those who want to work in food but aren’t trained chefs. Hot and cold drinks, simple cakes, and different kinds of sandwiches are all things that most of us could learn to do. If you can find a spot that’s close to an industrial estate or a place where people will be working during the day then you have the opportunity to build up a great customer base. Keep it simple yet delicious, don’t overcharge and do your research so you can find out what kinds of things people are after. Maybe there’s a lack of healthy food establishments in the area, meaning you could offer some healthier things on the menu. Perhaps price is the issue, coffee shops charge a fortune so you could offer much cheaper hot drinks (this would still allow you to make a great profit). Do your market research and you could open up the exact place that people are currently missing. One of the biggest costs when it comes to running a place like this is the rental price. You’re not just hiring a commercial kitchen like with some of the other business ideas, but the front of house area too.
The humble burger van, jacket potato van or even ice cream van has the potential to make you some serious money. Again you could serve workers in places like industrial estates if there are no cafes or shops close by, or you could pay to take your van into places like festivals and events. If you sell fast food, setting up outside of nightclubs and pubs you’ll be sure to earn well! You can have things like coffee machines installed and switch it up to sell coffees, cakes and sweet treats. A big box of tea bags costs next to nothing, so think of the profit margins you could make by selling each cup even for a ‘cheap’ price compared with coffee shops. There are plenty of options, again do your market research and perhaps look into finding your niche where you can offer people something they can’t get easily elsewhere.