5 Ways to Start a Food Business (Without Opening a Restaurant)

Have you always loved to cook? Ever thought about turning your passion for food into a full time job but been too daunted by the prospect of opening a restaurant? Now more than ever, you don’t need funding and a restaurant to work the food industry. In fact, here are 5 ways to start a food business with no upfront cost.

Become A Personal Chef

In addition to posting in your local newspaper, post a personal chef listing online. There are tons of websites, such as HireAChef.com, that help connect people across the country with personal chefs for ongoing jobs or even a single dinner party.

You should also leverage your network. Host a dinner party for friends and guests, serve your best meals and hand out business cards to promote your services.

Sell Your Food Products On and Offline

Now this may depend on what you like to cook, but if you sell something that lasts – consider opening an online shop. There are tons of successful food & drink shops on Etsy.

You may also want to get a stand at a local farmers’ market. Farmers markets are growing increasingly popular around the United States and are a great way to start a food business in your local community.

Teach Cooking

Teach live cooking classes from your own home. You can advertise in your local school and newspaper. It’s also no problem if you don’t have the right kitchen and tons of teachers have their client's host the classes. Just be sure to check with your local department of health and county clerk’s office to make sure you don’t need a special license to operate your business.

Teach cooking online. People all over the world take cooking classes online. On Skillshare, we have tons of successful culinary teachers and are looking for moreMarie Asselin, food writer and baker, made $1000 in her first month teaching on Skillshare. 

Sell Home Cooked Meals

Quick meals deliveries have never been more popular – just check out Plated and Blue Apron. Offer your services locally and deliver either home-cooked meals or recipes along with all the required ingredients to your friends and neighbors who don’t have time to cook.

If you don't want to deal with delivery logistics - sign up to host a meal on EatWith. 

Start A Food Web Presence

Start a food blog. Food blogs are unbelievably popular and prominent food bloggers host advertising on their sites and even receive paid sponsorships. Check out Cookie + Kate’s article on how to start food business by blogging. 

Start a food Instagram. The food Instagram universe is immense - New Fork City has almost 700k followers. Check out Spoon University’s 8 tips for getting started.