by Christa Barbari Feb. 9, 2024
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Whether you’re exploring ghost kitchens or considering a remote food career, the culinary landscape continues to evolve. In this post we’ll cover exciting opportunities for food enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike.
There have long been feisty food entrepreneurs in our lives. In the past, they would work diligently from an illegal kitchen to deliver food to job sites and offices. Or they might be a seasonal vendor for family specialties requiring unique ingredients not easily found.
Laws and regulations, sometimes unfairly, stifled creativity and diversity in the marketplace. Remote food careers have gained traction, especially during the pandemic, as more people seek flexible work arrangements.
Fast-growing internet and mobile technologies have further fueled the industry. Over time, it became evident that delivery meals were the future of dining. Today, small kitchen takeout is as popular in middle America as in large metropolitan areas. Many municipalities are taking note by adjusting regulations to take advantage of local talent.
The cultural importance of food in your community
Small food businesses play an essential part in preserving traditions, celebrating diversity, and strengthening the social fabric of a community. Whether your passion is regional favorites, providing the unique cuisine of another region, or forging your special flavors, it can bring people together in a shared experience, and open you to a larger audience. Spotlight what you are passionate about in your community through food!
Private Food Vendors and Remote Food Careers
While ghost kitchens focus on delivery-only meals, private food vendors are crucial in providing unique culinary experiences. These vendors often specialize in niche cuisines, artisanal products, or personalized meal services.
We’ve gathered some ways for you to use your culinary abilities to build your dream career.
The COOK Alliance is a nonprofit working to legitimize and support informal home cooking businesses. “We legalized the first home restaurants by passing Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO) laws in California and are now expanding opportunities and resources for these small businesses.” Signing up for their newsletter is free, and the website provides many helpful resources to get started.
CozyMeal hires remote employees as well as chefs who cook in customers’ kitchens. They also offer online cooking and mixology classes, food tours, ingredient kits, and more. Current positions range from chefs to payroll in 120 cities. You can browse their career page here.
Shef helps chefs design and grow their own home-based local food-delivery business. “It’s completely free to apply. Many shefs make around $1,000 per week,” says the company. Meals are crafted with fresh, quality ingredients in small batches, never shipped, mass-produced, or frozen. Shefs are across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, DC, New York, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Please enter your zip code here to see if they serve your area.
Eatwith enables you to host dining experiences, pop-ups, special events, cooking classes, food tours, and much more. If you already operate a food business, they can help you reach additional customers. “Eatwith is the largest global community for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. We connect travelers and locals with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues,” the company says.
The app offers extensive booking and guest-management tools and a platform for marketing and support. Another stand-out offering of this app is the ability to market online food classes worldwide. Check out the host page for details.
The Farmers Market Coalition isn’t a direct source of income itself, but a great resource for those involved — or who would like to participate — in farmers markets. It provides access to research, education, and community. If you belong to a local co-op, membership material may be accessible for free. You can check their state partners list here, for information on what’s going on in your state. They can also assist with accepting SNAP payments and other food programs.
QWICK is a “hospitality staffing platform” for everyone from Bussers and Mixologists and Baristas to Servers, Dishwashers, Cooks, banquet staff and more. It can be a great way to pick up freelance shifts when you need to supplement your income. Pay can be as soon as 30 minutes after you clock out.
Ezcater offers nationwide reach to grow your catering business and get your food into employee meal programs and more. (They also hire remotely for company positions. For those, click here.) You can accept orders on or off the app, manage payments, and utilize delivery services. They list 22,743 active cities and over 19 million ratings and reviews. You can research all the details on their career growth platform.
The National Restaurant Association is an excellent resource for training, research, and necessary certifications to start your food business. They are the largest advocacy organization for small and large chains and independent restaurants. The National Restaurant Association advocates for federal policies that help restaurants and their employees. Without membership, you can check out podcasts, state-specific resources, and web events.
HOW TO APPLY
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