Talk to any of your friends or family members who work in a restaurant kitchen, and they will tell you about the long hours working nights, weekends, and holidays. They will tell you about the burns and knife related injuries, their sore feet and back problems, and the fast pace life of a restaurant chef. Many of us really enjoy this type of atmosphere as a career choice, however, it is not a fit for everyone. Here is a short-list of food related career choices other than working in a restaurant…
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Many people possess a passion for food but don’t necessarily want to spend their nights, weekends, and holidays tucked away in the kitchen for their career choice. There are a variety of options available for a foodie, not including positions at a traditional restaurant:
- Catering/Food Truck – In some cases the hours can be better, you are more in control of the volume of work, and can plan ahead as opposed to a flurry of tickets and orders coming at you in a hot, sweaty kitchen.
- Personal Chef – Famous people, rich people, and some large corporations like to have their own person on staff to cook what they want, when they want.
- Corporate Chef – Large restaurant chains, food manufacturers, and retail outlets like to have someone at the helm to develop recipes, products, and presentations for the general public or to potential customers.
- Research and Development Chef – Part chef, part product development specialist, an R&D chef is testing and creating foods and products for retail, foodservice, schools, hospitals, and further manufacturers.
- Food Scientist/QC/QA – Understanding functionality of food and beverage, quality control, quality assurance, use of flavors, colors, preservatives, gum and starch systems, and analytical analysis of foodstuff. Basically a ‘mathlete’ for food.
- Market and Consumer Research/Analysis – Understanding consumer science, food trends, buying practices, and psychology of the food and beverage industry.
- Consultant – Do you know everything but tired of ‘settling down?’ Many companies look to specialists for temporary or short term projects.
- Nutritionist – Focussing on health and wellness, speciality diets, nutrient needs in hospitals for patients, or helping athletes achieve fitness goals.
- Farmer/Forager – Truffles don’t grow on trees…well they do, but you have to find and gather them! Also, all those fruits, vegetables, and grains don’t just magically appear.
- Butcher/Fishmonger/Cheesemonger/Sommelier – Be a meat, fish, cheese, or wine expert and have lots of fun interesting factoids to talk about at parties!
- Chef Instructor – If you have a passion for teaching and a love for food, this is the job for you.
- Sales – Every industry around the world needs a sales guy to move their products.
- Buyer – Every industry around the world needs a buyer to find products. Kind of repetitive.
- Customer Service – Someone is on the other end of the phone when you call the customer service number printed on the package or on the website.
- Restaurant Designer/Equipment Supply – Build the restaurant, furnish the restaurant, develop and supply the equipment, and know how to use it.
- Manufacturing – The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is $2 trillion strong in the US, plus manufactured products for foodservice and B2B. LOTS of opportunities.
- Packaging/CPG Professional – Someone needs to design and engineer the box, bag, package, film and seal.
- Food Critic – Fancy trying foods or restaurants, then providing honest (hopefully) opinions? This is a fun position but hard to become ‘THE’ food critic without a following or backing of a publication.
- Food Writer/Marketing – Descriptive writing, tag lines, romance copy, and content development is fun and something I obviously do not possess.
- PR/Publicist – This is someone who manages the public image of a brand or product. Finding ad sponsors, creating hype, pitching news releases, and working with writers to create content.
- Food Stylist – Making food tasty is one thing, but making food ascetically pleasing for pictures, packaging, and promotions is another.
- Food Photographer – KInd of like Instagram but for real…and better
- Cook Book Author/Blogger – For those who have the knack for writing interesting and creative recipes in book form! Unfortunately the internet has cut down on book sales, so many have turned to blogging instead.
- Entertainment/TV/Celebrity Chef – If you are a character and know how to perform in front of a camera, this could be for you. In fact, many of the current TV chef personalities can’t even cook that well! (BBUURRRNNNN)
There are dozens of job choices I have missed, so feel free to comment with more ideas!