Food business ideas
If there's one thing that will always be in demand, it's food. Everyone needs to eat, so there will always be a market for food-based businesses. With the overwhelming amount of restaurants and artisanal food purveyors out there, it can be tough to stand out, but with the right angle and marketing techniques, you can turn your culinary passion into a successful startup. If you love food or cooking, consider one of these 11 business ideas.
Jams & preserves maker
Specialty food maker
Want to open a restaurant without paying for retail space and tons of kitchen equipment? With a decent set of wheels and a small-scale food prep station, you can. Decreased startup costs, competitive pricing and lower risk of failure are just a few of the reasons why food trucks are a great alternative to brick-and-mortar restaurants. Pick a specific type of food or cuisine you're familiar with and work on perfecting recipes in that category to sell at your mobile eatery. Focusing on a particular specialty can help you stand out from the competition and aid in your branding efforts.
Farmers market vendor
If you're an avid home gardener and want to make a profit from your produce, sign up to be a vendor at a farmers market. The organic movement is still going strong, so having naturally grown fruits and vegetables will give you an advantage over competing growers that use conventional methods. You may have to go through an application process and/or get certified by your local board of health to begin selling. Visit Wikihow.com for more information.
Restaurant franchise owner
Investing in a franchise is a great way to become a business owner without having to come up with a concept or marketing strategy. With restaurant franchises, the product, brand and audience are already in place. All you need is a good location and some startup money, which is relatively easy to come by: Because a franchise has a proven business model, you're more likely to get a loan for this low-risk investment. [Learn more: Franchising definition and opportunities]
Another way to tap into the "busy family" market is by offering personal chef services. This business requires you to plan and prepare weekly or daily meals for your clients, so strong cooking skills and a working knowledge of nutrition and special diets (if applicable) are a must. While you don't necessarily need to have graduated from culinary school, taking a few cooking classes will boost your credibility. If you've ever fantasized about working for a celebrity, this might be your ticket in: A lot of high-profile individuals employ personal chefs to maintain a healthy diet with their round-the-clock work schedule.
There's no question that obesity is a growing problem in America, and many people who want to lose weight and eat better simply don't know where to start. You don't necessarily need to be a registered dietitian to offer meal plans and diet counseling. Read some nutrition books or take an online course, and use that knowledge to recommend delicious and healthy recipes to your clients that they can easily prepare at home. With the right combination of practical information and personal support, you can help people get their health — and their relationship with food – back on track.
Additional reporting by Adam C. Uzialko.