Finding the career right for you can be a challenge for many people. It is important to try to find an industry that you are not only interested in, but one that has a lot of viable career options in the industry. If you have a passion for food, the food industry may be perfect for you. There are many options for entering the food industry. It is important to do your research to find what area of the food industry is right for you.
Opening a Restaurant
Opening a restaurant can be a risky endeavor. There are no guarantees that people will ever come to your restaurant or even if they do, there is no guarantee that they will like the food. However, the main reason restaurants fail is often due to a lack of planning. The most important thing to figure out first is what demographic of food do you want to offer. It is very important for blossoming restaurants to have a clear, concise theme and menu. You want to become the place people go to when they want X type of food, rather that is Italian, oriental, cajun, etc. Next, you want to determine the age demographic you want to attract. Do you want a kid-friendly pizza shop, a party bar where college students wind down, or a steakhouse frequented by well to do adults? Once you determine which age range you want to cater to, next you want to determine which category you want your restaurant to fall under. These are typically divided into 3 categories, fast-food, midscale, and upscale. Depending on your chosen age demographic, you may want to shy away from certain categories. You probably won't be too popular if you open up an upscale pizza shop for kids that serves caviar topped cheese pizza.
Opening a Franchise
Opening a franchise allows you to pretty much forgo the entire thought process of creating your own restaurant. Yes you need to choose which restaurant you would like to own, but all that entails is basically doing a bit of research to find what best suits your wants and needs from said franchise. After you find the company you would like to own a franchise with, you can contact the franchisor to get a Discovery Day. This is a day long excursion where you meet with and go over the corporate policies, values, and meet with the people you will be dealing with. You need to spend a good amount of time preparing your pitch, because on the flip side, the franchisor is also determining whether or not they want to work with you. If all goes well, then you will need to look over the franchising agreement and make sure the terms of service are acceptable. You will then need to find a way to fund the franchise you are starting up. Many banks offer business loans and you can even sometimes get a loan from your franchisor to start your business. After you have secured your funding, the next thing on the list is to find a suitable location for your franchise. First time franchise owners will often lease rather than buy due to less potential risk as well as fewer upfront costs. After you secure a location, all that's left is to pass the franchisor training and prepare for opening day.
Becoming a Chef
Unless you are the restaurant owner or have a good relationship with one, it is very unlikely that you will be made head chef in a restaurant without any experience. So first things first, in order to become a chef it is imperative to gain experience. One of the best ways to do this is to attend a formal culinary school. There, you will learn and be introduced to a wide range of culinary techniques that will allow you to thrive in everything from a ma and pa soul food kitchen, to a high class molecular gastronomic dining experience. While this may be one of the best ways, it is probably also the most expensive route. Another option or an option that could be paired with the culinary school route would be to find a job working under an accomplished chef to gain the knowledge and experience he has. After you feel as though you have learned enough or if you are blessed enough to get a job opportunity from said chef perhaps running a new restaurant he decides to open, you will be well on your way to achieve your goal of becoming an accomplished chef.
Opening a Food Truck
The process of opening a food truck is very similar to that of opening a restaurant, with two exceptions. The first is rather than leasing or purchasing a building, you are acquiring the use you a vehicle or trailer with the capabilities to store and prepare food sanitarily. The other is that your location can change as you see fit, given that it is not illegal for you to be at a certain locale.
Starting a Catering Business
Starting a catering business can be a great idea for people starting out in the food industry. After you obtain your Food Establishment License, do not need to worry about any mandatory costs other than purchasing your food/equipment and the costs to deliver the food. Sure, you will want to get notoriety through advertisement if you can afford, but word of mouth is another option. As long as you can serve a good product at a reasonable price and meet reasonable deadlines, you are all set.
Open a Brewery
Opening a brewery is very similar to starting any other type of restaurant. You want to find your customer base, albeit this time you don't need to worry about kids being an option, pick a reasonable location that gives you access to the type of clientele you are seeking, and finally be able to afford the costs. These include equipment, ingredients, etc. Unless you are well versed in creating beer from scratch, it is important to hire a brewer who knows how to create beer. After that, you are all set to go out a find a client base, namely bars who will sell your product.
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