Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So You Want to Work in Food? We Should Talk

Every day, I meet people who want to work in food.

They dream about food. They love food. They just don't know how their lives could possibly be complete without making a career in food.


There are a few things you should know about getting a job in food before you decide you just can't make it without devoting your soul to this industry.

1. You're not going to make very much money. At least not at first and really, probably never. Because cooking for friends out of your kitchen is pretty darn different from making a living at it. You've got to pay rent (becasue you're going to do this legally, RIGHT?), utilities, possibly pay to get a commercial kitchen up and running (and that will set you back major bucks), insurance, and supplies, whose costs seem to be rising every single day. All of those bills get paid before you make a dime.

2. You will always smell like food. And not necessarily in a "yummy chocolate cake" kind of way, but more like a bbq, onions, garlic in your hair aroma. Mmmm...sexy.

3. Your feet will hurt...all the time. This is a very physical profession. I constantly shop, and schelp, and haul, and stand, and I'm no spring chicken. Food is a profession for the young, and if you're not in your 20's be prepared to deal with that. Which leads me to...

4. You will never look cute at work again. You must wear solid shoes (Danskos rules!), clothing so that you don't catch on fire, absolutely no flip flops, pull your hair back, wear a hat, and be prepared to sweat. Kitchens are hot. Duh.

5. Nights and weekends are required. You will miss family occasions. You will miss going out with your friends (unless they are also in the industry, in which case, you'll be going out after your place closes). You will have to rearrange your schedule so that you can work while others play. If you're into baking, you may even need to work in the middle of the night, because that's what bakers do.

6. If you're even a little successful, you will need to hire someone else to do the cooking, while you handle other ends of the business. Awesome, right? You're no longer working with the food as much, but paying someone else to do what you love. If you ever want to make money, it's what you'll need to do.

7. You are now "The Help". Your job is now to provide the eats and to serve. I actually really enjoy this part, so it's good with me. But if it bothers you, move on...not the career for you.

Still can't get over the whole idea of ditching your job and starting your fabulous, marvelous business in food? Well, kudos to you. In fact, we're just now starting to offer The Kitchen Studio as a shared use kitchen for new food businesses. It's a way to test out your concept without huge start-up costs in a licesened commercial kitchen. We've got reasonable hourly rates and can also offer consulting services to help you get your business rolling. Love it??? We sure do and already have two businesses beginning to make use of the space, with another 2-3 starting the process. Just give me a call at 301-663-6442 or drop me an email and we can talk. Bon appetit!