chef creating pastry

8 Culinary Careers to Consider Beyond the Restaurant During COVID-19

Your culinary prowess may have landed you some coveted restaurant jobs in the past. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has upended the restaurant industry and left many talented chefs out of work. More than 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the crisis, according to estimates from the National Restaurant Association.

If you’re struggling to find restaurant jobs, consider broadening your search outside the typical brick-and-mortar restaurant setting. Check out these eight exciting culinary jobs to pursue.


1. Food Service Worker

The food service industry is rapidly changing — but certain settings will always demand food service workers. Make sure to include jobs outside the restaurant in your search, such as positions in retirement communities, hospitals, schools, and even food trucks. Check in with former restaurant coworkers to find out about any openings in these fields. 


2. Culinary Instructor

Your culinary skills are still very much in demand, so why not share your knowledge with the next generation of budding chefs? As a culinary instructor, you will teach students how to develop recipes as well as educate them on food safety standards and regulations. As of May 2019, the median annual salary was $58,110 for career and technical education teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

nutritionist with fruit bowl


3. Nutritionist

A background in culinary arts is an excellent foundation for excelling in a nutritionist role. Becoming a nutritionist will offer you the chance to help clients develop healthier lifestyles and create more fulfilling relationships with food. Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition, or a related area.


4. Hospitality Worker

Working in hospitality allows you the chance to use your culinary knowledge in an executive position. If you enjoy the fast-paced nature of a restaurant kitchen, hospitality management could be a good choice for you. As a food and beverage director, for example, you would manage the delivery of food and beverage service for a company. Another possible career choice that stems from chef jobs is a food service director, who plans and oversees the operations of a dining service.


5. Publicist

Restaurants need strong publicists to attract customers. As a restaurant publicist, you’ll be able to capitalize on your insider knowledge to figure out how to market culinary brands effectively. As part of your job, you may pitch story ideas to food editors and TV producers, and craft press releases announcing restaurant openings or new menu additions. You’ll also rely on social media to draw attention to clients.


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6. Food Stylist

As a former restaurant worker, you understand the importance of a pleasing plate presentation. Food styling and photography offers you the chance to make a career out of arranging food in the most aesthetically pleasing and appetizing way. Food stylists may provide photos for menus and advertisements, or work for companies such as home shopping networks and creative consulting agencies.


7. Food Safety Manager

You know the critical importance of food safety in a restaurant. As a food safety manager, you can coordinate and implement a food safety program for either a company or restaurant. You will set the safety guidelines and manage the operations of food inspection.

food section of newspaper


8. Food Critic/Writer

If you have a flair for creative and mouthwatering gastronomic descriptions, consider a career as a food critic or writer. Food critics and writers provide culinary content for magazines and blogs, increasingly in the digital realm. Because the writing appeals to a niche market, you may start as a freelance writer before moving to a full-time publication. Food writers can also create cookbooks and write reviews of local restaurants.


Take the next step in launching your culinary career beyond the brick-and-mortar restaurant by searching on iHireChefs – or explore relevant opportunities in other industries across our talent network.

By iHire | February 16, 2021
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