Food business ideas

The US is a fast food nation, throwing away enough food to feed half the world. So imagine how much they are spending to eat everyday. Food related business has got lots of opportunity and one can start it easily with low investment.

More than $200 billion estimated in 2018 was generated by the food industry in the USA.

Out of which you could make your share easily if you participate in whatever way you can in the various opportunities mentioned below.

When I cooked a Masala Dosa, a crepe with potato stuffing in the basement I rented from Richard my landlord and advocate, the aroma brought him downstairs to ask me what I was cooking. 

He would be so happy to taste it that he asked me to make it in my food truck every day.

Food business industry is very profitable as it is said that around 45% – 55% profit margin is on average.

Here are 20 food business Ideas that you can start in the year 2020

#1. Homemade Snacks Making

Like I mentioned above, I found it a very rewarding idea to make snacks at home.

You too can try and make what you are good at and you will see Home made snacks can be more popular than you can imagine.

I also used to make chickpea flour fries at home, spicing it up in my style dipping vegetables and I found Americans loved it.

I used to earn $50 a day easily in the beginning when I arrived in the US and didn’t know what I could do there.

It went on growing so I decided to buy a food truck worth $10000 to expand my homemade snacks business.

#2. Street Food Business

You will be surprised to see how popular is street food in NY outside Central Park. People stand for more than an hour in a queue to eat the street food there as you can see from youtube videos.

Employ someone if you don’t want to stand in the street to sell hotdogs or hamburgers you want to sell.

No big capital will be needed to put up a stall with a few pots and pans. You could get started with under $10000 after you get your license in order.

#3. Sweets Business

Some sweets are easy to make and some are really complicated.

Skills are learnt for generations sometimes.

If you have those special skills, you could start a sweet business and make money.

Many with a sweet tooth will be your customers if you can show them what special sweets you can offer starting with simple desserts.

#4. Pizza Business

Pizza is perhaps the most popular food in the world.

You will never have to be afraid of losing money invested in a Pizzeria if you know how to make a pizza.

You may have to invest upto $50000 if you want to set up a classy looking Pizza Hut.

Register your business name and get a taxpayer number to get started in the locality of your choice.

Home delivery with orders booked online will increase your business as many won’t be able to leave their homes to come and buy.

#5. Healthy/Organic Food Business

Start a Health food restaurant cooking organic food or just a store selling specialised whole food like bean sprouts etc.

More people today will be your customers in these days of awareness where health has become a priority.

A 14 year old rented a room from me as he went to school away from his parents.

He told me he had lost his molar teeth already in such young age as he was accustomed to eating unhealthy food out of cans. 

Processed food would have very little nutrients left as against whole grains freshly cooked.

It’s the need of the hour.

#6. Small Scale Food Processing Business

You could start a food processing business as many people would depend on canned food when they don’t have time to cook.

Start with tomatoes or carrots or any such items you can get hold of in a season when they are sold at a very cheap price to boil them and peel them to store in airtight bottles at home as you can see on youtube.

If you are marketing well with your home business, you can soon expand to a small scale food processing unit with a capital of $20000 to $50000.

You will need a license to handle perishable food from the food safety department.

#7. Fast Food Business

People running to work will have no options left but to grab a burger on their way. Start a fast food business if you can provide them with a quick lunch or breakfast.

Keep it as healthy as possible rather than just providing French fries etc.

A hamburger made with soya or salads like a Subway restaurant can attract more health conscious people providing them an opportunity to grab a bite as quickly as possible at the same time.

#8. Start Selling Food Items Online

Online orders can bring you opportunities to work from home or a restaurant if you can manage home deliveries.

Home made food can also become popular online as people are already getting other stereotype foods like French fries or pizzas.

Give them something different or just whatever is on demand.

Fried rice and stir-fry veggies in Chinese style also is an option.

#9. Restaurant

Start an Indian or Italian restaurant depending on what you like to cook. You must also keep in mind what is in demand.

An American restaurant would provide waffles and pancakes with soups and sandwiches for lunch.

But check your competitors around you and try to give them a different option so you would not have competition.

A capital requirement of $100000 would suffice to start a small restaurant with one or two employees.

Decorate the interior nicely to attract your customers. License will be needed from the health dept.

#10. Homemade Food Cooking and Delivery Service

You could advertise in Facebook groups if you are starting an ethnic style homemade food and get orders.

Be ready to deliver quickly when the orders come.

My son used to take the food I cooked at home for delivery around our home in LA when we had just arrived there into a community of devotees who loved Indian food.

We made a good team with cool profits to buy him a bike soon.

#11. Start a Bakery

Starting a bakery is easy if you learn how to bake different breads and cookies. Almost every housewife knows how to do it.

So it’s just a question of getting some premises in a busy street with some ovens to get started.

Make eggless or vegan cakes to cater to the new generation.

Also Read: How to start a bakery shop – Profitable business plan

#12. Smoothie Shop

Very simple to start a smoothie shop if you are not into cooking. Just get a blender or two to get started.

Near a school would be a good location idea as many kids would like a smoothie instead of lunch or a snack.

Health conscious adults would visit in plenty.

More healthy to have a banana milkshake or a strawberry smoothie so parents would provide for the pocket money.

An investment of $10000 to $5000 would suffice but you will need to convince the health dept that you are capable of keeping it clean and safe.

You will need a certificate in food handling.

#13. Catering Services

Start a catering service for weddings or birthday parties etc if you can think of different menus to offer.

It should be a complete festive meal for at least 10 to 50 people. You could be getting orders for 100 to 1000 people when you have organised yourself.

So have pots and pans ready to get started. Paper plates and cutlery with cups etc should be provided.

Now that the plastic is not an option, you should think of other things.

There is a lot of money to make money in catering as I saw for myself in Norway if you have cooking skills.

#14. Food Truck

It is cheaper to have a food truck than a restaurant.

You see many Mexicans making a lot of money with their food trucks selling burritos etc.

They offered me a lot of support instead of looking at me as a competitor when I started a food truck business with just $10000.

Well equipped and licensed food truck can cost you around $100000.

I have seen such trucks operating with 3 to 4 employees in it and a crowd of people around them buying when they are parked near construction sites they visited every day.

Also Read: How to start a food truck – Business Plan

#15. Ice Cream shop

It’s easy to operate an Ice cream shop or a van. A specialised Ice cream maker can make his own sundaes and kulfies.

Have a supplier bring them to you even on credit if you don’t want to make them.

Cones or cups along with bowls of fruit salads topped with ice creams are not difficult to handle.

You will need a good location in downtown or somewhere near a university to start an ice cream parlour.

License and registration will be required.

#16. Tea and Coffee Shop

Anyone can make a cup of tea or coffee but a shop providing such refreshments is constant work. Fix your own hours if you cannot work round the clock.

Get orders from offices and shopkeepers around you if you can employ someone for deliveries.

Making coffee or tea is an art if you can cater to the customer to provide exactly what he wants. Light or strong coffee or tea with sugar to be added in the right proportion by himself.

Cappuccino is coffee with milk made in a machine to produce a lot of bubbles.

Provide iced lemon tea in summer and iced coffee is also popular when it comes in grains.

Also Read: Coffee shop business plan – Step by step guide

#17. Jams and Preserves

You can start a home based business or set up a small unit to make your own jams and pickles etc.

I learnt how to make jams from youtube videos and I enjoyed making them whenever I could buy fruits in excess in the season.

Pickles we make from lemons and jaggery with salt don’t go bad upto 14 years if they are washed and dried before pickling. 

Important to keep them airtight and tied up with a piece of clean cloth so no airborne insects will enter.

Start selling from home online to see if you will need a shop soon when you making profits.

#18. Homemade Chocolates Making

Buy cocoa powder and heat it to melt it. Pour into moulds to make your own chocolates at home.

Add with condensed milk to make white chocolates etc.

You can make coconut chocolates or candies by adding coconut powder etc.

Invent your own chocolates and make sugarless ones for the diabetic.

Santa chocolates are popular in Christmas season.

#19. Fruit & Vegetable Mart

There will be plenty of fruits and vegetables for yourself and family if you start selling fruits and vegetables.

Some people put up their stalls by renting the space in front of stores which are not selling them.

Start your own mart by buying fruits and vegetables in wholesale in weekend farmer’s market.

Such a mart can be started with as low as $1000 or even lower.

Register your business name to get a taxpayer identification number to get started.

No other permits will be necessary.

#20. Honey Production Business

You can put up honey production units in your backyard if you have space.

Learn how to deal with honey bees by covering yourself with a blanket and hand gloves.

Hold a pack of incense in your hands to produce a lot of smoke and you will see that bees won’t come near you.

Bee farming is explained in youtube DIY videos.

Organic honey thus produced can be sold for high prices as it cures cough and other diseases.

The cost of setting up such a unit is not high. Just a little courage is needed to deal with the bees.

Cover your windows with mosquito nets and automatic insect doors that shut automatically when opened to keep the bees out of your house.

Make sure your neighbours don’t object. Bees will definitely keep thieves out!

I hope you like this article with many ideas to make money from food related businesses.

Please let us know if you implement any of them to start your own business and if you need any further help.

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