What exactly is a food consultant?
Whether you are a food-related business looking to hire a food consultant or an individual looking to become one, here is everything you need to know about food consulting and how they can improve the operations of any food service facility.
What is Food Consulting?
Food consultants are experts in Gastronomy (gastronomy is the study of the relationship between food and culture, the art of preparing and serving rich or delicate and appetizing food, the cooking styles of particular regions, and the science of good eating). A Food Consultant is one who advises on food safety and food quality who advise food industry businesses and professionals on the development and improvement of their food service operations. A food consultant can work with restaurants, food producers, schools or any other food service facility.
There are a plethora of jobs related to food consulting and the career path of a consultant is based on their specialty. Jobs available to food consultants are:
- Food and facility inspectors
- Food service quality consultant
- Food safety auditor
- Menu engineer and designer
- Menu developer
- Environmental safety regulator
- Food engineer
Food consultants that work in restaurants usually work with menu engineering, design, and food costing. Food consultants are often hired when a restaurant is trying to cater to specific diners, offer healthier options, gain some creative input, and/or ensure food safety and quality. Food consultants will specialize in different types of cuisines or eating styles. For example, a restaurant looking to offer more vegan options will seek out a food consultant that specializes in creating plant-based dishes. Food consultants can also be hired by chain restaurants to create quality assurance, operational systems and food handling and safety systems across all locations.
Food consultants often have a background in culinary arts and/or nutrition, providing industry professionals the tools to:
- Create and maintain food safety procedures.
- Assist with culinary development and menu design.
- Assist with revenue generation, food costs and menu engineering.
- Develop food production facilities and kitchens up to code.
- Create products and dishes that are nutritionally viable and tasty.
- Provide consultation for specific types of food production, such as gluten free baked goods.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Food Consultant?
- A degree in food management, hospitality, nutrition and/or culinary arts
- Food Handlers License
- Knowledge of health, fire safety and disabled person act requirements
- Leadership, managerial, organizational, and problem solving skills
Building Your Food Consulting Business
If you plan on becoming a food consultant, you can build your business through a process that will provide you the experience, qualifications and know-how to succeed in the industry. Your educational background and work experience will make you qualified to become a thought leader in your field and will open up a variety of opportunities. Here are the steps to becoming a food consultant and tips on building your resume:
- Get a bachelor’s degree: Depending on the type of food consultant you want to be, you will need a bachelor’s degree in that food-related field. Your best bet is to get your degree in food science, management and/or nutrition. The more diverse and solid your educational background in food is, the more opportunities you will have available to you.
- Get experience in the food industry: Whether you have experience working at a restaurant kitchen, first hand experience will get you accustomed to the process of health inspections, management issues, facility development and management, menu design and more.
- Get a job at a prestigious food consulting firm: There are thousands of food consulting firms across the world and many of them specialize in different fields. Find the firms that are working in the specialty you are interested and apply to work there. The right firm will provide you the experience you need, connect you with the right network and give you insights on how to become a professional in your field.
- Become a member of Food Consultants Group: The FCG is the largest and most diverse directory of food consultants in Nigeria. Become a member of the FCG so that you can increase your exposure and reach to potential customers.