How to Turn Your Love of Cooking Into Extra Cash

You know you are a great cook because people never turn down a dinner invitation and constantly press you to “go pro.” Or, maybe you’re a cooking professional who wants to make some extra money.

Websites such as EatWith.com match people who love to cook with people who want to taste their wares.

Cooking from home for profit is part of the emerging food-sharing economy. People who do this offer everything from simple bread and soup with locals to exquisite five-course dinners.

Here are some recommendations on how to serve up your new entree.

1. Learn what is legal

People looking at books.
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State and local rules and ordinances vary widely when applied to home-based businesses. In some localities, such food enterprises are verboten. In others, the health department may require food-service certification.

So, tread carefully. It is probably best to seek out the advice of an attorney and to conduct your business as a legal entity.

2. Determine if there is a market for your type of food

Chef looking at food.
Volodymyr Goinyk / Shutterstock.com

You could be the greatest meal-planner and cook in your neighborhood, but if there is no market for your specialties, you don’t have a business.

You also need to realize that the amount you charge for a meal can make or break your enterprise. Spend time researching comparable products and determining your costs before setting prices.

Remember that these costs can change. The prices of items such as flour, butter and eggs are constantly shifting.

3. Make your at-home culinary events a social experience

Happy women having dinner outside.
Jack Frog / Shutterstock.com

Guests will come to your table expecting a social experience. They’ll get to meet other guests who share their passion for food, and maybe even learn some cooking tips from the chef. (That’s you!)

This works particularly well when you have out-of-towners in your home. You might even get travelers from abroad who are not familiar with the local cuisine.

So go with your passion and make some money on the side by cooking. If you have more suggestions, please offer them below or on our Facebook page.

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