Imagine getting paid to eat delicious food.
It might sound like a dream, but it’s a reality for some people. There are several ways to get paid to eat, and each has a unique set of benefits and drawbacks.
Below are 13 of the best ways to get paid to eat food. Some are easy to start immediately, and others require experience or expertise. Choose the option that best suits your needs and enjoy a food-filled life starting today.
There are Many Ways to Get Paid to Eat
Now, let’s look at legit ways to get paid for eating. Of course, some of these opportunities pay more than others. Most of these ways to earn money can be done as a side hustle to earn extra money, and several give you the potential to earn a full-time income.
1. Become a Food Blogger
If you love to cook and eat, starting a food blog could be a great way to make money doing what you love. You can share recipes, diet and nutrition tips, restaurant reviews, or other content that focuses on food.
There are several ways to earn money with food blogs, including advertising, affiliate marketing (promoting products for other companies), publishing sponsored content, and selling your own digital or physical products.
The income potential of a successful food blog is unlimited. But you’ll probably need to dedicate a lot of time and effort before making money. Most new food bloggers make very little for the first 6-12 months. Still, it’s an excellent option if you’re interested in starting an online business with a long-term focus.
You can pursue your own interests with your blog. Focus on your favorite type of food or your favorite type of content (recipes, articles, reviews, etc.). It’s all up to you!
Please read my article, How to Start a Blog for step-by-step instructions.
2. Start a Food YouTube Channel
If you’re passionate about food, starting a food-related YouTube channel could be a great way to get paid to eat.
Like blogging, you could create several different types of content for your YouTube channel. The key is to find a niche and produce high-quality content that people want to watch.
YouTube channels can be monetized with ads through the YouTube partner program. However, you’ll need to reach specific milestones (4,000+ watch hours in the past 12 months plus 1,000+ subscribers) before that’s available on your channel.
You can also make money with affiliate programs, direct sponsorships, and selling your own products.
This is another opportunity that requires some patience. You’ll need to build an audience before your channel starts to generate income.
If you’re ambitious, you could start a blog and a YouTube channel under the same brand. Your written content and video content can work together to promote each other and reach a larger audience.
3. Start a Food Podcast
If you love to talk about food, starting a podcast could be a great way to earn money. You can create episodes that focus on any topic related to food or nutrition, or even review new or the best restaurants in your local area.
Just like blogging and creating a YouTube channel, starting a podcast provides virtually unlimited income potential. However, you’ll need to build your audience before the money starts flowing in. Most new podcasters don’t make much money for the first year.
Most podcasts are primarily monetized by sponsorships. You can also use affiliate links or create your own digital products.
One advantage of podcasting is that it doesn’t require many resources to start. All you need is a computer, microphone, and basic software.
4. Become a Freelance Writer
If you love to cook and write, why not get paid to do both?
Many websites, blogs, magazines, and newspapers are always looking for freelance writers. And guess what? Many of them are happy to pay for articles about food.
You could write recipes, reviews, nutrition tips, or just about anything related to food.
Freelance writing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. It can provide an excellent income if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to build your portfolio and client base. You may have to start small (and accept lower-paying gigs to gain experience) before landing higher-profile or higher-paying jobs.
You could work as a part-time or full-time freelance writer. It’s a very flexible way to earn money.
5. Become a Food Critic
If you want to get paid to eat at restaurants (and get free food), one option is to become a food critic. This involves going to restaurants and writing reviews of the food and the experience.
Food critics need to be able to write well and have an understanding of food and the culinary arts. You’ll also need to be impartial and objective in your reviews.
It’s possible to work for someone else (employee or contractor) as a food critic, or you could start your own publication and work independently. Of course, going out on your own requires you to build a business, so you probably won’t start making money immediately.
6. Write a Book or Ebook
If you have a lot of knowledge and experience related to food, writing a book or ebook could be a great way to make money.
This could be a cookbook with your favorite recipes, a nutrition book with tips on healthy eating, or a book about the history of food. There are many different topics you could write about, so the possibilities are virtually endless.
Today, becoming an author is a realistic goal that can be achieved quickly. Thanks to print-on-demand platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can sell ebooks and paperbacks without investing in inventory. The paperback books are printed and shipped as they’re ordered.
Of course, you can also sell your book or ebook on your own website through an e-commerce system like Shopify. You’ll have to build your audience, but you won’t have to split the revenue with Amazon or another platform if you sell it on your own.
This is another opportunity that requires patience. It takes time to write and publish the book or ebook before you start earning income. But your book may continue generating revenue for months or years.
7. Get Paid to Take Photos of Food
These websites allow people to purchase your photos for use in their projects. You’ll make a small amount of money each time one of your photos is licensed or downloaded. This can be a fun side hustle, but it’s unlikely to generate a full-time income.
Another option is to license your photos directly to businesses and publications. This requires far more work than uploading your photos to stock marketplaces, but the income potential is higher. You’ll need to build a portfolio of your work and then proactively reach out to potential clients.
8. Become an Influencer
If you’re serious about getting paid to eat, one way to do it is by becoming an influencer.
Building an audience on Instagram, TikTok, or another social media platform takes time and effort, but it can be extremely lucrative. Brands are always looking for influencers to promote their products, and if you have a large enough following, you can make a significant amount of money doing so.
Of course, becoming an influencer isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to grow a following. But if you’re passionate about food and have the necessary skills, it’s worth pursuing.
9. Become a Restaurant Mystery Shopper
If you want to get paid to eat, becoming a restaurant mystery shopper is a great option. You’ll be paid to visit restaurants and report back on your experience.
This can include things like the food quality, the restaurant’s cleanliness, and the staff’s friendliness. Mystery shoppers usually get a specific list of things to look for and are expected to write a detailed report. And you can often get free or discounted meals as part of your payment.
The downside is that legit mystery shopping jobs are fairly limited.
Some of the top mystery shopping companies include:
10. Become a Food Tester and Let Others Pay You to Eat
As a food tester or food taster, you’ll be paid to sample new food products and provide feedback on their taste, texture, and overall quality. These gigs are especially common with frozen food companies and other food manufacturers.
This is an ideal opportunity for people who enjoy trying out new foods. Plus, you can often get free food products and meals in exchange for your feedback.
The downside of becoming a taste tester is that it may require you to eat more of certain foods than you want. Or you may have to eat a lot of unhealthy food that can impact your health.
11. Earn Cashback for Food Purchases
As a small perk, you can earn money by taking advantage of cashback apps and rewards programs. Each of these apps or programs works differently, but it’s possible to get significant rewards for buying groceries or eating at restaurants.
Some of the best cashback apps include:
- Ibotta – Ibotta is great for saving money on groceries. You’ll find offers to earn cashback for many of the products you already buy.
- Fetch Rewards – This cashback app is specifically for grocery shopping. Simply scan your grocery receipts and earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards.
- Rakuten – Rakuten is one of the leading cashback programs. You can earn cashback from thousands of stores, websites, and restaurants.
- Swagbucks – Swagbucks is well known as a leading survey app, but it also has a cashback component very similar to Rakuten.
- Dosh – This cashback app features many offers from restaurants, including local restaurants.
- Drop – Earn cashback from some of your favorite restaurants by linking your credit card to Drop
Although you won’t make loads of money with this approach, it’s great to get cash back for purchases you need to make anyway.
12. Get Paid to Eat on Camera
You can get paid to eat on camera thanks to this popular trend called “mukbang.” Mukbang is a trend where people will live-stream themselves eating large meals.
This possibility of getting paid to eat is a real one, and some people earn a significant amount of money with this approach. Although the trend originated in South Korea, it’s becoming increasingly popular. And thanks to the accessibility of streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch, this is possible to do anywhere.
You might earn money through ads, sponsorships, or people directly paying to view your content.
13. Become a Competitive Eater
If you love food and you’re competitive, becoming a competitive eater might be the perfect way to get paid to eat (although you won’t have time to enjoy the food’s taste). You can earn prize money by winning competitions or land sponsorships.
Competitive eaters must have the ability to consume large amounts of food quickly. Plus, they need to be resilient and able to handle stress while competing in front of an audience. There are lots of different types of eating competitions out there, so you’ll need to decide which type is right for you.
It’s also important to be aware of the potential health risks of consuming large amounts of food very quickly. Be sure to do your own research before jumping into this opportunity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there are several ways to get paid to eat food. You could become a restaurant mystery shopper, a food tester, or even a webcam eater. You can also use cashback apps or compete in professional eating competitions.
Contest prizes usually range anywhere from $500 to $10,000 for the winner. The popular Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest pays $10,000 to the winner (source). Professional eaters can also make money from endorsements. The value of those endorsements varies.
Ibotta and Fetch Rewards are popular cashback apps that pay you to buy groceries. Others like Drop and Dosh are better for earning cash back at restaurants.
Yes, anyone can become a food tester if interested in trying new foods. Food testers may need to complete surveys or provide feedback on specific items, so it’s important to be prepared for this type of work ahead of time.
Yes, mukbang is a popular trend where people can get paid to let people watch them eat, usually via online streaming. Mukbang typically involves eating very large meals.
You’ll need to find a job (as an employee, contractor, or freelancer) with a publication, website, or digital magazine to get paid to be a food critic. As part of the role, you’ll need to visit restaurants and write detailed reviews about your experience. You may also have to take photos or videos while at the restaurant.
Alternatively, you could build your own audience through a blog or YouTube channel and work independently.
Eating food doesn’t have to just be a means of survival. There are several ways to get paid to eat, from cashback apps and restaurant mystery shopping gigs to food tasting and competitive eating. So if you love food and want to earn money while enjoying your favorite meals, consider giving one of these options a try!