Top 7 Best Side Jobs For Chefs To Make Extra Money (2021)

Find out the best 7 side hustles for chefs to make some extra money!

Top 7 Best Side Jobs For Chefs To Make Extra Money

The landscape of restaurants as an industry is shifting quickly thanks to different factors. Of course, the global economic landscape is manly the reason, but industry-related agents are also at play here: online food order and delivery, health and fitness, etc.

In fact, less people are visiting restaurants, giving food delivery a significant chance to take over as the main eating experience in the future. Restaurants themselves have suffered significant declines in their profitability for several months now.

The market changes, and while this might be alarming, it’s just the natural order of society. It means nothing but that the industry will evolve, and it’s up to you to break the conventions and innovate by thinking outside the box.

That’s our objective today: figuring out how you can find creative methods to find side jobs and make more money.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the main industries for internet passive income today. Passive income refers to making money overtime with almost no work. You usually just create your business and focus solely on keeping it updated while making money even while not working.

Affiliate marketing refers to promoting products from other people or firms and directing traffic from your channels to it. You can find affiliate programs easily on the internet. Once you do, you just create content where you can place the links to these products. Every time a sale is generated from your traffic you earn a commission from that sale.

You’ll need to work a lot at the start: finding the program, grow an audience, and creating content. As a chef, you could open a food blog and promote programs like weight loss products or even Amazon or grocery items.

A good example for this is Bluprint. The online platform gathers over 10 million subscribers. It’s filled with online lessons from experts around different subjects.

Lots of people reading your online blog should be interested in learning about cooking. You can leave an affiliate link to Bluprint for them to subscribe to a related course. Once they do, you earn a commission.


It’s easy to set up, and it requires minimum initial investments. You need lots of dedication at the start, but once it’s set up, you can make money for the long-term out of short-term work. You also require little skill other than content creation and some marketing techniques, which can be learned on the internet. It’s also highly flexible, and you can spend just a few hours per week until everything is up and running.


You’re limited depending on the affiliate program you choose, and you have no control over these conditions; the same goes for your income levels. You’re also only paid when your traffic generates sales, which can be difficult in a competitive market like this one.


Research is key, and the same goes for the food industry. You want to find a good niche with a large audience that’s relatively competition-free. You can use Google Trends for this, which will show you the main keywords searched by people. It’s key information to find a good niche without many competitors.

You should also focus on niches and products you like and can make you feel passionate. You’ll come off as genuine, and that’ll make it easier for your audience to trust you and enjoy your content.

As I said, you can learn everything online. There are countless courses available offering lots of content and value, and getting one (for a good price) is a great investment that can speed up the process noticeably.

Amazon’s FBA

Fulfillment by Amazon is another great option for you to think about. The third-party market in Amazon generates billions of dollars each year, and it just keeps growing. In fact, some of Amazon’s top sellers use the FBA program.

It’s definitely worth checking out, and you can employ your knowledge and experience by selling items you know are good.

If you’re wondering what FBA is, then let’s go into a bit of detail.

Amazon’s FBA is basically Amazon handling your inventory for you. You send your products for them to store in their warehouse and market them. Once someone places an order, Amazon packs your item and ships it to them; they even take care of customer support and aftercare.

Amazon itself gives you data on their best sellers through different categories. You can take a look at their cooking-related lists and find what sells better: food scales, utensils, etc.


It’s time efficient for everyone involved: the seller only needs to send their products to Amazon and the client benefits from speedy delivery times. Besides, your customers will also benefit from the free shipping offered by the platform as well as the 24/7 support from them.


You do need to pay fees depending on your products. Refunds are also easier, so that’s somewhat of a bigger risk than other options, and it adds up to the already-challenging task of tracking inventory. Finally, while the products are yours, Amazon is pretty much in charge.


The first step should be to take a look at the best sellers’ page at Amazon. This lets you find ideas for what you can offer and which items are easier to sell.

You also want to learn the tropes of the business. You can do this online as well, with courses on the matter. Always take care of researching these and choose a valuable one.

Another great strategy is to promote items coming from famous chefs with a brand already running.

Assembly kits for organic food

“Organic” is one of the most heard (or read) about words in the food industry today. Forbes says that sustainability and health are the main drivers for the UK’s organic sector, and millions of pounds are spent every week on these products.

With a few seconds, you can verify the statistics on Google and discover how huge this market is. It’s a highly lucrative opportunity for chefs interested in this niche – and in making money.

You have brands like Sun Basket, which provide services for healthier cooking. Organic recipes and ingredients are easy to find, and they can be delivered right at your customers’ addresses. It’s hard not to make money when you combine health, food, and delivery.


You can provide fresh quality ingredients that people will appreciate thanks to how you help them stay healthy. The recipes are easy to make, so it’s not hard for people to feel the desire to try them out. There are countless recipes that adapt to different nutrition regimes.


It can be an expensive venture thanks to the products, marketing, and delivery factoring into the necessary investment.


You can use surveys (for instance, Survey Monkey) to find out what your target audience wants and needs. It’s not difficult, and you’ll get your results fairly quickly. Make sure to design these surveys so that responses are as accurate as possible: multiple choice questions, drop-down answers, star ratings, and more will help you interpret results naturally.

In case you’re not knowledgeable about nutrition, consider asking one for input to help you develop recipes. This will also allow you to target different needs like vegans, diabetics, and more.

Keep the recipes updated and fresh. Try to rotate them periodically and work on new recipes so that your customers have a reason to come back to you.

Publishing on Kindle

This is another great option, and it’s somewhat similar to the previous approach regarding what you’ll be offering. The Amazon Kindle sales have been growing continuously throughout the years, and it’s one of the main sources for digital print right now.

You’d basically be publishing your own books with Amazon. Not only does this mean you can leverage its huge traffic, but it’s also completely free, and anyone can do it. You can make it as simple as publishing a recipe book.

Make sure to include lots of value to match your price; many offers have hundreds of recipes. There are several cooking books as well, so people definitely make money with this approach.


It’s easy to publish, and you can gain access to the market quickly; this translates into making money quicker. You’re also in full control of the whole process: from writing to publishing. It’s also really easy on initial investment requirements, and people access Kindle from any device.


Some people don’t really enjoy digital books, so it can take some time to make sales. You’re also bound for 90 days exclusively to Amazon, which means zero marketing on different platforms. It’s also very competitive.


Like with FBA, Amazon’s Kindle offers a list of best-sellers; make sure to use it to find the best books and ideas on Amazon. Of course, focus on paid books, since free books aren’t what you’re interested in. This research will result in topics, niches, and keywords you’ll want to implement.

Don’t cut corners on design. Pay for a graphic designer to make the cover of your book if you can afford it. It’s not expensive either, thanks to marketplaces like Fiverr.

You also need reputation and reviews to build it. Therefore, considering offering a book for free at first. It won’t make any money right away, but you’ll be able to show that people have enjoyed your content and that it’s worth paying for.

Cooking YouTube channel

This might be the funnest option in this list – if you’re not camera shy or too lazy. YouTube boasts an endless stream of users and views, and it’s among the largest websites today. You definitely not overlook this option, as even a relatively small slice of that traffic can mean good money.

You’ll even find famous chefs doing the same. Luckily, that doesn’t mean regular people can’t do the same, and you can easily find home cooking channels with hundreds of thousands subscribers.

If you like to show off and teach others in the process, then it’s a great opportunity for you. You can even combine it with affiliate marketing or gain a sponsor in the process.


You can build a strong bond with your viewers, which not only means you have bigger chances to grow; it also makes the whole experience more enjoyable. Monetizing is also versatile: affiliate products, sponsors, or simply Google Ads on your videos are possible. It also helps you build a personal brand as a chef.


You need to keep track of YouTube’s policies and their updates if you don’t want to get in trouble or have them demonetize videos. Making videos takes time – or money if you want to outsource editing – and discipline.


You can use Google to research the most popular keywords. This will help you find a focus for your channel, and it’s really important to find a popular niche that can actually make money.

You want to keep a schedule, regardless of how often you publish. YouTube gives an edge to people who post videos regularly, and even doing it once a week can help a lot.

Make sure your recipes look good and appetizing. YouTube visitors are looking to be entertained as well, so don’t forget about the visual side of cooking. With that in mind, try developing your personality and charisma as well.

Don’t lose track of current trends. You want to ensure your recipes stick to what people are currently looking for, so make a habit out of checking news and trends periodically.

Special catering

If you prefer the social side of cooking, then catering functions might be your vocation. This special catering industry in the US is worth over a dozen billion dollars, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

You can also cater different types of events: corporate events, weddings, birthdays, etc. If you’re good at networking, each event opens the doors to more work in the future.


The money is great, and you’re likely to meet influential people that can help you find more work. It doesn’t require full-time dedication as well, so you don’t have to quit your full-time job.


It requires money to start. Working against deadlines can be really stressful, especially since it usually means working for long periods.


Work on a varied menu (several if possible) that adapts to each client’s preferences and needs (don’t forget allergies).

Be ready for hard and long work. It might take some conditioning before you get the hang of things.

Food trucks

Food trucks are excellent for testing the waters and what your clients might want. It’s a growing industry today, and it’s already making a billion dollars.

Since it’s somewhat of a trendy business, the faster you jump in, the better chances to succeed.


It’s cheaper than going for a restaurant, and the profits are still great. You can use the experience to improve yourself and learn about the industry, and the menus tend not to be challenging.


You still need to invest significantly to start. You also need to keep in mind food regulations, and it’s a very competitive sector.


Prioritize researching prices, services, menus, and trends. Find how you can implement these while staying unique. Creativity is an invaluable skill – just like for all chefs.

Make sure you stay updated on current food trends as well. It’ll help you offer what people are currently looking for.