85 Amazing Food Business Ideas You Could Start in 2023

The food service industry includes way more than simple restaurants. There are tons of unique niches and business models that can help entrepreneurs turn a profit. If you’re looking to start your own food business, here are some ideas to consider.

What is a food business?

A food business can include anything related to serving, selling, or processing food and beverages. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, mobile food stands, catering services, and businesses that support food sellers.

The Food Industry in 2023

The food industry has changed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With many traditional restaurants struggling, consumers are increasingly interested in delivery, carryout, and specialty food services.

Top Ideas for Food Businesses

If you’re looking for the best food business ideas to start in 2023, here’s an extensive list.

1. Food Truck Business

Food trucks sell various types of food out of mobile vehicles at festivals and special events. This type of small food business can sell anything from burgers to Mexican food.

2. Food Delivery Business

Offer delivery services for those looking for restaurant food or even groceries in your area.

3. Baby Food Business

Baby food purees, pouches, and safe snacks are always in demand by new parents.

4. Fast Food Restaurant Franchise

The fast food industry often uses a franchise business model. There are plenty of options you can buy into.

5. Coffee Shop Business

The coffee shop industry is full of unique businesses, from full-service locations to mobile carts.

6. Hot Sauce Business

The hot sauce industry is currently experiencing heightened demand. Come up with your own unique blends and sell them to markets or in an online store.

7. Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream shops can sell a variety of flavors. And these businesses are generally small, so they come with low overhead.

8. Catering Business

A catering business doesn’t require a physical location. You can work with clients who host special events and bring food and serving equipment to their venue.

9. Catering Equipment Rental

Alternatively, you may rent cooking and serving equipment to catering businesses or event hosts.

10. Bakery Business

If you love baking, start your own bakery with a storefront location. Alternatively, you could sell baked goods to other local shops.

11. Vending Machines Business

Purchase vending machines with snacks and beverages and partner with local office buildings and shopping centers to place them.

12. Retail Store

A retail model can also work in the food industry. Open a storefront that sells packaged foods or ingredients.

13. Grocery Store

Full grocery stores can also work well. Offer a local market with friendly service, or specialize in healthy food or organic options.

14. Food Kiosk

Food kiosks are small stands that offer a specific type of food at a special event or larger shopping center. For example, you may offer soft pretzels at a local mall or festival.

15. Organic Food Stand

If you grow produce or offer other organic food, open your own farm stand to sell directly to consumers.

16. Gourmet Popcorn Shop

Popcorn is a popular snack for gifting and special events. Offer unique flavors and sell tins that people can give as gifts.

17. Meal Prep Business

Offer prepared meals and/or ingredients that people can use to improve their diet.

18. Cooking Class Instructor

Teach cooking classes in person or online to help others learn how to make their favorite dishes.

19. Restaurant Supply Shop

Start a retail business that sells food service equipment and supplies to local restaurants.

20. Produce Delivery Service

Offer nutritious food like fruits and vegetables on an ongoing basis. Many produce businesses even offer discounts on produce that has small imperfections.

21. Gourmet Candy Shop

Use quality ingredients to create gourmet candies and sell them in a physical store or online.

22. Meal Kit Service

Provide all the ingredients people need to make specific recipes. Offer products in-store or by delivery.

23. Recipe Blogger

Share your recipes with followers online. Use affiliate income and online ads to earn revenue.

24. Restaurant Reviewer

You can also start your own website sharing restaurant reviews in your area or around the world.

25. Food Influencer

Focus on social media to grow your following. Then partner with brands to spread the word about their products or services.

26. Cookbook Author

Write your own cookbook and find a publisher or sell your self-published work online.

27. Snack Subscription Box

Put together a selection of snacks in a particular niche and send your subscription box to customers on an ongoing basis.

28. Restaurant Consulting Service

Share your business expertise with restaurant clients as a consultant.

29. Food Photographer

Use your photography skills to help bloggers, cookbook authors, and other food businesses market their offerings.

30. Juice Bar

Juice and smoothies are popular with health-conscious consumers right now.

31. Brewery

Open a brewery with your own fresh beverages and food options.

32. Charcuterie Board Service

Put together charcuterie boards full of meats, cheeses, and produce that people can buy for events.

33. Food Tasting Service

Offer your services to local food businesses that want to offer samples. Set up booths for them at various events to get people to try their products.

34. Gift Basket Service

Put together gift baskets full of chocolates, snacks, and other treats and deliver them to recipients.

35. Farmers Market

Farmer’s markets are popular in both urban and rural communities and generally earn money from vendor fees.

36. Kitchen Supply Shop

Offer products for home chefs, from pots and pans to personalized cutting boards.

37. Nutrition Coach

Work with clients individually who want to improve their nutrition.

38. Personal Chef

Prepare meals for clients in their homes or businesses on an ongoing basis.

39. Wine Club

Start a monthly wine subscription to let customers try different flavors.

40. Tea Shop

Offer various teas in either a retail or online setting.

41. Cake Decorator

Create aesthetically pleasing cakes for weddings and other events.

42. Food Stylist

Help food magazines and event planners put together unique food displays.

43. Spice Shop

Offer various spices to help chefs and home cooks add flavor to their meals.

44. Dairy Farming Business

A dairy farm can simply sell milk to food producers or create a variety of dairy products under its own brand.

45. Specialty Cheese Market

Cheese is a popular specialty for a small retail shops.

46. Delivery-Only Restaurant

Start a restaurant that doesn’t need a large location by sticking with delivery and/or carry out services.

47. Produce Farm

Grow fruits, vegetables, and other types of produce to sell to retail outlets.

48. Pet Food Business

Offer gourmet pet food to those wanting to improve their furry friends’ nutrition.

49. Canning Business

Can fruits, vegetables, and other products to preserve their lifespan and sell them to shops or consumers.

50. Food Packaging Business

Offer packaging services to food businesses that want to sell in stores or online.

51. Food Branding and Design Service

Or focus on designing food packaging and branding elements for these brands.

52. U-Pick Farm

Some farms opt for a u-pick model where people can visit and pay for the opportunity to pick their own blueberries, pumpkins, or other items.

53. Herb Farm

Those with small spaces may instead grow herbs like basil and cilantro.

54. Fish Farm

Fish farming provides reliable access to seafood for food producers.

55. Mobile Bartending Service

Offer your services as a bartender for special events and pop-ups.

56. Olive Oil Supplier

Olive oil can be a high-end niche for a food retail business.

57. Restaurant Pop-Up Location

Offer a space for restaurants or chefs to host special events.

58. Winery

Start a vineyard or wine-tasting room where you offer wine and cheese for visitors.

59. Distillery

Alternatively, focus on distilled drinks like whiskey. Many of these businesses also offer food or special events.

60. Jerky Seller

Sell processed meats like beef jerky. Since this product is preserved, it can be sold either in stores or online.

61. Food Service Rentals

Rent out food service kiosks and machines for restaurants or special events. Think popcorn makers, cotton candy machines, and similar items.

62. Energy Drink Seller

Energy drinks are quite common and come in a huge array of flavors and styles.

63. Homemade Pasta Maker

Freshly made pasta is always in demand by both consumers and restaurants.

64. Food Wholesaler

If you have a large amount of any food product, consider selling it wholesale to grocery stores, restaurants, or other food businesses.

65. Sauce Production Company

There are tons of sauces to sell, from basic condiments to flavorful marinades.

66. Food Tourism Guide

Offer food tours or guides to people who visit your area.

67. Doughnut Shop

Doughnuts are popular both for breakfast and dessert. Unique flavor combinations can really make these businesses stand out.

68. Bagel Shop

A bagel shop is a tried and true food business idea that can work in nearly any market.

69. Deli

Delis may offer packaged meats and cheeses or prepared foods like soup and sandwiches.

70. Farm-to-Table Restaurant

A farm-to-table restaurant stands out by offering fresh ingredients straight from growers. You may even have your own farm or garden to source items.

71. Honey Producer

Honey comes from bees. So experienced beekeepers can use this hobby to offer a unique food product.

72. Cooking YouTube Channel

Start your own YouTube channel sharing recipes or reviews and earn income from ad-sharing revenue.

73. Food Mobile App

Launch a mobile app that helps people find recipes, restaurants, or other food-related options.

74. Meat Processor

A meat processing company takes large cuts of meat and turns them into packaged items ready for sale.

75. Cold Storage Facility

Cold storage is useful for businesses that need extra refrigerated or freezer space for fresh foods and beverages.

76. Food Transport Service

Many food companies also need refrigerated transportation options to get their products where they need to go.

77. Fine Dining Restaurant

Fine dining is one restaurant niche that provides a truly upscale experience with fresh ingredients and hand-crafted menu items.

78. Diner

A diner is another popular niche that focuses on comfort foods like breakfast and sandwiches.

79. Vegan Restaurant

Vegan restaurants or those that use mainly plant-based ingredients are becoming increasingly popular in many markets.

80. Gluten-Free Food Shop

Gluten-free restaurants, bakeries, and retail stores may also be popular with those who have an intolerance to this ingredient.

81. Allergy-Friendly Foods

There are also plenty of options for alternatives to common allergens. For example, SunButter offers a popular option for replacing peanut butter.

82. Online Foodie Community

Create an online membership community that people can join to share recipes and tips with one another.

83. Pizza Shop

Pizza shops are always in demand and can offer everything from delivery to artisan-crafted pizzas.

84. Home-Based Kitchen

A home-based kitchen can prepare various foods to sell to other businesses like restaurants and bakeries. This cuts down the startup costs, but you’ll likely still need approvals and inspections from your local health department.

85. Kitchen Rental Business

If you have a commercial kitchen, rent it out to chefs, caterers, and food businesses for a flat fee.

How much does it cost to start a food business?

The costs involved in starting a food business vary widely depending on your niche. Some online food business ideas like recipe blogging or restaurant reviewing may only require $100 or less. However, full-service restaurants and food processing businesses can cost $1 million or more.

Which food business is most profitable?

Profitability varies widely among food business ideas. However, food products with lots of demand and low overhead costs tend to translate well into profitable business ideas. For example, coffee shops, pizza restaurants, and fast-food restaurant franchises can all be quite profitable. Food trucks can also be highly profitable since they tend to have lower overheads.

What is the easiest food to sell?

There are many food products that can easily be mass-produced and sold at a high profit. For example, breakfast foods like eggs and pancakes tend to be easy to sell in large quantities. Baked goods, barbecue, and fried foods are also popular and easy to make.

What kind of food sells the best?

The top-selling foods in America include burgers, french fries, pizza, ice cream, donuts, and chicken tenders.

What foods can you sell from home?

The best foods to sell from home include those that can easily be packaged and delivered to nearby shops or shipped to online customers. Examples include jars of jam, salsa, bread, and cookies.

Image: Envato Elements

This article, “85 Amazing Food Business Ideas You Could Start in 2023” was first published on Small Business Trends