Saturday, October 17, 2009

How Cooking Schools Can Translate Into Entrepreneurship

By:Andy West

Cooking schools are a great way to land culinary jobs in the real world. However, more and more students are using culinary programs as a stepping-stone to setting up their own successful businesses. If you've ever wanted to work in the culinary world, but don't fancy the idea of having a boss, working for yourself may be the ideal solution. Culinary education can help you learn the skills you need to get started in your own business.

Cooking schools can actually be a great way to start your own business. They teach you all the skills and knowledge you need in order to get started, and the best schools will often have you gain hands-on training experience in restaurants, as well. This can help give you the basis you need to understand how businesses work. Plus, most cooking schools allow you to network with a number of professionals in the business and provide you with resources you may need in order to set up your own business.

If you're looking at cooking schools with the hopes of becoming your own boss someday, choose your programs wisely. Look for programs that offer lots of hands-on training and interaction with instructors. You want a program that offers you maximum networking and practical experience. Some schools offer some business training as well, which can be very useful if you hope to go into business for yourself.

Once you're actually in a program, make sure that you understand as much as possible about the business side of things as well as the cooking preparation. If possible, take marketing, culinary business, and other business related courses as well as your usual program classes. This will help prepare you for the business world. You may also want to pursue a business degree outside of the culinary program of your choice, to provide a good grounding in how a company works. However, keep in mind that you may not need a business degree to set up your own culinary business.

If you hope to be your own boss, you need to set some goals before you even begin your program of study. Decide exactly what sort of business you wish to set up, and then tailor your course of study so that you learn as much as possible. For example, if you want to be a food writer, make sure that you study writing as well as cooking. If you want to open your own restaurant, make sure that you understand the restaurant business inside and out. Setting goals and knowing exactly what you need to achieve to reach them is very important. If your school offers career resources, visit your career counselor and discuss your plans. You may need to apply for business loans or you may need to register your business in order to set up your company. The career counselor can help you understand what you need to do in order to achieve your goal.

Of course, you want to achieve excellent grades in order to get started on the path of success. Getting good grades and learning as much as possible is key. However, you also want to network as much as possible. The people you meet in your classes may eventually work for you, or may visit your business in order to dine. Ask your professors about their experiences with entrepreneurship. They may know people who are already successful in setting up their own businesses and may be able to introduce you to these entrepreneurs. If you have the opportunity to meet media or PR professionals as part of your studies, network with these professionals, as well. If you create a business, you will certainly need to market your company in order to succeed.

Cooking schools are very flexible and offer programs that can help you set up your own business or can help you succeed in a professional culinary career. Decide ahead of time whether you want to be your own boss or want to work in a professional job, and set your goals to achieve the future you want.

Cooking schools can be a great way to start your own business. They teach you all the skills and knowledge you need in order to get started, and the best schools will often have you gain hands-on training experience in restaurants.

Andy West is a freelance writer for The Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Culinard offers two outstanding culinary programs. For information on cooking schools, please visit http://www.culinard.com .

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