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Overview

How to Start a Food Business: Get Training, Mentorship, and a Plan for Your Food Startup

Do you want to become a food entrepreneur? Do you have an idea for starting a food truck, opening a restaurant or bakery, or creating a new packaged food business?

Escoffier’s online food entrepreneurship programs are designed to be high-impact, exploring the skills food entrepreneurs may need to prepare for careers starting or running small food businesses. You can get an opportunity to explore digital and traditional marketing concepts, business planning methods, and core culinary principles and techniques.

Our online food entrepreneurship programs are designed for you to study without quitting your current job. In addition to live classroom instruction, recorded sessions and interactive lesson materials allow you to complete your coursework on a more flexible schedule.

Graphic of two photos, the first with two young men standing inside a food truck and the other a smiling man standing in a street kitchen
Food Startups

Get Started on a Business Plan for Your Food Startup and Entrepreneurship Training for You

Escoffier’s Food Entrepreneurship curriculum includes training on business planning concepts such as vetting your food business idea, pitching investors, forecasting, and more. Get critical feedback on your idea from an Escoffier instructor with a professional perspective on food startups and business operations.

Food startup concepts and ideas you might explore include:

Ready to Start Your Entrepreneurial Journey?

Objectives

Food Entrepreneurship Program Outcomes

The goals of the Food Entrepreneurship Diploma and the Food Entrepreneurship Associate Degree online programs are to prepare students in these areas:
Food Entrepreneur Career Preparation
Acquire foundational knowledge to pursue a career as a personal cook or chef, caterer, food truck owner, restaurant cook, and more.
Explore core business essentials such as cost control, supervision, and menu design, in addition to culinary techniques.
Examine marketing concepts for food startups and small businesses through the lens of social media content creation, food writing for blogs, food styling and photography.
Food Business Operations
Apply business principles in the management of operations and private practice.

Additional Objectives - Associate Degree Program

The Associate Degree program shares the same goals as the Diploma program with the addition of the following:
Foodservice Accounting
Use foodservice accounting and mathematical concepts in business operations.
Food Culture and History
Discuss the role of food and its contribution and influence over history, culture, religion, economics, and politics.
Managerial Principles
Apply managerial principles to the workplace.
A chef with a big smile clasping her hands in front of a laptop and a man chopping vegetables while filming himself with a smartphone Excited food entrepreneurs working on laptop and filming a food demo
Courses

Food Entrepreneurship Courses

Escoffier’s online Food Entrepreneurship programs include industry-relevant courses designed for students to explore how to start and/or manage a small food business.

Instruction leverages culinary foundations, core business essentials, and marketing and promotion practices specific to restaurants, food trucks, home-based catering businesses, food blogging, private chefs, and similar fields.

As part of the curriculum, students participate in hands-on industry externships with a food business of their choosing. This allows students to build upon and enhance principles covered in live virtual lessons and instruction, gaining experience with various aspects of restaurant, food truck, or other food business operations.

Graphic with two photos, one photo is a pastry chef standing in a bakery smiling and the other is a pastry chef writing notes on a piece of paper inside a bakery

DIPLOMA AND DEGREE PROGRAM COURSES

DEGREE PROGRAM - ADDITIONAL COURSES

Accredited and Respected Worldwide

The reputation of the institution where you earn your degree or diploma is an important measure of value. Escoffier is recognized industry-wide as a leader in culinary education. The Boulder, Colorado campus develops and delivers Escoffier’s online programs. It is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) and is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.

#1 in the world
Ranked best culinary school in the world by Chef’s Pencil 2020
LARGEST IN THE USA
TOP 10 SCHOOLS
Top 10 culinary schools in the United States - USA Today 2019
BEST ONLINE SCHOOLS 2023
*Based on comparable student population data for Austin and Boulder as currently reported in Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
History, terminology, calculating COGS, profit margins, profit/loss, product waste—there’s so much more to learn than just cooking. I'm already winning contests, and I built my own restaurant. I fast-tracked myself…and I really feel like Escoffier was a huge part of that.”*
Lance McWhorter
Lance McWhorter
Escoffier Graduate & Executive Chef/Owner at Culture ETX, Food Network “Chopped” Contestant, Cochon 555 Competition Winner, Military Veteran
*This information may not reflect every student's experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.
Cost & Time

Invest in Yourself as a Food Entrepreneur

Knowledge is the most-important asset of any business, but what kind of investment is required to gain the knowledge you need? Fortunately, Escoffier’s programs are designed with affordability in mind.*

The good news: most Escoffier students qualify for financial aid. The Boulder campus—including its online programs—is approved for federal financial aid and U.S. veterans benefits.

*Consider your situation and resources to determine what is affordable and on budget, for you.

54% of Boulder students who entered postsecondary education for the first time received some financial assistance in 2021-22 for those who applied and qualified, College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.
Food truck owner talking inside of her food truck, demonstrating entrepreneurship
Food Entrepreneurship Diploma
Program Cost: $21,751
Program Length: 60 Weeks
Food Entrepreneurship Associate Degree
Program Cost: $33,035
Program Length: 84 Weeks
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How Much Per Month?

For all students, the average amount of aid awarded in the form of federal student loans in 2021-22 was $11,125, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Be sure to check with an Escoffier financial aid representative to understand what costs, loans, and loan repayments might be for your specific situation.

In other words, you typically don’t have to pay for your tuition all at once: most Escoffier students qualify for financial aid, which can include a combination of Pell grants and student loans.

Most of Escoffier’s Boulder campus students (including online programs) who entered post-secondary education for the first time received some financial assistance in 2021-22 (for those who applied and qualified).*

Culinary student applying egg wash to bread in her home kitchen and another student taking notes in front of his laptop

Your Online Food Entrepreneurship Training Includes

  • Livestream Instruction and Recordings
  • One-on-One Instructor Access
  • Actionable Plans and Templates
  • Entrepreneurship Training
  • Mentorship Program (via Escoffier Alumni Association)
A collage of Escoffier online programs interface on a desktop computer and two screens on a smartphone, showing what it is like to learn online
Admissions

Food Entrepreneurship Program Admissions Requirements

Escoffier’s admissions requirements include a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). You do not need any specific work experience, nor do you have to take the ACT or SAT to be admitted to any program at Escoffier.

Get Your Enrollment Checklist
Get a step-by-step guide to enrolling at Escoffier.
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Get Your Questions Answered
Talk to an Escoffier Admissions Representative.
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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Online Food Entrepreneurship Programs

Culinary School Was Critical to Their Entrepreneurial Success

The most successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of education and mentorship. Check out these Escoffier graduates who were able to grow their businesses with the skills they learned from their culinary school courses and from their network of Chef Instructors.

The instructors are like rock stars. They truly care about you as a student and as a person. I opened a food truck while enrolled, and the long hours had me falling behind in my classes. My instructor called me personally, and we worked on balancing the schoolwork with my work schedule, AND she helped me with great advice for my business. If you’re thinking about culinary school–DO IT!"*
Quinten Adcock headshot
Quinten Adcock
ESCOFFIER GRADUATE & OWNER, QDOG CAFE FOOD TRUCK
Seeing how I defied the odds, owning my own small business, working as a shift-lead, as a cake decorator, and being successful, I see what people were talking about two and a half years ago when I initially started researching [culinary schools]."*
Cassie Wallace headshot
Cassie Wallace
ESCOFFIER GRADUATE & OWNER, JOAN & PEARLS BAKERY
Escoffier has helped me to achieve my goals. By the time I graduated, I was so confident to start my own restaurant."*
Arnold Safari headshot
Arnold Safari
ESCOFFIER GRADUATE & OWNER, EAT ZAWADI RESTAURANT
I wanted to enroll in culinary school to refine my skills, with aspirations to expand the food truck business. I needed more training in restaurant management, efficiency in the kitchen, cutting skills, and all other proficiencies that come with working in a professional kitchen. [Escoffier] also helped me feel more comfortable working with such respectable chefs at a very early stage with business."*
Nahika Hillery headshot
Nahika Hillery
ESCOFFIER GRADUATE & OWNER, KREYÓL KORNER CARIBBEAN CUISINE FOOD TRUCK
*This information may not reflect every student's experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.

Don’t leave your food business idea up to chance: get a plan for your business idea and entrepreneurship training for your future!

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