Apply Online! Retail Specialty & Gourmet Food Jobs & Employment Applications
If you love to cook, serve food, or recommend bizarre ingredients to other culinary enthusiasts, a specialty food employment opportunity may be perfect for you.
The Rise of Specialty Food Stores As current shifts in eating habits create heightened interest in concepts like ethically sourced products and all-natural ingredients, consumers increasingly shop at specialty food stores for merchandise often perceived as higher quality and frequently unavailable at traditional grocery retailers. Largely consisting of stores and markets focused on offering natural and organic grocery products, the retail sector of the specialty foods industry regularly experiences higher annual rates of growth than the general economy overall. The recent surge in the growth of the industry directly reflects the increased popularity of newer, nontraditional food sources. The trend also creates jobs, as specialty food stores must continuously increase staff sizes to keep up with rises in consumer demand.
Gourmet food related jobs
Types of Jobs Available According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 220,000 people across the nation work for a specialty food store, either on the sales floor or in corporate settings. At the store level, specialty food jobs generally entail the same basic duties performed by employees at traditional grocery retailers. Specialty food store associates serve as cashiers, departmental workers, stock clerks, and supervisors or managers. Employees typically enjoy clean and organized work environments featuring ample interaction with customers and collaboration with coworkers. While entry-level cashier and stock clerk positions often prove attainable for younger or inexperienced workers, departmental jobs frequently demand the eligibility and skill to operate equipment associated with specific food store tasks, like baking and meat cutting.
Unique Characteristics of Specialty Food Jobs Despite operating like traditional grocery retailers in many ways, specialty food stores sometimes maintain slightly different job descriptions due to the nature of the merchandise available at such establishments. Store associates regularly converse with customers about the features and advantages of specialty food items like artisan, ethnic, gourmet, natural, and organic products. Because specialty food tends to cost more, retailers commonly try to offset the higher prices by creating unique and fulfilling shopping experiences for customers. Consequently, specialty food jobs often require employees to participate in interactive activities, like distributing free samples or conducting demonstrations. Prospective workers therefore need to prove capable of memorizing product information and leading detailed discussions about specialty foods.
Pay Rates and Other Considerations In addition to enhancing the shopping experiences of customers, many specialty food stores implement policies designed to enrich the lives of employees. As one of the most recognized names in the industry, Whole Foods, offers a minimum starting rate of $10.00 an hour and pays an average hourly wage of more than $18.00. Industrywide, average pay rates range from $9.00 or $10.00 per hour for cashiers and stock clerks to $40,000 in starting annual salary options for supervisors and managers. Specialty food stores also attract workers by regularly becoming involved with popular trends, such as sourcing products ethically and locally, demonstrating environmental responsibility, and supporting charitable causes. Industry analysts expect specialty food jobs to remain widely available into the next decade, as consumers continue to scrutinize the quality and nutrition of available grocery options more than ever before.