7 Ways to Get Paid to Eat in 2021

Getting paid to eat sounds like a dream job, right?

After all, eating is something we all have to do. So, if there’s a way to get paid for it, why not? 

It turns out there are actually a few ways to make money eating.

Some require you to test products and rate restaurant service, while others will require a bit more effort but can pay off in huge ways.

If you’re ready to get paid to eat, check out these seven opportunities.

7 Ways to Get Paid to Eat

1. Sign up for Restaurant Mystery Shopping Gigs
2. Become a Food Tester
3. Start a Food Blog or YouTube Channel
4. Get Paid in Cashback for your Food Purchases
5. Become a Competitive Eater
6. Get Paid to Eat Food on Camera

1. Sign up for Restaurant Mystery Shopping Gigs

Get Paid To Eat - Sign up for Restaurant Mystery Shopping Gigs

One of the most popular and well-known ways to get paid for eating is to become a mystery shopper.

Here’s how it works:

You sign up to be an agent with mystery shopping companies. Then, when an assignment is available in your area, you’ll be alerted and can accept it if you’d like.

For restaurant-based assignments, they’ll generally require you to go in, order, and eat your meal. You’ll then fill out a survey that asks questions about the customer service, cleanliness, and quality of food.

Other times you might get jobs that require you to order at a fast-food drive-through.

Most of these jobs pay you by reimbursing you for your meal. However, some of the positions may offer extra compensation.

Top Food Mystery Shopping Companies

If you’re interested in becoming a food mystery shopper, you can sign up with the following companies:

MarketForce – This company is A+ rated by the BBB and has a mobile app, making their jobs easy to complete on the go. They have mystery shops for restaurants, groceries stores, and more.

Coyle Hospitality – All the jobs from Coyle Hospitality reimburse for expenses and pay a fee. They have jobs for restaurants, cruises, travel, and cruises.

Best Mark – BestMark has been around since 1986 and has four categories of mystery shopping jobs you can apply to.

Second to None – This company is A+ rated from the BBB and has several types of assignments. 

Secret Shopper – Secret Shopper is a global company with restaurant mystery shopping assignments. Each job has slightly different requirements and pay.

To qualify for any of these companies, you’ll need to have high-speed internet, a tablet, smartphone, or computer, and excellent written communication skills. 

You’ll complete mystery shopping jobs as an independent contractor, which means you may need to pay taxes on your earnings.

2. Become a Food Tester

Get Paid To Eat - Become a Food Tester

Did you know that some companies pay people to taste test their food before it hits the market?

It’s true. You can get paid to taste everything from new spices to the latest snack cake.

There are a couple of ways you can become a food tester. First off, you can turn this into a full-time career. To do so, you’ll generally need a bachelor’s degree in food science or a degree in culinary arts.

As a professional food taster, you’ll assess new foods’ smell, taste, texture, and color. For this job, you’ll generally work full-time hours on site.

According to Zip Recruiter, professional food testers earn an average of $42,216 per year.

If you’re not down for pursuing a full-time career as a taste tester, you can still find occasional part-time work participating in market research studies.

Here are a few places that will pay you to test their products at home or one of their local facilities:

Contract Testing

This company will pay you to test cookies, wine, soup, soft drinks, and more. 

Once you sign up and complete your profile, they’ll notify you of opportunities available in your area. Then, if you choose to participate, you’ll go to the testing site and taste test the food or drinks provided.

After testing, you’ll answer survey questions about the taste, touch, and smell of the product.

Most tests pay $20-$25 and last about an hour. Some longer tests offer more compensation.

You can register to become a tester for Contract Testing here.

McCormick Product Testing

If you live near Hunt Valley, Maryland, you can get paid to test McCormick products at their on-site testing facility.

If you live anywhere else in the US, you can get paid a bit less to test McCormick products from the comfort of your home.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up to be a McCormick panelist on their website
  • Get notified when tests are available to you
  • Complete the test, either onsite or at home
  • Get paid via check or Amazon gift card

If you do the on-site testing, you’ll receive $30-$100, which is payable via check. For home testing, you’ll receive $10-$15, paid via an Amazon gift card.

You can sign up to be a McCormick product tester here.

Red Robin Panelist

If you like eating at Red Robin, live in Colorado and are interested in scoring some menu items for free, you can sign up to be a Red Robin panelist.

To get started, fill out a profile and select which location you usually eat at. Then, when there are testing opportunities, you’ll be notified and will need to come into your local Red Robin to do the product testing.

You can fill out an application here.

3. Start a Food Blog or YouTube Channel

Start a Food Blog or YouTube Channel

One of the best ways to earn a full-time income from eating food? Become a food blogger or create a food-based Youtube channel.

Pinch of Yum is one popular food blog that began posting income reports in 2011 to track the business viability of food blogs. They haven’t published income reports for a while, but in their last report posted in November 2016, they brought in more than $100,000 in revenue. (Not counting expenses, you can see the full income report here.)

And while this is just one income report from one blog, I think it’s safe to say you can turn food blogs into a full-time income if you’re willing to put in the work.

The same goes for YouTube channels.

If you want to start a food blog or YouTube channel, your best bet is creating and sharing recipes.

One of the quickest ways to get started is to niche down the topic.

For example, you could create a food blog around grain-fee dishes, desserts only, kid-friendly food, dairy-free food, etc.

The possibilities are limitless.

If you’re new to the idea of blogging, you can check out out our guide to getting started here. If you’re interested in creating a YouTube channel, check out these resources.

You can also check out below how I doubled my YouTube subscribers in just 6 months

 

4. Get Paid in Cashback for your Food Purchases

If you’re looking for an effortless way to get some money back on your food purchases, consider using cashback apps.

There are quite a few apps that will help you save or earn money on the food you already purchase.

Here are a few of the best:

Ibotta

Ibotta is one of the most popular cash-back apps for grocery shopping. And getting started is super simple.

Simply download the app and create your profile. They’ll then present you with grocery offers that will pay you in cashback. Select all the offers you would typically purchase.

Then, link your store loyalty cards or upload receipts after you purchase the items.

You can redeem the cashback you earn through gift cards, Paypal cash, or direct deposit.

Checkout51

Checkout51 is an app that will let you earn cashback on gas and groceries.

They have different offers each week that you can claim. Once you claim an offer, you’ll need to complete it and upload a receipt. Checkout51 will then credit you with cashback.

You can redeem your earnings once your account hits $20.

Drop

The Drop app is a passive way to get paid to eat. 

With this app, you simply download it, select your favorites stores, and link your credit or debit card. Then when you purchase from a qualifying store, you’ll automatically be rewarded in points.

You can redeem your points when your balance reaches $25.

GetUpside

GetUpside will pay you for your everyday purchases, including qualifying purchases from restaurants, grocery stores, and other retailers.

All you need to do is download the app and claim the weekly offers that apply to you.

Then you’ll either “check-in” when you’re at the store or take a pic of your receipt. GetUpside will automatically credit your account.

You can cash out your balance via Paypal, direct deposit, or through an e-gift card.

5. Become a Competitive Eater

Become a Competitive Eater

Competitive eating is a real thing, but it’s not for everyone.

If you think you have the heart (and stomach) for competitive eating, your best bet is to start with local restaurant challenges. These will give you a good idea of whether or not you’re ready to move into the big leagues.

If you decide you are, you can start looking for competitive eating challenges. Winning one of these can earn you hundreds to thousands of dollars.

You can search for competitive eating contests near you at Major League Eating.

6. Get Paid to Eat Food on Camera

Get Paid to Eat Food on Camera

Sounds weird, no doubt. But getting paid to eat on camera is a real thing.

It started as a viral sensation in South Korea and is called Mukbang.

Mukbang translates to “eating broadcast” and is popular on YouTube.

Mukbang creators go out to eat by themselves and then broadcast themselves devouring their meals. These creators earn money through YouTube ads and brand partnerships.

Of course, if you want to try this, the amount of money you’ll earn will depend upon your ability to build an audience. Still, if you’re dedicated, this idea could work.

What are the Best Get Paid to Eat Apps?

If you’re looking for easy ways to earn money on your food purchases, I recommend Ibotta, Checkout51, and the Drop app.

Aside from those, here are a couple more get paid to eat apps you can check out:

Seated App – If you’re looking for a new restaurant to try and want to get rewarded for doing so, download the seated app. With this app, you can search for restaurants in your city and will get incentivized by making reservations or ordering food to go. The incentives are as much as 30% of the cost of your meal.

Right not the Seated App is only available in select cities.

Dosh – The Dosh app will pay you for dining out, shopping, and booking hotels. Simply download the app, connect your credit cards, and automatically get rewarded when you purchase from a participating restaurant or retailer.

How can I Get Paid to Eat Fast Food?

If you want to get paid to eat fast food, you need to sign up with mystery shopping companies.

Almost all major fast-food restaurants will contract mystery shoppers to report on customer service, cleanliness of the restaurant, and food quality. 

Some of these jobs will want you to dine in, while others will ask you to evaluate the drive-through experience.

However, don’t expect to make the big bucks. These mystery shopping jobs will usually reimburse you for the cost of the food you ordered, but some don’t pay anything extra.

Conclusion

If you want to get paid to eat, it is possible. You can create a career out of coming up with new recipes or even eating on camera. However, the income won’t come overnight, so it’s best to start one of these gigs as a side hustle.

With consistent effort and a little trial and error, you could create a full-time income through a food-based YouTube channel or blog.

If you like the idea of getting paid to eat, here are a few more side hustles you can check out:

Affiliate Disclaimer: I may (and probably do) receive affiliate commissions from any products I recommend or links I put on this page. My opinions are my own but they are truthful and I do my best to recommend products that I have vetted and/or purchased myself.

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