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Would you like to get paid to eat delicious food? Believe it or not, this is a real thing!

In fact, as you’ll see, I’ll show you how you can get paid to eat on camera, get paid to eat fast food, get paid to go to dinner, and much more.

There are plenty of options out there for you. We will also discuss the process of getting started in this exciting career field. So what are you waiting for? Start reading and learn everything you need to know about filling your stomach while filling your bank account.

16 Legit Ways to Get Paid to Eat (Online and In-Person)

How to get paid to eat

Here are some of the best ways to get paid to eat so you can make a living off of your love for food:

1. Become a free product tester

Did you know that there are a bunch of companies that offer free products for reviews out there where you can get stuff for free – just for trying things out and writing a review? And this often includes that they’ll send you free snacks to get your opinions on whether you like them or not!

Ok, sure, you’re not technically getting paid to eat here. But you are getting free food, along with a bunch of other items. In fact, in addition to free snacks, most freebie packs include things like household goods, beauty products, supplements and more.

My favorite company for this is Daily Goodie Box. How it works is that they give away boxes every day with all sorts of free stuff. All you have to do is sign up with them and you’ll be put in the running to be randomly selected for these each day, similar to a lottery.

How to get extra free stuff: You can also engage with Daily Goodie Box on their various social media profiles for bonus chances to win. They often go through their comments and randomly give away boxes to commenters too – meaning extra chances to get free stuff! Just make sure you’ve signed up with Daily Goodie Box first (it’s free!) to be eligible.

2. Become a secret shopper for restaurants

This is a great way to get paid to eat if you love trying new places and giving feedback. Companies will often hire secret shoppers to visit their establishments and report back on their experience. The pay varies depending on the company, but you can typically earn around $15 per hour or more.

To become a secret shopper, simply search for “restaurant mystery shopper” or something similar online. You’ll come across various companies that offer this service. Once you find a company you’re interested in, sign up and start taking assignments.

Some popular secret shopping programs include Intelli-Shop and Coyle Hospitality. These programs are established and offer a variety of assignments to choose from.

Related: 33 Legit Ways to Make Money In One Hour

3. Taste test food in person

You can get paid to eat simply by tasting the food and giving your opinion. Companies are always looking for new products and need testers to give their feedback. This is a great way to make some extra cash, and you get to eat free food!

Tasting events are usually held in major cities, so if you live in or near one, keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities. You will go into a facility and taste various foods, then fill out a survey about your experience. These events can pay anywhere between $15 and $300 depending on the length and type of event.

A man in a tasting event getting paid to eat a pizza

4. Look for university studies

Universities are always looking for participants in food studies. If you don’t mind being a lab rat, this could be the perfect opportunity for you. Studies typically involve eating certain foods and then filling out surveys or participating in interviews about your experience.

They are very similar to company-run taste tests, but their intention is for research rather than product development. These studies can pay anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on the length and complexity.

To find these studies, simply search online or contact your local university’s psychology department.

FYI: If you’re looking for other paid focus group opportunities, check out Survey Junkie. While they’re mostly known for their surveys, they also offer the chance to join focus groups – and they pay up to $150 for these sessions. 

All you have to do is sign up with Survey Junkie and wait for those offers to appear, which happens about once a month.

5. Become an independent sampler

If you enjoy going to fairs, festivals, or other events, this could be the perfect gig for you. Independent samplers hand out free food samples to attendees. This is a great way to get paid to eat because you get to try a variety of foods and meet new people.

The pay varies depending on the event and the company, but you can usually earn around $100 per day or more. The company will send you products including food to sample, promotional materials, tablecloths, and more. Then, you drive to the site where the event is taking place and set up your table.

Once the event starts, you hand out samples and talk to people about the product. It’s a fun and easy way to make some extra cash and you can take the extra food home with you.

6. Start a recipe blog

If you love to cook, you can get paid to eat by starting a recipe blog. This is a great way to share your passion with the world or learn how to improve your cooking skills. While you won’t get paid directly for eating, you can earn money through advertisements, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

The key to success with this method is to create quality content that people will want to read. If you can do that, you can build an audience and monetize your website.

One of the best things about starting a recipe site is that you can make passive income once it’s established. That means you’ll make money even while you’re sleeping!

See our simple step-by-step guide on how to start a blog here – it literally takes less than 20 minutes to get started (and costs less than a cup of coffee)!

7. Become a caterer or personal chef

People are more than ever looking for healthy fresh alternatives to junk food and eating out, but don’t often have the time to prepare fresh food on their own. If you have a knack for cooking delicious healthy meals, this could be a great opportunity for you to get paid to eat.

You can work as a caterer or start your own personal chef’s business. Usually, there is an excess amount of food prepared for these types of events, so you get to take home the leftovers. And, of course, you get paid for your time and effort.

Caterers can make anywhere from $50 to $5000 per event, depending on the size and scope of the job. Personal chefs usually charge by the meal, so prices will vary depending on the client’s budget. Either way, this is a great way to get paid to eat good food.

A woman in a restaurant getting paid to eat a pizza

8. Write a cookbook

If starting a recipe blog isn’t your thing, you can always write a cookbook. This is a great option for people who love to cook and eat but don’t necessarily want to share their recipes with the world.

Writing a cookbook requires a lot of time and effort, but it can be a great way to make some extra money. You’ll need to come up with a theme or specialty, and then test and refine your recipes. Once you have a finished product, you’ll need to find a publisher and market your book, or self-publish it.

The key to success with this method is to write a quality cookbook that people will want to read. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to getting paid to eat.

You may also be interested in: 9 Simple Steps to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience

9. Become a Research Chef

If you have a passion for both food and science, this could be the perfect gig for you. Research chefs work in the food industry to develop new products and improve existing ones. This is a great way to get paid to eat because you get to work with food all day and try new things.

The pay varies depending on the company, as does the type of food product that you’ll be testing. So look for companies that are making foods that you like so you don’t get sick of the job.

10. Get free restaurant or grocery gift cards

If you want to get paid to eat but don’t necessarily want to work for it, there are a few ways you can get free gift cards. There are websites like Swagbucks that will give you points for taking surveys or completing certain tasks. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards from your favorite restaurants.

Another way to get free gift cards is to sign up for credit cards that offer rewards. Many of these cards will give you points for every dollar you spend, which you can then redeem for cash back or gift cards, and you can then convert those gift cards to cash.

Just make sure to pay off your balance in full each month so you don’t end up paying interest on your purchases.

Swagbucks

Free sign-up bonus: $5

A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.

And given it’s paid out over $550 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.

11. Start a YouTube channel

Wondering how to get paid to eat and travel, or get paid to eat at restaurants? Becoming an independent food critic on YouTube is an accessible and fun way to get started in the industry. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a camera, and an internet connection.

In order to make this method work for you, produce content that is entertaining and interesting enough that people will want to watch it. Once you have an audience, you can start making money off of your channel through paid advertisements for companies or partnerships.

This is a great option because when getting paid to eat on YouTube, you have complete creative control over what kind of food content you create, and all of your meals are tax-deductible. It’s a great way to get paid to eat food on camera if you’re creative and have a good personality.

An influencer recording a video and getting paid to eat

12. Sell your food photos

If you’re a foodie with a knack for photography, this could be the perfect way to get paid to eat. You can sell your photos online through sites like Getty Images or iStockphoto. Or, if you prefer, you can sell them directly to restaurants or food companies.

The key to success with this method is to take quality photos that people will want to buy. This means learning how to use your camera and taking the time to compose each shot. But if you can do it, you’ll be getting paid to eat good food and take pictures of it, which doesn’t sound too bad.

And of course, after the food is photographed, it’s free for you to eat!

13. Become an influencer

If you’re social media savvy and have a large following, you could be getting paid to eat without even realizing it. Companies are always looking for influencers to promote their products, and many of them are willing to pay good money to those who want to get paid for eating online.

It is also a great way if you are a teen to make serious money especially if you have many followers on different social media platforms.

In order to make partnerships with food companies, you’ll need to join a platform where influencers and brands can connect. Once you’ve built up your profile, start pitching yourself to companies whose products you like. If they’re interested, they’ll send you free food in exchange for promoting it on your account.

14. Get a job in the food industry

One of the best ways to get paid to eat is to actually get a job at a restaurant or food company. This way, you’ll be getting a regular paycheck while also having access to free food.

Many restaurants provide what is called a “family meal”, which is a meal served before the dinner rush that is free for employees. This is a great way to get a hearty meal without having to spend any money.

And if you work in a kitchen, you’ll often have the opportunity to sample the food that you’re preparing. This means that you’ll be able to try new things and get paid for it.

15. Join eating contests

If you’re competitive and love to eat, joining eating contests could be a great way to get paid to do what you love. These contests are usually sponsored by restaurants or food companies, and the prize is usually either cash or a free meal.

Of course, not everyone can win these contests. But if you think you have what it takes, it’s definitely worth giving it a shot. Just make sure you’re prepared for the consequences if you do win- you might end up with a stomach ache!

contestants in a hotdog eating contest getting paid to eat

16. Get paid to eat healthy foods

If you want to get paid to eat food through an app, but also want to eat well and improve your health, there are a few options available to you. One is called HealthyWage, and it allows you to make money by eating healthy foods.

To use the app, you first set a goal for yourself, such as eating a certain number of fruits and vegetables per day. Then, you place a bet on yourself that you will reach your goal. If you succeed, you win your bet and get paid!

Another option is called DietBet, which is similar to HealthyWage but with a twist. With DietBet, you join a group of people who are all betting on themselves to lose weight. The pot of money is split between everyone who succeeds in their weight-loss goals.

What app pays you to eat out?

If you want to get paid to eat food through an app, your best bet is to use apps that provide cashback or rewards for dining out. While this isn’t 100% free food, it can help you save significant money over time and occasionally cash out on free appetizers or meals.

My favorite cash back app is Ibotta simply because they let you get money back at literally thousands of online and in-person stores. Another really good one is Swagbucks, largely because it offers so many ways to earn rewards from things you do every day. 

Ibotta app cash back example from shopping

Ibotta

Free sign-up bonus: $20

Ibotta’s a completely free app that gives you cash back on what you’re buying already – groceries, medicine, clothes and more.

In fact, users make $150 per year on average – not including your free $20 welcome bonus – with over $682 million having been paid out, so you know Ibotta is definitely legit.

Just remember to link your credit card to the app so you can automatically get paid when you eat out.

Many secret shopping portals have apps as well, which can make it easy to get paid for eating out if you plan ahead. For example, Market Force will pay you to visit a restaurant and then provide feedback about your experience.

How do I become a paid food critic?

In order to become a food critic, you’ll need to have some writing samples to show potential employers. This could include writing for free for various online magazines or starting your own food blog. Once you have a few writing samples, start pitching yourself to publications or websites that focus on food.

If they’re interested in your work, they’ll assign you restaurants to review. You can also directly approach restaurants and offer to write a review for them in exchange for a free meal or a stipend. This works best if you have a strong web presence such as a popular blog, YouTube channel, or many social media followers.

Keep in mind that becoming a food critic takes time and effort. You may need to refresh yourself on writing skills or take a course in food writing before you start pitching yourself to publications. But if you love food and writing, it’s definitely a career worth pursuing.

Related: 21 Must-Dos For Amateur Bloggers to Make Serious Money

What is it called when people pay to watch you eat?

A person who is paid to eat in front of an audience is typically called a competitive eater, food reviewer, or mukbang YouTuber. Mukbang is a term that comes from South Korea and refers to a type of broadcast where the host eats large quantities of food while interacting with their viewers.

These videos are popular on YouTube, and many mukbang YouTubers make a significant income from advertising and sponsorships.

One type of mukbang is known as ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response. These videos are designed to trigger a tingling sensation in the viewer, and often involve the mukbang YouTuber eating a variety of foods with different textures and sounds.

Storytime mukbang is another popular type of video, where the YouTuber tells a story while they eat. These videos are often relaxing and can help viewers destress or fall asleep.

Collaborative mukbangs are becoming increasingly popular, where two or more people eat together and interact with each other and the viewers. These videos often involve challenges, such as trying new foods or eating an entire food such as an extra large pizza in one sitting.

How do you do a Mukbang?

If you’re interested in starting your own mukbang channel, there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to choose what type of mukbang you want to do. Then, you’ll need to get the right equipment. Once you have your equipment set up, you’ll need to practice eating in front of the camera.

Make sure you’re comfortable with how you look and sound on camera before you start broadcasting to your viewers. Also, take time to decide what type of mukbang you want to do. Do you want to do ASMR mukbang, storytime mukbang, or collaborative mukbang?

Once you have all of these things figured out, you can start broadcasting your mukbang videos to the world. Remember to take time to interact with your viewers and make sure you’re providing them with entertaining and informative content.


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About the author

Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been seen in Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a thriving investment portfolio. Find out more.