Who doesn’t like to have their favorite dishes on a lazy evening? We all love to eat out with our families and friends, isn’t it? But what if I say that there are now many ways available where you can get paid to eat? Unbelievable, isn’t it?
This is not a dream anymore as there are ample opportunities in this food sector where you can make tons of money just by eating your heart out. However, not every platform is legit, and not every profession earns you the same.
So, our team of experts delved deep into the industry to find the best opportunities. But before we reveal those, let’s understand why companies and restaurants pay you to eat at their place.
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Why Do Companies Pay Food Testers To Eat Out At Restaurants?
Most fast-food chains, restaurants, and popular eateries often hire food reviewers to know how they can improve a specific dish.
Besides, they also often look for recipe testers and research chefs who can create a new item that can complement their existing line of dishes and snacks.
Besides, these restaurants and fast-food chains also invite eating champions to their places for free as a part of their marketing strategy.
Moreover, they also collaborate with famous food critics and reviewers to take advantage of their social media presence. And in return, they are ready to pay tons of dollars.
Many mystery sites also work in the food sector, where they hire undercover review agents to taste a specific snack, buy a particular product from a grocery store, or even for trying a new dish at a restaurant.
And you need to give them your honest feedback about the service and hospitality. In return, they pay up to $100/assignment.
Best Cashback Apps To Get Paid To Eat
Besides starting a new career in the food sector or working as a food and restaurant reviewer for mystery shopping sites, you can even get paid to eat just by earning cashbacks for your meal and grocery purchase.
And here are our top selections from this segment.
If you want to get paid to eat, Drop is probably the best app that can earn you the highest cashback. If you shop for your favorite snacks and gourmet food from its partner store, you can easily claim up to 40% of the final billing price.
Joining this platform is also pretty easy. First, you need to download the app on your smartphone and install it. And then you can open an account without paying any charge at all.
Once you link your debit or credit card with this Drop account, you are eligible to earn cash back on your qualified purchases. And the minimum payout balance is just $25.
Dosh is one of the biggest cashback sites that automatically fetch you the best cashback possible every time you purchase a meal from a restaurant or a snack from your favorite food chain.
You just need to download and install the app first. And once you open an account, you need to link your credit card to that account to start shopping. However, you don’t need to worry as all the transactions are encrypted.
Right now, this company has already associated with more than 10k partner stores, including Pizza Hut, Dominos, Dunkin’ Donuts, and many more. And since 2016, this platform has been running smoothly without any user complaints.
One of the most popular survey sites, Swagbucks, now has a unique offer called Swagbucks local program, where you can make money simply by tagging your card. And every time you purchase your meal with that same card, you’ll get reward points.
However, Swagbucks is also among the highest-paying survey sites that now offer up to $5/short surveys on average. And for a more difficult one, you can fetch up to $50/survey.
This company has already paid more than $600 million to its users. So, you don’t need to worry about the legitimacy of this company. And you can withdraw your earnings through PayPal deposit and gift card redemption.
4. Cash App
Who doesn’t know about Cash App? It is probably the most notable platform to transfer money to your family and friends. And every time you do that, this platform will give you some cash rewards.
And now, this company also lets you earn massive cashbacks every time you buy a meal or order a snack. However, you need to get a Cash App debit card after opening an account on this platform to become eligible for the cashbacks.
This company is now also paying a $5 signup bonus to all its new members. And It also has a referral program where you can earn $30 every time anyone joins through your referral link.
Yelp is another brilliant site where you can get paid to eat at your favorite restaurant. First, you need to download the app or open an account on its website. And then, you need to link your debit or credit card to this app.
And every time you purchase something from its partnered stores, you are eligible to get a cashback. But not just that; you can even withdraw those cashbacks through direct PayPal transfer.
Right now, this company assures up to 10% cashback while you buy something from its associated stores. However, the average lies around 5%. And the minimum payout balance is also on the lower side.
MyPoints is one of the best platforms that not only let you get paid to eat but also to complete various tasks, such as surveys and short questionnaires. And for every completed task, you can earn up to $10.
This company also often has dining experience surveys, where you need to give detailed feedback on your previous dining experience in its partnered restaurants and eateries. And each feedback will take around 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
Withdrawing your earnings is also pretty easy on this platform, as it supports direct deposit and PayPal transfers. Besides you can also withdraw it through Visa gift cards.
One of the most popular cashback sites, Rakuten, now has a strong global foothold, including in countries like India and the Philippines. However, it offers the best cashback on stores located in the USA and the UK.
Every time you purchase something from your favorite fast-food joint, such as Domino’s or Pizza Hut, you can claim up to 10% cashback on average. However, many such stores also exist where you can earn up to 25% cashback.
This platform also has a signup program where you can get a $30 bonus for joining this site. Besides, this company also has a great referral program.
If you are looking for legit short-task sites where you can make money doing various tasks and also get generous cashback, Ibotta is the best option. And getting started with this app is also super simple, as you can create a free account within a few minutes.
Ibotta has currently partnered with many food chains and grocery stores. So, every time you purchase something, you are eligible to get up to 30% cashback on the final billing amount.
Besides you can also make money on this app by completing various offers. And you can easily withdraw your earnings on this platform through PayPal transfer and direct deposit.
One of the best dine-out apps, OpenTable, now has massive popularity all over the United States. Besides, they are now working to make a strong global foothold, as they have already partnered with multiple food chains and eateries.
The working principle is pretty simple! First, you need to download and install the app on your smartphone and create a free account. And every time you make a reservation at your favorite restaurant, it will let you earn dining points.
And once you earn enough dining points by eating out at more than 20k of its partner dining spots, you can directly redeem those points for cash rewards.
There are not many apps available that let you earn just by scanning your food receipt. And among those very few, GetUpside is the top-rated one. And for each qualifying purchase, you are eligible to earn some points.
Right now, it has several partner stores, food joints, fast-food chains, and eateries to choose from. And this app covers almost all the cities in the United States.
Each time you check in on a partner store or just take a picture of your final bill, your gift points will be automatically transferred to your wallet. And once you cross the minimum payout, you are eligible for a withdrawal.
Not every cashback site gives you cash back on groceries and gas. But among those very few that do, Checkout51 is probably the most popular one. So, you will not just get paid to eat but also to buy your groceries.
It is also among the very few websites that launch new offers every week. And you can easily claim that offer by completing that specific task, such as buying groceries from a particular store or filling gas from a particular point.
You can easily earn up to $0.2 to $0.5/gallon on your gas receipt and up to 10% of your grocery bill. And once you cross the $10 minimum payout, you are eligible to submit a withdrawal request.
12. Seated App
If you are looking for a legit avenue where you can earn reward points every time you try a new restaurant, Seated App is the best option to hop for. It will reward you points every time you dine out.
Right now, it has thousands of partnered restaurants, eateries, and food chains. And every time you eat on these points, you are eligible for reward points. And the reward can go as high as 30% of the final bill value.
However, this platform is now available in a few cities in the United States. But yes, they are rapidly expanding to ensure nationwide coverage.
Best Professions To Get Paid To Eat This Year
although it sounds impossible, there are several such professions that exist that let you get paid to eat.
But not every profession will let you earn the same way. So, here are our top picks if you kickstart a new career in the food sector.
13. Become A Food Blogger
There is no better option than becoming a food blogger if you want to earn money while eating. This is also among the very few opportunities that will earn you money and fame at the same time.
And it is not even difficult to launch your own food blog, as you can simply make it live with just $100 or so.
My journey also started the same way, as I invested just $100 in 2016 to launch this blog. And now, I’m making $7K+/month on average just from this blog alone. I’ve also recently revealed my latest monthly income report to give you an insight.
However, a food blog can be easily launched just by having three things: a domain name, a server, and a suitable WordPress theme.
While most hosting companies charge at least $9.99/month, Bluehost is the sole provider that now assurer the same package for just $2.95/month on average. And you’ll also get a domain name completely free of cost with this affordable hosting package.
Once you get all these two at a bargain price, you can just install a food-themed free WordPress theme and make your website live.
14. Start A YouTube Channel
Yes, you can also start getting paid to eat on YouTube if you follow the right path. There are three main avenues to generate money from a YouTube channel.
First, you can generate a decent income from AdSense. Secondly, you can collaborate with brands and foot chains to make money. And lastly, you can also opt for paid promotion.
But not just that, you can now even get paid to watch movies these days as well.
But yes, you must have at least 1K subscribers on your YT channel along with a total of 4K hours of watch time to become eligible for the AdSense revenue. Besides you can also open a channel on other media streaming platforms, such as Twitch and Dailymotion.
15. Sell Merchandise
If you can establish a successful YouTube channel or food blog, you can then start selling your custom merchandise to your fans and market it through your social media handles. And it is also the best option to make money without a job these days.
You can start by making a simple t-shirt, coffee mug, caps, and a few other apparels with your own logo. And then, you can start selling those through your social media handle and even create your own website to sell those.
Besides, you can also start dropshipping if you don’t want to take on the logistical burdens. However, you may need to allow some budget for your marketing at the beginning.
16. Write About Food And Recipes
Writing about food and exotic recipes from all over the globe is not a cup of tea for everyone. But, if you have the right flair, you can easily make money simply by writing about food and recipes online.
And there are several such companies exist that can pay you up to $500/recipe or food review. There are several high-paying writing jobs that also exist where you can even make a six-digit salary simply by writing and creating food blogs.
However, writing proficiency is not the only thing needed to become successful in this profession, as you also need expert guidance to follow the right path to success. But don’t worry; one of the best writing mentors, Holly Johnson, is there to help you.
In her unique writing course, she has discussed all the six key strategies to make a six-figure writing career from scratch. She herself is now making more than $250k/year just by selling her writing service.
And most of her students are now also making more than $10k/month on average. So, don’t miss your chance and join this free writing workshop right now!
17. Become A Food Photographer
If you want to get paid to eat and have a natural talent in photography, there are several legit websites to sell photos online available nowadays that can earn you up to $100/photo.
However, you do need specialized equipment, such as DSLR, lenses, gimbals, and a lot more, as your smartphone will not do the job. So, this profession comes with a significant initial investment.
And once you are ready to sell your photos, you can simply upload those on platforms like Getty Images, Shutterstock, Alamy, or 500px. Besides, you can also launch your own blog or social media handles to sell directly to potential buyers.
18. Become A Social Media Influencer
If you don’t know about the power of social media, you are really missing a vital thing in this era of global communication. And if you want to make money eating food online, there is no better option than becoming a social media influencer.
You can also follow their path and make money from Instagram blogging if you have a significant social media followers. And if you have that, restaurants and food chains can even pay you up to $10k/promotional post.
19. Competitive Eater
Although it is not for everyone, competitive eating is becoming popular with each passing day. And it is also among the best money-making hobbies that pay these days. But yes, you need to have a high-capacity stomach to become a food champion.
Several such eating competitions exist where you can earn money and fame at the same time. And winning a single one of those can easily make around $10k/competition.
You can join food-related FB groups to learn about the competitions. Besides, you can also check the nearby eating contests and events on platforms like Major League Eating.
20. Take Part In Food Events
Food events are not actually “Sports,” as it often promotes overeating and obesity. However, you do need to have a strong heart and stomach to take part in competitive food events all over the globe.
However, it is not easy, as you need to gradually increase your stomach capacity to become a food challenger. And many companies, restaurants, and food chains now often organize these food events.
Besides, you can participate in specific food events, such as shrimp, bacon, burger, and even pizza. And you can easily make around $5k to $20k/month, depending on your popularity.
21. Livestream Your Eating Stint
If you want to get paid to eat food on camera, there is no better option than live streaming your eating stints. This trend actually originated in South Korea, where it is called Mukbang.
It is a culmination of two words, eating and broadcasting. And mukbang is immensely popular all over the globe. One of the most popular mukbangs, TV Diva, now has millions of followers.
22. Write A Food-Related eBook
While most people think writing and publishing an eBook is a tough and costly affair, it is way easier than it sounds. And not just writing and publishing it, you can now even get paid to read books online.
You need to have a flair for writing and also have the zeal to tell food-related stories in a creative way. And once you complete writing it, you can simply publish it online through Amazon Kindle and other e-publishing platforms.
And if you can become a successful writer, you can easily make around $10k to $20k/book. However, there are several such food writers exists who are now even earning millions.
23. Become A Recipe Tester
Many food chains and restaurants now frequently hire recipe testers to taste their new experiments before they actually roll out to the consumer market. And it is also among the best ways to get paid to eat.
The responsibility of a recipe tester mainly comprises three things, collecting the ingredients from the market, measuring those in exact order, and then following the instruction to cook them. And they mainly need to check the output of that recipe.
And for every recipe testing, you can expect to make around $200 to $500 on average. However, credible recipe testers tend to earn much more than that.
24. Become A Cheesemonger
If you visit any artisan food shops in your locality, you’ll see cheese specialists in those stores who are called cheesemongers. Their primary job is to collect the cheese, store those properly, and guide the customers to buy the right cheese.
But yes, you definitely need to know everything about cheese if you want to become a professional cheesemonger. And it is also among the legit passive income ideas that can fetch your tons of money.
You can either take a job in the local artisan shop or can also start your own business to enter this industry. Besides, you can start your own store as well.
25. Become A Taco Tester
Like cheesemongers, taco testers are now becoming immensely popular, especially in Latin American countries. A recent report by CNN also suggests that a taco maker called Favor recently hired a taco officer for a monthly wage of $10k.
Yes, this industry is so huge, and the opportunities are many. However, you do need to have a strong grip over anything related to tacos to grab this job. Besides, you should know about its history as well.
You can either join a taco manufacturer and start working as a freelance taco tester or can also start your own consultancy business and help the local taco sellers.
26. Become A Research Chef
Research chefs are the ones who invent new food items and recipes. So, every time you enjoy a unique flavor of your favorite snack, don’t forget to thank the research chef who has invented this new flavor.
However, you can now also become a research chef if you have the right culinary skill along with the right creativity to invent a new food item or recipe that no one has ever tried yet.
Both full-time and part-time opportunities are available in this field. And as a full-time worker, you can expect to make around $10k/month on average. And if you work on a freelance basis, you can typically make up to $2k/ recipe.
27. Join Frozen Food Companies
If you want to get paid to eat but also want job security that generates a steady income each month, you can join frozen food companies. These companies hire testers to analyze their product for betterment.
Besides having the right culinary skill, you should also have the zeal to learn about new food while you work with frozen food companies. And you can also work as a freelance consultant if you don’t want a fixed job.
Most frozen food companies now pay around $60 to $90k/year on average to their food testers. And if you work freelance, you can even cross the $100k/year mark.
Mystery Shopping Sites To Get Paid To Eat
Mystery shopping is a new thing where you get undercover to test some products as a consumer or test service in a specific eatery or food chain.
But not every mystery site is legit. So, here are our top picks of mystery shopping sites to get paid to eat this year.
28. Contract Testing
Contract Testing is one of the oldest and most popular mystery shopping sites that offer food testing opportunities to its global members. And if you don’t know how to make $300 fast, it is the best one to hop for.
This platform will let you test wine, soft drinks, snacks, cookies, and a lot more. And in return, you need to provide them with your honest feedback. Besides, you may also need to make a small video sometime.
Most of the food testers will take around an hour or two to complete. And for each testing stint, you can expect to make around $20 to $25/hour on average.
If you want to get paid to eat and travel, MysteryDining.net is one of the best options to try, as it pays travelers and food reviewers. And besides free food in dream destinations, you’ll also gather experience.
You mainly need to visit restaurants and stay at hotels undercover as a normal customer. And in return, you need to submit detailed feedback about their services and hospitality.
For every legit feedback, you can expect to make around $50 to $100 on average, depending on the type of review they want. Besides, they do offer frequent bonuses as well.
30. Coyle Hospitality
Coyle Hospitality is one of the oldest mystery shopping websites that are still in operation, even in this competitive market. And now, they have an enormous global footprint with a nationwide presence.
You mainly need to work as an undercover review agent while associating with this company. And you also need to submit a detailed review of the hospitality and services after visiting any restaurant or hotel.
And for each of these mystery shopping assignments, this company is currently paying around $40 to $80 on average. Joining this company is also easy, as you can directly create an account with your existing Gmail account.
31. Red Robin Panelist
There are now many places available to get paid to eat. But not every platform is as legit as Red Robin Panelist. However, this company is also limited to permanent citizens of the United States.
If you live in Colorado or nearby, you can take advantage of this company to become their mystery shopper. And for each hotel or restaurant you visit, you can earn up to $100 on average.
Joining this company is also easy as they now offer instant approval to local members. And once you get the approval, you can start taking mystery shopping assignments on the very same day.
If you are looking for restaurants that pay you to eat, MarketForce is the best platform that can get you that. It is probably among the highest-rated companies that now offer traditional store and restaurant observation jobs.
You don’t need any specific skills to start working for this company. However, you do need to have strong communication skills. And to review each of their assigned shop or restaurant, you can expect to make around $35.
You can also easily withdraw your earnings through a linked PayPal account, although they now pay once per month. Besides you can also request a direct payment transfer.
33. Shoppers’ Critique
Shopper’s Critique is one of the best mystery shopping sites in the world that now works with thousands of hotels and restaurants. And it is among the very few companies that assure a steady stream of projects.
While working for this company, you need to visit restaurants and hotels undercover. And then, you need to submit detailed feedback on their service and hospitality as a customer. Trust me, it is among the easy jobs for lazy people to try this year.
Each of the assignments on this platform can fetch you up to $35 on average. However, they take up to 4 weeks to clear your payment.
34. McCormick Product Testing
As the name itself says, McCormick Product Testing is a platform that now assures the opportunity where anyone can become an accredited tester to earn online. And this company offers both on-site and off-site testing facilities.
However, this company only accepts members from the United States. And you can get instant approval and start working right after opening a free account on this platform.
For every on-site test, you can expect to make around $30 to $100 on average. And for off-site testing, you can expect to make about $15 to $20. You can even opt for home testing, where they will directly ship you the product.
35. Ipsos I-Say
After testing any specific food item or product, you need to take a short survey to ensure detailed feedback. And for each of those surveys, you can expect to make up to $5 on average.
The best thing about this company is that you can even make money just by being a regular member, as the company now pays up to 600 additional points to users who work on a daily basis.
There are many ways to earn free PayPal money now. However, nothing can be better than eating your favorite dishes and earning PayPal money at the same time. And TrendSource is the platform where you can get this opportunity.
However, you can only become a member of this fantastic community of product and service testers only if you live in the USA, UK, and Canada. However, they are now soon planning for a global expansion.
You can expect to make around $20/testing on average. However, more challenging testing assignments can even make you up to $40. And they now pay through direct deposit and PayPal transfer.
37. The Consumer Product Testing Centre (CPTC)
The Canada-based mystery shopping site CPTC or The Consumer Product Testing Centre, currently offers testers and panelists jobs. While working for this company, you can test new recipes and dishes even before they hit the consumer market.
You can signup for this company if you are just 18 years old with excellent analytical skills. And this company also ensures instant approval for its new entrants. Once you get it, you can start working on the same day.
For each product or service you test through this platform, you can expect to make around $15 to $20 on average.
What Is The Best Strategy To Get Paid To Eat On Camera?
The best strategy to get paid to eat completely depends on person to person. If you are a heavy eater and can eat at a record pace, you can start participating in eating challenges and competitions.
You can even start your YouTube and Twitch channels and start broadcasting those eating stints.
If you are a creative guy, becoming a food critic or a food blogger will be the best option for you. Besides, you can launch your food-related eBooks as well. And if you are a good cook, you can start working as a recipe tester or a research chef.
But, if none of these above is your cup of tea, you can still make money just by eating out at your favorite restaurants, all thanks to the cashback sites. Besides you can also join mystery shopping sites to review specific food products and restaurants.
Can I Get Paid To Eat Fast Food?
You can definitely get paid to eat fast-food these days. Most giant food chains frequently hire food testers, recipe testers, and even research chefs to work with them. Besides, you can also become a food critic and approach them directly about a paid review.
There are even such mystery sites available that let you earn when you avail the service of a food chain and give your honest feedback. Besides, you can even buy some of your favorite snacks and rate them according to their taste, service, and hospitality.
Getting a handsome amount of cashback is also a great option to make money while eating at your favorite fast-food chains. And there are many such cashback sites exists that gives you up to 30% cashback every time you purchase your grocery or snacks.
Becoming a food critic or writing about food or food chains is not a cup of tea for everyone. If you have that talent, there is no way to stop you.
But if you don’t have it, you can still get paid to eat simply by joining a mystery site or by taking advantage of cashback sites.
However, there are several home business ideas for women also available these days where you can earn from this food industry.
So, that’s all for today, folks! Feel free to drop your suggestions and feedback in the comment box below. Happy eating!
How can I earn money by eating?
If you are a heavy eater, the best way to earn money simply by eating is to live stream your eating stint on YouTube and Twitch channels.
Besides, you can also become a food critic and review dishes and restaurants. And if nothing works, you can still make money simply by getting cashback for your food purchases.
What is it called when people pay to watch you eat?
The phenomenon when someone eats and live stream that eating stint is called Mukbang. It comes from two south Korean works that literally mean eating and broadcasting.
Korean eating champion Park Seo-Yeon first filmed an eating stint and broadcasted it. And then, this challenge picked up its pace.
How do you get paid to be a food critic?
If you have the right culinary knowledge along with an excellent flair for writing, you can become a food critic.
And there are many such websites, magazines, and even blogs exist that now pay you to write food reviews. Besides, you can also start your own YouTube channel or publish an eBook to make money.
Are food critics rich?
It solely depends on your popularity and the company you mainly work with. However, the average median salary of a food critic in the United States now stands at $90k/year.
But yes, you can even cross the $100k/year barrier just by working independently as a food critic.
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.