1. Problem: You Don't Want To Stay
You want to cook and travel.
You don’t want to spend your life in a small, wet and dark basement, which makes you feel like a psychedelic cooking robot.
You want to install wheels under your restaurant/cafe.
What about wings?
Before we fly any further, I have to tell you that this text is all about you, not your brick and mortar restaurant/cafe. If you have one, get ready to leave it behind.
Let’s talk about “How To Run A Digital Restaurant/Cafe” and being a location independent Chef.
2. Is It That Simple?
No, it is not.
Sounds sexy though. A restaurant that flies. Your portable empire.
Most probably this adventure won’t always be fun. You can face tough situations like being unemployed in the middle of nowhere with very limited money in your pocket. And it will be really hard to turn back since every person you care thinks that you are “good” on the road!
I hear you saying, “What do you mean by being unemployed? I am running my own business!!!”
No, you are not running your own independent business until you make money on the road! And what is “enough money” here? It is the money that keeps you alive and “lets” you take one step further.
So, be ready to work for someone else at the beginning of your journey and get in contact with different restaurants/cafes from different parts of the world. Tell them that you want to work for them. This will give you the opportunity to start.
3. How To Start Building A Digital Restaurant/Cafe?
First things first:
If you don’t tell your story, nothing will happen. This is the starting point.
If you don’t believe in your story, no one else will.
So, tell your personal story. Be honest. Or lets say, just be your self. 100%.
Here is an example of how to start building your true story:
Why are you on the road?
I am on the road because I spent 6 years of my life in a depressing kitchen just to become a good chef. Here is a photo of my little prison. It was so stressful that I had signs of clinical depression. After a heart attack that almost killed me, I finally understood that this life is eating me up alive. Then I decided to broke the walls of my self-cannibal cell.
Do you have a goal?
I will cook in every country that lets me in.
Who is supporting you?
My family. My friends. Here you can see their hugs and kisses. (Photos, videos…)
I heard that you can’t wait to see Spain? Why?
Because I fell in love with tapas. I want to learn why people have some much smiles on their faces while they are eating these small dishes. There is magic in Spanish kitchen but I am sure it’s not only about food. People love to have fun and to talk with their hearts while eating. It will be a school of life for me.
How long will you stay in each country?
It depends. If I keep on learning and enjoying, I can stay for months.
What do you dream to cook like a MasterChef?
Build your brand on your story.
Here I am sketching your first logo:
So how do you actually start to run a digital restaurant/cafe?
By creating content.
And creating social media accounts doesn’t solve your problems. If Instagram decides to shut down in a month, what will happen to your Xthousand followers? They will vanish into thin air. Start a blog. Now!
A blog is not a blog. A blog is a website.
A blog is not only a website. A blog is a brand if you can build a brand on it.
And you can build a global brand if you can create high-quality content.
Learn the ABC of content.
If you don’t have content, you have nothing in your hand. Only content can make your restaurant fly!
Instagram is not the king. At least for you! There is too much competition. Yes, do your best but do not solely count on it. Try to find lesser known social media channels. Emerging channels can create new opportunities for you.
Also, when you cook in different locations, turn these experiences into a social proof machine with photos, videos, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, live social media shows… Get better and better in sharing your new independent kitchen. If you are having a hard time with the technology, get an online course. If you want to be more creative with your posts and improve the quality of your content, get an online course. With continuous education and training, you are investing in a better “you”.
4. How Will You Survive?
Cooking classes! Consider “teaching” as a part time job while traveling. You can share your calendar/programme before you move to a new city and ask people to book your classes. You can use your students’ kitchens as your “classroom”. This can be an extra source of income on rainy days. Just make sure that people know you are willing to teach them. Update your blog and your social media channels with this beautiful news. And email people. You never know who will be your first student. Maybe your friends will be happy to hear this :)
Make a postable cake! If you cook stuff that you can send abroad, then your life will be much easier. Plus, you will make more money than you usually do. Here you can read about how to ship perishable food.
Let’s say that you receive an order from Tokyo. Crazy ha? Isn’t it amazing that you are selling to thousands of kilometers away?
This proves that you are not boring, you are globally “approved” and you are a live example of a walking cafe because you cooked the cake in the kitchen of a Barcelona Airbnb house :)
Tell the world that you can travel anytime anywhere. Business owners, potential partners, investors, sponsors should see that you really can come and join them for ProjectXYZ.
Don’t miss international food festivals where you can both meet with locals or traveler chefs like you. New people, new business opportunities…
It is less risky if you start your digital restaurant long before you go. If you become financially independent in your homeland then the road is just a road for you. Nothing to be scared of. Location independence just starts with a ticket in this situation.
I know that this choice will take time and you will have to postpone your dreams just to feel more secure, but again, it’s your choice. I am not telling you to wait. I am just telling you that, life will be easier for you if you become financially independent before you leave.
Some people will encourage, some people will discourage… This is the nature of this path. Don’t inflate your expectations with positive feedbacks or don’t feel blue with negative feedbacks. Seeking approval won’t help you. You don’t need to prove anything to anybody.
If you understand that higher levels of risk is involved in your independent path, compared to being a local chef, and if you are willing to take this challenge, then you are good to go. But if you have your head in the clouds, there is a big chance that you will be disappointed.
So you need a sound plan. Make your research and study your path. When will you go? How much money do you need to start? How much money can you spend a day? How much can you earn on the road? Where will you go? What is your content strategy? Will you hire a freelancer when you need help? Questions and research… Questions and research… The more you learn, the less you fear.
5. Be Proud!
If you hit the road one day and start cooking the jaded cities of this spicy world, be proud of yourself.
This is your magical journey.
You created it.
And don’t forget: IAmInYourShoes :)