Tabletop Director

Use special tricks of the trade to stage enticing food advertisements.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$45,000 – $112,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Tabletop Directors do?

Elmers Glue in a bowl of Cheerios? That’s a typical decision for the world’s most accomplished Tabletop Directors.

Exciting restaurant television commercials and gorgeous glossy magazine shots of food, glorious food don’t come easy: that’s the art of Tabletop Directors, incredibly patient Artists who make snacks, entrees, and drinks look appetizing for tens of millions of consumers every week.

Tabletop Directors create food advertisements, million-dollar assignments from restaurant chains like Taco Bell and consumer package goods companies like Procter & Gamble.

In a given day, this tiny group of specialist Television Directors and Advertising Directors spend hours upon hours leading Director of Photographies, Lighting Technicians, and Food Stylists to make you hungry to buy food they’re presenting.

Replacing milk in cereal with glue, to keep the cereal floating on top? Elementary.

Steaming hot enchiladas? Not from refried beans: it’s from a nearby wrinkle-removing clothes steamer, like your local dry cleaners use.

Icy cold water cascading over fresh, perfect strawberries? Lots of blue backlighting, all at the direction of these experts who keep Olive Garden, Applebee’s, and Subway customers coming in for more.

Should I be a Tabletop Director?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • Also known as: Tabletop Designer

    How to become a Tabletop Director

    Most Tabletop Directors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:dfa9ca&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2884%25%29|master%27s+%284%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,84
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