The catering industry offers a wide variety of culinary careers to pursue based on your interests and qualifications. Whether you want to lead a restaurant staff or create flavorful dishes, there are many positions available to you in this field. Knowing the jobs you can pursue can make for a more efficient and successful job search. In this article, we explain the skills required for a job in the catering industry, list the jobs you can pursue and provide you with tips to help you find a job in this field.
What skills do you need for jobs in the catering industry?
The skills required for a job in the catering industry often depend on the specific position you pursue. Here are some general skills that can help you with different jobs in catering:
Memory: Catering jobs often involve fulfilling orders for many people. A good memory can help you keep track of these customers easily.
Communication: Strong communication skills help you interact with customers and receive orders. When the day of delivery or the event arrives, communication skills help you ensure a smooth operation.
Teamwork: Catering professionals use this skill to work collaboratively with other members of the catering staff. Effective teamwork helps you work toward a common goal more efficiently.
Transportation: This skill helps you travel to various catering events. Typically, caterers create dishes in a kitchen and transport them to a different location for an event.
Hygiene standards: Since professionals in the catering industry work with food, it’s important for them to maintain high standards of hygiene. This can ensure the safe handling of various foods and dishes.
Jobs in the catering industry
Here are 13 jobs you can pursue in the catering industry:
1. Kitchen porter
Primary duties: A kitchen porter prepares food and maintains a clean kitchen. They wash and clean all kitchen areas and receive food deliveries. Kitchen porters also shop for kitchen supplies and equipment and organize stockroom food.
2. Banquet server
Primary duties: Banquet servers attend to customers at catering events. They prepare a room for dining purposes and ensure stocked and groomed tables. Banquet servers also greet guests, take their orders and serve them drinks and dishes.
3. Cake decorator
Primary duties: Cake decorators bake, design and decorate cakes for special occasions like birthdays or weddings. They consult with customers to learn their cake specifications, needs and preferences. Cake decorators also manage display cases and order supplies as needed.
4. Catering assistant
Primary duties: Catering assistants help the kitchen staff with various duties. They may prepare food, clean the kitchen, check stock and serve food. Catering assistants may also wash dishes, unload deliveries and prepare the dining area.
Primary duties: A butcher prepares meats for consumer use. They may trim, grind, cut or tenderize meat and package, weigh and label their goods. Butchers also clean their tools and equipment and receive, inspect and store meat once delivered.
6. Catering supervisor
Primary duties: A catering supervisor handles the daily operations of a catering service or a company that offers catering services. They train staff, create menus, plan staff schedules, maintain kitchen inventories and enforce health and safety regulations.
Primary duties: Servers greet customers in a restaurant or guests at a catering event. They present them with menus and serve them food and drinks. Servers also arrange table settings and ensure tidy tables.
Primary duties: Caterers prepare, transport and serve food for various events. They set up tables, serve food to guests and clean dining areas at the end of an event. Caterers also ensure a high level of food quality and presentation for an optimal dining experience.
Primary duties: Chefs manage a culinary team and prepare and cook food in a food establishment, such as a restaurant, bar or hotel. They plan menus, manage food inventory and maintain standards for food and its overall quality. Chefs also ensure compliance with health and food safety codes and regulations.
Related: Learn About Being a Chef
10. Catering manager
Primary duties: A catering manager oversees the food service of an organization, such as a restaurant or bar. They manage the budget and catering staff, plan menus, schedule shifts and coordinate serving during a catering event.
11. Sous chef
Primary duties: A sous chef plans food preparation in a kitchen, supervises other members of the kitchen staff and serves as an assistant to an executive chef. They also help plan the food and drink menu, manage supplies and ensure food quality and freshness.
12. Restaurant manager
Primary duties: A restaurant manager organizes a restaurant’s daily operations. They ensure customer satisfaction regarding food and service, manage inventory and finances and streamline restaurant operations overall. Other duties may include scheduling staff and budgeting tasks.
13. Head chef
Primary duties: A head chef oversees a restaurant’s staff, the food it prepares and its budget. They assign tasks to kitchen staff, create a plan for the restaurant and direct kitchen operations. Some chefs may also order food when supplies are low.