The Foodservice Industry: Rewarding careers in catering

Career Advice / January 22, 2020

Catering, hotel, and restaurant jobs span a broad range of specializations, from sales and marketing to food preparation, management, and culinary arts. These positions give individuals the opportunity to work in a variety of environments, both domestic and global, including five-star hotels, military camps, casual dining, and corporate settings. Most positions also offer a strong career path that provides plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement for entry-level candidates.

Get acquainted with some of the most common catering positions and their job duties:

Catering sales Manager or Director: As a Catering Sales Manager or Director, you’ll establish and maintain client relations, create proposals, produce contracts, book, manage and lead events and logistics, among other managerial duties.

Marketing Manager or Director: As a Marketing Manager or Director, you’ll execute all marketing and public relations initiatives, coordinate efforts with exterior vendors, chefs, and other stakeholders, and develop and adhere to a departmental budget.

Event Manager: As an Event Manager, you’ll lead client events ensuring all requirements are met including staff, logistics, and delivery arrangements as well as client invoicing. You’ll also ensure ongoing customer relationship maintenance.

Catering Coordinator or Assistant: As a Catering Coordinator or Assistant, you’ll support the Catering Sales Manager or Director, booking revenue or lead opportunities, assisting with guest services, and managing administrative tasks.

Chef or Cook: As a Chef or Cook, you’ll prepare food and beverages for low high-volume catering events, train kitchen staff, and ensure quality facility, state and federal health and occupational safety, and health administration standards.

Delivery Driver: As a delivery driver, you’ll be responsible for transporting and delivering food and beverage orders to off-site customers.

Banquet Server: As a Banquet Server, you’ll attend to customers, assist with room set-up and preparation, and ensure all tables are well groomed and stocked.

Do you fit the bill?

Restaurant and catering industry jobs are synonymous with varied schedules and rapidity. While shifts vary, one might expect to work 10 to 12 hours seven days per week, or three weeks on, one week off cycles. Primarily, candidates are required to have the appropriate technical and interpersonal skills. Catering and hospitality jobs typically demand a one to two-year certification from a culinary school, for cooks or chefs, or previous sales experience and/or a college degree, for managerial or administration catering jobs. Higher-level positions require financial analysis and reporting aptitude and a solid understanding of marketing, public relations, and presentation.

These positions also require exceptional people skills and written and oral communication, as you’ll be working closely with customers on a daily basis. Work sites vary from small, 25-person gatherings to events hosting more than 5,000 guests. The ideal catering candidate is diligent about quality, cleanliness, and safety.

The restaurant and catering industry in brief

Restaurateurs have been able to meet customer demand while keeping costs steady by offering catering and banquet services. Catering, provided both by restaurants and specialized businesses, is a substantial contributor to the food service industry. These services use existing staff, equipment, and facilities while attracting additional sales.