We often socialize around food—whether it's a company party, a wedding or an intimate dinner with friends. Good food is the glue that holds a successful event together. It can build feelings of camaraderie, create a festive mood or smooth over a socially awkward situation.
Caterers play an essential role in celebrating some of the most important occasions in people's lives. Working closely with event planners and private customers, caterers design the perfect menus for a variety of functions.
Common Catering Job Duties
Some caterers may specialize in a certain kind of cuisine or type of event. Others may crave the variety provided by working with a range of foods in a wide array of circumstances. Some caterers work in a one-person operation while others work for large catering companies.
Your catering duties will depend on your work environment. Although the distribution of work will vary depending on your company, a successful catering business requires the following kinds of tasks:
- Food preparation
- Food service
- Sales and marketing
Skills Needed for Catering Jobs
- Culinary Ability and Creativity – It's not enough for caterers to be good cooks. They also need to be able to produce large quantities of good food. More than that, however, good caterers need to be creative in order to collaborate with customers to put together the right menu for the right event.
- Social Skills – Customer service is an essential part of any catering business. You'll need to be able to attract customers and sell your product. You'll also need to listen to customers to be able to deliver both the food and the service they want.
- Business Savvy – Whether you're handling everyday administrative tasks or deciding how to market your business, you'll benefit from some basic business skills and training—especially if you run your own catering business. You'll need to be able to work with your customers to plan menus that fit their budget. You'll also need to be able to figure out your own budgets and pricing.
Is a Catering Job for You?
If you're looking for a job that will allow you to be your own boss, cook great food and work closely with people, a catering job may be a perfect fit for you. Your entrepreneurial spirit and passion for food will help you succeed in the catering business.