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How to Start a Career in Catering

Doris Benitez
Reading time: 3 min

Catering can represent a very exciting profession. Centered around excellent levels of customer service, you can expect to enjoy a constant change in terms of where you work and communicating with clients will build long-standing relationships that can last for decades. Let’s quickly examine what you can expect out of this industry as well as some of the top qualities to possess if you hope to excel.

The Basics of a Catering Career

Your salary will primarily depend upon your position. For instance, those who start off as assistants will earn substantially less when compared to managers. Let’s still look at some up-to-date figures:

• Average hourly pay: From £7 to £9.45 pounds.

• Total annual salary: Between £12,000 and £20,000 pounds.

• Overtime: Between £6 and £17 pounds.

• Expected hours per week: Between 35 and 40 (a full-time position not including overtime).

What’s Involved in this Job?

There are many duties that you will be required to perform as a caterer. Assistants mainly specialise in preparing a venue for a specific event. They also set up tables, distribute food and transport materials to and from the location. However, there are additional responsibilities to keep in mind such as:

• Formulating and submitting event contracts to the customer.

• Making certain that the company remains within its budget.

• Overseeing the preparation of foods and beverages.

• Managing staff during the day of the event itself.

• Serving meals.

• Helping to clean up after the event.

• Obtaining valuable feedback from the client.

What Traits Should You Possess?

Catering is a fast-paced profession by its very nature. You should therefore be comfortable working under varying amounts of pressure. The hours could also change depending up the event that you are hosting. So, flexibility is key if you hope to develop a full-time position. You should enjoy communicating with others as well as satisfying the needs of any guests. Catering involves spending a significant amount of time on your feet, so it is likewise important that you are in relatively good health.

How do You Become Qualified?

Some individuals who enter into the catering profession possess a previous university degree in hospitality or food services. However, it is also possible to obtain a qualification through the City & Guilds training programme. There are various options and two examples include:

• A certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles.

• A diploma in Hospitality Management.

It is often necessary to complete entry-level courses before you will be rewarded more advanced certifications. It is also a good idea to obtain training within specific areas such as food hygiene.

Catering is a highly diverse industry and it has been known to perform well even during sluggish economic conditions. Knowing what this job entails as well as some essential personal traits is the first step towards success. As always, this article can be used as a checklist during the application process.

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