Catering managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and developing food and beverages service for various events and functions. They also ensure that staff members uphold hygiene standards, meet customer satisfaction, and stick to financial targets. Although they may help complete tasks during events, catering managers focus mainly on supervisory and administrative work in a food catering service.
The specific duties of a catering manager depend on the nature of the catering service company. In small companies, a catering manager is more hands-on in managing the business, while bigger operations require the catering manager to work with sub-managers or supervisors. The tasks of a catering manager normally include recruiting and training catering staff, organizing and leading the chefs and catering staff, setting financial forecasts while budgeting the resources, monitoring the quality of food served and service rendered, monitoring the funds spent, and haggling contracts with the clients. A catering manager may also be assigned to get updates on the developments and trends in the catering industry such as the menu.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a catering manager, one must obtain a college degree in culinary arts, business management or a similar field, and possess several years of experience in the catering industry. Some employers may disregard management experience and promote employees into the catering manager position, particularly if a catering staff member has served the company for years.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
For one to be qualified in the catering manager job, candidates should possess exceptional motivational and leadership skills, knowledge on safety and health regulations, effective communications skills, excellent negotiation skills, interpersonal skills, and customer service skills. The catering manager should also have the ability to solve certain issues that may arise during the event—either among the staff or from the guests.
Catering managers usually work long hours, both in an office setting and on the field. In large-scale operations, a catering manager may just be allowed to stay inside the office and work within the normal working hours. This job can really be very demanding and may cause too much pressure, particularly if the company handles large events. Travel is a huge part of this position, since most catering managers are on the field during events to ensure everything goes on smoothly.
The salaries of catering managers are pegged to be between $28,000 and $51,000 annually, but may depend largely on factors such as size of the company, location, experience and education.