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Career in Catering Service

Definition of a Catering Service

Whether your business needs food brought to your location, or you are thinking of starting such a service yourself, then you might consider looking into catering. Falling under this category is any service that can cook, deliver and serve meals.Caterers can adapt to their client's needs in many ways. They may adjust menus for dietary considerations or offer equipment such as refrigeration units, popcorn makers and so on for special-event rental. Many factors go into operating a catering business, including customer service, sales and venue setup.

What does a caterer do?

A caterer provides hot or cold food to clients at a remote location. The food offer could be anything from hot gourmet meals prepared on-site to buffet food served in chafing dishes or party platters of cheese, meats and snacks.

Catering companies send servers, chefs and other employees to the site for black tie parties, conventions and other events. A small office party may only require cold food, beverages and furniture or equipment rental without catering employees on premises — caterers tend to be very flexible with service.

Skills Required

To become a successful catering assistant, applicants will need to demonstrate the following skills:

· Ability to work efficiently and keep calm, under pressure

· Stamina and enthusiasm

· Ability to work quickly but efficiently

· Ability to work well in a team

· Good communication skills

· High standards of personal hygiene

· An interest in food and catering

· Ability to work long hours in a stressful environment

Types of Catering:

We often find that catering can be somewhat overwhelming. With literally hundreds of delicious food options, spanning dozens of menus, it can be tough to determine where to start.

A good place to start is to understand the different types of catering. Each type has a slightly different type of planning, pricing, and ordering procedures. Here are the four general types of catering to consider:

Wedding Catering

While we are all familiar with wedding catering, we can also agree that catering makes a huge impact on that special day. From the special guests to the bride and groom;decorations, dinner, dessert and what to drink along are just part of the wedding catering.

Corporate Catering

From small office meetings and trainings to large regional events, the ability to have great food delivered on site saves time & money allows to focus on the more important task at hand. Continental breakfasts, box lunches and buffets are all popular for corporate catering.

Social Event Catering

From birthday and retirement parties to big backyard BBQs, social events cover a wide range of events (and food). Appetizers, bartenders and balloons are just some of what might seen catered at events like these.

Concession Catering

Seasonal, sporting major public events all fall into this category. Where you will find lots of people, you will always find catered food. Planning for these takes a pro to make sure one has all the right menu choices for the audience. Here you will find all the crowd favourites from hot dogs and hamburgers to chilli cheese fries and ice cream.

Caterers Responsibility

Caterers prepare and serve food items to clients hosting parties, meetings and events. In some cases, clients will retrieve the ordered food items to serve guests themselves, and, in other situations, caterers are required to transport the meals to an off-site event location. In either scenario, caterers have numerous duties and responsibilities to perform.

Creating Menus

Caterers must prepare a menu with a variety of different popular foods. Items may include appetizers, entrees, salads, sandwiches, desserts or other foods that will meet your client's needs. Taking into consideration that you may be serving large groups of people, some of whom may be vegans, vegetarians, children or allergic to certain foods, you'll need to have a variety of options.

Event Coordination

In many instances, catering is delivered to parties or organizations that have a scheduled chain of events. In these situations, caterers are required to work closely with the host or event coordinator to be sure courses of the meal are served at the proper times without disturbing the guests or getting in the way of any pertinent procedures. Wedding receptions are a prime example of such a situation. Catering staff may serve appetizers while guests are being received, but, while toasts and bridal party announcements are being made, servers may be required to leave the dining area until it is time to begin the table service.

Preparing Food

Food preparation may be one of the most important responsibilities of the caterer. Besides the importance of providing quality foods with an attractive presentation, maintaining health and sanitary standards is an absolute must for legal as well as ethical reasons. The caterer must also be fully conscious of portion control in order to avoid profit loss, unnecessary waste or underserving the guests.

Transporting Food Items

The ability to transport food efficiently is essential to successfully complete an on-site catering job. Certain items like pastas and meats must be kept hot, while salads or cold cuts must remain chilled. Other items may be prepared in advance while some must be prepared at the site of the event, and still there may be items that are prepared ahead of time but assembled at the event, such as beef sandwiches. Knowledge of proper packing techniques and catering supplies, such as racks, Sternos and thermal coolers and bags is required.

Setting Up

In many cases, the catering staff will be asked to set up all tables, chairs, linens and place settings where the guests will be seated. Even if the event location has a pre-set dining area when the caterer arrives, the food-service staff will be required to set up the food-serving area or create a buffet-style setup for guests to serve themselves.

Food Service

Once all tables, place settings, serving areas, and food items are prepared and guests are ready to dine, catering staffs may be required to serve the food. At most formal events, table service is offered and a catering waitstaff will deliver the meal directly to the tables course-by-course while clearing discarded dishes in between courses. At more casual events with buffet-style meals, the waitstaff may be asked to serve certain items to guests who line up at the food-service station.

Cleaning Up

The final step in off-site catering is cleaning up and tearing down the dining area. All plates, dishes, silverware and glasses must be removed, linens collected, tables and chairs removed and garbage cleaned up. Packing up any leftover foods, serving equipment, thermal containers and bags to return to the home location is typically the last required responsibility for a caterer completing a job.

How much does a Caterer make in India?

The average salary for a Caterer is ₹ 19,004 per month in India. Salary estimates are based on 36 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Caterer employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months. The typical tenure for a Caterer is less than 1 year.

Educational Qualification for Catering Services

Catering is a part of the hospitality industry. Most popular colleges offer catering courses as part of their hospitality & travel courses but there are some educational institutes that offer full-fledged catering courses. Candidates can pursue catering courses at the undergraduate (UG) or postgraduate (PG) level. Apart from these degree courses aspirants can also pursue diploma and certificate courses in the field of catering.

Catering courses offered at the UG level are mostly of three years duration. Popular UG level courses in catering include BSc in Catering Science and Hospitality Management, BSc in Hotel Management and Catering Technology, BSc in Catering and Hotel Administration, Bachelor of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Bachelor of Catering Technology and Culinary Arts, BBA in Hotel and Catering Management, BBA with Diploma in Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Tourism, BBA in Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Tourism, B.Com with Diploma in Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Tourism, etc.

On the other hand, candidates can pursue catering courses at the PG level as well. The duration of catering courses offered at the PG level range from 1 year to 3 years. Some popular PG level catering courses are MSc in Hotel Management and Catering Science, MSc in Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Tourism, MSc in Hotel and Catering Management, MBA in Hotel and Catering Management and similar courses.

Apart from these courses, in the sphere of catering technology aspirants can also pursue diploma courses such as Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Tourism, Advanced Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management, Diploma in Catering Management, Diploma in Catering Science and Hotel Management, Diploma in Catering Technology and the likes.

Catering Courses Eligibility Criteria

Candidates are eligible to pursue a Catering course offered at the UG level if they have completed their 10+2 from a recognised board with passing marks. On the other hand, to pursue a PG course in the field of catering, candidates need to be graduates. Here, aspirants who possess a graduation degree in hotel/ hospitality management are preferred. But candidates from other fields/ streams are also eligible to apply for PG level catering courses.

Catering Courses Job Profiles

After completing a catering course aspirant can join hotels, restaurants, hospitals, educational institutes, railways as well as the airline industry. Some job profiles that aspirants can pursue after securing a degree/ diploma in Catering are listed below:

Hospitality Executive: In such a job profile, one needs to perform day-to-day operations of a hotel or restaurant. A hospitality executive reports to a hospitality manager.

Catering Supervisor/ Manager: In such a job profile, one is responsible for planning, administering and supervising the catering operations as well as services of an organisation.

Catering Officer: In such a job profile, one is responsible for cutting, serving and presenting food as well as drinks at an event.

Popular Catering Courses Colleges in India

Following are the most popular Catering Courses Colleges in India.

1. Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology

2. Guru Nanak Institute of Hotel Management

3. Parul University

4. IIHMCA Hyderabad

5. UEI Global, Pune

Common FAQs

1) What is included in catering services?

Food catering focuses solely on the food: the prep, the catering menu, the cooking, and the delivery or service and cleaning. Depending on the level of service you choose that may also include linens, glasses, china, silverware, and all other dinner essentials.

2) What is the importance of catering services?

Catering is important as a large part of any event or party revolves around food. The food you present to your guests can either make or break your event, hence investing in a catering company is the best way out.

3) What are the advantages of catering business?

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a catering service for corporate events is that you build a rapport about your company. Impressing an important business client can lead to productive results. Therefore, delightful delicacies can bring fruitful outcomes and can help leveraging the reputation of your company.

4) Is catering a good job?

Working as a caterer certainly has its perks. You have a lot more creative freedom, flexibility and the ability to truly help customers and clients with their needs. If you love cooking, organising, helping with events and love talking to customers, a role in the catering industry may be a great move for you.


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