The Foodservice Industry: Rewarding careers in catering
For Those with a Taste for Success
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. "We hire people from the ground floor up based on our needs" states Gary Nikipilo, Senior Human Resource Advisor at PTI Group, Inc. "For instance, someone right out of culinary school might start out as a cook assistant and move their way up to cook, chef, executive chef and finally into a much larger management position."
Some of the Most Common Catering Positions Include
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, logistic 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 lowto high-volume catering events, train kitchen staff, ensure quality facility, state and federal health and occupational safety and health administration standards.
DELIVERY DRIVER MANAGER: As a Delivery Driver Manager, you'll supervise and oversee delivery operations, from personnel to vehicle maintenance and repairs. You'll also ensure loading, unloading and delivery processes flow smoothly and meet customer service 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 week 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, 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. What advice does Gary Nikipilo offer those considering a catering, hospitality, hotel or restaurant job? "You're providing a service to a large volume of people, day in and day out," he explains. "Like any profession, you'll need training and background. To break in and have a career path, you should have the required culinary training."
The Restaurant and Catering Industry In Brief
Restaurateurs have been able to meet customer demand while keeping cost 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. Two-thirds of all full-service establishments and 80 percent of fine dining venues offer catering or banquet facilities to their patrons.
Opportunities abound in the restaurant industry, with 2006 marking the 15th consecutive year of real industry sales growth, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2006 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Sales have now crossed the half-trillion dollar mark and demand continues its upward swing. Researchers point to numerous influences including the growing diversity of diner's tastes, healthier menus and gift card marketing success. Further, an astounding 43 percent of adult survey respondents believed restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle.
Find Catering and Hospitality Jobs Online
Hcareers is the industry's leading employment and job search website. Whether looking for an entry level or senior management, administrative, culinary or delivery position, Hcareers brings you the most comprehensive job listings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.