Hospitality jobs: All you need to know about working as a Caterer
Turn your passion for cooking into a career by becoming a Caterer. With the right training, you can get ahead in the food industry. To find out everything that you need to know about Catering, read our blog. While creativity is important for this position, you will also need financial and business skills. The wide range of tasks that you will need to complete, keeps this job interesting. Travelling to different event venues also adds variety to this role. If you think that you have what it takes to succeed in this industry, find Catering jobs on Job Mail.
What is a Caterer and what do they do?
Caterers provide food for events in different locations. They are responsible for preparing, cooking and serving the food. Typical events which require the services of a Caterer include weddings, corporate functions and parties. These professionals are usually self-employed. If you enjoy cooking but Catering doesn’t sound like the right role for you, other hospitality jobs to consider include Chef and Pastry positions.
While cooking food is at the core of this position, there is a lot more that goes into the everyday responsibilities of Caterers. Catering duties include communicating with clients, calculating budgets and preparing food. In order to complete their job effectively, Caterers need to have an in-depth understanding of their client’s requirements.
They need to know the client’s budget, number of guests at the event as well as the type of event that is taking place. Once they have an idea of what their client wants, the next step is to create a menu plan. The knowledge of different flavour combinations as well as an understanding of which dishes work well together is an important part of this stage.
Not only will the food need to taste good, it should look good too. To deliver a satisfactory service, Caterers need to keep up-to-date with current food trends. Researching and experimenting with new recipes is an important part of this role. Catering jobs require you to be financially savvy in order for you to work out and stick to budgets.
Other tasks associated with this role include ordering food, maintaining inventories and adhering to high standards of food hygiene. Caterers provide table decorations and hire any additional equipment if necessary. They prepare, cook and serve food. Once the event is over, they help to clean up.
Education and Qualification
Are you wondering how to become a Caterer? While no training is required, studying further can help you to achieve success in this industry. As with other hospitality jobs, completing a qualification at a FET College is advantageous. You can also gain experience in the industry by finding employment with another Caterer. Enrolling for a Hospitality or Catering qualification will set the right foundation for your business. You can study a National Diploma in Hospitality Management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. A National Senior Certificate with diploma entry is required to enrol in this qualification. You will need Mathematics and other recommended subjects including Consumer Studies and Hospitality Studies. The Durban University of Technology offers a National Diploma in Catering Management. Oxbridge Academy provides a distance learning option, which once completed will provide you with a Catering Management Certificate. The duration of this course is 6 months.
You could also choose to study at the Chefs Training and Innovation Academy, which is located in Cape Town. To succeed in Catering you will need a passion for cooking as well as creativity. Outstanding organisational skills are also required for this career. The ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines are also important. Catering jobs require good communication and leadership capabilities.
A Caterer’s Work Environment and Salary
According to PayScale, the average annual income for a Catering Manager is R163 079. Operations management capabilities impact your salary for this position. A Caterer is expected to work long and irregular hours. As many events are hosted outside of regular business hours, frequent weekend and evening work can be expected. This position can be physically demanding as it requires long hours spent on your feet as well as carrying equipment.
Working in this fast paced industry can involve high levels of stress. You can expect to travel to different locations as you will need to deliver food to a variety of event venues. Evening events can involve working late into the night as you will need to serve the food and clean up. While this job can be demanding, it allows you the flexibility of self-employment.
Catering jobs provide you with plenty of opportunities for employment. If becoming a Caterer is your dream, start by getting the right qualifications and experience before launching your own business. While this career offers plenty of rewards, it also requires determination and perseverance.