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Catering is the production and serving of food to customers or members of the public, and needs bright and practically-minded graduates to keep it moving at the fast pace that it requires.
The industry covers a large area, from upscale restaurants to fast food outlets – and everything in between. Roles might include head chef, catering manager or restaurant manager, meaning there is a huge variety of environments that you can choose to work in. Across all parts of the industry, catering depends on one central theme: providing a quality experience to a customer.
The industry is hugely varied, always busy, and you’ll work long hours (there’s rarely such thing as a 9-5 here) - but the enjoyment and fond memories that you can bring to customers is the reason why so many people choose to work within it. You’ll be given responsibility early on, and it opens opportunities to work anywhere in the world.
Types of jobs within catering
Catering comes in many forms, from mass catering for institutions such as schools, hospitals or hotels to working as a chef in a high-end restaurant or for bespoke events or parties. Across this spectrum you are likely to find the following roles:
Restaurant manager – taking overall control of a restaurant and the staff within it, including kitchen and waiting staff
Head chef – leading and developing the menu for an establishment that serves food
Catering manager – in charge of planning, deploying and supervising an organisation’s catering services
Bar manager – taking responsibility for the stock and staff behind a bar, and ensuring that customers receive a quality experience
Sous chef – second in command in a kitchen, behind the head chef
Chef de partie – a chef who is charge of a particular aspect of production in the kitchen