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Helping you find a career in the Catering industry

To make it in the catering industry, you’re going to need to be passionate about food. Catering is all about preparing and serving food to customers. Obviously, the food that you serve needs to be nice enough to keep the customers happy - while not taking forever to make. The catering industry is always looking for passionate individuals who can think practically about the best ways to serve customers.

The catering industry covers everything, from the fanciest restaurant in town to providing large amounts of pre-prepared food for weddings, parties and events. You might be working as the head chef, crafting menus and food to fit the style and price-range of your customer base, or you might be a manager taking care of prices and your employees’ salaries. It’s a diverse business with roles available for anyone who is passionate about food.

Hours can be variable. One restaurant may only be open from lunchtime to the evening, while another may be operating for twenty-four hours, seven days a week. Events catering can require working until the early hours of the morning, and will quite often involve working during weekends. The hours you work will entirely depend on the type of restaurant or catering business you work for.

The plus side is that catering jobs are available everywhere around the world, so there’s plenty of opportunity to find work somewhere new and exciting. You’ll also find a lot of satisfaction in the happy faces of the customers who get to eat the food your company provides!

You’ll need some experience to get into the more senior positions in the catering industry, so you’ll be starting with junior positions. But with dedication and hard work, you’ll be able to work your way up through the industry until you’re a head chef or a restaurant manager. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll open your own restaurant.


Skills & interests you'll need
Obviously, you’re going to need to be passionate about food and customer satisfaction. That probably goes without saying. Beyond that, the skills and interests you’ll need will depend entirely upon the kinds of work you want to do within the catering industry.

A restaurant management will need to have more administrational and mathematical skills because they’ll be keeping an eye on budgets, spending and profits. A head chef, on the other hand, will need a careful attention to detail to make sure they’re making the very best food. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a visit from Gordon Ramsey!

Catering also requires a lot of creativity. You’ll want to make your company stand out from the competition, so providing unique culinary experiences for customers will help with your company’s reputation.

Most catering work is customer facing, so you’ll want to make sure your communication and interpersonal skills are up to scratch. Catering also involves a lot of teamwork.

It’s a fast-moving, high energy industry that rewards risk-taking and confidence!
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Critical Thinking
- Customer Service
- Networking
- Patience
How to get Catering internships, work experience or placements
Because catering is such a fast-moving business, you’re likely to be handed a lot of responsibility as soon as you set foot in the door. This means you’ll accumulate experience quickly which will open up doors to more advanced roles within the industry. You’ll probably start in a junior position, such as a kitchen assistant, but because you’ll be in close contact with those in senior positions to you, you’ll pick up skills quickly that will help you reach those more senior positions.

Networking is an essential role as you’re likely to be promoted within the company you already work in. You’ll be talking to others a lot, so see this as an opportunity to learn new skills and perhaps you’ll be able to assist coworkers to gain skills from elsewhere within the industry. Getting involved will help you create a CV with a diverse range of experience, making you a more attractive employee to other companies should you apply for a more senior position elsewhere.

Work experience can be tricky to find in the catering sector, as many businesses will simply hire for temporary or permanent paid positions. There are 1-2 week work experience programmes available at larger restaurant or hospitality businesses, so the best way to find a work experience programme is to apply directly to companies you’re interested in.

You should also popping into your local pubs, restaurants or hotels and ask a manager whether they offer work experience. If the establishment is part of a larger company, they may be able to give you details of their work experience schemes, too.
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