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The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Catering Manager

Published on: 24 Oct 2018
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What is a Catering Manager?

  • Job Description

    Are you a natural leader with a passion for food?

    If you decide to pursue a career as a catering manager, you could be working in a variety of organisations, such as schools, hotels, factories, hospitals, prisons, office buildings or visitor attractions; you name it, everyone’s got to eat!

    As a catering manager you’ll be responsible for the overall running of the catering business – planning and overseeing everything from ensuring high quality meals, to financial planning.

  • Hours of Work

    If you’re familiar with the hospitality industry then you’ll know that the hours can be unsociable. You’ll most likely be required to work evenings, weekends and public holidays, however this will depend on the organisation that you are working in. For example, if you are working in a school or a typical office building then you would only be required to work Monday-Friday.

  • Main Responsibilities

    So, what will your main responsibilities be as a Catering Manager?

    Duties typically include:

    • Planning menus
    • Recruiting, training and disciplining staff
    • Organising shifts and rotas
    • Managing budgets
    • Managing stock
    • Supervising kitchen and waiting staff
    • Ensuring food goes out on time
    • Keeping in line with health and safety, food hygiene, cleanliness and nutritional regulations

Key Catering Manager qualifications

Do you have the qualifications to get the job?

It isn’t essential to have a degree for this job role as experience is often worth more than anything else; however, having relevant qualification will set you apart from other candidates, making you more employable. Some qualifications you can look into are:

  • Business or management
  • Hospitality management
  • Hotel and catering management
  • Certificate in Food Hygiene

Vital Catering Manager skills

Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role

Aside from the obvious – leadership, and a keen interest in food and catering, some skills you will need for this job role are:

  • Communication skills
  • Customer service
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Ability to motivate
  • Ability to keep calm under pressure
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Budgeting
catering manager education

What is a Catering Manager’s salary?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…

You can expect your starting salary to be between £16,000 and £20,000. Of course your salary will depend on a number of factors such as location, organisation, age and experience.

Once you have gained more experience in the field, you can earn between £22,000 and £45,000, and if you are highly experienced or are running your own successful catering business, you can earn over £50,000!

catering manager salery

How to become a Catering Manager

Now that you know what a Catering Manager does, how do you become one?

Unfortunately you won’t be able to step straight out of education and into a management role. You’ll need to work your way up by starting as a catering assistant Some companies might offer management training programs whilst working, which will enable you to fast track to catering manager. If that isn’t an option for you, you could take part time management courses on the side, to increase your chances.

Aside from taking courses, you’ll need to show how serious you are about progressing to catering manager by putting your all into your job and showing initiative, commitment and determination. There may be competition – so work hard and show what you are capable of.

How to develop your Catering Manager career

Once you are a catering manager and you are gaining valuable experience within a company, you might start thinking about setting up your own business. You’ll be able to have more freedom when it comes to decision-making, however it won’t be a walk in the park - you will have to take on more tasks such as marketing, accounting and administration. Despite the hard work required, setting up your own business can be very rewarding as you watch your vision become a reality.

If you fancy working abroad, you could work for a larger international catering company where you might have the opportunity to travel on the job.

And if you are ready for a slight change in career, you could think about moving into other areas of management such as hotel or restaurant manager. You will already have experience of managing a team, but you might need to retrain in the specific field that you have in mind.

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