What does a Catering Manager do?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
A catering manager might work with chefs to plan a menu.
A catering manager might work with chefs to plan a menu.

A catering manager is a food and hospitality professional who oversees the catering segment of a business. Catering managers may work with restaurants, event sites, hotels, and even grocery stores to develop and supervise catering programs. Becoming a catering manager usually takes considerable experience in both management and the food and beverage service industry.

Often, a catering manager will work with the chefs and food suppliers to craft a variety of catering menus for different events.
Often, a catering manager will work with the chefs and food suppliers to craft a variety of catering menus for different events.

A catering business will necessarily handle all catering needs as part of its day to day work. Catering managers, on the other hand, tend to work in facilities where catering is one arm of a larger business. Hiring a talented manager for the catering wing can allow for efficient and profitable business from catering while allowing the rest of the business to focus on other services, such as full-scale wedding planning or restaurant service.

Catering managers may oversee food safety, ensuring that workers avoid preparing or handling food in ways that are unsanitary.
Catering managers may oversee food safety, ensuring that workers avoid preparing or handling food in ways that are unsanitary.

The job of a catering manager may vary from day to day and from business to business. Often, they will work with the chefs and food suppliers to craft a variety of catering menus for different events, from business brunches to luxury wedding dinners. They may craft a large part of the business plan for the catering wing, including financial goals, company appearance and mission, and focused areas of service. As a manager, he or she may be in charge of hiring all staff, from on-site chefs to transportation managers. Training staff in deportment and procedures, overseeing safety guidelines, and checking in with daily events may all be duties for the catering manager.

Catering managers tend to work in facilities where catering is one arm of a larger business.
Catering managers tend to work in facilities where catering is one arm of a larger business.

Catering managers often serve as the liaison between clients and the company. In this position, they need to have excellent interpersonal skills and creative abilities. Managers help create a good reputation for the company by being willing to work with clients to suit their budgets and needs. Working with clients, a catering manager may create sample menus, set up tastings, provide lists of related vendors, and manage billing and payment issues.

As food handlers, caterers must wash their hands often.
As food handlers, caterers must wash their hands often.

Catering rarely happens in a vacuum; events that need catering often need other services, such as table rentals, decor, flowers, and musicians. Part of a catering manager's job may include creating or improving a network of related contacts to help give clients a full menu of services. A catering manager may try to set up a list of references or even create special discount deals with other related businesses. Managers need to be extremely careful and selective when adding a business into their network; a bad florist can reflect poorly on the caterer who recommended him or her, even if flowers have little to do with food.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

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    • A catering manager might work with chefs to plan a menu.
      By: snyfer
      A catering manager might work with chefs to plan a menu.
    • Often, a catering manager will work with the chefs and food suppliers to craft a variety of catering menus for different events.
      By: Eric Limon
      Often, a catering manager will work with the chefs and food suppliers to craft a variety of catering menus for different events.
    • Catering managers may oversee food safety, ensuring that workers avoid preparing or handling food in ways that are unsanitary.
      By: malexeum
      Catering managers may oversee food safety, ensuring that workers avoid preparing or handling food in ways that are unsanitary.
    • Catering managers tend to work in facilities where catering is one arm of a larger business.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      Catering managers tend to work in facilities where catering is one arm of a larger business.
    • As food handlers, caterers must wash their hands often.
      By: mast3r
      As food handlers, caterers must wash their hands often.
    • A catering manager will often work with chefs to create a menu for various events.
      By: olly
      A catering manager will often work with chefs to create a menu for various events.