What's a great event without great food? As a caterer, you have the ability to shape the experience every time you provide delicious food for a client's wedding, party, business meeting or family dinner. Caterers not only nourish people and keep stomachs from growling; they provide events with personality and uniqueness, along with making the lives of those putting on the event much easier.
It takes more than great food to become a successful caterer. Yes, you need to have the right culinary skills and training. That goes along with the ability to cook large amounts of food and have it ready on time, methods and/or staff to help deliver and distribute the food and clean up afterward, and sales and marketing training.
While some restaurants also run a catering business on the side, being affiliated with a restaurant or a hotel isn't necessary. After all, a majority of caterers are self-employed. However, you must be established and known in the area for your catering business to survive, let alone thrive. That's why caterers must wear many hats, and hustle to both attract new clients while pleasing existing ones to boost business via word of mouth.
Duties for caterers, beyond the ability to cook, deliver and serve food, include buying food, utensils and devices to hold, cool and heat food. Caterers usually need a vehicle for delivery purposes, as well as a place to for food preparation.
Education and Training
While clients won't ask to see a diploma or certificate before hiring a caterer, it's recommended to get trained at a culinary school or academy, preferably one where management and business skills are emphasized.
One option is to learn baking and pastry skills and culinary management at The Art Institutes – Culinary Programs. Or, earn an associate degree in culinary arts, a bachelors in hospitality and restaurant management, or a certificate in professional cooking from New England Culinary Institute.
Yet another option is to get a well-rounded culinary arts education at Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts, Las Vegas.