A catering staff is a group of people who cook and serve meals to others. Catering staff members do much of their work as contractors for banquets and special occasions, although many are employed by hospitals, hotels and other facilities that need large quantities of food prepared quickly.
A catering staff is made up of different types of employees, from the catering manager to the executive chef to those who handle the decoration and presentation of banquet halls and rooms. Catering managers handle all aspects of the operation, directing chefs and making sure everything is in place. Those who are self-employed typically also handle marketing duties. Meanwhile, chefs not only need to make the food tastes well but also that it is presented in an appetizing fashion. Others who decorate the premises also make certain they create a relaxing dining environment.
Catering managers, like chefs, must know how to prepare large amounts of food that stays fresh, as well as at the right temperature. Managers also have to keep things moving by juggling many tasks. All catering staff members need to possess excellent communication skills, with all understanding their roles and relaying key information not only to co-workers, but also to patrons. All catering staff members should also be organised, motivated and courteous to those whom they are serving.
Requirements to work on a catering staff vary by position. Chefs typically attend culinary college or, at the very least, have some experience cooking in a dining establishment. Catering managers may also have attended culinary college, but are likely to also have at least some post-secondary education in other areas, such as sales, marketing and business. Those who plan a dining area’s look and feel simply need an eye for design.
As long as people like to eat in group settings, catering staff members should have excellent opportunities well into the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for food and service workers in general are expected to grow by 10 per cent from 2008 to 2018. That is about as fast as the average growth rate for all occupations during the same decade.
Salaries for catering staff members are wide-ranging and depend largely on roles, experience and the size of the catering business. For instance, according to PayScale.com, catering executives earned £31,679 per year in April 2010, while executive chefs earned £34,912.