Online Catering Degree Programs
Caterers make events happen: they can be found at parties, weddings, corporate events, and other special occasions. In addition to a thorough knowledge of food preparation, cooking, and presentation techniques, caterers should also have excellent customer-service skills. If a career in catering management is more up your alley, keep in mind that catering managers should have a passion for cooking and entertainment as well as keen business acumen. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) seven out of ten catering services are operated by the owner.
A Caterer's Career Training
Although many caterers do not have career training or education, an online degree can give you the opportunity to build a background in food service and hospitality, as well as the chance to establish a network of peers and professors. A catering degree can make you competitive against the large amount of competition in the industry.
A culinary school can provide you with training in catering, restaurant management, or both. Typical coursework includes menu planning, creating a solid business model, and managing employees, as well as professional culinary training. Because many states require you to gain certification for safety and sanitation, extensive training in the kitchen can be extremely helpful.
Becoming a Caterer: The Joys and Challenges
Like almost any business, catering can be a challenging career path, affected by seasonal slumps and difficulties with clients. Weekend and holiday work is often a must, and marketing against heavy competition requires business savvy and ambition. However, many caterers enjoy this challenge, finding satisfaction in the benefits of self-employment and being their own bosses. Catering managers and directors can control the style and presentation of the food, as well as the ins and outs of the business decisions.
Catering Career Options
Earning your education and working as a caterer can build valuable experience you can apply to related industries, such as food and beverage management, hotel management, and restaurant management. Caterers with a passion for cooking and pastry baking can also pursue restaurant, executive, or private chef positions. Some caterers even prefer to purchase or begin their own business, building a clientele, and creating their own menus.
Catering Career Earnings
Like many culinary occupations, a catering career can begin humbly. For example, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that beginning salaries in catering and event coordination may fall in the mid-$30,000s. Catering management can pay into the $40,000s, and catering direction into the $60,000s.
Caterers who own their own business have the potential to earn more, of course, although this milestone generally requires years of experience, dedication, and a good business plan. Earning a catering degree helps give chefs and caterers a good idea of what to keep in mind when pursuing this career goal.