What Does a Catering Coordinator Do?

A catering coordinator manages food service operations for special events. Read on to learn more about the job responsibilities of catering coordinators. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Overview

A catering coordinator (or catering manager) typically oversees the catering operations of a restaurant, resort, or other food service business. If you work as a catering coordinator, you'll also use your sales and marketing skills to persuade new customers to order from your business. You might choose to work in a specific food service area, such as deli or dessert catering.

Important Facts About Catering Coordinators

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 2% growth ('for all food service managers')
Professional Certification Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) distinction offered through the National Association for Catering and Events
Key Skills Situational awareness, critical thinking, problem solving, personnel coordination, time management, clear written and spoken communication, excellent judgment and decision making
Similar Occupations Event coordinators; executive administrative assistants; office managers; retail store managers; administrative coordinators; sales coordinators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities and Duties

Catering coordinators must understand restaurant operations and be committed to customer service. Because the job requires the supervision of employees, strong managerial skills are vital. As a catering coordinator, you must receive and process food delivery orders, so you'll need to have a keen understanding of the catering menu.

Catering coordinators often must recruit, hire, and oversee all delivery drivers, event servers, and other employees, especially if the catering company is a smaller enterprise. Your job duties might also include estimating the costs of ingredients needed for specific catering assignments.

Educational Requirements

If you wish to enter this field, employers will typically require you to hold food service training and work experience in the industry. Some business accounting knowledge may also be required. If you were to pursue formal training, you could enroll in a certificate or associate's degree program in catering and food service management. Such programs teach you about the food service industry, food safety, and catering protocol.

In your program, you'll usually practice proper food preparation during kitchen laboratory assignments. Programs also typically require management and human relations courses. You'll likely complete an internship at a local restaurant or catering service.

Salary Info and Career Outlook

Restaurants that provide catering services hire a large number of catering coordinators, but employment isn't limited to just restaurants. Many schools with event-hosting facilities also employ catering coordinators. PayScale.com reported that most catering managers earned a yearly salary between $25,786 and $56,171 as of September 2015.

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