How Can I Become an Assistant Catering Manager?

Explore the career requirements for assistant catering managers. Get the facts about the education requirements, job duties, salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Assistant Catering Manager?

Assistant catering managers hold supervisory positions at restaurants, hotels, catering companies, delis, bakeries, colleges, universities and more. They work as part of leadership teams within these establishments alongside other managers, chefs and head cooks, to oversee operations. For instance, they oversee staff, provide high quality customer service and ensure the implementation of safety standards. Further, assistant catering managers may specialize in the management of special events, such as weddings, celebrations, meetings and conferences.

The table below lists the general requirements for a career in this field.

Education Required High school diploma; undergraduate degree helpful
Training Required On-the-job
Key SkillsProblem-solving, physical stamina, communication, customer service
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5% (for all food service managers)*
Median Salary (2015)$48,690 (for all food service managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Degree Programs for Assistant Catering Managers

While job requirements for assistant catering managers tend to vary, having a college degree can be beneficial. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that, while food service managers often find jobs based on their experience, a 2- or 4-year degree is becoming increasingly necessary. Thus, you might choose to enroll in an associate or bachelor's degree program in hospitality management, which can provide training in both the business of food service and the culinary side.

Internships and Training Programs

Some schools that offer hospitality management programs have internships built into their curriculum. An internship can introduce you to various aspects of food service management, including how to order, store and prepare food, create menus, manage employees, purchase equipment and materials, and plan catering events. If you'd like to gain additional experience before entering the job market, or if your school doesn't offer an internship program, you may decide to apply for an internship after earning your degree.

You also might seek other training after graduation. For example, the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) offers informational sessions, webinars and personal training in areas like catering operations, networking, sales and career development (www.nace.net). Membership with a national organization may enhance your resume. Additionally, you may be eligible to become a NACE-Certified Professional Catering Executive, a designation given to catering professionals who pass a certification exam and meet education, experience, leadership and professional achievement requirements.

Job Responsibilities

As an assistant catering manager, you might explain services or product information to potential clients, keep track of orders, ensure that procedures and policies are followed, take part in meetings with clients and help in the upkeep of equipment. Other duties might include closing and opening the business, hiring staff and performing inventory.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are looking to play a leadership role in a food service establishment, you could also consider becoming a chef or head cook. In addition to supervisory duties like overseeing kitchen staff, these professionals are heavily involved in the food preparation process, as well as menu development and recipe testing. The minimum educational requirement for this position is a high school diploma, but aspiring chefs can benefit from postsecondary culinary arts education. Alternatively, you could get a management job in another area of the hospitality industry. For example, as a lodging manager you would oversee the operations of a hotel or motel. You need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent to get this job as well.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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