When it comes to careers in catering, there are many options. While other industries are going out of business or changing drastically due to the growth in online business, shopping, and entertainment, we all need food. Sure, things have changed a little, but people love to eat, they enjoy eating out, food is often a big part in social events and celebrations and catering services are in high demand. You could work in a restaurant or cafe, or open your own. You might serve food out of a van, or at a pop-up stall. You could cater for events, either as an employee or with your own firm. Caterers are needed in schools, hospitals, old peoples homes, and other public facilities. Everywhere you go, there’s food, and so is someone creating and serving it. The catering industry is vast, with many different offshoots.
Most of these careers are challenging. But they can also be great fun. When you work in catering, there are plenty of work opportunities, as well as room to improve and grow. Whether you aim is to be a head chef in a big restaurant, or to have your own beachside cafe, there are always options.
But, not everyone is cut out for a career in catering. While many of the food industry careers here are very different, there are a few things that most will have in common, and a few skills that you are sure to need. Let’s see if you’ve got them.
Caterers often need to be creative. In some roles, you’ll be developing new recipes, and creating new twists on old favourites. In others, you’ll be having to come up with creative ways to work with food shortages or to deal with other problems, when a more conventional solution just doesn’t present itself.
The Ability to Follow Instructions
Early on in your catering career, you might have to follow the instructions of a manager or senior chef. You may also have to follow the instructions on recipe cards. You’ll need to follow orders and get on with things. Later on, even when you are the boss, you might need to follow the instructions of your clients and customers, to make sure you can give them what they want.
The Ability to Thrive Under Pressure
Even if you work alone, preparing food for events, there will be times when the pressure is on. When you need to come up with the goods, work long hours, and meet a tight deadline. If you want to be a caterer, of any kind, this is when you need to be at your best.
On those occasions when you are busy, and either working to a deadline or serving large amounts of customers, unfortunately, not everything will go well. Sometimes, you’ll have to make a tough decision quickly. You’ll need to be able to weigh up your options, trust your instincts, and stick with your choice, even if other people question it.
A Thick Skin
You can’t keep everyone happy all of the time. You’ll have unhappy customers and complaints. You’ll need to develop a thick skin if you want to do well.