A Career in Catering & Catering Jobs

Professional chefs and cooking, has cemented itself as a popular way to make a living. Celebrity chefs, however, are just a small part of the pie when it comes to catering jobs within the realm of a catering career. There are a host of other opportunities in the catering industry and it doesnt require catchphrases or shouting matches to make catering a viable career choice.

Catering career

A Career in Catering & Catering Jobs

We have put together a whole host of articles dealing with the Catering Industry and a Career in the Industry.

Jump to the Section that Interest you. Click on a Section

Catering Jobs
Catering Jobs Abroad
Catering Industry Jobs
Working in Catering
Catering Passion
Why Study Catering
The Catering Industry
Packages for Chefs
Catering Qualifications
HCTC Training
Catering Job Descriptions
Catering Equipment
Catering Jobs Tips
Event Catering
Corporate Catering
A Catering Service
A Catering Menu
Private Catering
Catering Manager
Hotel Catering
Catering at Sea
Catering Jobs Overview

 

Catering Jobs

Catering is one of the many jobs that are easy to get into despite the fact that it may not be glamorous to do. Catering positions are always open because of different events and it is done in local area which most are done in the cities. To get your foot in the door, there are catering company jobs that you should consider to try. Here are some suggestions on how to find some.

Craigslist should be one of the sites to consider looking for a catering job because they are posted in each city whether in the united states which is more common and international ones. It is very easy to get into by applying of what was posted on the board and follow the direction. Some of them you have to have previous experience with the catering work but if you look hard enough, there are ones where you can get into it with no previous experience.

Another way to find more catering company jobs is to go ask others such as promotional models and models. I had read one model that works as a caterer while also doing modeling jobs to earn income. I am sure that whoever you get in contact with can help you with going in the right direction on finding one.

Another idea is to go check out job boards, from time to time, they do have caterring positions. Each of these job boards are free to look for work.

Another idea is to go check out social networking sites. Some of the people on there might be a caterer. If you find some, at least ask them what company hired them. You should get some ideas coming from them. Whatever you do, check out the whole site and see their job section if any. Facebook, myspace and plaxo are a few sites with job section. You can even take the opportunity to post up saying that you are looking for a catering position and hopefully someone would hire you.

 

Catering Jobs Abroad

There are plenty of catering jobs overseas or abroad for chefs that are seeking that type of employment. With the growth of countries like Dubai and many companies seeking to move at least part of their corporate operations there, indeed there are plenty of catering jobs there for chefs to fill as they work these shareholder meetings or events for the unveiling of a new project and or building. Dubai continues to grow and this is one place where the catering opportunities from abroad are not likely to end any time soon.

The United States Navy is currently offering a catering/supervisory food preparation job that would be perfect for chefs who like to travel. The United States Navy would give any chef plenty of time to travel abroad and cook some of their favorite dishes to prepare. I know several people who work with the United States Navy who are currently stationed in Cairo, Egypt. Some of the dishes that you learn to prepare while stationed in Egypt if you get a chance to sample the local cuisine may earn you some fans of rare or exotic foods here in the United States. Maybe it could inspire you to open up your own restaurant or help you find your next chance of employment cooking for a certain segment of society once you get out of the Navy.

The Harris Corporation is looking for someone to travel with some of their overseas worker/clients and cater meals for them. The Harris Corporation is a well established entity that would surely pay well for the catering jobs abroad that they offer. Other corporations like Nike have been known to hold corporate events in some of the Asian cities where much of their employed workforce resides. Nike Corporation would definitely need some of their corporate events to be catered. Working these corporate events for companies like Nike may land you other jobs just through word of mouth if the catering jobs abroad for you and other chefs working with you goes well. It may land you a job back in Oregon where Nike’s main headquarters are located.
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Catering Industry Jobs

Catering industry jobs that particularly pertain to chefs are also available as people still have large parties that need to be catered. Catering industry jobs need chefs for business meetings for example as businesses attempt to restructure their companies or launch new sales promotions or products. Fortune 500 companies like Procter & Gamble are always looking for chefs who have experience in the catering industry to work their events such as shareholder meetings and other celebrations.

The Morrison Group in Virginia Beach, Virginia is looking for chefs within the catering industry. Virginia Beach also has a lot of military families and military themed events so possibly someone like the Morrison Group would offer catering industry jobs to chefs who would like to work those events. On the other hand for a different type of catering work experience you could apply to work as a catering chef on an airline through LSG Chefs in the Dallas, Texas area.

I’m sure some of the meals cooked by catering industry chefs will end up on major company airlines such as American Airlines. It is a full time employment opportunity and it would be nice for you to have a couple of years as a chef within the catering industry before you apply, but that does not appear to be a definite qualification. You may even get the opportunity to cook for some of the executives within the LSG family so you want to make sure that your catering abilities as as a chef are top notch.
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Working In The Catering Business

Today, the catering business is worth an estimated 6 billion and it is expected to grow in the future. With this in mind, you can assume that there will be a lot of opportunities available for those who want to work in this industry. These opportunities will be open to everyone of every age, especially of those who are seeking part time employment. Herein students and homemakers are especially well suited for such positions. Some of the various jobs that will be available include those for chefs, cooks, wait staff and food prep workers. If you would like to have one of these jobs, then it is important to understand what the different people who are a part of the catering staff are responsible for.

Food preparation workers are the people who are responsible for preparing the ingredients that the chefs and cooks need to use in preparing their dishes. These people will peel and slice fruits and vegetables; cut up meat, poultry and fish; and measure and weigh ingredients. They also clean the dishes, work areas and any equipment that is used in cooking.

Chefs and cooks are responsible for putting together the actual recipes. Oftentimes they will also help to plan out the menu that is being offered for the event that is being catered. The chef must also oversee all of the kitchen’s operations and ensure that everything is running smoothly and on schedule. They must also make sure that the kitchen is properly stocked with all of the ingredients and supplies they need and properly staffed as well.

The waiting staff are those who serve the food to the guests who are in attendance. They are also responsible for making sure that the wine and water glasses remain filled.

Another way of viewing this is that the chef is the “director” of operations in the kitchen. This means that the food prep workers are responsible for making sure that the chef can do a good job. In turn, the wait staff is responsible for making sure that all of the guests are served promptly and then remain happy and satisfied throughout their meal.

Clearly you can understand the importance of the role that each of the aforementioned people plays in the catering business. These people are from all age and ethnic groups.

Many aspire to be a Chef, some know very early in life this is what they want to become. Working in their kitchen at home and taking odd jobs in all types of restaurants from burger joints to high brow restaurants. These Chefs in training work as bus boys or dishwashers, it is interesting when you really want to learn what you can pick up as a dish washer. You can see how food is prepped and served, make a mental note of it, sooner or later you will have the opportunity on a very busy day to do just about everything in the kitchen.

Great chef’s work in all types of venues developing recipes for fine restaurants, TV shows and special dinners, these developments do not happen overnight, they take work planning and practice. Chefs are trained in schools some learn on their own and others through apprenticeships. Training is necessary to become certified so get as much formal education as you possibly can, a top kitchen is a business that needs to be run by professionals.

There are cooking shows and recipe contest done by Pillsbury and others who have a love for cooking, some Chefs’ work for companies selling cooking products and food items. Chefs cater weddings, banquets, family reunions, and conventions. They work for Kings and Presidents, working in palaces and greasy spoons. Chefs work on cruise ships and cook dinner for Hollywood’s, “Creme de la Creme.” The food ranges from barbeque to spectacularly special cuisine. A Chef is going to do his best work no matter what kitchen he is in. For good food people will stand on a street corner with the line wrapped around the block, cooking is an art and let’s face it, everybody cannot cook.

Try and have fun, good chefs like what they do and are passionate about their career as Chefs. To a chef there is no better job that can be had; some restaurants are famous around the world for their Chef’s. When people travel, they make a point to stop at these restaurants. There are so many good foods around the world, and the world needs great Chefs to cook them. There are jobs out there for Chefs, schools to do the training and people who have the gift, anything they cook taste good. An excellent Chef knows how to put his flavors together, spices and juices, putting together foods you would never give a thought to making them taste wonderful.
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Catering Passion

If you have a passion for food, a good business sense, a way with people and the love of being involved in special occasions then catering may be a good career path for you. For those interested in pursuing the career path in catering it helps to have both education and experience in the culinary arts,  the study of food and nutrition and the ability to prepare incredible meals are essential for those in the catering field.

The difference between catering and cooking on the line in a busy restaurant lies in the ability to socialize and communicate with the people that you are cooking for. Often, when cooking on the line in even the best restaurants, you’ll never even have a glimpse of the people that you are preparing food for but in catering you may meet with clients before the event is even planned and be face to face with all of the attendees during at least some point of the occasion that you are cooking for. This represents an entirely different kind of pressure from the pressure that you may be accustomed to when working in even the busiest of kitchens.

As a caterer, your creativity and individuality when it comes to both preparing your food and in your direct dealing with clients could mean the difference between an events success or it turning out to be an absolute failure, this is huge because in catering much of the best advertisement comes by way of word of mouth, one failed job could have a truly damaging effect on the success of the catering business that you operate or are employed by.

Physical appearance, overall image and attitude also have a much larger impact in the world of catering than in the rest of the culinary world. Prospective clients want to see clean and courteous team of representatives performing the work at their party or event, of course image isnt everything (the food that you prepare and serve is of vital importance), but it is very important to look elegant if you are to be preparing and serving at an elegant event.

In any position in the catering world a deep passion and love for food is the most important element to your success, but if you have the desire to mobilize your culinary talents and always be at the forefront of major events and occasions than catering might be right for you.

Top notch venues and resorts all over the UK that book major events are always in the market for talented, educated and creative people to join their catering teams and if you have the motivation to manage a team of talented food personnel your options could be even greater in this area of culinary arts.

Catering work is relatively easy to come by if youve got the talent, the social skills and the passion for food and the work ethic. Caterers and catering halls all over the UK are always in the market for good people with flexible schedules that they can bring onto their team. Catering is one of the few lines of work that can provide equally as well in a full time career position or a part time, extra income type role.

In any position in the catering world youll need an intense love for food and the ability to work under pressure in fast paced social situations. It helps for the food prep end of the catering world to have at least some culinary schooling under your belt as well as a good bit of experience working in a busy restaurant kitchen. You probably wont experience the exact same stresses in catering that you would when cooking on the line in a high volume kitchen, but the stress of having to prepare quality food under less than perfect conditions is great training for just about any position in the culinary world.

In a role of leadership in the catering field youll need both more schooling (not just culinary education) and more developed social skills. You responsibilities may include meeting with prospective clients and helping them develop the menu that will perfectly accent the occasion that they are celebrating, depending on the event, this can be even more stressful than planning a menu for a busy restaurant because the success of the event could hinge at least partly on the food that you are responsible for serving. Each event is of crucial importance because much of the best business in catering comes from word of mouth advertising.

You may also be responsible for orchestrating the service at the event, which is another crucial point in the success of the event. As a planned event unfolds, timing is everything,  if the food isnt ready to be served when it was planned to be, the whole event can be affected in the negative, which will most certainly hurt your reputation as a caterer.

Catering also offers the opportunity for changes in scenery, if you grow tired of going to the same kitchen tucked behind the same dining room for ten hours every day a transition into catering may be a good move for you. Working for a successful caterer could give you the opportunity to work in a different beautiful hall every weekend. There is never a shortage of jobs for a well respected caterer from weddings, retirement parties, graduations, birthdays, the list goes on and on. If youve got the passion for food, a great work ethic and a love for being a part of a special occasion then it may be time for you to take the first step into a new career and apply with a reputable caterer or catering hall.
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Why Study Catering

If you are thinking about a career in culinary arts then studying in a culinary school is a must. You may be a great cook but you will never become expert learning culinary arts yourself. Farther taking up a job as a chef in a good restaurant demands a professional qualification, which comes only after attending a regular culinary school.

There are many myth surrounding culinary arts. For example people say culinary is an art and art cannot be taught. This is not true. First culinary is not just an art, its science too. You must know about the ingredients you are using while cooking. You should also have through knowledge of the contents of the ingredients or additives you use to cook food. It helps you to be an informed chef.

Another myth is that culinary education is very costly. You see, any education is costly. Culinary is not an exception. But if you compare, a Bachelor of Engineering Degree is much more costly then a diploma/degree in culinary.

One of the worst myths is that chefs live a great life – full of glamor and no work. This is not at all true. Most of a chefs time is spent in kitchen with hot oils and burning temperatures.

If you love to cook – catering school should be your destination. It is never too early for you to think about the opportunities that will come along after culinary training.

Chef, caterer, pastry chef and restaurant cook are merely the most familiar four options, but there are hundreds of jobs in the food industry. You may want to consider preparing for positions in management as executive chef, or in sales as catering director or in administration in food and beverage management. Maybe you’ll want to explore developing specialty products – a line of sauces or dressings, for example – for retail or wholesale markets. Maybe youll want to become a restaurant consultant to entrepreneurs who want to start restaurants. There are also teaching opportunities in professional cooking schools. Still another option is food writing and editing for magazines and books devoted to food and cooking. The options are endless.

For any of these career directions, youll find the best preparation in an accredited school program – youll come out with a certificate or a degree. This training will provide you with a lifelong basis for understanding quality raw ingredients, creating balance and pleasure in combined flavors and presenting a beautiful plate to the diner. Yes, you keep learning on the job, but culinary school gives you a base of knowledge to test and compare to new trends, new ingredients and your own creativity.

Catering chefs enter employment with the most recent education in the culinary arts. Professionally, www.chef.org.au states that catering chefs use the latest cooking techniques. Catering chef education programs also include the development of menus and preparation of specialized cuisines. Educational requirements for being a catering chef include specialized aspects of the field, such as professional cooking for hotels or unique functions.

 

What Courses do Catering Chefs Take?

Education programs for chefs include basic nutrition and catering issues related to food allergies. Future catering chefs also receive instruction on basic sanitation, food safety and department of health compliance, as well as the business aspects of the industry, such as ordering materials and setting meal prices.

 

Employment Outlook for Catering Chefs

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, expects employment for catering chefs in abundance from now until 2014, with stiff competition for high end professional jobs. Most growth for professional catering chefs will be in casual dining. Upscale dining venues will continue to provide average employment growth. While competition is rigorous for these catering chef positions, formal education improves one’s employment outlook.

 

Catering Chefs and Career Growth

Catering chefs working for contractors are expected to have some of the highest employment growth. Professional chefs working for government and non-government institutions will see a reduction in catering employment. This industrial shift among employment of catering chefs is driven by increased needs of cost effectiveness. Chefs can expect growth at pace with the economy as a whole with variations by catering employment specialty.
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The Hospitality and Catering Industry

‘Long hours, low pay small rewards.’ This is how many people still see the hospitality and catering industry. The truth is much more encouraging. By the year 2004, there will be 2.5 million people working in hospitality in Britain alone. There are skills shortages across many sectors and employers are looking to recruit high calibre staff.

Where are the job opportunities?

The hospitality industry is growing fast, but it’s also changing. Some people say that you have only to look at the USA to see where the British hospitality industry is going: fast food and lots of it, theme parks and themed restaurants, so many eating places that dining out becomes as common as dining in, and an emphasis on customer service.

There are now more than two million people employed in hospitality in the UK, and by 2004 that is expected to reach 2.5 million. And it’s an industry that’s changing fast, as anyone with an eye on the news will have noticed.

Not only have there been some major business deals – notably the take-over last year of hotel giant Forte by Granada – but there are some small but significant trends. Who would have thought a few years ago that we’d be ordering take-away pizza from petrol forecourts, for example? Or having coffee and breakfast in a pub?

Or paying to cook our own food in a restaurant? These are just some of the offers coming on-stream, and there are undoubtedly more interesting ones to follow.

That’s the good news. The bad is that the hospitality industry still has problems, above all with its image. But the over-riding message from recruiters is that the low pay and long hours for which hotels and restaurants are famous are becoming a thing of the past. The sheer growth of the industry has meant that employers are putting together far more attractive recruitment packages to attract the right staff. For potential managers the prospects can be tremendous.

Roddy Watt, chief executive of recruitment agency Berkeley Scott, which monitors the industry’s pay levels closely, says management salaries in hospitality are increasing ahead of those in other sectors. “I would argue that he industry today is not the poorly paid at all,” he says. “I think a lot of that is a hangover from the past. There are some very good packages on offer. A good reason to go into the industry is that there is a continual shortage of top-calibre people, so good qualified people will progress very quickly and can probably expect a similar amount of money to what they would earn in any other industry at an early age”.

Hospitality has always been an industry in which bright things and entrepreneurs can succeed, regardless of qualifications, and employers are now realising this. Many say they want personality and charisma rather than a clutch of qualifications.

Steve Mullings, training and development manager at Bourne Leisure, which is expanding its 20-strong chain of holiday parks in the UK and North America, says firmly: “Personality is first. We’re looking for outgoing, highly motivated people who are very much focused on business results – the sort of people who would one day want to run their own businesses”.

Says Watt: “Good qualifications won’t do anybody any harm at all, but I don’t think they’re by any means a prerequisite. My personal point of view is that very often good qualifications tend to mean ‘high intellect’ and ‘good at doing exams’. These are not necessarily the best competencies for the hospitality industry. It’s more important that people are the right type of individual. They’ve got to like other people”.

Tony Goddard, human resources director at Bass Taverns, believes qualifications still count. But he adds: “Having said that, I think this is one of the few industries where you are performance-orientated. You can get as far on your performance as your ability will take you”.

Pub restaurants are one of the fastest growing areas of hospitality. Bass recruits about 850 people every year for management positions within the company, and these 130 are graduates who join the company’s graduate retail scheme. Within two or three years they can expect to be managing their own pubs, with 30-40 staff and a turnover of well over 1m. Average earnings are 24,000, but some reach60,000.

Goddard says the sheer pace of development in the pub industry means it’s a good one to join, as brewers are constantly looking for managers for their new brands.

Bass’s own include All Bar One and Irish-themed chain O’Neill’s. There are increasing opportunities within the chain for people working their way through the ranks. Thirty percent of managers are recruited internally, and Goddard wants to bring this up to 75%.

Laurence Watson, vice president human resources with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, believes career progression is becoming faster because of better training and planning on the part of firms. “all sectors are becoming more competitive in their rates of pay and benefits packages, and most major groups are revitalising their graduate entry programmes,” he says.

However, the hotel industry admits it still has some way to go to catch up with some of the pub and restaurant brands. Jennifer Neary, senior personnel and training manager with County Hotels, part of Queens Moat Houses, admits that she is honest with people she speaks to who want to enter the industry. “I’m not going to say yes, we pay wonderful salaries, because we don’t. And as an industry we’ve got some way to go on that. But one thing I think our company – and probably the industry – does is that it gives fairly young people a lot of responsibility early on. If you show aptitude and the right attitude to work, you’re able to progress quite quickly.

“But I say to them: I’m not going to lie to you. You do have to start at the bottom, you’ve got to learn the basics, and it’s long hours and you will be working weekends.”
Nevertheless, Neary says the company is trying hard not only to make good links with schools and colleges, but to make its positions more attractive to youngsters. “We’re working towards trying to get rid of things like split shifts, for example”.
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Packages for Catering Chefs

One of the biggest skills shortages is of chefs, and many companies are now prepared to offer competitive salary packages, including profit-related pay, to more senior ranks in the kitchen. Says Watson: “Once trained, chefs can expect to earn a great deal more than they could ever have anticipated a decade ago, with better working conditions and benefits”.

Employers also report skills shortages among hotel receptionists, management and all ranks of the kitchen. But, despite the shortages, the jobs are not exactly there for the taking. More and more employers are demanding high-quality staff, and they admit that new recruits will have to earn their money.

By that he means not putting in longer hours but working “smarter” – achieving more through better organisation, better training and management skills.

Watt reiterates that it is attitude which counts more than anything. “At the end of the day the thing that will differentiate individuals from one another Is not how wonderful their expertise is or how terrific their qualifications are: it’s that mental attitude, that inner drive which says: ‘I’m really going to go places”.

 

Let’s go to work – but where?

The better employment packages are more likely to come from the big firms than from the small private ones. But where smaller businesses can sometimes shine is in offering people more autonomy and a faster rise through the ranks.

The same goes for the different sectors of the catering industry: each has its benefits and drawbacks. Contact catering – feeding people in schools, hospitals and staff restaurants – may not have such a glamorous image, but the hours are mostly nine to five, a dream for anyone who dreads split shifts, and the pay is normally higher than other sectors.

In restaurants and pubs hours are longer, but the food and drink offers are constantly changing. One minute Spanish tapas are in, the next it’s Thai, then it’s back to good old British fare. Managers with the big brewers can expect salaries to match: last year some of Bass’s top pub managers earned 50,000 – 60,000.

Hotels demand long hours too, and probably offer some of the lowest pay rates in the industry. But there are literally hundreds of jobs to choose from, from housekeeping to running a restaurant to personnel management. And hotels stress that responsibility starts young.

So where are the job opportunities? Market research firm Marketpower, which specialises in analysing the catering industry, predicts huge growth in what it calls the activity sector – such as pubs, cinemas and theme parks – where food is ancillary to the main activity.

According to Marketpower, this sector will account for 40% of the market in 2001, compared to 25% in 1981 and 37% today. It predicts that contract catering and restaurants will show little or no growth.
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Routes to Catering Qualifications

The catering and hospitality industry has led the field in developing new qualification routes. These mean a wide variety of ways to help you build on your skills and knowledge, to get the qualifications employers want.

If you are about to, or have recently left school, there are three main options, described below.

  1. Attend a college of university as a full-time student

You need to consider what interests you, how long you wish to study for, and the entry requirements for particular programmes. These range from the motivation and potential to succeed for foundation programmes, to three A levels or five SCE Highers for some degree programmes.

  1. Join a training programme

Operated by an employer or an organisation that works with employers to provide training, such as HCTC. The programme combines work experience with training on-the-job – by your supervisors and training specialists, and training off-the-job – at a college or training centre. You will be helped to build up a National or Scottish Vocational Qualification in the subjects and at the NVQ/SVQ levels appropriate to your career (usually a combination of Levels 1,2 and perhaps, 3).

The length of the programme varies from a few months to two years.

  1. Go straight into employment

Try and get a job that will provide useful experience for the future, with an employer who offers training or can help you get the support you need.

 

HCTC training programmes

Many HCTC trainees become employees part-way through the programme. Some can be put into paid jobs from the start of the programme. Others are already working, and their employer contracts with HCTC to provide the off-the-job training and help in delivering NVQs/SVQs.

 

If you have a non-hotel and catering degree

The HCIMA offers an exceptional entry programme leading to the Professional Diploma, and a number of universities offer a Postgraduate Diploma. These usually involve one-year of full-time study and a period of industrial experience.
If you are already have experience in the industry and want to get qualifications, there are four main options.

  • Work towards NVQs/SVQs with your employer

National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications are open to anyone, of any age or experience and there are no entry requirements. There are four levels: Level 1 (basic skills), Level 2 (craft skills), Level 3 (advanced craft/supervisory skills) and Level 4 (management skills).

  • Attend a College Part-time

Your employer may be able to help you attend a local college one day a week, or on a block release basis, when you spend longer intervals at college (e.g. four weeks). Generally experience is more important than the standard academic entry requirements.

  • Take a full-time College/University Programme

Ideally, chose a programme intended for people with experience in the industry, and designed to meet your needs in the quickest possible time.

  • Distance Learning or Self-study

Such as HCIMA’s (leading to the Professional Certificate/Diploma and NVQs/SVQs Level 3), which includes tutor contact and attendance at seminars, or HCTC’s operational management programme for supervisors (leading to an HCTC certificate and NVQs/SVQs Level 3), which combines one-day courses with self-study workbooks.

 

Main part-time routes

Length of study:

NVQs/SVQs 1 to 2 years typical
BTEC/SCOTVEC National, Higher National 1 to3 years
HCIMA Professional Certificate 2 years
HCIMA Professional Diploma 3 years
Degree 3 to 4 years
NEBSM Certificate in Supervisory Management – 1 to 2 years
BTEC Certificate in Management Studies 1 year
DMS/Postgraduate Diploma/MBA +2 years
Masters Degree 2 to 4 years

Main full-time routes with experience

Length of Study:

HCIMA Professional Diploma – 1 year
Degree 3 years
Postgraduate Diploma 1 year
Masters Degree +1 year
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Catering Job Descriptions

Before you jump into pool of professional chefs, look at some cooking job descriptions.

There are a number of jobs that you may land in if you are pursuing careers in cooking. Know the different cooking job descriptions so you know what type of culinary career to pursue. Some of the culinary jobs and the corresponding cooking job descriptions are as follows.

Chef jobs include the different types of chefs that are involved in planning and directing food preparation, as well as cooking activities like preparing and cooking dishes and specialty foods. A chef job is usually needed in restaurants, hotels, catering companies, ships, resorts, as well as in hospitals. A typical chef job description goes like this. A chef should direct and lead the preparation, cooking, and seasoning of soups and salads, meats, fish, vegetables, and desserts among other foods. The Chef is also responsible in planning and pricing menu items, as well as ordering supplies, and keeping records and accounts. Other chef job descriptions would be to supervise and partake in food preparation, cooking, and baking entrees.

The most important chef duties are those of the executive chefs, sous-chefs, and specialist chefs. The executive chefs plan and supervise or lead the preparation and cooking of food for a number of restaurants of a certain establishment or restaurant chain. They are the ones who plan the menus and sees to it that their food meets high quality standards. Executive hotel chef jobs maybe an example. A certain hotel chain has an executive chef/s that ensures consistency of food across all the hotels.

The sous-chef on the other hand is the one that manages the activities of the specialist chefs and other cooks. They teach new techniques and equipment to their staff. This is associated with chef teaching jobs as they teach other chefs in the process. Specialist chefs are the ones preparing and cooking specialty foods. An example would be sushi chef jobs. There are a lot of chef jobs overseas one can apply to.

Aside from pursuing a chef career, other culinary careers include being a cook. Cooks are the ones who do most of the cooking and preparation of dishes. They work hand in hand with the chefs. They are the ones that the chef directs and supervises. If you are interested in careers in cooking, starting an as junior cook is good. Other titles or careers in culinary arts are the saucier, chef de partie, corporate chef, specialist chef, executive sous-chef, sous-chef, head chef, chef de cuisine, pastry chef and garde manger chef, among the chef careers available today.
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Catering Equipment

In any catering business, the equipment is just as important as the food. If you dont have the right catering equipment, your food wont be as good, its that simple. For this reason, it is vital that the business have all the basic equipment for the catering jobs at least.

Apart from the obvious tableware, any catering company will also need to focus on a few catering equipment essentials. These are necessary in order to provide the highest quality food safely.

Chafing Dishes. These are essential if you have any food that needs to be kept hot. Chafing dishes come in a variety of sizes and use fuel canisters to keep them warm. The more economical of these items costs between £14 and £115, but they go all the way up to £500 for high quality, deluxe editions.

Cast Iron Cookware. These pots and pans may be heavy, but they will also stand up to the rigours of catering life. Since they will be hauled from event to event, it is a good idea to choose cookware that will not dent or damage easily. Cast iron is ideal for this purpose. A decent set of cast iron cookware costs around £500.

Buffet Dishes. Catering equipment just wouldnt be complete without buffet items. These are display dishes that can be easily nestled into ice to keep them cool and that look great, even half full. Many caterers choose white porcelain for this, since it shows off the food better. The prices are widely variable on these items and it isn’t really possible to give an estimate.

Stainless Steel Serving Utensils. While you can go with plastic, the best catering equipment for serving is made of stainless steel. It wont rust or change and doesnt leave a bad taste in the food. You can buy an entire set, or several items individually. A small set costs around £25.

Soup Kettles. Another catering equipment essential, this electric pot can be used to keep chowders, stews and soups nice and piping hot. They are good for sauces, as well. If your catering company offers a soup on the menu, its a good idea to get one of these in order to prevent cold soup from going out. They range from £50 to £175.

Having the right catering equipment can mean the difference between the success and the failure of a catering company taking a catering job. If the food that is supposed to be hot goes out cool, you wont be hired again! So it is worth investing in some good quality catering equipment.

 

Choosing Materials for Your Chefs Knives

A chefs knives can be very near and dear to his heart being the one of the most important set of tools for his craft. This is why it is so important to take care when selecting your chefs knives. Taking the time to careful to select the right materials of the highest quality is well worth the time and effort. This can be daunting if you don�t know what you are looking for, so its a good idea to educate yourself before buying chefs knives.

The first thing to consider when deciding which chefs knives to buy is which material you want the knife to be made of. There are a few to choose from. In blades, you can choose between ceramic, stainless steel, carbon steel, or laminated. Each material has its benefits and its disadvantages and it is important to keep these in mind when deciding.

Carbon steel is perhaps one of the most popular materials for chefs knives. It tends to be stronger and holds an edge longer than regular steel, but is also prone to rusting if not given the proper care. Chefs knives made from carbon steel are very high maintenance.

Stainless steel is more resistant to stains, wont affect food flavour and doesnt rust, but it also doesnt hold a very sharp edge. Certain blades made in Japan are specially designed to stay sharp, some say they are even equal to carbon steel blades. These highly exotic chefs knives come at a high price, though.

Laminated chefs knives are made of several layers of different steels in an attempt to create a superior knife. These often consist of a stronger steel base with a more fragile edge. They are designed to hold an edge for longer, while withstanding the daily rigours of kitchen life.

The last type of material is ceramic. These chefs knives are difficult to sharpen as they require a special technique using specific equipment. However, they also hold an edge for longer than any of the other materials, which makes them highly desirable. Ceramic also doesnt change the taste of the food it comes in contact with.

Which material you choose will depend greatly in how much time you can afford your knives. Stainless steel is the lowest maintenance of all, while carbon steel requires plenty of time and care as well as rest between uses. Choosing your chefs knives is one of the most important tasks you will undertake as a chef, select wisely.
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Tips for getting a Catering Jobs

Catering companies are growing these days with the high demand for their services. That means that more catering jobs are open to new chefs and the time to start looking for a job is now. However, it can be a competitive market. So how do you make sure that you are the one that gets hired?

First of all, you need a great CV. Most people arent that great at writing their own, so it might be a good idea write up a rough draft and have a family member or friend go over it before submitting a final draft. If you are really serious, consider hiring a resume company to revise the CV for you. When a company sees a well-written CV, they are more likely to take an interest in you. It makes you seem more professional.

Having some experience in the area of catering is the best way to be accepted for a catering job. It is worthwhile to do some work for lower pay in order to get the experience. If you find that you are being rejected as a potential candidate for catering jobs, it might help to loosen up and take a job that is a little beneath you to prove that you can do it. Your work experience from school can help, if you havent been in the industry long.

Show up prepared for the interview. Dont go to the interview with jeans and a T-shirt. You should look the part for the job. If you want to take on a catering job, you need to look professional, calm and able to handle lots of stress! By presenting yourself as a capable person, you are more likely to get the job.

Know what you are getting into. It will be pretty obvious if you have no idea what catering is about. This industry is a little different than regular restaurant or hotel cooking and you should at least study up on it if you want an opportunity to work for a caterer. That means understanding the basics of how catering works, knowing how to handle the equipment and what will be expected of you. Your knowledge will show up in the catering job interview.

Preparing for getting catering jobs is the best way to make sure you arent the one who is always left out. Act professional, present a great CV and know a little about the job. This will help you make a good impression and hopefully land the position.
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Event Caterer and Catering

It was his responsibility to impress his boss and some prospective clients. I worked really hard to pull off something professional. It took a lot of effort and I believed that I could help people that didnt have enough time to plan their own events.

As an event caterer, I provide everything that someone will need. I can include food, beverages, staff, entertainment and even flowers. There is no end to what I am willing to do for my clients. I have a fantastic reputation now as an event caterer and I haven�t had to turn down any jobs, yet, but I may have to soon.

I planned a corporate event last month that included the most services that I�ve ever been asked for at one event. I was referred to this company by someone I catered a wedding for last year. I think being an event caterer is a lot of fun.

I have more fun with large corporate events than I do with weddings. I think that is mostly because executives appreciate an event caterer making all of the choices and a bride wants to make all of the choices. I get to use my own creativity more with event planning.

There was an executive Christmas party that a local corporate world headquarters wanted to throw last year and they interviewed every event caterer in the area and chose me. I had so much fun planning this event. The corporation gave me a ridiculous budget and I used in ways that would make every guest feel like a stars.

I don’t think any other event caterer in our area will provide limo or valet services for the guests. I provide those services when they are requested. I also will design and send invitations to events and I know that no one else does that. I am completely full service and come with a lot of good recommendations.

The most fun that I’ve ever had planning an event was when my stepmother’s Red Hat Society group wanted an event caterer to create a memorable 65th birthday party for five of its members. We had an afternoon tea party and there were so many flowers and frills that I couldn’t help but smile. Those are some really fun women.
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Corporate Catering / Caterers

Most of the time they bid on jobs that are way out of my capabilities, but occasionally we butt heads over smaller weddings. I feel like they have enough business and should leave my small piece of the pie alone.

I ran into the head of a group of corporate caterers at a business leader’s luncheon last year. She was so rude to me. I know that we have different styles and travel in different social circles, but we are in the same business. I felt like she could have treated me with more respect.

There was one wedding this spring that I wanted to cater. I put a bid in for the job and cooked a sample plate for the mother of the bride. One of my competitors belongs to an organized group of corporate caterers. He showed up after me and undercut my price. I already price my work very competitively and can’t start a price war with corporate caterers.

I was really steamed because I thought that they would pick the corporate caterers over me because of the price. They chose me and told me that they liked and needed my personal touches to make the wedding day perfect. I was relieved, but I was still angry that the corporate caterers had gotten me so irritated.

I see a need for corporate caterers when a banquet for five hundred people is what is planned. I don’t think that corporate caterers need to get into the business of small family weddings and pool parties. Those are areas of my expertise and that of a bunch of other catering sole proprietorships.

I don’t think that I’ve seen the last of the corporate caterers, but I’ve learned some lessons from their mistakes. I always address the clients respectfully and not just assume that it is okay to call people by their first name, even if I know the name. I also know that clients want to feel like they are your only project and that you care about the event.
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Catering Service

It seems like every weekend a different catering service is setting up in our clubhouse. I work at an apartment complex in Dallas and we have an excellently landscaped property.

People rent out our clubhouse for wedding receptions because of how lovely it looks around the pool area and throughout the loft style clubhouse.

We can accommodate up to seventy people on the premises.

Sammys Bar-B-Q is my favorite catering service. The people that show up with the food for setting up are always friendly and quick. The crew that they have show up and serve is always polite. Ive never seen anyone have any trouble at all with any event catered by Sammys.

A whole bunch of people showed up from the Asian Mint catering service last weekend.

They practically transformed the clubhouse. A sushi chef arrived and made special pieces of sushi all night. Each table was set up with Sake and there were colorful red banners hung all over the place. I felt like I might be in Tokyo.

There was a wedding last winter that was different than any I had seen previously.

Ms. Marys Southern Cuisine was an interesting catering service. They showed up with macaroni and cheese, Fried Catfish, collard greens and several sweet potato pies. It looked delicious.

The funniest wedding catering service Ive ever seen showed up from Roly Poly Sandwiches.

They showed up and made custom sandwiches for the guests. The guests were dressed extremely nicely for a sandwich reception. The bride and grooms families looked like they came from very different backgrounds.

There was a teenage couple that used a catering service for an after prom party at our clubhouse. They had a local Italian food restaurant deliver a huge spread of food. There was a cop hired for the night and there was a zero tolerance for alcohol in effect. It was a great success and lots of teenagers were there all night long.

Do you quail at the thought of roasting a chicken? Wonder where to find frozen vegetables in the supermarket?

You’re not alone. Basic cooking skills are slipping away from Americans, despite our appetite for cooking shows. Two decades ago, 77 percent of all dinners eaten in America were prepared in the home. That’s slipped to 58 percent now, according to the market research firm NPD Group.

Kim Kambas learns to use a knife, with a knuckle as a guide, during a basic cooking class at Publix Apron’s Cooking School.

Several new basic cookbooks promise it’s never too late to learn. How basic? Think a chart that tells you where to find frozen vegetables (try the frozen food aisle) and an explanation of how a can opener works.

No surprise, then, that the editors of “Anyone Can Cook” are pitching it as a prequel to what was once considered a starter cookbook, “The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.” That book, also from Meredith Publishing, has been the country’s top-selling basic cookbook for 78 years.

“Traditionally, we have aimed at a market that assumes people know how to cook,” says Tricia Laning, food editor for Meredith. “We’ve had to adjust some of our books.”

Some of the simple instructions in cookbooks have inspired ridicule since Irma Rombauer told beginning cooks to “stand facing the stove” in “Joy of Cooking,” first published in 1931. But cookbook editors say that writing for the increasing number of Americans who lack the most basic skills means explaining in detail tasks once taken for granted.

It’s not just mass-market cookbooks that are acknowledging that fewer Americans know how to cook.

Alice Waters, famed for starting California’s Chez Panisse restaurant and awakening American chefs to the power of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, has just written “The Art of Simple Food.”

Waters has written many cookbooks before with recipes from Chez Panisse. She streamlined the recipes for this book to make them less intimidating.

“Very often in a Chez Panisse book, there’s a lot of writing in there that makes you think, ‘I can’t do this recipe; it’s too long, it’s too much to read, even if it has two or three ingredients,’ ” she says. “I wanted to get to the essence of it.”

Waters wrote “Simple Food” to encourage home cooks to seek out local, seasonal foods. With the best, freshest ingredients, it’s easy to put together tasty meals, she assures.

“Anyone Can Cook” goes for the same comforting tone. Recipes are numbered from one to three for degree of difficulty. Step-by-step photos guide readers through tasks like making meatloaf.

Editors decided against putting a photo of a roast chicken on the back cover after women indicated it was too intimidating. Instead they chose a barbecue quesadilla that uses shredded cheese, canned green chiles, bottled salsa and a tub of refrigerated, precooked barbecued chicken. It’s a Level One recipe.

As editors decided what to put in the book and what to leave out (like a yellow cake recipe), they considered how challenging to make it.

They asked focus groups whether they should include photos that showed how to peel and cut up an apple.

Some said they knew how.

“And some people said, kind of in a whispering tone, ‘I don’t know how to do that right,’ ” Laning says.

The photos stayed in.

Kim Kambas of Alpharetta is taking a basic cooking class through the Publix Apron’s Cooking School.

She knows how to work a vegetable peeler but wants to gain confidence with other tasks. At 44 and between jobs, she has time to build skills she didn’t pick up from her mother and grandmother, both good cooks.

One recent morning, she stood around a table with four other students, learning how to make chicken stock, use a knife correctly, make a white sauce for macaroni and cheese, and put together a candied sweet potato soup. It was the first of six classes.

“I can make the basic stuff,” Kambas says. “I can make spaghetti, chili, sloppy Joes from a can. We can grill. But I’m very limited in what I can cook.”

She hopes to use the skills she learns to teach her two teens to prepare meals once a week.

They’ll get to pick what they want to eat, and she’ll do the shopping.

“We’ll cook it together,” Kambas says, “so they don’t end up like me.
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Catering Menu

My clients are all really happy with the amount of choice they have in the overall menu. We are pretty flexible, but we do have some guidelines. Extras can always be added. We highly recommend adding to the standard dinner buffet catering menu with a fabulous catered dessert.

Our buffet dinner catering menu include a choice of salad, two side accompaniments and any one of our house breads and butter The main course range from simple and satisfying to very upscale and gourmet. If one entre is chosen, we price the meals at $20 to $30 per person. If two entrees are chosen, we price from $25 to $35 per person.

We have nine different salads to choose from on our buffet dinner catering menu. My personal favorite salad is the Asian Seven Vegetable Salad with miso vinaigrette. The salad that is chosen most is the Spinach Salad with aged cheddar and bacon vinaigrette. There is another salad that we make that uses Maytag bleu cheese and it is divine.

There are twenty different side accompaniments to choose from. This seems to be the part of the catering menu that gives clients the hardest time making their two choices. There are so many delicious things and it really is hard for even me to decide what my own favorite is. I currently have a three way tie for favorite; it is between Jalape�o Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Buttermilk Chive Mashed Potatoes.

I think that the easiest choice that my clients make from the catering menu if for the bread. We have three varieties of bread available for our dinner buffets. We have an Herb Focaccia, sourdough baguettes and honey buttermilk rolls. I like all three, but the focaccia is my favorite.

We have a catering menu for just about every type of affair, but the one for the dinner buffet is the one that gets used the most. I keep brainstorming for good ideas for entrees and keep eliminating ones that dont work well. Logistics is very important when catering any kind of event. A lot of thought has gone into the items I keep on the catering menu.
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Private Catering

Good catering jobs are easy to come by after youve been in the business successfully for a couple of years. It is harder to find catering jobs if you screw one up. I have heard that if you make someone happy they might tell a friend, but if you make them unhappy, they will tell ten friends. I have found this to be very true.

I consider good catering jobs to be the ones where the client has suggestions about what they really want. I dont like to be left guessing when I am planning an important event. I also consider catering jobs to be good if I was paid promptly. First and foremost, this is my business and I am trying to make money.

Bad catering jobs are the ones where the client gives us the bare minimum time to set up for the event and pays us at the last possible moment. I also dislike criticism for the menu if I was not the one that chose the food. I dont like to hear complaints about the food, but I listen very carefully to comments.

I have had catering jobs ranging from a big fancy wedding all the way to a pool party for a local radio stations DJs on the Fourth of July. I like when I am able to have fun with a theme. It seems like less and less parties have themes anymore and you almost never see costume parties anymore. I miss those kinds of parties.

The best catering jobs for me involve afternoon teas and dessert parties. Those are my favorites. For some reason, they seem less stressful to me than a catered sit-down affair. There is usually more work involved in a tea or dessert party, but I guess I enjoy it more. I have gotten a lot of referrals for tea parties.
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Catering Manager

Restaurant managers work in hotels, restaurants or fast-food outlets, keeping the business running smoothly, and customers and staff happy. Catering managers work for outside catering firms, business or factory canteens, hospitals or schools.

The job can include:

* hiring and training staff
* ensuring food hygiene standards are understood and maintained
* overseeing the budget and ordering supplies for the week’s menus.

The most important part of the job is keeping a constant eye on the standard of the ingredients, the meals, the restaurant environment and the service.

Restaurant managers have to be prepared to work long days and unsociable hours. Catering managers – especially in businesses or schools – are more likely to work regular daytime hours. Part-time work may be possible.

Catering and restaurant managers usually work indoors in warm, pleasant environments. A restaurant manager spends some of the time ‘front of house’ in the restaurant itself.

Restaurant and catering managers may earn between �14,000 and �60,000 a year.

They need to be:

* excellent organisers
* good at thinking quickly and sorting out problems on the spot
* good motivators and leaders
* interested in food and customer service.

The hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry is a large and growing sector, employing nearly two million people. Every kind of eating place – from restaurants and fast-food outlets, to hotels and business canteens – needs good managers.

The two most usual entry routes for young people are by gaining experience in the food or hospitality industry at a lower level and working up to management posts, or by studying for a foundation degree, HND or degree, and joining a company as a trainee.

There is no age limit for becoming a restaurant or catering manager. Some employers do prefer people with experience.

Catering and restaurant managers are normally trained on the job to give them experience in many different areas of the business. They may study for NVQs/SVQs. Management training is likely to include specialised courses in subjects such as finance, marketing, human resources, food safety and training.

Promotion could lead to the management of a regional area for a chain of hotels or restaurants. There are also opportunities to move into hotel or leisure management.
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The Hospitality / Catering Industry

The catering industry is a 6 billion business, and it is expected to grow in the future. Given this, it can be expected that there are a lot of employment opportunities in the catering industry. The good new is these opportunities are open to almost all age groups, especially to those who are looking for part time work. This includes college students and homemakers who are looking for extra income. In addition, the high turn over in the catering industry assures people that there are plenty of jobs to go around. Among the jobs that are available include chefs, cooks, wait staff and food preparation workers.

Basically, food preparation workers are the people who prepare the ingredients that chefs and cooks prepare. Some of the most common tasks include slicing fruits and vegetables, peeling them, cutting meat, poultry and fish, and measuring and weighing the ingredients for the chef or the cook. In addition, they clean the equipment used in cooking, dishes and cleaning work areas.

The chef or cook prepares the meal by following specific recipes. Often times they also help plan the menu that is offered during the reception. More importantly, it is the job of the chef to direct the operations of the kitchen and to make sure that everything runs smoothly and according to schedule. In addition, it is also the responsibility of the chef to make sure that the kitchen has enough supplies, ingredients and workers. The wait-staff serves food to the guests attending the reception, as well as makes sure that wine glasses and water glasses are filled, etc.

The catering industry is a multi-billion industry that employs a large number of people across most age groups, especially younger people. Among these employment opportunities, some of the most common jobs are those of chef or cook, food preparation workers and wait staff. These are some of the most important jobs in the catering industry because it is the chef that acts as the “director” of the operations of the kitchen and it is the food preparation worker that makes sure that the “director” does his job effectively and the wait staff makes sure that all guests are satisfied and served promptly.
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A Day in the Catering Industry

Most people would sum up a chef’s job by saying that they cook food. End of story. But it’s nowhere near that straightforward. And there are so many types of chefs and so many types of food service establishments � restaurants, cafeterias, banquet halls, hotels, cruise ships, resorts � that describing a day in the life of a typical chef is practically impossible. Instead, we can cover some of the fundamental aspects of a chef’s job and then you can figure out which culinary careers and settings spur you towards further investigation.

Job Fundamentals
In a big nutshell, chefs measure, mix, and cook ingredients to prepare food according to recipes. In the process, they use a variety of pots, pans, cutlery, and other equipment, including ovens, broilers, grills, slicers, grinders, and blenders. Some chefs are responsible for managing other kitchen workers (including teaching them new techniques), planning menus, estimating food requirements, handling food budgets, and ordering food supplies. That’s a lot more than just cooking!

While smaller restaurants may consist of one chef and only a couple of assistants, larger restaurants tend to have much bigger menus and staffs that include several chefs and cooks, as well as assistant or apprentice chefs and cooks, in addition to other kitchen workers (busboys, dishwashers, etc.). Executive chefs and sous-chefs coordinate the work of the rest of the kitchen staff, who are often assigned specific jobs and tasks � for instance, sauces or pastries or garde manger.

The title “chef” and “cook” are often used interchangeably, but chefs tend to be more highly skilled and professionally trained than cooks. Keep in mind, though, that many positions are often used as stepping stones in a culinary career; you might make your way from pantry cook to line cook to sous-chef over the course of time, depending on your goals, aspirations, and work environment.

Beyond Restaurants
As mentioned before, though, not all cooking is done in traditional restaurant environments. Institutional and cafeteria cooks work in the kitchens of schools, cafeterias, businesses, hospitals, and other institutions. These cooks may create a more limited number of dishes per meal, but must typically prepare vast quantities of each dish which requires a unique skill of its own ï especially when that cook is also managing an institution’s often-tight food budget. Personal chefs often work solo and can be responsible for cleaning, serving meals, and even ordering groceries, in addition to planning and preparing meals.

No matter where they work, however, almost all chefs have one thing in common: long hours, most of which is hard time spent on your feet. It can be strenuous work, standing all day, working in close quarters with a number of other kitchen staff, lifting heavy pots and kitchenware, working with knives and sharp utensils, and working near dangerous appliances at high temperatures. Work hours in restaurants may include early mornings, late evenings, holidays, and weekends. By the same token, the work schedules of chefs, cooks and other kitchen workers in factory and school cafeterias may be more regular. Cooks and chefs are more likely to have part-time schedules than other workers.

All told, being a chef is a tough job. It’s more than just cooking, it’s also planning and managing, accommodating the needs of co-workers and patrons, and making the best of things when your pantry contains only a stick of butter, two sausages, three carrots, and a tub of lard. But it’s also an immensely rewarding career, filled with challenges and opportunities that you won’t find elsewhere. Now get out there and start cooking!

‘Long hours, low pay small rewards.’ This is how many people still see the hospitality and catering industry. The truth is much more encouraging. By the year 2004, there will be 2.5 million people working in hospitality in Britain alone. There are skills shortages across many sectors and employers are looking to recruit high calibre staff.

Where are the job opportunities?

The hospitality industry is growing fast, but it’s also changing. Some people say that you have only to look at the USA to see where the British hospitality industry is going: fast food and lots of it, theme parks and themed restaurants, so many eating places that dining out becomes as common as dining in, and an emphasis on customer service.

There are now more than two million people employed in hospitality in the UK, and by 2004 that is expected to reach 2.5 million. And it’s an industry that’s changing fast, as anyone with an eye on the news will have noticed.

Not only have there been some major business deals – notably the take-over last year of hotel giant Forte by Granada – but there are some small but significant trends. Who would have thought a few years ago that we’d be ordering take-away pizza from petrol forecourts, for example? Or having coffee and breakfast in a pub?

Or paying to cook our own food in a restaurant? These are just some of the offers coming on-stream, and there are undoubtedly more interesting ones to follow.

That’s the good news. The bad is that the hospitality industry still has problems, above all with its image. But the over-riding message from recruiters is that the low pay and long hours for which hotels and restaurants are famous are becoming a thing of the past. The sheer growth of the industry has meant that employers are putting together far more attractive recruitment packages to attract the right staff. For potential managers the prospects can be tremendous.

Roddy Watt, chief executive of recruitment agency Berkeley Scott, which monitors the industry’s pay levels closely, says management salaries in hospitality are increasing ahead of those in other sectors. “I would argue that he industry today is not the poorly paid at all,” he says. “I think a lot of that is a hangover from the past. There are some very good packages on offer. A good reason to go into the industry is that there is a continual shortage of top-calibre people, so good qualified people will progress very quickly and can probably expect a similar amount of money to what they would earn in any other industry at an early age”.

Hospitality has always been an industry in which bright things and entrepreneurs can succeed, regardless of qualifications, and employers are now realising this. Many say they want personality and charisma rather than a clutch of qualifications.

Steve Mullings, training and development manager at Bourne Leisure, which is expanding its 20-strong chain of holiday parks in the UK and North America, says firmly: “Personality is first. We’re looking for outgoing, highly motivated people who are very much focused on business results – the sort of people who would one day want to run their own businesses”.

Says Watt: “Good qualifications won’t do anybody any harm at all, but I don’t think they’re by any means a prerequisite. My personal point of view is that very often good qualifications tend to mean ‘high intellect’ and ‘good at doing exams’. These are not necessarily the best competencies for the hospitality industry. It’s more important that people are the right type of individual. They’ve got to like other people”.

Tony Goddard, human resources director at Bass Taverns, believes qualifications still count. But he adds: “Having said that, I think this is one of the few industries where you are performance-orientated. You can get as far on your performance as your ability will take you”.

Pub restaurants are one of the fastest growing areas of hospitality. Bass recruits about 850 people every year for management positions within the company, and these 130 are graduates who join the company’s graduate retail scheme. Within two or three years they can expect to be managing their own pubs, with 30-40 staff and a turnover of well over 1m. Average earnings are 24,000, but some reach 60,000.

Goddard says the sheer pace of development in the pub industry means it’s a good one to join, as brewers are constantly looking for managers for their new brands.

Bass’s own include All Bar One and Irish-themed chain O’Neill’s. There are increasing opportunities within the chain for people working their way through the ranks. Thirty percent of managers are recruited internally, and Goddard wants to bring this up to 75%.

Laurence Watson, vice president human resources with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, believes career progression is becoming faster because of better training and planning on the part of firms. “all sectors are becoming more competitive in their rates of pay and benefits packages, and most major groups are revitalising their graduate entry programmes,” he says.

However, the hotel industry admits it still has some way to go to catch up with some of the pub and restaurant brands. Jennifer Neary, senior personnel and training manager with County Hotels, part of Queens Moat Houses, admits that she is honest with people she speaks to who want to enter the industry. “I’m not going to say yes, we pay wonderful salaries, because we don’t. And as an industry we’ve got some way to go on that. But one thing I think our company – and probably the industry – does is that it gives fairly young people a lot of responsibility early on. If you show aptitude and the right attitude to work, you’re able to progress quite quickly.

“But I say to them: I’m not going to lie to you. You do have to start at the bottom, you’ve got to learn the basics, and it’s long hours and you will be working weekends.”
Nevertheless, Neary says the company is trying hard not only to make good links with schools and colleges, but to make its positions more attractive to youngsters. “We’re working towards trying to get rid of things like split shifts, for example
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Hotel Catering Jobs

Unless you are a renowned chef with decades of experience behind you, it may be a bit difficult to get into the top five star hotels in London as a chef. However, there are plenty of options available to the not-so-experienced chef. You just need to know where to look.

If you are serious about looking for hotel catering jobs, you should begin online. There are many large websites that have job listings, but you will be better off going with a smaller, more focused job listing where you are able to search jobs that are just for chefs. This will save you a lot of time, which would be spent sifting through irrelevant jobs on a larger website.

Doing your job search online opens up the market. You can search not just in your area, which would usually be covered by your local newspaper, but anywhere within the UK. Narrow that down to hotel catering jobs and you will find that the best options will be online. The number of hotel catering jobs that are available in print are limited. Most employers find it far easier (and cheaper) to list their catering jobs on the internet these days, so that is where you should begin looking.

However, websites are not the only way to find catering jobs. If you have a specific hotel in mind, why not contact their personnel office and speak to someone in Human Resources? They should be able to tell you when they will be looking to hire next and you can call them back at that time, or stop by the hotel and leave an updated CV for them to keep on file for a future date. Or, you might even be lucky enough to find that they are looking right now, in which case, you can apply immediately.

It never hurts to look through the classifieds, either, although the number of catering jobs you find there will be few and far between. If you prefer something local, you may find it in the local newspaper. You can also check most newspapers online, as they usually upload the entire edition to their website.

Catering jobs are available in hotels if you know just where to look. Start online and then begin to make use of other resources to find catering jobs faster.

In world of work, your CV is vital. This is no less true in the food industry and you can really improve your work experience by incorporating overseas catering jobs into your career. This is one of the best ways to gain experience and make your CV even more attractive to future employers.

If you are willing to work abroad, you are bound to find a far wider variety of catering jobs available to you. This opens up the possibilities of getting a position that will help you move forward in your career. The options available are far more varied when you are open to taking on catering jobs in foreign countries.

Catering jobs abroad offer the chance to learn about foreign cooking techniques and foods. The combinations may be very different from what you are accustomed to. When you take a catering job abroad, you will find yourself constantly learning, far more so than with an overseas chefs job in a restaurant. Chefs jobs will require you to learn the techniques associated with the meals prepared for the menu. However, catering jobs require constant adaptation as you will be preparing a different menu for each contract.

Working catering jobs abroad can be a big boost to your CV. Not only will you have mastered many more techniques, but you will have references around the world! Just don�t jump from one catering job to another, as this tends to look quite bad to potential employers who will assume that you are not interested in a long term position. For overseas catering jobs, six months to a year is good and wont look bad on your work experience sheet.

While all catering jobs will add to your CV, certain countries will look better than others. For example, if you spend a year working as a caterer in France, learning French cuisine and techniques, future employers will prefer that over, say, Mexican food. Italy and Asian countries are also very popular and you will be getting more job offers if you have a few months working at catering jobs in those countries.

Catering jobs overseas can really give you an advantage over the competition back home. In some cases, you may even find higher paying positions abroad as well as lower living costs. The techniques and methods that you learn while working in another country will help you land plenty of great jobs when you return.
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Catering Jobs at Sea

Even in this recession companies like Carnival Cruise are able to turn a profit at a ten percent growth rate. This means that the cruise industry is not doing as badly as some in the media would lead you to believe. Given this fact it means that companies like Carnival Cruise will be able to hire more chefs and catering companies to feed their guest while they are at sea.

Sometimes when working in a catering job at sea it is good to designate certain responsibilities to certain people. For example if you know someone is particularly good at making the pastries for the catering order you will leave them on pastry duty. An average salary for a high end pastry maker on the high seas can be from eleven hundred dollars to fifteen hundred dollars per month. This is a good salary depending upon how reputable the company truly is. Catering jobs can be tough because the food that is prepared will not always please everyone. The important thing to keep in mind is to keep a smile on your face and take any constructive criticism that is offered.

Catering jobs at sea can be all about presentation almost more so than the quality of the food itself. Sometimes when people think the dishes look less than appealing they will refuse to eat them even if the dishes are actually quite good when it gets down to it. Making the presentation of the food look good could cause a promotion and a raise in pay for the staff members involved that did a good job. This sort of thing can be particularly important when you are dealing with corporate clients. In order to close a business deal you sometimes have to treat people like royalty. Treating them like royalty could mean making them any kind of drink that they want, so you have to have experienced people on staff. Disney cruise lines also want people in the food catering business at sea who can think on their feet in order to fill some of the unique requests kids can come up with.
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Catering Jobs Overview

Chefs use their creativity and love of food to create delicious dishes. They work in the kitchen of a restaurant or in outside catering.

Chefs may start as commis chefs (junior or apprentice chefs). They learn about each of the different sections of the kitchen, how to make sauces and desserts, and how to cook meat and fish. They also learn how to use kitchen equipment safely.

Chefs de partie run a section of the kitchen, such as sauces or pastries, or dealing with a range of dishes from the menu, such as all the cold dishes.
Head chefs are in charge of the whole kitchen, the quality of the food and the teams of chefs. They plan the menus, order supplies of ingredients, manage the budget, and keep the kitchen running efficiently.

Food hygiene and health and safety are an essential part of a chef’s job.

Chefs almost always work shifts and may have to put in overtime during busy periods. Most chefs have to work late into the evening and during weekends and bank holidays. Part-time, casual or seasonal work may be available at special events.

Large, busy kitchens are hot, steamy, noisy and hectic places, and chefs are on their feet in the kitchen for most of the time.

Salaries for chefs range from around �8,000 up to �50,000, or more.

Chefs need to:

  • enjoy cooking
  • stay calm under pressure and cope with several tasks at once
  • work as part of a team
  • have a real interest in food.

Each year, there are around 30,000 vacancies for chefs in Britain, and this number is thought to be rising. There are many opportunities to train and work in hotels, restaurants and bars.

Many employers offer Apprenticeships or placements with a structured training programme. There is a huge range of courses in various aspects of food preparation, including City & Guilds, NVQs/SVQs, HNCs and HNDs. It is possible to train as a chef at any age.

Large restaurants, hotels and catering services may offer training, usually as a combination of on-the-job experience and college studies.

In larger organisations, there may be opportunities to progress to head chef.

Experienced chefs may move into related jobs, such as managing the food and drinks side of a hotel business, running their own restaurant or pub, or managing a contract catering business