Catering Coordinator Job Description
Whether working on a large-scale event like a wedding, or a smaller affair such as a holiday brunch at an office, a Catering Coordinator plans, prepares and oversees all aspects of an event’s food service. From creating menus, to supervising the catering crew, Catering Coordinators ensure their clients get the most pleasant and appetizing experience possible. Catering Coordinators work in a variety of settings, including restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and catering companies.
Catering Coordinators often supervise a catering crew and work closely with other staff, such as chefs and event planners. Catering Coordinators are a part of the food service managers sector, which is expected to grow 5 percent through 2024, adding an estimated 15,700 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Catering Coordinators Duties and Responsibilities
The type of company a Catering Coordinator works for will greatly determine their duties and responsibilities. There are, however, several common primary duties nearly all Catering Coordinators can expect to perform. A review of current job listings identified the following main responsibilities.
Book and Plan Events
Catering Coordinators spend a large part of their time creating, arranging and implementing various culinary events. This may include menu planning, room setup, service supervision and billing services, just to name a few tasks. The Catering Coordinator will also assemble a catering team based on the type of event. They will work with servers, bartenders, chefs and vendors to ensure the appropriate services and amount of staff are prepared for the event. Catering Coordinators may also order supplies for events or may direct staff to make the purchases.
A Catering Coordinator is expected to meet with clients to discuss their event, answering any questions they may have, conduct property tours, promote facilities and services and draft contracts and agreements. Responding promptly to new client inquiries and current clients’ requests are vital tasks. It is the job of the Catering Coordinator to actively pursue potential clients and secure their business.
Sell Services and Facilities
The Catering Coordinator works with various vendors and venues to provide clients with quality fare and facilities for their events. Selling the services of these vendors is one of the most important duties of a Catering Coordinator. Even for Catering Coordinators working in settings that largely produce all services in-house, such as hotels, sales are important. Instead of selling other vendors services, they focus on their company’s upgrades and top tier packages.
Catering Coordinator Skills
Catering Coordinators are highly organized and have a real desire to provide great customer service. They must be expert problem solvers and work well in a fast-paced environment. Being able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with clients, vendors and staff is imperative, as well. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Catering Coordinators with these core skills. If you want to work as a Catering Coordinator, focus on the following.
- Planning events, directing staff and delegating hands-on duties
- Creating and following budgets
- Understanding food preparation and catering practices
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, such as Word and Excel
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your repertoire of skills and broaden your career options.
- Project management experience
- Experience in sales
Catering Coordinator Resources
There are some helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Catering Coordinator. We scoured the Internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
Jays Catering Co. – Get tips, ideas and learn about latest trends in catering by following this popular Southern California catering company’s blog.
24 Carrots – This catering company blogs mainly about wedding services, but provides beautiful pictures of events and food and gives insight into what is trending in wedding catering at the moment.
@UOCatering – The University of Oregon tweets pictures, recipes and news about the catering events on their campus on this often updated feed.
@ReemCatering – Get recipes and ideas from this British catering company.
The National Association for Catering and Events – The NACE is the first national organization for caterers and event professionals. They offer education opportunities, certification assistance, and the chance to network with like-minded professionals.
Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management – The SHFM is a society for those who oversee workplace hospitality and all facets of corporate food service. They offer conferences, networking events, career development assistance and educational and research resources.
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