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Catering Manager $42,000
Catering Specialist $46,000
Catering Assistant $40,000
is the business of providing food
service at a remote site or a site such
as a hotel, public house (pub), or other
from box-lunch drop-off to full-service
catering. When most people refer to a
"caterer", they are referring to an
event caterer who serves food with
waiting staff at dining tables or sets
up a self-serve buffet. The food may be
prepared on site, i.e., made completely
at the event, or the caterer may choose
to bring prepared food and put the
finishing touches on once it arrives.
caterer staff are not responsible for
preparing the food but often help set up
the dining area. This service is
typically provided at banquets,
conventions and weddings. Any
event where all who attend are provided
with food and drinks or sometimes only
hors d'oeurves is often called a
events require working with an entire
theme or color scheme. A catering
company or specialist is expected to
know how to prepare food and to make it
attractive. As such, certain catering
companies have moved toward a
full-service business model commonly
associated with event planners. They
take charge of not only food preparation
but also decorations, such as table
settings and lighting. The trend
is towards satisfying all the clients
senses with food as a focal point. With
the correct atmosphere, professional
event caterers with experience can make
an event special and memorable.
Beautifully prepared food alone can
appeal to the senses of taste, smell,
and sight - perhaps even touch, but the
decorations and ambiance can play a
significant part in a successfully
is often sold on a per-person basis,
meaning that there is a flat price for
each additional person. However, things
like lighting and fire permits are not
scaled with the guest count, so
per-person pricing is not always
appropriate. It is necessary to keep the
cost of the food and supplies below a
price margin in order to make a profit
on the catering.
others in the food service industry,
caterers and their staff work long
hours. It is not uncommon for them to
work on holidays or 7 days a week during
holiday event seasons.
comprehensive, formal full-service
catering proposal is likely to include
the following time-line matters.
Each of these factors affects the
Rental arrival time
Staff arrival time
Manage your Catering Career
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For example, a rental quote for
an "anytime" weekday delivery is usually much more
economical than an "exact-time" delivery.
- General menu
considerations: Clients may have specific dietary or
religious needs to consider. these include Kosher,
Vegetarian, Vegan and Food Allergy requests.
Increasingly, clients are interested in food
sustainability and food safety.
- Hors d'oeuvres: it
should be clear if these are passed or stationary. Most
caterers agree that three or four passed items are
appropriate for the one-hour period prior to a meal.
- Meal Rentals: May
include tables, chairs, dance floor, plants, tabletop
(china, flatware, glassware, linens, chargers), bar
glassware, serving equipment, salt/peppers, etc. It
should be clear whether table and chair setup and
take-down is included. Most rental companies do not
automatically include setup and take-down in the rental
- Labor: varies from
caterer to caterer, but generally speaking, an event
will have a Lead/Captain/Event Manager, a Chef, perhaps
a Sous Chef or Kitchen Assistant, Wait staff and
Bartenders. The labor on a plated dinner is generally
much higher than the labor on a buffet, because a plated
dinner involves double the china, and usually a minimum
of three served courses, plus served coffee. Simply put,
there's a lot more to do. To do it properly requires
roughly 10 to 50% more staff. On a large event, this can
be substantial, especially if overtime or doubletime
- Service Charge: Sales
Tax, Some quotes will include lighting,liquor permit,
fire permits, draping, florals, valet and coat check.
Many venues discreetly get a "cut" of the catering bill.
Caterers are contractually committed to not disclose
this fee specifically in their contracts with the
clients. Therefore, catering will sometimes cost
substantially more at one venue versus another. Also,
caterers must compete with illegal operators. A
legitimate caterer will have a business license and a
health permit both showing the address of the place from
which they do business.
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