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Catering manager: Career development

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During the early stages of your career, it is quite likely that you will work in a number of different types of catering roles in order to gain a broad range of experience, perhaps doing a mixture of contract catering and in-house work. You will normally start by working in a supervisory role, then moving up to become assistant catering manager before progressing to the position of catering manager.

Promotion prospects are generally good for those with ability, strong interpersonal skills and a high level of motivation. It is quite common for people to gain roles of management responsibility quite early on in their careers. Typically, graduates move from supervisor to catering manager and then either food and beverage director (in hotel chains) or assistant manager (in smaller hotels) or catering directors (in the public sector).

Choosing to work for a well-established company can lead to a broader range of opportunities and greater support for training and development. Some of the larger hotels and catering organisations also operate overseas, so there are opportunities for foreign placements.

Experienced catering managers may choose to set up their own contract catering business, supplying food to a range of organisations and businesses.

The role of catering manager offers the chance to gain highly transferable management skills and, in large organisations, it is possible to move into other functions, such as marketing, sales, human resource management, training and facilities management.

Written by Janice Montgomery, University of Aberdeen
March 2013

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