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Catering manager: Job description

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Catering managers plan, organise and develop the food and beverage services of organisations and businesses, while meeting customer expectations, food and hygiene standards and financial targets.

The role varies according to the size and nature of the business. In a small establishment, the catering manager usually has a hands-on role and is involved in the day-to-day running of the operation including staff supervision and events management.

In larger organisations, however, the catering manager might have other managers and supervisors to handle the different catering functions and catering outlets.

Catering managers can work in-house for a variety of organisations, including hospitals, schools, factories, prisons, cruise lines, hotel chains, universities and visitor attractions, or can work for a contract catering company providing services to a range of clients.

Typical work activities

The day to day routine of a catering manager is likely to vary greatly but can include:

  • managing the food and beverage provision for functions and events;
  • supervising catering and waiting staff at functions;
  • planning menus in consultation with chefs;
  • recruiting and training permanent and casual staff;
  • organising, leading and motivating the catering team;
  • planning staff shifts and rotas;
  • ensuring health and safety regulations are strictly observed;
  • budgeting and establishing financial targets and forecasts;
  • monitoring the quality of the product and service provided;
  • keeping financial and administrative records;
  • managing the payroll and monitoring spending levels;
  • maintaining stock levels and ordering new supplies as required;
  • interacting with customers if involved with front of house work;
  • liaising with suppliers and clients;
  • negotiating contracts with customers, assessing their requirements and ensuring they are satisfied with the service delivered (in contract catering);
  • ensuring compliance with all fire, licensing, and employment regulations;
  • maximising sales and meeting profit and financial expectations.

In more senior posts, principal tasks involve:

  • setting and agreeing budgets;
  • monitoring quality standards;
  • overseeing the management of facilities, e.g. checking event bookings and allocation of resources/staff;
  • planning new promotions and initiatives, and contributing to business development;
  • dealing with staffing and client issues;
  • keeping abreast of trends and developments in the industry, such as menus, trends in consumer tastes and management issues.

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AGCAS
Written by Janice Montgomery, University of Aberdeen
Date: 
March 2013
 
 

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