Catering makes most people think of mouth-watering food and delicious, thirst-quenching drinks. But jobs in catering aren’t limited to cooking or even serving food and drink. There are also admin and managerial positions, and catering sales jobs.
But if you’re a chef, you can certainly apply for a job in the catering industry, which is primarily concerned with providing food services for parties, weddings, trade shows, and other events. It generally excludes restaurants and hotels, although some well-known brands like KFC and Subway do offer catering services.
This means resumes that relate to the catering industry are very varied. You’ll find several types of examples below, and a complete sample resume at the end of the article.
Resume objective for catering
The stated objective for any catering resume will depend on the job position you are chasing. Some catering adverts mention several open positions, all of which are different.
You may even be changing a different direction in the catering industry. Perhaps, after working as a server for several years, you’ve done some cooking courses and now want to try your hand as a chef. Or maybe you’ve been a supervisor in a catering firm but now you want to try sales because it might be more lucrative.
Having decided on your direction, and found an appealing job opportunity, your first step will be to identify the specific job requirements and responsibilities that go with it.
While these will obviously differ with different job titles and in different establishments, you will need to have knowledge and experience in the industry.
For the sample objective below, we’re going to look at a job as a catering sales manager in a New York hotel. Even though it doesn’t involve cooking, it does involve coordinating the activities of those who are cooking, as well as monitoring the services provided by the banquet staff.
Thorough knowledge of international foods and Californian and French wines is essential.
Experienced catering sales manager with high standards and a thorough knowledge of the industry, including international cuisine and wines. Previously a catering assistant in charge of quality control. Clear thinker. Team player who follows directions. Ethical and honest.
Resume skills for catering
Just as your resume objective will depend on the specific job you are applying for, so too will your skills.
So, for example, if you are punting for a job as a chef, you’ll need cooking skills and probably a food handler certificate. You’ll need to have a thorough knowledge of kitchen skills too.
If you are applying for a job as a catering manager, you’ll be dealing with staff and with customers and will be involved, if not responsible for marketing as well as accounts. Management skills will be important.
If you opt for a catering sales manager position, you’ll need strong knowledge and interest in the food industry, but your skills will be supervisory and organizational. Computer literacy will also be important.
We have based the first sample resume skills (below) on those needed for a catering coordinator who is required to report to the company’s catering sales manager. The primary responsibility of this position is to ensure that catering products reach their destinations safely and on time.
The second sample is for a job as an executive banquet chef with a catering firm. The job entails health and safety responsibilities as well as overseeing the kitchen. Food planning but not cooking, and reporting to the food and beverage manager is part of the job.
Sample Skills #1
Supervisor | Coordinator | ServSafe food handler | Maths | Microsoft Word | Independent worker | Health & Safety knowledge | Printing and labeling | Inventory | Driver’s license | Work well under pressure | Problem solver
Sample Skills #2
Supervisor | Coordinator | ServSafe food handler | OSHA | Quality control | Food and beverage management | Comprehensive food knowledge | Fine dining production |Menu planning | Budgeting | Cost control
Catering work experience
It is probably true to say that most people who work in the catering industry follow one specific career path. As discussed, this might entail cooking, sales, management, or other specific tasks. And of course, your resume will detail your experience in that particular line of work.
If you have chopped and changed positions, include anything you have done that relates either to the catering industry in general, or the job in particular.
For example, if you are applying for the position as a catering sales manager and previously worked as a catering server, that is relevant experience. If you worked as a chef in a restaurant, that is also relevant, even though the new job will be totally different.
If you have done any part-time jobs that relate to catering, mention them too.
Sample Work Experience
Catering Manager 2, 2018 – 2019
Played a key leadership role that involved establishing and maintaining a high level of catering for government agencies. Trained catering staff on food presentation and service. Planned and costed menus.
- Managed a skilled catering team of more than 20 people
- Managed catered events from simple breakfast and lunch events to high-end plated dinners for thousands of guests
- Mentored the catering team
- Designed a new menu format
Best Bakery Company
Catering Coordinator, 2017 – 2018
Took full responsibility for catering orders and ensured that they were delivered efficiently and timeously. Monitored all catering-related functions in the company. Maintained an environment that was clean and comfortable.
- Increased the menu offerings available for catering customers
- Worked with the Catering Sales Manager and took responsibility for developing shipping logistics for deliveries
- Introduced the bonus of a daily loaf of bread for all catering staff
- Won the company’s best service award in 2017 and 2018
Legends Hospitality Group
Catering Server, 2016 – 2017
Responsible for delivering food and beverage items to customers. Set tables according to event specifications. Displayed food and beverages on buffet tables. Returned dirty china, glassware, and silverware for cleaning.
- Studied the companies banquet training manual and achieved an A+ when tested
- Maintained high standards of cleanliness and safety at all events
- Commended for my friendly and positive interaction with guests at events
- Promoted to catering assistant
Most catering-related jobs required knowledge of the food and beverage industry. But positions are so varied, the education and training required ranges from a high school or general educational development (GED) diploma to a degree in culinary arts.
The focus of education also varies significantly depending on whether the job is directly related to cooking, management, or service skills. So, for instance, if you want to be a chef you’d do well to have some kind of culinary degree or diploma.
If you are aiming for a management or sales position, the needs of most employers will be quite different. For example, if you are aiming to become a catering manager, and you want to climb the ladder of success, a degree or diploma in the hospitality of food service management is the way to go.
If you don’t want to go the formal study route, apprenticeship opportunities offer education and training on-the-job, which is invaluable.
Change direction mid-stream by all means! Maybe that’s why you are applying for a new job.
California Culinary Academy, 2019
Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
- Baking Pastry Le Cordon Bleu Certificate
- Culinary Arts Certification
Harper College, 2018
Food Service Management Certificate
- Hospitality, food standards, and menu planning
A wide variety of courses are available to help those opting for a career in the catering industry. Whether you already have a certificate or a degree, you can expand and extend your knowledge by taking additional courses.
Continuing education is also invaluable.
There is also a myriad of courses that lead to invaluable certifications (see next section).
Generally, people will take courses that relate directly to what they are doing. So, a catering chef might take a course in Greek cooking, pastry, sauces, or perhaps barbecue specialties – something to add to his or her skills. But a catering manager will focus on admin skills.
It’s a good idea to link in with an organization that specializes in the more specific field you have chosen to follow. If it’s food-driven, look at what the American Culinary Federation (ACF) has to offer. If it’s admin or business oriented explore the local chamber of commerce or technical college offerings.
- ACF Culinary Nutrition Certificate Program
- Event Management
- Hospitality Skills
There are certifications that can help you advance in the catering world, again depending on the direction you have opted to take.
If cooking is your career, then there are a bunch of certifications you can get from the ACF. The Federation maintains that wages for certified chefs are higher, so it’s something to consider seriously.
However, the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) is the must-have certification for anyone who is chasing a successful career in catering. Core competencies cover everything that’s important: accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts and agreements, food production, event management, human resources, and sales and marketing.
While certifications aren’t often required for catering jobs, one that does crop up relatively frequently as a prerequisite is the ServSafe Food Handler certification that is offered by the US National Restaurant Association.
- ServSafe Food Handler
- ACF Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC)
Complete catering resume sample
Once you have found the catering job of your dreams – or the next catering job that will take you up the ladder of success – follow a logical process that details everything about you that makes you the best candidate for the job.
We’ve found an example of a catering manager job that we’re going to use to show you how! Feel free to juggle the ideas to meet your needs and those of the company you hope is going to employ you.
This catering manager’s job is lucrative and it requires a degree as well as a few years of experience. While the qualifications, as such, are fairly minimal, if you can show that you have additional experience and skills, you’ll definitely be in the running.
When crafting your resume, you will need to be sure that you are showing your potential new employer that you have the abilities required to do the job. Better still, you will show that you are the best person for the job!
Qualified and experienced catering manager with key marketing experience. Thrives initiating new business opportunities. Excellent data processing skills. Ready to develop exciting new menus and catering events. Responsible and reliable, ready to rock.
Microsoft Office | POS systems | Supervisory and management skills | Marketing background | Culinary and business catering skills | Maths and database experience | Communication | Team leader | Orders | Hiring and firing | Staff training
Four Seasons Catering
Assistant Catering Specialist, 2018 – 2019
Facilitated all catering-related activities for the company including preparation of orders and delivery. Communicated with clients and guests on delivery. Handled questions, concerns, and issues. Answered questions about menu items.
- Assisted with menu design and presentation
- Increased regular client list by more than 50%
- Introduced a new marketing strategy
- Well equipped to work according to company safety rules and guidelines
The Golf Club
Catering Sales Assistant, 2016 – 2017
Responsible for maintaining consistently high levels of guest service for the company. Dealt with members and coordinated functions. Responsible for all elements of catering from food to flowers.
- Achieved record sales for the company in 2017
- Responsibilities included maintaining a record of lost business: there was only one in the two-years I was with company
- Rewarded with a double holiday bonus in 2016
- Implemented successful cost savings that increased the company’s profit both years
- ServSafe Food Handler
University of Alaska Anchorage
Associate Degree in Culinary Arts, 2015 – 2016
- Concentrations included a la carte kitchen, advance bakery, and hospitality service
Cornell Hotel School (eCornell)
Food and Beverage Management Certificate, 2015
- Hospitality Skills (online course)
Catering is a surprisingly wide occupation that includes not only cooks but also lots of supervisors, managers, and salespeople to make it work. Some of the key ideas to consider include:
- Typically, catering involves food services that don’t involve restaurants, hotels, and so on.
- The most recent research stats indicate that as of May 2017, more than 13-million people were employed in the US in jobs that involved food preparation and serving. That’s a really big WOW factor for catering. But the reality is that most of them were in the restaurant trade, which is not the same as the catering trade.
- Catering operations are usually carried out as part of larger businesses that are in hospitality, or as standalone facilities. Some are commercial, but a lot aren’t. The latter cater for education, healthcare, transport, recreational, transportation (including trucks and airlines), and social organizations. Make sure your resume shows you fit the bill.
- The North American catering industry had an estimated $11.8 billion of industry sales in 2019, and it is expected to continue growing for at least the next five years to 2025. Help your resume make you a part of the action.
Tips from Experts
“What’s fueling the business catering market? Changes in how people work. The rise of the gig economy and more flexible work arrangements means employers have to fight to keep talented staff working in their offices, and they’ve quickly learned that food is a great incentive.” – Jim Rand, Author and Catering Guru
There is no doubt that there are substantial job opportunities in the catering industry. And just because it focuses on food, doesn’t mean you have to be able to cook to make a good living in the industry.
The catering industry offers a wide range of career opportunities from top management to cleaning staff. What makes it really exciting is the fact that you don’t need to own a venue or a building to be able to cater to customers. The catering industry, quite literally, caters for anyone, anywhere!