Caterers work in the food service industry and their job is to order prepare and deliver food for individuals or groups in various settings. They need excellent organizational and management skills because they are often under pressure to deliver food for weddings parties receptions business meetings and social gatherings. All these jobs require them to be on time and to provide impeccable service.
A skilled caterer must be able to communicate with clients as to their needs and preferences for the menu and the type of service they desire. They must be able to provide clients with an accurate estimate on what the cost will be. In addition they are responsible for ordering ingredients and storing them under proper conditions and they must work with the chef who will be preparing the menu to make sure the clients' requests are fulfilled.
Caterers often select and hire the staff they need for various jobs and train them to adhere to high service as well as food safety standards. In addition caterers must keep accurate expense records and bill clients according to an agreed upon rate. Caterers can work individually or on teams.
Some are self-taught but most have at least a two-year college degree in food and beverage management or hospitality management and some attend culinary schools. They can become certified if they complete a program run by the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE). Caterers are required to obtain a catering license issued by the state in which they work and State inspectors visit them periodically to ensure that the required standards of cleanliness are maintained.
Annual earnings for caterers vary widely depending on their experience as well on their business and marketing skills. The website Jobdescriptionsguide.com says that annual salaries for caterers range from approximately $23000 to $200000.