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Becoming a Caterer

Caterer Salary

Everyone knows what a good caterer can provide in terms of making any event a success. Often times, the first comments about a particular function tend to be “The food was ” or, unfortunately, …”not so good”. A caterer can make or break the success of an important event, and the caterers do well because they have earned the trust and confidence of their clients. Today, the competition between caterers is stronger than ever. However, those who can meet the growing needs of their clients with increasingly popular natural foods and healthier menus ultimately have an edge on their competitors. For this reason, a degree or certificate in natural foods catering can give you the skills needed to succeed in today’s catering environment.

Catering Duties

Often times, caterers work in specific areas of food or events. Others choose variety over any particular specialization. Some caterers work on their own, hiring assistance on a project-basis, while others join or begin their own company. A successful caterer will be able to excel in a variety of different tasks and chenges.

A caterer works closely with clients and customers, many times on a project-basis, to provide the following services for any number of different types of functions:

  • Design of Menu
  • Event Preparation of Dining Experience or Theme Including Supply Necessary Cooking & Dining Equipment
  • Food Preparation & Service
  • Event Breakdown & Cleanup
  • Sales & Marketing

Degree or certificate training in natural foods catering will provide the skills and experience needed to succeed in theses areas and more. Catering program graduates possess the tools to succeed over their competitors in the industry who do not possess this advantage. However, the caterers also possess skills that ow them to succeed independent of what they learn in the classroom. A good catering degree or certificate program will provide instruction to cultivate these skills, including creativity, both in the food and environment of the events they cater, social skills including client management and customer service, and business savvy for those that wish to take their catering business to that next level.

Natural Foods Catering Salary & Career Outlook

Catering is a fast growing industry. Although it has slowed from its peak in the 1990’s and early 2000’s where it was one of the fastest growing industries in the US, according to the Global Gourmet, an online catering industry monitor, it still outpaces most industries, including other food service industries, in North America. Institutional catering, most often including the catering business to colleges and universities, hospitals, nursing homes and business campuses, is the highest grossing catering business in 2010. However, social catering, the catering to civic groups, charities, corporations and businesses and individuals including weddings, birthdays and other special events, will be the fastest growing over the coming decade.

Over employment of caterers in the US is expected to be over 10 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, food and beverage supply workers could increase by nearly 800,000 people during this time, while the addition of natural and healthier catering companies should grow fastest of within the industry. According to Payscale.com, an online industry salary monitor, catering professionals and executives can expect to earn between $42,000 and $60,000 per year while those who own their own catering companies can expect significantly more.

A industry pay scale is listed below:

Natural Foods Catering Position
Annual Salary (2010)
Catering Sales Manager
$42,000
Catering Manager
$42,000
Banquet Manager
$48,000
Catering Executive
$49,000<
Executive Chef
$55,000

Culinary Degree Schools

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            Culinary Management (BS)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
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            Culinary Arts - AS
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Food Service Management
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
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            Cooking & Catering
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            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management - Associate
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • A private post-secondary institution of higher education serving south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland since 1967.
            • Offers associate degrees in specialized business and specialized technology, as well as programs leading to professional certifications and diplomas.
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            Associate of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management
            Get your career started with an education from Spencerian College. Earn your certificate, diploma, or associate degree for a career in the allied health, technology, or business administration fields.
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            Associate of Science in Culinary Arts
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            Culinary Arts

            Dorsey has been a trusted career training school in Michigan for over 80 years!


            We offer training programs designed to prepare our students for careers in fields such as healthcare, beauty, culinary, and skilled trades

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            AAS Degree in Culinary Arts
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
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            Culinary Arts
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
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            • Dedicated to providing a hands-on, personal approach to education since 1946.
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            DIP - Culinary Arts
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
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