Catering is a vital part of the hospitality industry. Whether you’re working in catering or the management of catering in a hotel, restaurant or your own catering company, it is important to have the right knowledge and skills in order to carry out a service of high quality and standards.
There are a number of postgraduate courses you can choose from that will help you in the area of catering from a business and management point of view to gaining a better understanding of the industry and understanding what goes into the role of a catering manager/caterer.
Let’s take a look and see if any of these courses cater for your needs (pardon the pun!!)
Duties of a catering manager
The day to day duties of a catering manager may differ depending on your employment – are you working in a hotel type of setting or running your own business? For the moment, we will focus on catering in the tourism and hospitality industry related to working within a hotel setting and give you an idea of what the job description looks like. The duties mostly apply across the board in different employment settings. As a catering manager in the hospitality industry, you may have to work unsocial hours including shift work, weekend and bank holidays. Duties carried out may include:
- Menu planning alongside chefs
- Order necessary supplies
- Organise rotas for staff
- Ensure all health and safety regulations are met
- Budget planning and monitoring
- Maintain financial records
- Administration recording
- Hire, train and supervise staff
- Ensure quality and a high standard of services is carried out
There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Coivd-19 and may offer courses online. Courses available include:
Hotel and Food Services Management
A lot of the postgraduate courses in Hotel and Food Services Management are aimed at those who have not previously studied the topic but would like to move in that direction with their careers. The key areas of these courses include accommodation management, food and drink and the food service sector. Students will gain the necessary skills in order to be involved in analytical, developmental and strategic perspectives of the industry.
Food Business Management
Postgraduate courses in food business management are based around internships for students. The hands-on approach will allow students to develop their ability to design, manage and lead developments in the food industry. Students will gain an understanding of issues facing managers within the industry as well as interacting with both theory and practice.
Other courses available in this area include International Tourism and Hospitality Management and Hospitality and Event Management.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1. A degree in a relevant area is helpful but not always necessary.
The salary of a catering manager may differ depending on your employment, experience and location of your job. It is believed the average salary of a catering manager can vary from £29,000 to £39,000 in the UK, depending on experience and employment type. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
Employers of catering managers may include:
- Holiday resorts
- Cruise liners
- Conference centres
- Nursing homes
- Tourist attractions
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements helpful in this area include
- Excellent communication skills
- Financial and budgeting skills
- Ability to make decision (under pressure)
- Good business mind
- Interpersonal skills
- Commercial awareness
- Ability to act quickly to problems
- Stock taking skills
- Ability to work well under pressure and work in a high pressure environment
- A good knowledge of food and food hygiene
- Time management skills
- Ability to build relationships with staff and customers
- Exceptional organisational skills
- Leadership skills – ability to lead a diverse work force