now browsing by author
Catering is an industry where you will usually be expected to have a qualification of some kind. This proves that you are competent and understand the processes that are essential to what you are doing, like good food hygiene and good ingredient storage. There are lots of ways in which you can gain a qualification.
There are lots of different qualifications you may earn, including a Diploma in Professional Cookery, an NVQ in Hospitality, a Diploma in Patisserie and Confectionery, and many more. The qualification you decide on will depend on your ambitions for your career. For example, if you also want to work with customers in food service, and not just in the kitchen, you will also want some food service skills.
If you are going to gain a qualification, check what careers it can lead to and find a college where you can study at times to suit you.
More and more pubs are offering food and many are now known as gastropubs. For caterers, this provides a wealth of opportunity. Many pubs are teaming up with local caterers to offer food and bar snacks to their customers, without having to have their own chef. Here are some of the benefits:
- It’s good for business. Customers will now often expect a pub to offer a good food menu as well as their usual selection of drinks. A delicious menu can bring in new business.
- Pubs can advertise that they are using local suppliers. There is currently a large emphasis on where food is coming from and who is providing it. By showing they work with local caterers, pubs can boost their reputation.
- Pubs will be able to outsource all their food requirements. Caterers can prepare lots of the food off site and simple put the finishing touches to it in the kitchen.
As with any business, a catering business needs to be advertised to obtain and retain customers. People need to know that the business exists and what it is able to offer. These are some of the ways in which to advertise catering services:
• Make the building itself noticeable. Choose a branded awning for the entrance and make sure signage is clear. It should be clear what the business does – have some images that suggest high-quality food and catering.
• Use print advertising. Distribute leaflets to the local area or place an advert in a relevant magazine. Focus on quality again and make the catering services look professional and the food look delicious!
• Advertise online. It’s easy to advertise on a range of online platforms, from social media to websites and search engines. Put together a campaign that targets the right people and again make use of images. If you’ve catered a successful wedding or have made a beautiful cake, use photos to show your actual work.
Wedding catering is a big task, and wedding dinners do not often go unforgotten. This means there’s a great deal of pressure on the catering company to make sure the food is prepared and made quickly, and then dished out quickly too, so no guest is left to wait for their meal.
It’s important that every table eats at the same time, and several delays can lead to bigger issues, such as delayed speeches, entertainment and dances. Depending on the type of food served and the number of guests, large catering teams may be needed.
Buffet style dinners are a lot easier to manage, and it tends to be a case of just making sure there is food always at the ready. Hog roast buffets are very popular, while traditionally served meals can take more time to prepare.
As a caterer, you also have to make sure you can provide for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs among others. There’s no doubt that catering is a big job, but the hardest part is handling the pressure.
Catering is often seen as integral part of any event, one which everybody expects to see and enjoy. It gives the people running the event the piece of mind to leave it to the professionals, and it allows everybody else the freedom to enjoy professional standard food.
Depending upon which type of catering job you’re doing, you will have to prepare different types of food, and present it in a different way:
For weddings, you need to prepare high quality food which blends well with the decorations, as well as the atmosphere that the bride and groom are trying to create.
For promotional events, you want to provide some nice food, but you don’t really want it to detract any attention away from what the client is trying to promote.
For corporate catering, where you deliver food to a big meeting, your main task is to provide balanced, tasty meals that would otherwise take too long for them to prepare themselves. This gives them a good start on their day, and allows them to focus on what’s important; their work!
For social events, such as birthdays, home warmings, and baby showers, there are certainly similarities to weddings, in that you’re there with friends and family, but the demands aren’t quite as high. What you want for this are some nice, fun, tasty food which gives people something to nibble on while they enjoy themselves and socialise.