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Jobs in the Catering Industry – How Much Experience Do I Need?

Author: DigitalElder

Published date: 2020/10

Catering Jobs In London

​Office jobs certainly aren’t for everyone. If you have a keen interest in cooking and hospitality and like the idea of spending your days in a practical role, rather than behind a computer screen, then a job in the catering industry could be the career for you. Offering a variety of opportunities in an abundance of different venues and businesses, there are lots of positions available in this career path. If you’re the type of person that thrives in a busy, hands-on environment, and are willing to start at the bottom and work your way up, then the catering industry offers some exciting options even if you are lacking in experience.

Catering Assistant – A Great Place to Start

The role of a catering assistant is to help in the kitchen as much as they can, this might mean preparing food, cleaning, checking stock, accepting deliveries and serving food. This is a great position to get your foot in the door and begin your career. Not only will you get to try new foods, and learn the workings of the business from the ground up, you will learn a variety of new skills and gain experience in many different aspects of catering. Formal training or experience for this role is not always essential, a positive can-do attitude and a willingness to take on any catering task handed to you will get you a long way. In fact, many caterers would rather train someone to do things their way rather than have an experienced person come in and try to change things.

Main tasks or responsibilities in this role might be:

  • Cleaning the kitchen including work surfaces, walls and floors

  • Taking orders

  • Washing dishes and kitchen appliances

  • Unloading deliveries

  • Basic food preparation such as peeling and chopping

  • Plating up food

  • Serving food

  • Maintaining stock

  • Preparing the dining area such as cleaning and setting tables

Qualifications to Work in the Catering Industry

Whilst not all roles require experience or training, there are a number of certificate and associate degrees in catering and culinary skills available through accredited schools for culinary arts and management that help provide a strong foundation for catering job aspirants. Depending on the role you wish to pursue you may or may not need any formal training, or you could choose to undertake a course in conjunction with your employment to up-skill yourself and help you move up the chain.

Aside from professional qualifications, you will also need skills and abilities in the following areas:

  • Great customer service skills

  • Good communication skills

  • The ability to work as part of a team

  • The ability to follow instructions

  • High standards of hygiene

  • Ability to keep calm under pressure

Developing Your Catering Career

There could be exciting times ahead, because once you have proven yourself in an entry level role, there are endless opportunities if you are willing to work hard. With dedication and experience you can work your way up the ladder and eventually end up in a management role. Or if you find you like a particular aspect of the industry such as cooking then you could progress in a trainee chef role. If you tire from being behind the scenes, then you could move into a front of house role. You could even start your own catering business after a few years of experience in the industry. There are many perks to working for yourself within the industry but you will definitely need the skills, training, and experience before you could consider this.

Experience isn’t everything, if you have the right attitude and willingness to learn then the catering industry could be the perfect option for you. You could land a job in a school, a café or restaurant, a hotel, a hospital, function venue, the armed forces or even on a luxury cruise ship and by working hard you could find yourself high up the chain or even running your own business within a few years.

Looking for a catering job in London? Or have a vacancy in your catering business? PRS jobs are the experts in matching the right role with the right candidate. Contact us today and develop your career in the catering industry.