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Job Description of an Assistant Catering Manager

An assistant catering manager requires some formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

Assistant catering managers manage the team of workers preparing and serving food, and they assist the general manager and head chef. They may have administrative responsibilities to aid a head catering manager, such as paperwork, hiring or training.

Essential Information

An assistant catering manager oversees a staff of food service workers in the preparation and delivery of food and beverages. Vocational training is often preferred by employers, and experience in the food service industry is typically required. Certification is recommended for those seeking management positions.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; vocational training preferred
Other Requirements Experience in the food service industry
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 5% for all food service managers*
Median Salary (2016) $41,123**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Assistant Catering Manager Job Description

Assistant catering managers help general managers and executive chefs in supervising the daily operations of a catering business. They may work in restaurants or hotels, but may also travel to various venues to direct the food services of banquets, weddings and other catered events.

Managing a staff of food preparers, cooks, servers and other banquet employees is often the responsibility of the assistant manager. The main focus of catering management is ensuring customer satisfaction, which often involves responding to customer complaints and resolving operational issues quickly and quietly with minimal disturbance to the catered event.

Assistant managers are also responsible for a variety of administrative tasks that are often delegated by the general manager. Along with scheduling shifts, assistant managers may maintain employee records, prepare payroll and manage inventory. They often hire staff members and train them in food hygiene, safety procedures and customer service.

Salary and Benefits Information

According to PayScale.com, annual wages for catering managers ranged from $29,586 to $56,701 as of 2016. Assistant catering managers often enjoy occupational benefits, such as free meals and drinks. Some earn bonuses or commissions for delivering exceptional performance and increasing company profits through sales. Employers may also offer additional food service management training to qualified candidates.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of food service managers was expected to increase by 5% from 2014 to 2024. While food service management opportunities in recreation and retail businesses may increase, overall job growth would be stunted by a projected decline in dining establishments.

Training Programs

Experience working in the food service industry is an important factor in obtaining one of the limited positions available in catering management. In addition, employers often prefer applicants who have completed formal training in food and beverage management. Certificate and associate's degree programs are offered by community colleges and technical schools that prepare students for entry-level supervisory positions in catering and hospitality. Courses typically include food service operations, food preparation, catering management and hospitality purchasing.

Professional Certification

Certification is available for managers and assistant managers who have experience in the catering profession. The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) offers a Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) designation that requires passing an aptitude and skills assessment exam. NACE also holds training programs for all levels of catering management. Similarly, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) offers a Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification. FMP candidates must have at least three years of experience or equivalent, hold the NRA's Food Protection Manager Certification and pass a two-section exam.

Aspiring assistant catering managers may coordinate staff, oversee food prep and deliveries, and supervise other tasks at the discretion of the catering manager. These professionals need work experience in the food service industry, and they may have certification in professional catering or foodservice management.

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