A catering coordinator manages the catering department of a restaurant or other food service provider and oversees catering crews as they plan and prepare to serve food at events such as wedding receptions, office functions, large parties, and so on. Typically, he/she is also expected to be something of a public face for their operation, and as such utilize social and marketing skills to entice new customers and maintain the satisfaction of current ones.
Managerial and organizational skills are very important qualities for catering coordinators, as they are responsible for meeting with clients to plan events and menus, ordering event supplies, assembling catering teams of waiters, servers, bartenders, chefs, and cleaning staff for events, and overseeing them as they work. Overseeing safety and sanitation is also essential, and requires complete familiarity with health codes and food safety. Because catering coordinators are also responsible for receiving and processing food deliveries, in-depth knowledge of the catering menu is needed; this allows them to help clients plan menus that they will truly enjoy.
While there are no formal educational requirements for the position, experience in food service is a necessity, and many who pursue this career serve an apprenticeship with an already-established catering coordinator. Typically, catering coordinators are not expected to act jointly as chefs, although culinary education is highly desirable, and those pursuing in this position may wish to earn an Associate’s degree in Catering and Food Service Management.
Catering Coordinator Tasks
Plan, organize and coordinate all aspects of events using catering services.
Investigate and resolve catering issues regarding food, rentals, sanitation and safety.
Communicate catering plans with other departments/partners such as venue, rental company and food vendors.
Design catering plan including floor plans, food and beverage menus, and equipment/supply rentals with in coordination with each client.
Market and sell catering business to new and existing customers including referrals.