catering

More than Making Meals: Duties of a Caterer

Turn a passion for cooking and serving delicious food into a lucrative career in event catering in Melbourne. Caterers prepare, cook and serve food items for parties, events and meetings. While some clients prefer to take care of the food service for their guests, other clients require the caterers to transport the food to a specific location and set up for the event. Those are just some items on a caterer’s to-do list. If you are looking to venture into this line of work, here are some of the duties you can expect to take on.

Making Menus

Caterers normally offer two types of menus: customisable menus and set menus. No matter the approach, the caterer must create a menu with a variety of dishes and meal choices. Food items may include salads, sandwiches, appetizers, entrees, desserts or other food that best suits the client’s needs. Since caterers often have to feed a large group of people with different dietary needs – some may be vegetarians or vegans, while some may have allergies – it is best that they prepare a variety of options. At this stage, there will likely also be a lot of coordination between the caterer and the client, as well as the event organizer, if any.

Preparing Food

This is the most important duty of a caterer. Aside from preparing delicious, high-quality meals that are appetising to look at, upholding food safety regulations and health and sanitary standards is a must for every caterer. There are legal reasons as well as ethical ones for caterers to ensure the quality and safety of the food they prepare. Additionally, caterers must be conscious of the portions that they serve so as to avoid a loss of profit and a waste of food, as well as the possibility of under serving guests. Of course, before the actual food prep caterers must also source their ingredients and supplies, ensuring the freshness and quality of everything that goes into the dishes.

Transporting Food

The capacity to efficiently transport food is essential to catering jobs. Caterers must be aware of proper handling and packing techniques for hot food, like pasta dishes and meats, and chilled food, like cold cuts and salads. They must also have the proper packing material and food storage equipment for transport to avoid both spillage and spoilage.

Setting Up

Even if the venue already has the dining area arranged, caterers are expected to set up the food service area or create a buffet-style set up where guests can serve themselves. This is where it is vital to have a knowledge of what makes for an efficient but eye-catching setup. Caterers should also have the essential serving platters, chafing dishes, decorative items, and the like.

Event Coordination

Many times, catering is delivered to parties that have a set sequence of events. For these parties and events, caterers and their staff will have to work closely with the event coordinator to ensure that the meals are going to be served at the correct time. For example, catering staff may serve appetizers while the guests are being received, but once the event has gone into full swing, servers may have to leave the dining area until the time to start table service has begun.

Food Services

catering service

Once everything has been set up, the food is prepared and the guests are ready to eat, it is one of the caterer’s duties to serve the food. Depending on the nature of the event, specifically, if it’s a sit-down, plated meal, the caterer’s service staff may have to do table service directly to the guests’ tables and clear finished plates in between each course.

Cleaning Up

The last thing that caterers must do is clean up their serving area. They must collect all the dishes, cutlery and glasses and pack up any leftover food and serving equipment.

Caterers have a lot of responsibilities and duties to perform beyond cooking the food. They are responsible for everything from making a menu to cleaning up. However, if you have a passion for this kind of work, these responsibilities are ones that you will be more than willing to take.

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