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How do I Become a Corporate Caterer?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There is no formal education required to become a corporate caterer. Training in food services, marketing, and business management can help. Experience as an event planner, in the business world, or working in a catering company can also help you become a corporate caterer.

Most colleges do not offer specific degree programs in corporate catering, but many offer courses that can assist you in starting. Look for courses in food preparation, food preservation, food transportation and safety, food purchasing, and management. All of these courses can provide you with valuable training. Much of this can also be self-taught through personal reading, study, and possibly internships.

To become a corporate cater it is usually essential to know how to cook well. The ability to create delicious and beautiful dishes is more often than not what will keep customers coming back to use your catering services. Knowing how to cook foods in large quantities can be a strength when deciding to become a corporate caterer.

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Knowledge of how to prepare a food menu, price your services, choose food suppliers, and what equipment and supplies to use are all integral parts of a successful catering business. Pairing complimentary foods together on your menu can create a cohesive meal for your clients. Pricing yourself too high will likely result in losing business, yet pricing yourself too low can create problems with covering costs and overhead. Many catering companies use a mixture of locally grown food and national food supply chains for their food supply. Some supplies and equipment can be purchased from restaurant supply stores and some can even be bought secondhand, resulting in deep discounts off new prices.

Once you have the basics of the culinary side of the business under control, it is time to focus on the business sense needed to become a corporate caterer. Knowledge of basic office machinery, customer service, and business etiquette can be essential. Again, a great deal of this can be self-taught, but formal courses can be taken as well.

Even though you will be working primarily with food in corporate catering, knowing how to operate basic office machinery will help with management of the business. You may need to take phone calls, set up client consultation appointments, and schedule deliveries, among other things. Having exceptional customer service skills can put your clients at ease and help you control possibly explosive situations.

Experience as an event planner can give you valuable knowledge of how to locate corporate catering clients. Many times you will need to either build on current relationships or personally go to businesses with samples of your work to build a client base. Offering to cater events for free or at a deep discount can help you advertise your business as well.

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