Food service manager
Catering managers run the food service of organisations including restaurants, bars, schools, colleges and outside suppliers.
Salary range: £19,000 to £40,000
How to become a catering manager
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Useful subjects include:
- business and hospitality management
- culinary arts or culinary management
- hotel and catering management
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could take professional catering qualifications at college then move into management. You could also do a Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management and find work as a trainee catering manager.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You could take a higher apprenticeship as a hospitality manager if you’ve got experience in catering and have also worked as a supervisor.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could start as a kitchen assistant or trainee ‘commis’ chef and work your way up while learning on the job. You could apply for work with restaurants, bars or catering companies.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- customer service skills
- leadership skills
- the ability to work well with others
- maths knowledge
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- business management skills
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- planning and developing menus to increase sales
- recruiting and training staff
- organising shifts and rotas
- financial planning, managing budgets and stock control
- meeting suppliers and negotiating contracts
- monitoring the quality of the service to customers
- running the business in line with health and safety and food hygiene regulations
- catering for special diets and meeting nutritional needs
You could work at a restaurant, at a school, in an NHS or private hospital, in an office or at a conference centre.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience you could move into larger organisations or those offering more specialised work like event catering.
You could also study for further qualifications in hospitality.
Another option is to start your own contract catering business.