Catering assistants serve an administrative and coordinating role for catering companies, convention centers, hotels, or restaurants. The job description of a catering assistant encompasses a variety of tasks and duties required to meet client food orders and provide a complete event service.
A catering assistant works under the supervision of the caterer to prepare, cook, and serve food for various events either at a set venue or at various locations according to their customers.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Catering Assistants
•Transports all materials to and from the event area, following all health and safety qualifications for food and serving ware.
•Sets up, decorates, and prepares serving and dining areas according to specific directions and layout plans established by the catering manager.
•Cleans, washes, peels, and cuts fruits, vegetables, and other food for optimal presentation.
•Prepares food in an attractive and appetizing way according to the caterer’s directions and serves the food with appositive and courteous demeanor.
•Addresses immediate customer concerns, questions and needs in order to provide an optimal experience.
•Breaks down serving and dining areas.
•Cleans and sanitizes all equipment, utensils, dining ware, linens, serving ware, and work areas.
•Restocks clean equipment, utensils, and equipment to proper storage areas noting any damages and items to be replaced.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Must be familiar with health and cleanliness standards for food preparation and presentation.
•Must have exceptional interpersonal skills for working with the general public.
•Must be a team player and willing to take on additional tasks to get the job done.
•Exceptional English language proficiency.
•Highly professional look and attitude for a very visual position.
•Familiarity with a variety of food types, menus, recipes, and general aesthetics and food presentation.
•Ability to complete administrative tasks including invoices, order forms, schedules, audio visual specifications, menus, and budgets.
•Excellent time management skills and ability to work in high pressure situations.
•A keen eye for detail.
•Minimal computer skills to fill out templates, budgets, and order forms.
Education and Experience
•Must have a high school diploma.
•For advanced or supervisory positions, must possess an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, culinary management, catering, or hospitality.
•May require a certificate in culinary or food preparation or a minimum of two years in food preparation or service.
•Must often work holidays, weekends, and evenings as most events occur during these times.
•Must be able to work standing up for long hours with few to no breaks during four to eight hour shifts.
•Conditions are often high pressure, fast paced, and demanding. Must be able to respond to rapidly changing work conditions and address immediate and future customer demands with very little notice or prompting.
•Varying schedules according to the time of year, holidays, and regional events. Should expect flexible but often unpredictable scheduling.
•Starting salary at $8.72 to $9.50 an hour with an average of $18,130 annually due to irregular scheduling.
•Tips can supplement a low hourly pay.
•Highest level salary between $30,000 and $35,000 a year.