To succeed in the catering industry, you need trained staff members who are well-equipped to handle the job’s demands. While specific catering needs may vary depending on the event, understanding the basic staff members to hire for your catering business is always critical.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about catering personnel’s primary duties and responsibilities to run a successful business. We’ll go over the crucial positions your catering company will need to fill, how to hire catering staff and how to train and manage your new employees effectively.
What Positions Do You Need for a Successful Catering Business?
While numbers vary, specific roles are a must for every catering event you have. Below is a list of three top catering staff roles you will need for the business.
A supervisor’s chief responsibility is to ensure the cooking staff is completing all their tasks on time. This manager will handle any problems that arise. If food is running out, the supervisor ensures it gets quickly resupplied and is good to go. The person in this role also deals with any guests who have a complaint or issue.
The chef prepares the food and handles all decisions regarding the menu. Sometimes it is wise to have sous chefs as backups who can assist the chef with preparing the meals if there’s a large party or things get backed up in the kitchen. For smaller events, such as a family dinner, one chef is usually enough to handle all the food preparation.
As the face of the company, servers must be skilled in guest interaction. Servers bring food to all guests, fill water glasses and pass trays around. Servers also resupply any food or drink that runs out. Make sure to use a higher number of servers for events with multiple courses, and remember — it is always better to have more staff on-site than you think you might need.
How to Hire the Right Candidates
Now that you know what positions you need to fill, you can start looking for the best people for the job. To ensure you hire catering staff members who are the right fit for your company, follow these top three hiring tips.
1. Make Your Expectations Clear
Before beginning the search for employees, establish your expectations for each role. Describe the regular shifts and hours, plus any critical dates you will need the future employees to work. Setting these expectations will save both you and unsuitable candidates from wasting time in pointless interviews.
Of course, you will need to be specific about any required skills and experience for each position to minimize the number of unqualified applicants you receive.
2. Use Your Network
Reach out to any contacts in the restaurant or event planning industries you may have to receive potential worker referrals. If you already work in the catering industry and need a few extra staff members, ask your existing staff whether they know of any potential candidates for the job. Your current workers may know qualified friends, former co-workers or acquaintances looking for opportunities in catering.
Another option is to reach out to local schools. Whether they have enrolled in a culinary program or not, students are typically seeking jobs with hours that fit their class schedules, such as an evening or weekend catering gig. Additionally, posting about open positions on social media and your company’s website could give you a pool of strong applicants.
3. Partner With an Established Catering Company
You can fast-track your catering company by franchising with an established catering brand. When you partner with a franchised catering company, you instantly become connected with expansive networks and resources for finding reliable employees. Starting a franchise can streamline the hiring process and help you get your catering business up and running as quickly as possible.
Training Your Catering Staff
No matter how experienced or well-qualified your newly hired team members are, thoroughly training catering staff is essential. For the best results possible, you need to provide your employees with adequate education on the essentials, such as food safety and any policies and procedures specific to your company.
Follow these three guidelines to equip your staff to perform their jobs to their utmost ability.
1. Cover the Basics
Begin training new staff members by registering them in an introductory food hygiene course. Because safety should be your top priority, enroll employees in a food hygiene course as soon as they join your company. Once they complete the class, they will receive certification and can start working directly with the food your catering company serves.
2. Establish a Training Program
Implementing a comprehensive staff training program will allow you to easily monitor individual staff members’ performance and progress. Designing a series of observational checklists is an effective way of determining how much a worker has improved over a specific period. These checklists should include crucial responsibilities such as wearing an apron, checking cooked items’ internal temperatures and mastering food prep.
3. Pair New Staff Members With a Mentor
Match each new employee with a more experienced team member. This seasoned veteran will mentor the new hire by explaining company practices and protocols to them, offering professional advice, providing personal support and answering any questions they may have. Mentors can also oversee their mentees’ checklists to keep track of their progress.
Top 5 Tips for Managing Catering Staff
After you’ve hired and trained your all-star catering staff, you can focus on managing your team well. Remember the following five tips to ensure your catering staff is always functioning at its best.
1. Communicate Effectively
The secret to successfully executing any operation is communication. To keep your catering business running smoothly, you will need to emphasize open communication on all levels, including between you and your staff and among the staff members themselves.
Strong communication means providing a clear sense of direction, whether via email, team meetings or another mode, so your staff members always know what tasks they need to complete.
2. Prepare a Rush Strategy
Whether it’s wedding attendees flocking to the bar for a refill in between songs or graduation party guests gathering around the dessert table, rushes can happen at any event and any moment. Your catering team will need to prepare for rushes by developing an effective strategy for managing them. Plan to have extra staff on hand during peak hours and know when to send them home as the event winds down.
3. Have a Detailed Backup Plan
Catering can be an unpredictable industry. From inclement weather to shattered glasses, you will need to have a backup plan for various mishaps. Ensure you always have a set event menu, extra servings of food, an alternative plan serving plan for bad weather, spare cutlery and on-call staff members in case of accident or illness. ca
4. Reward Your Staff Members
When considering how to pay catering staff, your priority should be compensating each team member fairly for their work. Besides their regular hourly pay, offering incentives for staff members who go above and beyond will keep all members motivated to perform their best. For example, you could reward the employee who serves the most people or receives glowing guest feedback after each event.
5. Cultivate a Positive Work Environment
A positive work environment helps employees grow and inspires them to keep devoting their best efforts to their work. You can build a positive work environment by staging team-building events and getting to know your staff members individually, which will demonstrate you are an approachable manager. These efforts can offer great results in team bonding, company loyalty and confidence in their work.
Franchise With Apple Spice Catering
To get your catering company started on the right foot, franchise with Apple Spice Catering. With over 30 years of experience, Apple Spice Catering offers an established business model and brand recognition for entrepreneurs to build on.
We provide new franchise owners with the guidance and access to essential resources they need to launch a lucrative catering company. We also offer exclusive opportunities, such as shadowing another Apple Spice Catering site, to set you up for success.
If you’d like to learn more about franchise opportunities or take the next steps toward opening your business, contact Apple Spice Catering today.