Hiring catering service staff is a part of learning how to start a catering business. Once you’ve written your catering business plan, chosen your types of catering events, and reviewed options for catering business ideas, it’s time to hire. From wait staff and servers to kitchen assistance, there are plenty of positions to hire for.
In this BinWise blog post, we walk through three key facets of hiring catering service staff. We cover the general job description and its nuances, options for catering staff uniforms, and the responsibilities of your catering staff. By the end of this post, you’ll know what you should look for in your catering staff.
Catering Event Staff Job Description
The catering event staff job description is summed up in three neat roles. Serving, clearing, and meeting and exceeding expectations are the main objectives of any catering job. Those objectives are the key point of everything catering staff work towards. They keep the event running smoothly and keep guests happy.
3. Serving Food and Drinks
Serving food and drinks is the primary role within the catering event staff job description. Making sure guests have a drink and food options is vital to ensuring a successful event. The catering service staff needs to be proficient with a serving tray to make sure they meet this primary objective.
2. Clearing Guest-Facing Spaces
Clearing the guest-facing spaces, if done properly, is a seamless part of serving and maintaining the space. When the catering staff has served up everything on their trays, that same tray can be used to clear away empty glasses, dishes, and utensils. Carrying a sleek bag for any trash is also a good idea.
1. Meeting Guest Needs
Meeting the needs of the guests at the event goes above and beyond serving and clearing. It can mean relaying information to the kitchen if someone has a specific request or a need for something unique. It could be preparing coffee a certain way, or mixing a specialty mixed drink. Either way, it’s all about the intangible qualities that make an event exceptional.
"Key Takeaway: Serving, clearing, and meeting and exceeding expectations are the main objectives of any catering job."
Catering Staff Uniform
Catering staff uniform options are similar to the wait staff uniforms in a restaurant or bar business. From the classic vest to a dressed-up shirt and tie, there are several options. The one common element is a level of sophistication and neutrality. The job of the catering staff uniform is to be sleek and to blend into the event.
3. Classic Vest
A classic black or gray vest is always a good option for a catering staff uniform. You can mix it up with a navy blue. If you have a color scheme for your business branding–you can choose a vest that matches. This is part of the importance of branding.
2. Aprons and Button Downs
A tidy apron and button-down shirt is a clean option, and it gives your catering staff the ease of an apron pocket. For choosing apron colors you should follow the same idea of choosing a color for the vest. Something simple, easy on the eyes, and fitting with the event is a good idea.
1. Dress Shirt and Tie
A dress shirt and tie is one of the more dressed-up options for catering staff uniforms. This is fitting for elegant events. The dress shirt can be the same button-down as the apron uniform choice, with the tie being a complementary color. An eye-catching but understated color is best for this option.
Catering Staff Responsibilities
Catering staff responsibilities go beyond the catering staff job description. These upcoming three responsibilities run throughout the event without being specific to serving or clearing. They are the three vital responsibilities that will keep a catering event running smoothly. If catering staff responsibilities are met, the work of the catering manager is lightened considerably.
3. Supporting Kitchen Staff
Supporting the kitchen staff is a continual job on the list of catering staff responsibilities. The kitchen staff is some of the most relied-upon members of the catering team. Anything the catering staff can do to make it easier for the kitchen staff to get food prepared is a huge help. That can include keeping the kitchen clean, or even helping prepare simple dishes.
2. Keeping Food and Drinks Moving
Keeping food and drinks moving is part of serving and clearing, but it goes beyond the guest-facing services. It also ties into supporting kitchen staff. The more work the catering staff do to prepare food and drinks, the easier it is for everyone to enjoy the event.
1. Maintaining Organization
Maintaining organization means keeping the kitchen tidy, cleaning guest-facing areas, and keeping their own uniforms in order. However, for a catering business, the organization goes beyond this.
When it comes to organizing and keeping track of the budget, catering staff can assist by being mindful of what is served and poured. They can also help organize the host of the event by answering or relaying questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hiring Catering Staff
Hiring catering service staff takes time, effort, and a careful eye when it comes to reading resumes and conducting interviews. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will help you feel more prepared to hire the right staff. They’ll also be helpful for anyone looking for a catering job.
What Do You Do as a Catering Staff?
The general responsibilities of a catering staff revolve around assisting the event manager and making sure everything runs smoothly. That involves serving, clearing dishes, keeping guests set with food and drinks, helping kitchen staff, and keeping an eye out for any potential issues.
What Is a Catering Staff Called?
A catering staff can also be called the catering crew, the kitchen staff, the culinary service, or the catering personnel. In a hotel or other business in the hospitality industry, catering staff can be mistaken for banquet servers. Overall, catering staff, however you write it out, are the people who keep the food and beverage portion of the event running.
How Do You Train a Catering Staff?
There are some key features of catering staff training that you should focus on:
- Offering plenty of catering and serving information
- Having the right equipment, both in the kitchen and for servers
- Reviewing behavior and action guidelines before events, in a straightforward and rehearsed way
- Mentoring new team members
- Breaking down tasks and responsibilities to make everything easy to follow through on
- Reviewing performance regularly and verbally recognizing and appreciating good work
All those steps will help you have a staff that is well-rounded and ready for any event. The more information and help you provide, the more your staff will work hard for you. As a result, their customer service towards guests will be up to par.
What Certificates Do You Need for Catering?
For catering staff, some commonly needed certifications are a food handler’s card or a food safety certificate. It’s also possible that catering staff will need individual licenses to serve liquor. Beyond that, the necessary certificates are specific to the state and to the catering company.
Hiring Catering Staff: Time To Read Some Resumes
Hiring your catering staff is one of the last steps before you’re ready to start offering your catering services to the public. Maybe you’ve already opened your doors, and you need some extra hands on deck. Perhaps this will be your grand opening. Either way, it’s an exciting next step.
As you move your business forward it’s important to make sure you have everything in line. From inventory management techniques to order management, planning and structure are paramount. Check out BinWise Pro, paired with the BinScan mobile app, to maintain your inventory management needs. Head over to our sister company, BlueCart, for all your order management system support.