Hospitality & Tourism

Catering Manager

Catering managers plan and organise food and drink services for organisations, restaurants or for specialist catering businesses.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Catering Manager do?

Catering managers plan and organise food and drink services for organisations, restaurants or for specialist catering businesses. Catering managers might also be known as caterers or food service managers.


Work activities

As a catering manager, you might:

  • discuss menus and catering arrangements with clients
  • work with chefs to plan menus
  • recruit, train, supervise and motivate food service staff
  • organise shifts and staff rosters
  • manage catering budgets
  • ensure prepared food is of a high standard
  • monitor the quality of service to clients
  • ensure the business meets all health and safety and food hygiene regulations.

Key skills and interests

To become a catering manager, you would need:

  • an interest in and knowledge of the hospitality industry
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • the ability to keep calm under pressure
  • initiative and customer service skills
  • an understanding of health, food hygiene, and food safety regulations.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Your working hours would depend on which sector you work in. If you are employed full-time in a company or organisation, you might work standard hours.

As a manager for a catering company, you would probably also work weekends and perhaps also public holidays, covering functions such as breakfasts, dinners and weddings


You might work in the dining room of a business such as a large legal firm, in a hospital or a school, or in commercial premises of a catering company.

If you are responsible for the food service over a number of sites, then you may need to travel during the course of the day.


How to become an Catering Manager?

Entry Level Education

You might not need any formal qualifications to become a catering manager, but you would probably need long-term work experience in the food service industry. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET qualification or have attended a culinary training school, and have additional management experience in the food service industry.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of catering managers and food service managers is projected to show little or no change.

Employment growth is likely to be in areas such as aged care and nursing homes, and where more emphasis is placed on improving the quality of the food in places like school canteens.

However, employment growth should be limited as companies that operate restaurants and other food service establishments continue to consolidate managerial functions.


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