Food and beverage managers can make top dollar when employed by a major hotel chain and other outlets that generate a lot of business. A prosperous hotel catering business enjoys short and long-term contracts for business lunches within the local community, and a savvy catering manager will have sharp sales skills to book the hotel banquet facilities for year round private party events. Like with any form of employment, the hotel catering manager applicant should make their resume the best it can be with work experience and academic credentials.
A good head start over your competition is to get a two or four year degree in Hospitality Management. This line of study is geared to educate in all levels of management within a hotel and will offer a concentrated amount of course work dedicated to the food and beverage departments.
If you have not planned out your collegiate program and wish to start immediately in the industry, there are also opportunities for catering management available through promotion within the company. You will need several years of hands-on experience and be capable of management skills to include soliciting new business, securing contracts, staffing, and meal planning to suit the client's budget.
If you have had at least four to five years experience in the hotel catering industry as a server, this will give you a head start to apply for a management position. However, if your present employer does not have room for you to move up, try a different hotel that does large volume catering such as a major hotel chain located near the airport. This type of venue does a terrific business with corporate lunches , but will require you to have understanding on how to configure a lunch room and outfit it with corporate materials. This may include setting up a screen, audio and visual equipment, a self service snack bar and sound equipment.
The catering manager will be paid on salary, but may also benefit from a commission check. The holiday months are an excellent source of added revenue, and a well-seasoned catering manager should be able to book the banquet facilities to the max. The best managers are personable and will listen to the needs of the client. Your job is to get their business from a creative approach of packaging, presentation and first-class service.
For the banquet server who wishes to be promoted to catering manager, be sure you have put forth your request in writing and submit it to the Food and Beverage Director. He or she needs to know that you are interested in the added responsibility and, in most cases, they will work closely with you to help you to your goal. Ask about special training programs from your corporate office and volunteer your time to sit in on the meetings. Upper management is always watching for those diligent employees that are willing to put in the extra effort to better themselves and their company image.