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Training for Starting a Catering Business

BySherril Steele-Carlin, writer
Sep 28, 2011
Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
> Business Basics

To open your own caterer location, train with a reputable school

Starting a catering business can be the first step in a long term career in the food business, and many chefs have started by operating their own catering service before they branched out to restaurants. To start catering, you'll need the basics, like kitchen equipment, licenses and clients, but if you really want to be successful, you'll need some expert training in the catering business, too.

Before you invest in training for starting a catering business, check out the school and the type of training they offer. Do they:

1. Offer a degree or certificate in catering so you can start caterer service completely trained and prepared?

2. Cover every aspect to open caterer kitchen, including sales, marketing, and menu preparation and estimation?

3. Offer training for your employees as your own catering location grows?

Check out catering training that offers degree programs to help you launch caterer business

You can find caterer training just about everywhere, from an open caterer location in your area to community colleges and culinary schools. However, before you settle on one training method, make sure you find out if they offer degrees or certificates, and who certifies the school. This can make a real difference in your career down the line, and give you increased credibility as an up and coming caterer.
Ashworth University, an accredited online university offers a diploma in gourmet cooking and catering that includes comprehensive lessons on planning catering functions and booking, and how to open a home catering business. Kendall College in Chicago offers a certificate program in professional catering you can attend part-time.

Look for your own catering schools that offer training in business management and marketing

You can be a great cook and still fail at your own catering service, because successful catering involves business skills, too. When considering catering training, look for schools that recognize this, and teach you how to manage your catering business, too, from learning how to estimate food costs and portions, to transporting and setting up food at remote locations. You'll need all these skills if you want to be a catering success.
Sullivan University offers an Associate of Science in Professional Catering that includes the business aspects when you open caterer kitchen, including licensing, accounting, food costing, and more. The Art Institutes offer programs in restaurant and catering management that can prepare you for just about any catering challenge you'll ever encounter.

Consider offering catering training to your staff as your open catering venture begins to take off

When you open caterer small business, your goal is to grow, and when you do, think about offering training to your staff members, too. With a professionally trained staff, you can sail through just about any catering trial, no matter how large, and you'll be able to take on bigger catering projects, helping your catering business to expand even more.
ExpertRating offers an affordable online catering course that can help your staff learn more about the basics of catering cooking and operations. Penn Foster Career School offers self-paced catering courses that can help your staff move up the catering ladder as they complete each module.
  • Remember, open a catering kitchen and you could be on your way to much greater things. Martha Stewart began her career as a caterer, and there are many other equally impressive success stories out there. Catering combines menu planning, food knowledge, sales savvy, and most of all, planning, planning, planning. Read more about catering careers before you commit to opening your own catering business, and then get the right training to make your catering dreams come true.
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Sherril Steele-Carlin
Sherril Steele-Carlin
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