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Caterers plan, organize and direct the preparation and service of food and beverages for banquets and other social functions.

  • Avg. Salary $47,376.00
  • Avg. Wage $23.10
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 15,600
  • In Demand Medium
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Restaurant and Food Service Managers (0631) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Restaurant and Food Service Managers (A221) 
  • 2011 NOC: Restaurant and food service managers (0631) 
  • 2016 NOC: Restaurant and food service managers (0631) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Caterer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Restaurant and Food Service Managers

Interest in co-ordinating information to direct, control and evaluate the operation of food and beverage service establishments, to implement and modify operational procedures, to assign staff duties and to oversee staff training


Interest in setting work schedules, monitoring staff performance, controlling inventory and ensuring that health and safety regulations are followed


Interest in negotiating arrangements with suppliers for food and other materials, and with clients for catering and use of facilities for banquets and receptions

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated May 17, 2021

Caterers may specialize in particular types of functions or food (for example, small business meetings or vegetarian food) or they may cater to a variety of functions and food preferences.

Depending on the size of the operation, caterers may perform all or only some of the following duties:

  • Discuss needs with customers and take detailed notes about food and service requirements
  • Hire chefs, cooks, delivery or serving staff as necessary
  • Develop menus that accommodate any special dietary requirements for the event
  • Prepare budgets
  • Purchase and maintain equipment and supplies
  • Prepare food or supervise food preparation and serving
  • Maintain health and safety standards for food handling activities like food preparation, transportation and serving
  • Maintain proper liquor controls
  • Follow up with clients after functions and handle customer complaints

They also may:

  • Coordinate arrangements such as room or hall rentals
  • Set up prior to functions and clean up afterward
  • Organize and develop work schedules

Self-employed caterers may market their services and manage accounting and other business functions themselves, or hire sales and business managers.

Working Conditions
Updated May 17, 2021

Self-employed caterers often work long hours including early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays until their businesses are well established. They frequently lift and carry items weighing up to 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated May 17, 2021

Caterers need:

  • Culinary skills
  • Flexibility and creativity
  • Communication, supervisory, negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Marketing and promotional skills
  • The ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • The ability to remain calm while working in close quarters with others during busy periods

They should enjoy:

  • Coordinating information and the activities of others
  • Setting work schedules, monitoring staff and controlling inventory
  • Negotiating arrangements with suppliers and clients

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Restaurant and food service managers
NOC code: 0631

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 19, 2021 and Dec 01, 2021.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate daily operations
Address customers' complaints or concerns
Recruit, train and supervise staff
Set staff work schedules and monitor staff performance
Ensure health and safety regulations are followed
Determine type of services to be offered and implement operational procedures
Provide customer service
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Educational Requirements
Updated May 17, 2021

Caterers need training and experience related to food preparation or food service. For example, they must be knowledgeable about food safety, liquor codes and fire regulations. Self-employed caterers also need business management knowledge, and skills related to planning, accounting, marketing, staffing and administration.

All staff involved in the sale and service of liquor in licensed premises (for example, owners, managers and supervisors, retailers, bartenders and servers, greeters and hosts, and security staff) must have ProServe Liquor Staff Training. This is a provincial government training program designed to ensure liquor service and sales activities are conducted with integrity and in a socially responsible manner. ProServe is available online, as a self-directed program of home study using a video and a manual, or by seminar.

In Alberta, food safety courses are offered by:

Visit the Government of Alberta website or contact 780-427-7164 for a listing of approved food safety training options.

The Government of Alberta awards a Food Sanitation and Hygiene Certification to those who complete approved training and achieve at least 70% on a provincial exam. Food facilities generally employ at least 1 person who is certified. Where 6 or more people are working on site, at least 1 person present must be certified. Where fewer people are working on site, the certified person may be absent.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre

Cypress College - Culinary Campus

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Portage College

Reeves College - Calgary North

Reeves College Edmonton South

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 17, 2021

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Tourism HR Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council or CTHRC) offers voluntary certifications related to food service that are recognized across Canada. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 17, 2021

Caterers may be self-employed or employed by large catering firms, hotels or convention facilities. Advancement in this occupation generally takes the form of moving to more responsible positions or building a bigger business.

Caterers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 0631: Restaurant and food service managers. In Alberta, 91% of people employed in this classification work in the Accommodation and Food Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Accommodation and Food Service industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 0631: Restaurant and food service managers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 326 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated May 17, 2021

Self-employed caterers should generally expect to make very little in their first year of operation, due in part to initial startup costs and the time required to develop a regular customer base. However, over time successful catering businesses can be very profitable.

Restaurant and food service managers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $28.85 $20.06 $19.49
Overall $15.00 $37.26 $23.10 $21.88
Top $15.00 $43.00 $28.28 $26.37

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 17, 2021

Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals website:

emerit website:

National Restaurant Association [United States] website:

ProServe Liquor Staff Training website:

Restaurants Canada website:

Tourism HR Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated May 17, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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