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Caterer

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

  • Avg. Salary $46,075.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.63
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 12,200
  • In Demand High
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

47%
47%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Caterer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Restaurant and Food Service Managers
NOC code: 0631
DIRECTIVE

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

METHODICAL

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

SOCIAL

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

Duties
Updated Mar 27, 2017

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 or serving staff as necessary
  • develop menus that accommodate any special dietary requirements for the event
  • prepare budgets
  • purchase and maintain supplies
  • prepare food or supervise food preparation
  • maintain health and safety standards for food handling activities like food preparation, transportation and service
  • maintain proper liquor controls
  • follow up with clients after functions and deal with customer complaints.

They also may:

  • co-ordinate arrangements such as room or hall rentals
  • set up prior to functions and clean up afterward
  • organize and develop work schedules
  • supervise food and beverage service during the function.

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Self-employed caterers often work long hours including 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 Mar 27, 2017

Caterers need to possess:

  • flexibility and creativity
  • good communication, supervisory, negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • excellent organizational skills
  • an ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • an ability to remain calm while working in close quarters with others during busy periods.

They should enjoy:

  • co-ordinating information and the activities of others
  • setting work schedules, monitoring staff and controlling inventory
  • negotiating arrangements with suppliers and clients.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 27, 2017

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 training 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.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 27, 2017

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 Mar 27, 2017

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 15,800 Albertans are employed in the Restaurant and food service managers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 363 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As caterers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for caterers.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Self-employed caterers should expect to make very little in their first year of operation. However, successful catering businesses can be very profitable.

Restaurant and food service managers
NOC code: 0631

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.00 $29.35 $19.12 $17.48
Overall $14.00 $36.63 $21.63 $19.23
Top $15.00 $40.87 $24.46 $21.85

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
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Accommodation & Food Services
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

47%
47%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

45%
45%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

11%
11%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Financial Management
    • Management and Marketing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Logistics
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 Mar 27, 2017

Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals website: cafp.ca

emerit website: www.emerit.ca

National Restaurant Association [United States] website: www.restaurant.org

ProServe Liquor Staff Training website: www.proserve.aglc.ca

Restaurants Canada website: www.restaurantscanada.org

Tourism HR Canada website: tourismhr.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 24, 2017. 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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