Caterers organise and control the operations of establishments involved in catering and dining, such as restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and canteens.
You can work as a caterer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in catering operations, hospitality or kitchen operations. You may need to be 18 years or older to undertake some units. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a caterer through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Catering Operations, Hospitality or Kitchen Operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Caterers may perform the following tasks:
Caterers work in large hotels, hospitals, schools, catering firms, department stores and other retail outlets. They also work in industrial and defence centre canteens, restaurants, licensed clubs and casinos. Self-employment is possible. Positions tend to be filled by promoting an experienced person from within the organisation. People who intend to run their own business are advised to gain experience, both on the job and by studying an appropriate course.
A hospital food service manager plans menus with a dietitian for patients and staff to ensure meals are nutritious, varied, attractive and suit the specific needs of individuals. They also direct and control the purchasing, preparation and presentation of food for public and private wards and staff cafeterias with the assistance of the head cook or chef and assistant catering officers.