Catering Associate Job Description

Catering Associate Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a catering associate job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a catering associate. Feel free to use our catering associate job description template to produce your own catering associate job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a catering associate.


Who is a Catering Associate?

A catering Associate is also known as Catering Assistant. He or she is an individual who is responsible for performing various tasks such as event preparation, planning, and implementation. They usually collaborate with caterers or event planners to organize all aspects of events such as menu planning, food sourcing, equipment rental, and finally venue selection. Catering associates must be highly proactive to adapt to changes quickly. They may also need to employ their problem-solving skills when an issue arises such as a broken dishwasher or insufficient ingredients. They need to also employ communication skills to communicate with food vendors, and suppliers and also coordinate staff members who prepare food or serve guests at an event.

Catering associate work with caterers in a large restaurant or catering company to provide food service to clients for parties, weddings, sports events, conferences, meetings, and other events or gatherings. They also meet one on one with clients to discuss their needs or demands which: how many meal courses they want, the kind of service they want whether table service or buffet-style meals, the budget of the client, and how long the catering associate will work at the event. Their job responsibility mainly entails them cooking independently or with a group.


Differences between a Caterer and a Catering Associate

Caterers coordinate the general catering operations at a company while Catering Associates perform small tasks and collaborate with caterers. Catering Associates often help with the preparation of ingredients, measurement, and organizing of ingredients in the required amounts so that they can make the event a success in the aspect of culinary. They also assist in reaching out to clients, preparing the venue setting, and changing serving stations, and may fill the vacuum of a caterer in his absence. Catering associates may also be saddled with the responsibility of running errands for a Caterer like going to shop for missing ingredients.


Catering Associate Job Description

What is a catering associate job description? A catering associate job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a catering associate in an organization. Below are the catering associate job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a catering associate job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a Catering Associate are:

  • Maintaining inventory of supplies, ordering fresh supplies when needed, and managing inventory levels
  • Serving food and beverages to clients at special events or parties
  • Making sure that food is prepared according to health department restrictions
  • Preparing food and arranging tables for events such as weddings, bars, and corporate functions
  • Serving as a cashier to approve payment for food and drink sales
  • Cleaning up after an event has concluded, including eliminating trash and cleaning dishes and utensils
  • Working with event planners to organize catering needs such as tables, linens, silverware, china, glassware, and other items
  • Requesting food, beverages, and supplies for events based on client specifications
  • Cleaning and maintaining kitchen appliances such as ovens and stoves
  • Packing and unloading food, tableware, and catering supplies onto and off catering vehicles
  • Properly storing clean chafing dishes, tableware, equipment, and platters after each catering event
  • Replying to guest’s catering related questions during events and addressing all complaints
  • Assisting in the development and execution of marketing techniques to promote catering services
  • Helping in all duties related to customer billing
  • Addressing immediate customer interests, questions, and needs to provide an optimal experience
  • Breaking down serving and dining areas
  • Sanitizing and cleaning all equipment, utensils, dining ware, serving ware, linens, and function areas
  • Restocking clean equipment, utensils, and equipment to proper storage areas noting any damages and also items to be restored
  • Creating menus according to the client’s preferences and dietary requirements
  • Visiting sites before events to examine the kitchen facilities and make necessary plans
  • Settling on prices and establishing contracts for clients



  • A minimum of a high school diploma
  • An  Associate degree or bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, culinary management, catering,or hospitality
  • A certification in culinary or food preparation or a minimum of two years in food preparation or service
  • Verified experience working in the catering industry
  • A food handler’s license
  • Sound proficiency in food health and safety regulations
  • The capacity to work in a fast-paced setting
  • The capacity to work as part of a team
  • Terrific organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Practical communication skills
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Knowledge of health and cleanliness criteria for food preparation and presentation
  • Interpersonal skills for working with the general public
  • A good team player and must b willing to adopt additional tasks to get the job done
  • Extraordinary English language proficiency or any other foreign language proficiency
  • The highly professional look and personality for a very visual position
  • Understanding a variety of food types, menus, recipes, general aesthetics, and food presentation
  • Proficiency to complete administrative tasks including invoices, order forms, audiovisual specifications, menus, and budgets
  • Extraordinary time management skills and ability to work in high-pressure situations
  • A keen eye for facts
  • A little computer skills to fill out templates, budgets, and order forms


Essential Skills

  1. Hospitality
  2. Customer Service
  3. Business Acumen and negotiation skills
  4. Communication Skills
  5. Teamwork
  6. Organization
  7. Food Safety Skills
  8. Self-motivated and excellent stamina
  9. Time-management
  10. Problem-solving skills
  • Hospitality: A Catering associate is usually the first person guests make contact with once they step into the restaurant. It is highly paramount for him or her to welcome guests in a friendly and positive manner. He is also responsible for giving the guests a warm reception and presenting all the amazing services the restaurant is offering to the client or guest. The kind of reception he gives to customers determines how positively they will respond to the restaurant.
  • Customer Service: Customer service has to do with the ability to prepare excellent menus, an excellent environment,and also other amazing services. A catering associate must ensure that customers get their appropriate order either in buffet style or table service as they demand. He or she must ensure that customers are satisfied to the core to retain them. To achieve this, the organization where the catering associate is working must improve its services over time and must address any issue customers complain about. You should also be able to answer questions about the ingredient, menu, and preparation strategies for the food you serve.
  • Business Acumen and Negotiation Skills: Business Acumen is the ability to be sharp and possess a proactive mindset in one business. A catering associate must be highly proactive to perceive an incoming danger. He or she must put drastic measures in place to avoid it. A catering associate must also employ strong negotiation skills to be able to negotiate with customers on meal service, event planning, weddings, and parties.
  • Communication: communication is an act of conveying a message or information through written or oral means. As a catering associate, you may be saddled with the responsibility of communicating with customers, managers, chief caterers, and other catering associates. It is highly paramount for you to convey this information vividly and concisely. You should also employ your communication skills to listen to and comprehend customer requests and questions.
  • Teamwork: a catering associate does not work in isolation but works with other team members such as the chief caterers and another catering associate to prepare a meal or to plan events. Working as part of a team can enable you to communicate with others and share responsibility. You can also work with a team to complete tasks such as transporting food and setting up events.
  • Organization: As a catering associate, you may be saddled with the responsibility of preparing and storing food, keeping the work environment clean, and keeping track of inventory. Employing organizational skills can help you to complete your task effectively and keep your work environment clean. Organizational skills can help you arrange the table effectively and also arrange all the kitchen utensils properly.
  • Food Safety: Food safety is an important skill that catering associates must employ to guarantee the safety of the food they prepare. Possessing the knowledge of food safety practices must will guarantee that you adhere to the process to prepare healthy meals.


How to Become a Catering Associate

  • Earn the Basic Education

The basic requirement to become a catering associate is a high school diploma for entry-level catering associates. A catering associate that wants to work in a large restaurant may need to enroll for an associate degree in hospitality or culinary arts. These programs usually take two or more years to complete. You will get to learn courses such as hospitality management, food service, culinary arts, and business management. This degree will enable you to possess some salient skills that will establish you as a catering associate.

  • Get Experience

Employers are on the look for catering associate who possesses experience because the job responsibility deals with what people eat. Many catering associates can gain experience by enrolling for an internship or apprenticeship to build their cooking skills and kitchen management. This internship can be done in a restaurant, you can work under a professional caterer to get the requisite experience. Employers are on the look for candidates with customer service and strong food preparation skills.

  • Get Certified and Licensed

Catering associates must possess a license that permits them to serve food and drinks in public, they can also acquire certification though it doesn’t need to help them have progressive career growth. They can acquire a voluntary certification as Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) through the National Association of Catering Executives.

  • Choose Your Catering Specialty

Associate caters must choose the kind of specialty they want to specialize in because caterers often focus on a specific type of cuisine within their specialty.  You can be an associate caterer for weddings, food truck catering, corporate, and concession catering. You can also cover multiple events or different specializations though this solely depends on your capacity and experience.

  • Draft Your Resume

Draft an excellent resume and focus on your experience as a catering associate. You can describe your experience in handling commercial kitchen equipment, formulating delicious menu items, and also providing excellent customer service to clients during important events. A catering associate’s resume should be service-oriented and problem-solving to attract prospective employers. The next step is to apply for an open job position available in your locality.


Where to Work a Catering Associate

Catering associates can work in a restaurant, food services, hotels, and. They can also co-manage other events such as conferences, meetings, weddings, sports events, and other gatherings.  They usually work full-time and can also work during weekends, evenings, and holidays as the need arises. They must be able to stand for long hours without few or no breaks during four to eight-hour shifts. They must be able to work under high pressure and be highly proactive to respond to changing work conditions. They need to also be able to travel from one place to another to run errands for catering caterers.


Catering Associate Salary Scale

The salary of a catering associate varies based on location and across countries, below are examples of some countries:

  • In the United States, The average catering associate salary in the USA is $32,672 per year or $16.76 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $27,349 per year while most experienced workers make up to $45,936 per year. The average catering associate salary in Washington is $29,250 per year or $15 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $25,838 per year while most experienced workers make up to $55,000 per year. The average catering associate salary in California is $40,950 per year or $21 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $40,950 per year while most experienced workers make up to $47,500 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, The average catering associate salary in the United Kingdom is £23,034 per year or £11.81 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at £20,774 per year while most professional workers make up to £40,000 per year.
  • In Australia, The average catering assistant salary in Australia is $52,148 per year or $26.74 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $49,758 per year, while most professional workers make up to $60,000 per year.
  • In the United Arab Emirates, The average pay for a Catering Assistant is AED 68,596 a year and AED 33 an hour. The average salary range for a Kitchen Assistant is between AED 53,505 and AED 78,268.
  • In India, The average catering salary in India is ₹ 260,000 per year or ₹ 133 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at ₹ 216,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to ₹ 720,000 per year.

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