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Food & drink

Catering manager

Catering managers run the food service of organisations including restaurants, bars, schools, colleges and outside suppliers.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 41 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

7%
Future employment

There will be 7% fewer Catering manager jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • plan and develop menus to increase sales
  • recruit and train staff
  • manage a team of cooks and kitchen assistants
  • organise shifts and rotas
  • plan finances, manage budgets and stock control
  • meet suppliers and negotiate contracts
  • monitor the quality of the service to customers
  • make sure all staff follow health and safety and food hygiene regulations
  • cater for special diets and to meet cultural and nutritional needs

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a restaurant, at a school, in an NHS or private hospital, in an office or at a conference centre.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Useful subjects include:

  • business and hospitality management
  • culinary arts or culinary management
  • hotel and catering management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could take professional catering qualifications at college then move into management. You could also do a Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management and find work as a trainee catering manager.

For more information
Apprenticeship

You could take a higher apprenticeship as a hospitality manager if you've got experience in catering and have also worked as a supervisor.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start as a kitchen assistant or trainee 'commis' chef and work your way up while learning on the job. You could apply for work with restaurants, bars or catering companies.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about catering careers from the Hospitality Guild and CareerScope.

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With experience you could move into larger organisations or those offering more specialised work like event catering.

You could also study for further qualifications to move into other hospitality roles.

Another option is to start your own contract catering business.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • business management skills
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • maths knowledge
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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