Catering Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Catering Assistant, or Kitchen Assistant, helps the Chef to prepare food and keep the kitchen clean. Their duties include preparing meal ingredients, setting dining tables and ensuring that guests have a quality dining experience. 

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Catering Assistant duties and responsibilities

Catering Assistants help with all activities related to event catering. Their key duties and responsibilities can include:

  • Assisting with basic food preparation activities, including washing, peeling and cutting vegetables
  • Cleaning and sanitising all tableware and chafing dishes before catering events
  • Setting up dining areas by arranging chairs, tables, banners and tents, according to the Catering Manager or Events Manager’s instructions
  • Loading and unloading food, tableware and catering supplies on and off of catering vehicles 
  • Ensuring there is no shortage of supplies by managing orders and inventory
  • Accepting deposits and discussing the price of catering services with clients
  • Answering guests’ questions and handling complaints related to catering services during an event
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What does a Catering Assistant do?

Catering Assistants are employed to prepare food, stock supplies and clean kitchens and service work areas. They assist Caterers at social and corporate events such as weddings, conferences and galas. Catering Assistants work with Event Managers, Servers and Chefs to ensure that guests at events are satisfied. Typical work weeks can require up to 40 hours, depending on whether the role is full or part-time. Catering Assistants regularly work weekends, late nights, early mornings and holidays. 

With experience and training, a Catering Assistant can become a Catering Manager or Catering Coordinator. They can also progress into the role of Trainee or Junior Chef, depending on their industry.

Catering Assistant skills and qualifications

A successful Catering Assistant candidate has prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to do their work effectively. These include:

  • Preparations of various types of cookery 
  • Application of food health and safety regulations
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Effective organisational skills
  • Manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination to prepare food properly 

Catering Assistant experience requirements

A foundation in food handling, cooking, health regulations and events management are vital requirements for Catering Assistants. Previous experience in foodservice, baking, billing, customer service and sales is also beneficial. Other experience requirements depend on the employer, role and location. Catering Assistant jobs are often entry-level, so most employers require less than two years of experience for their candidates. Sometimes, education and training can be substituted for experience. 

Catering Assistant education and training requirements

Catering Assistants need courses such as the Level 2 Award in Food Safety, Level 1 Certificate in General Cookery or Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry. Some employers recruit candidates with a Commis Chef or Hospitality Team Member Intermediate Apprenticeship. Experienced General Kitchen Hands and Dish Washers can be promoted to the role of Catering Assistant if they have relevant GCSEs. 

Catering Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Catering Assistant in the UK is £9.14 per hour. Actual pay may depend on the employer, location, experience and education. 

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Catering Assistant job description FAQs

Which qualities make a good Catering Assistant?

A good Catering Assistant must have high standards of personal hygiene because they handle food for diverse people. They must be enthusiastic about the job as it can be fast-paced and demanding. The best Catering Assistants have exceptional levels of stamina to lift heavy loads and work while standing for extended hours. They are fast, efficient and can follow instructions well. 

Catering Assistants must also be adept at multitasking. They need to be confident, professional and courteous. 

How can you make your Catering Assistant job description stand out?

To make your Catering Assistant job description stand out, describe your company and the importance of the role to your functions. Mention the experience, skills and educational qualifications needed for the role.

Highlight specific job duties and responsibilities and mention the type of shift and work hours. Talk about the contract terms, including whether the job is part-time or full time and if candidates get an hourly or monthly wage. You can also talk about any employment benefits that you offer. If the candidate needs to have specific industry knowledge or age-restricted licence, mention it.

Who does a Catering Assistant report to?

The Catering Assistant can report to the Chef, Caterer, Catering Manager, Events Manager or other Senior Employee in a kitchen or catering department. 

What is the difference between a Catering Assistant and a Kitchen Hand?

The major difference between the two roles is that Kitchen Hands focus on helping Line Cooks prepare food and keep kitchens clean. However, Catering Assistants work in the kitchen, handle customer billing, enforce health regulations and help with arranging events.

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