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Catering manager

Alternative titles for this job include Food service manager

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a catering manager

You can get into this job through:

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


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

More Information


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.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


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

More Information


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.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

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

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Supervisor

  • Wage: £11,596.00 Annually
  • Location: Stansted Airport, Stansted, London

Apprentice Hospitality Supervisor

  • Wage: £20,800.00 Annually
  • Location: Beauty Bank, Whitegate

Courses In England

Hospitality Management - HNC*

  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Location: Blackpool

BTEC Level 4 HNC Hospitality Management

  • Start date: 19 September 2023
  • Location: Walsall

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