Catering provides food and beverage service at public gatherings, private events, hotels and other locations. The catering server job profile involves performing multiple food service-related tasks and providing exemplary guest service.
If you are quick on your feet, a server can be a great start in catering. Numerous catering server opportunities await you in cafes, restaurants, homes, wine bars, and government offices. All you need is a captivating catering server resume to land a job!
In the following article, our professional resume writers guide you in building the perfect catering server resume. Let’s begin with the three primary resume format samples:
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Job Duties of a Catering Server
A catering server is in charge of efficient food and beverage services to patrons. They set up the catering environment and communicate with fellow servers and the management staff about other tasks.
Below are the primary duties of a catering server:
Greeting guests as they arrive at the venue and offer assistance accommodating them in seating arrangements.
Providing guests with information on available drinks and processing menu orders.
Ensuring venues are equipped with the necessary tools to do the job and performing tasks of transporting, pulling, setting up and breaking down tables, returning pieces of equipment such as chairs, tables, refrigerators, and serving counters to designated storage areas.
Performing impeccable guest service. You might run food and beverage service during events, such as buffets, and replenish food and drink supplies as well as essential table supplies such as linens, napkins and condiments.
Managing back-of-the-house duties, such as cleaning up or communicating with managers on- and off-site, improves overall productivity.
Understanding general and food safety requirements and practicing them by following established event management procedures and policies.
Catering Server Median Salaries
PayScale, an HR and compensation suite with salary analysis for the job market, reports an average annual income of $15,500 for catering servers.
Top Skills for Catering Servers
Catering servers require a diverse set of skills. They need time-management skills to ensure food is served on time and at the proper temperature. They need to be detail-oriented while filling tables, refilling beverages, and removing empty plates and cutlery. And you also need to be physically ready to be up on your feet to ensure smooth food and beverage service while following company standards and food-service safety policies.
Before you apply to the catering server position, check out the following top skills and some of their related certifications needed to edge out the other candidates in the race.
Knowing the catering menuGuests always have questions about food ingredients, their preparation, and their level of freshness. That’s why you need to know the menu inside and out. The most common question any server probably gets is, “What do you recommend?” Catering servers should know how to list all menu items, including detailed descriptions and abbreviations, and catering companies expect you to know popular dishes and signature menu items. Learning expert catering techniques, such as garnishing food items and knowing which foods cause bad allergies, gives you an edge over other candidates.
The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute provides an online Certified Restaurant Server program in server menu training, customer service skills, and basic food sanitation procedures.
Excellent customer serviceA chief goal for hospitality providers such as catering is providing a pleasant experience for guests. In the food service industry, offering exceptional services requires teamwork, knowledge of new technology used in catering, and good customer service.
Catering companies require you to adhere to their food and beverage service styles and standards to provide excellent customer satisfaction. Some of the service standards include:
Food and Customer Service Skills Training by ed2go helps you develop excellent customer service and management skills in catering companies and restaurants. They assess you by administering a Prometric Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) exam.
- Presenting the menu and beverage list properly.
- Using excellent communication skills while serving corporate partners and family gatherings.
- Helping in preparing great garnishes and sides while exemplifying exceptional customer service.
- Efficient handling of guest complaints and solving them through quick problem-solving skills.
- Developing company-customer relations to ensure future business contact and affiliations.
Point-of-sale servicingIn catering, full-service hours usually have a crazy rush of guests. But attention to detail can’t suffer from the crowd, and neither can the main catering goal be to create a positive experience for every guest. That’s why knowing about point-of-sale systems, a tech that helps customize menus, manages table layouts, and keeps event schedules up-to-date, is so important to know. Catering servers use POS systems to keep food and beverage orders in order, process payments, and simply manage tables.
One of the top POS systems to know is Upserve POS, which allows quick payment processing and sets up a guest book attendance system.
Wine servingOne key to a successful catering event is delivering an elegant and sophisticated wine service. It is crucial to educate yourself on the appropriate way of serving wine, helping guests choose wine (“Sparkling, white, and red, Miss?”), recommending cheese and wine pairings, choosing proper glassware, and learning about various pouring styles.
The Waiters Academy, an online restaurant training video organization, offers a fantastic course on wine knowledge. Udemy also has a well-rated Wine Service and Hospitality course.
Good communication skillsAttentive listening and understanding of customer concerns and quick resolution of their issues through clear, direct communication is paramount. But communication inside your team is also essential — if you’re running dishes between the kitchen and tables, you need to be coordinated and know how to, say, change an order at the last minute. That’s not going to happen through a piece of tech but through quick, accessible communication between you and your co-workers.
Physical healthCatering shifts are long and strenuous. Make sure you are in shape to keep up with the long hours. Culinary Agents give an idea of some pre-shift stretches to prevent injury while working in a kitchen environment.
Educational Requirements for Catering Servers
While catering servers don’t need a specific education degree, many recruiters prefer that you have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Catering servers wishing to advance their career can earn degrees and certifications in Culinary Arts and Sciences, Hospitality Management or Food Service Management; you just need to find which degree works best for you.
DegreeOne of the best ways to acquire the skills needed to be a catering server is to enroll yourself in hospitality management or catering schools. Catering schools offer curriculums on menu planning, beverage knowledge, table service skills, and how to network with people in the food industry.
The Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Technology Degree and the Associate in Applied Science – T Degree by Clover Park Technical College is a four-year associate program with professional culinary knowledge and service management technical skills.
Paul Smith’s College of Arts and Science is a four-year private institution offering a BS degree in Culinary Management. The program aims to provide you with advanced culinary techniques, emerging trends in nutrition, sanitation, and food service operations.
CertificationsCatering servers can earn certifications to gain practical knowledge of duties and additional professional skills. There are federal, state and local certifications that focus on food and beverage safety, catering management, menu planning, and dish preparation.
- Associations or guilds: The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), a non-profit organization that advocates for the food service equipment manufacturing industry, offers a Certified Food Service Professional (CFSP) certification. This one trains you on the food service industry at large, storage and equipment knowledge, and new techniques.
The International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) provides the Certified Food Manager certification on management skills such as human resources, accounting, marketing, and food service operations.
- Industry-related organization: The Professional Server Certification Corporation, an industry-approved online training and certification institution of the hospitality industry, offers certificates for servers ranging from Food Safety for Handlers Course, Master Bartender Training Package to the Waiter/Waitress Hospitality Course. These courses equip you in learning and practicing basic concepts and practices of food service management.
- Online education: E-learning companies such as Udemy and Coursera have good courses on industry-relevant skills. Udemy, for example, offers a ton of region-approved food and beverage safe-handling certifications such as the Complete Health and Safety Auditor Course and Fun food safety and sanitation course. Coursera’s Food & Beverage Management by the University of Bocconi helps aspiring entrepreneurs and managers learn about the latest leadership techniques in partnership with a top European catering program.
- Memberships: The National Association for Catering & Events help bring together people in the service industry for networking conferences to learn from each other while creating a safe space for catering leaders, managers, and workers.
Catering Server Resume-Writing Tips
Crafting a detailed and professional resume is an excellent opportunity to show your knowledge and skills on the job. To start, you have to include all food service-related hard (technical) and soft skills and write a good work history. A combination format resume is usually an excellent fit to balance out your skills with your experience.
Check out these other resume writing tips:
Write a compelling resume objective or summary statement.You can use the career objective when you have little or no experience in the industry. It will portray the type of role you are looking into and explains your skill set. You should use the career summary when you have plenty of catering experience in the food service industry.
Effectively write your experience section.When writing your experience section, make sure to mention your latest job first. Under each job title, add the relevant catering or hospitality related details in bullet points. Always begin with action words such as “Prepared,” “Served,” and “Helped.” If you’re seeking an entry-level position as a catering server, you should describe experiences from paid work, including internships, part-time work, freelancing, and independent projects.
Incorporate industry-related keywords.Recruiters use software systems known as ATS (applicant tracking systems) to scan keywords to process and sort resumes. That’s why you need to note the responsibilities and requirements mentioned in the catering server job description.
Other common catering job keywords and phrases include:
- Catering and banquet server
- Cleaning and organizing kitchen stations
- Customer service experience
- Organizational skills
- Beverage service
Quantify your accomplishments.Applying numbers to your work history and achievements gives them an impact. Numbers build credibility, improve your professional appearance, and stand out to the recruiters. Instead of stating that you “served guests and customers during catering shifts,” be specific and write a quantified statement, such as “Efficiently served 40-50 meals per shift.”
What are the physical requirements of a catering server?
Catering servers perform tasks in a physically demanding environment. This includes:
- Carrying and lifting boxes of up to 25 pounds, such as beverage crates and iceboxes
- Carrying trays of food and beverages
- Standing for long periods
- Walking on wet floors
- Touching hot plates, dishes, and beverages
What kind of hours do catering servers work?
Working hours vary based on the type of event, season, and event duration. For instance, the shift may begin at noon for wedding catering and continue into the late evening. The work is physically tiring as it involves transporting and setting up equipment and standing or serving for many hours at a time. Catering servers generally work at least eight hours a day, including making prior arrangements for events and working straight through to cleaning shifts.