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Entry level contract catering job

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey, I seemed to post recently on here but kind of messed it up so I want to try again but word it better this time if I may.. How does one 'start' in contract catering? I mean many restaurants and hotels employ a Commis chef and wondering what is that equvilent in contract/event catering? How is that different than working as the new meat in a hotel or restaurant? Do I have to have a driving license just to get to the events? Are you usually willing to let part-time commis caterers work for you? Do they get paid as much as the normal commis chef in the hotel or restaurant?

So many questions I know but I have an idea of what my vision and dream is in the industry and got a few questions to go about it.
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
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"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
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post #2 of 7
What does contract catering have to do with a commis chef? What is a new meat in a hotel? What is a part time commis caterer? Driving license ? Yes unless you want to walk, or take public transportation.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well commis chef I mean like a trainee chef - can a qualified (on paper) chef with 2 months pub cook experience go into contract catering and get trained up on the job. Fresh meat is (according to other chef forum I saw) what the new guy is called who is working for you.
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
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"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
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post #4 of 7
The new guy.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yeah pretty much ED. So what i'm asking is how does a get a foot in the door of contract/event catering as a new guy/culinary graduate?
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
Reply
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
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post #6 of 7
I am not familiar with England although having been there and liked it. In particular the underground. Here No caterers are called contract caterers although when you hire a caterer the host signs a contract. Knock at a caterers door tell them you want to get into the catering business and you are willing to learn all you can. Most important thing to stress is that HOURS don't bother you. Caterers work long hours when they have parties.
You have nothing to loose by trying this.
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post #7 of 7
I started my catering company from scratch 8 years ago. It wasn't easy, it never gets easy, and you have to wear 10 hats.

First and foremost, you need a better sales and marketing ability than cooking ability. You can make the greatest food in the world, but if it is never sold to someone, it doesn't matter. Sales first.

Then, I agree with ED. Find a small catering company that will help you learn the basics of the business and model yourself after their strengths, while avoiding their weaknesses.

My company started when I purchased a cafeteria in a small office building. Then, I started delivery to the companies for their meetings. Then, I expanded geographically to surrounding businesses. Then, I relocated to my own facility and broke into the wedding business. I've yet to put my feet up and just watch others work.

As I've advised many people on this forum, put the emotion of how great it would be to own your own company aside and concentrate on the BUSINESS end of the business. You'll definately hate your own company when you're losing $10k a month, you'll love it when you've secured clients on a contract before you start cooking.
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