What is the skills-set and tools required to manage a successful catering business? It is understood that it will change depending on the area the catering services operates on: events catering, corporate catering, restaurant catering, onsite catering etc. It can also change according to the type of clients or the kind of food. The skill-set and tools vary accordingly. In saying that, some skills and tools are a must have regardless of the catering segment. 

Catering businesses can be complicated. Many requirements should be met for the delivery of a great event or corporate catering event. Complex dietary requirements, varied food tastes and preferences, specific delivery dates and times are a few elements present in all catering businesses. 

In this article, we will cover some of the essential skills and tools caterers providers should have.


Being efficient is to have the ability to perform optimally at the expected rate, given the resources or time that was provided. 

Catering services that are efficient are those that perform on time, deliver the quality that was expected and leave a profit for the caterer. In other words: happy clients and profits together.

Catering services rely on tools to deliver their services efficiently. Hence, it is highly recommended to have a catering system in place to assist you in running all elements of your business.

A great catering system has organised and optimised all catering processes such as placing orders, ordering your ingredients based on the order quantities, event booking tools, invoicing the customer and collecting payment, kitchen production reports and more. With a proper system in place, you can have all your catering business information at your fingertip and processes optimised for maximum efficiency. There are few good catering systems out there, choose a reputable one. If you are in the restaurant business and online ordering is a requirement, choose a system that offers an online ordering for restaurants


Resourcefulness is the ability to solve unexpected problems and have the ability to learn quickly as needed. It is the ability to solve issues using the limited resources available. Resourceful people do the best they can with the resources and opportunities they are given and find solutions as they go. The solutions are taken into consideration the resources available and the impact the decisions will have on the clients and business. 

The best way to become resourceful is to expand your skills set in the areas required by the catering business. For example, can a waiter help in the kitchen in case the kitchen assistance doesn’t show up? Can the owner of the business drive the delivery van in case the driver falls sick? 

Another way to become a resourceful person is to read books about decision making. Decision making is an important element of resourcefulness once the process starts on the decision taking at the time needed. 

Know one's limitations

Knowing the shortcomings of your business can help you improve. It can also help you avoid wasting your client's time. This last instance is critical because clients appreciate a service provider that is honest when it cannot deliver what they are asking. 

When any service provider knows the limitations they have to face, everything becomes easier. You won't be wasting your client's time if you know you cannot meet the requirements they seek. Additionally, you will let your clients know what you can deliver. This will give your client a better understanding of the service you provide.

Being sincere about your company's capabilities is greatly recognized by clients. They prefer a service that treats their concerns realistically. Rather than the possibility of having to face a failed service from a provider that wasn't sure they could deliver. 

Meet expected standards

Any catering service should stick to a standard of quality which is equal and ideally above the market average. This way, clients would know what to expect from the service. Being able to meet basic expectations is very important in any business and it is no different in catering. 

Therefore, understanding of the basic standards is required. It is also important to continue to learn and research market opportunities. The best way to gain these skills is to research what the market is doing and heading towards. Moreover, it is a great idea to try different catering companies' services and understand where they are at with their food and service. 

Use this learning and your creativity to take your offering to the next level. Questions to ask: Where is the market at in terms of service and food? How can I make my food and service better than others or target an untouched niche?


Catering business should be able to be somewhat versatile. Catering is a service that is based on demands, and demands can be very personal, specific and time sensitive. A versatile catering business is the one that can adjust to times and vary its menu so that a wide array of clients can find what they want.

It is highly recommended that catering managers gain and continuously develop the skill sets discussed above. They will help the catering company professionalization as well as increase profitability and customer satisfaction. Finally, there are amazing tools and software out there to help manage your business, so do the research and sign up to the suitable ones.