Catering manager

food service manager caterer
Hospitality, catering and tourism

Career outlook for catering manager

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would lead a team to make and serve tasty food to people at schools, in hospitals or at events like a conferences or weddings.

You’d work with chefs and catering assistants to plan the menus for meals. You’d motivate the team of kitchen and serving staff so they provide a good service.

You would plan your budget so you can make good food that people want to eat without overspending on ingredients or wages.

If you manage a team in a restaurant or cafe you’d also need to price your food and drinks so people will buy them but you still make a profit.

You would:

  • Advertise vacancies and recruit staff
  • Arrange training for staff
  • Organise shifts and rotas
  • Control the stock of ingredients so you don’t run out
  • Meet suppliers
  • Meet customers who want you to provide a catering service for them
  • Discuss contract requirements with customers
  • Check the quality of the service

When the food is being served, you’d supervise the staff to make sure that the food is good and arrives on time.

You’d be responsible for making sure your service meets health and safety, food hygiene and nutritional regulations.

Working conditions


Your working hours will depend on which sector you work in. As a full time catering manager in a school, your working hours are likely to be 9am to 5pm. As a catering manager in a hospital or nursing home, you will usually work shifts to cover evenings, weekends and bank holidays.As a catering manager covering functions such as weddings, you would also work weekends and bank holidays.


If you are responsible for the food service over a number of sites, then you may need to travel during the course of the day.


You would do most of your work indoors. Some events may be held outdoors.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources
  • Delegating
  • Making decisions
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


A Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in Hospitality Management. Or a degree in an unrelated subject and then a postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in Hospitality Management.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 5 qualifications and one to three Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree course in Hospitality Management you will need National 5 qualifications and three to five Highers including Maths and English.

Alternatively you can gain relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as the Institute of Hospitality Certificate or Diplomas or Scottish Vocational Qualification in Hospitality Management Skills (SVQ level 4).                                                                             

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English
  • Hospitality: Practical Cookery
  • Business Management
  • Health and food technology

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate an understanding of the industry and customer care skills such as Skills for Work Hospitality (SCQF level 4/5).

It is helpful to have relevant industry qualifications such as a Elementary Food Hygiene Certificate from the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) or Scottish Vocational Qualification in Hospitality (SVQ level 2/3/4) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.

A full driving licence.