Graduating from culinary school opens up a variety of career options in the hospitality industry. Many graduates enter school with the goal of being the head chef of a world-renowned restaurant. While other culinary students dream of becoming a manager for a large hospitality group or opening their own restaurant in the future. These career goals are all rewarding and can be a fantastic outlet for your creativity. Many future culinary stars get their start and improve upon their talents in these type of settings. These culinary career paths offer the ability to work with a large staff, learn from other experienced co-workers and teach structure and discipline. However, this career path is not for everyone. For those culinary school graduates looking for more freedom and flexibility in their career, or the chance to consistently experiment with new menu options, catering may be a great way to use your culinary diploma or degree.
Catering is an exciting opportunity for those students who enjoy planning menus, cooking a variety of different food items like appetizers, entrees, and desserts and do not want to work every night of the week in a kitchen necessarily. The catering business offers a variety of other appealing benefits, let’s explore some of the top reasons graduates choose to manage a catering company and why catering might be the right choice for you.
Working in a large corporate restaurant or hotel chain can have a limiting impact on your ability to come up with new and creative menu items. Often, the menus have been set by the owners well in advance to meet the palates of their current customers. While you may be given the freedom to create daily specials, corporate restaurants thrive on consistency to ensure their customers keep coming back. Within the restaurant, there is usually a specific cuisine of choice such as French, Italian or American which can be quite hard to convince others to change. With a catering business, you can work with each of your customers to develop a menu around the food they want to see at their event. This can allow you the freedom to experiment with a variety of ethnic cuisines, or just specialize in one type of cuisine. The bottom line is the choice is yours.
Being your own boss
Along with creative freedom can come the freedom to make all your own business decisions. From where to purchase your ingredients to when you clock in and out. All these decisions can be yours. While the benefits do come with the pressure of finding clients, sourcing products, and planning being an entrepreneur is extremely rewarding. The knowledge you gain while attaining your Associate Degree in Culinary Arts can help prepare you to meet these challenges head-on.
Gain valuable experience
Often, catering is a stepping stone toward other career goals within the hospitality industry. Catering offers a diverse range of exciting challenges to solve like sourcing unique products, developing a variety of different menus, finding ways to prepare food and deliver it fresh to different locations and event planning. The caterer is continually developing new solutions, learning new skills and discovering what aspects of the business they enjoy. Running a small catering business run from your home can help you develop the skills you need to open a permanent restaurant or to take your culinary skills to the next level and land that dream job!
The skills you learn at culinary school can land you that dream job working at the hottest restaurant in town, however, maybe you want something more. Perhaps you want to open your own hotspot downtown? Running a home-based catering business on your days off may help you to save the money you need to start that restaurant you have always dreamed of opening. Perhaps you just want to earn a little extra money to take that vacation or to buy that new car. Either way, a small catering business can help you achieve those goals.
Opportunity for a rewarding career
Up until now, we have discussed the benefits of starting your own catering business with your culinary degree. However, catering is a large and growing segment of the hospitality industry with many established and well-known companies working daily to make their clients events a success. Getting your foot in the door at one of these organizations can offer the same benefits as owning your own business, with less stress.
As you can see, there are many benefits to entering a career in catering. Attending a culinary degree or diploma program can help you learn many of the skills necessary to be successful in this field. At Helms College, the Culinary Arts training is unique and individualized and extends to past the classroom into our very own restaurants (Edgar’s Grille and Edgar’s Bistro) where you will have the opportunity to:
- Experience hands-on learning opportunities
- Work with chefs and restaurant managers
- Apply your classroom knowledge to the workplace
- Work alongside Edgar’s catering team in Edgar’s Hospitality Group conference venues
To learn more about how you can join the Helms College culinary program and our community of aspiring chefs, cooks and caterers click here and fill out the form to request more information!