Last Updated 23 Jun 2021

Catering industry

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What is catering industry? The catering industry is comprised of businesses that provide food, beverages and other services to a variety of clients, usually for special events. Catering industry Jobs vary from small intimate affairs to large events that involve providing not only food and beverage service but also tableware, linens, service personnel and other aspects of the event. Companies that provide catering services might be as large as a business with several locations or as small as an individual who provides catering services on his or her own.

A caterer might be part of a restaurant or have his or her own business. Caterers might make use of independent contractors for some aspects of their catering service. Small dinners and banquets are some types of events for which a caterer might provide service. These events might be set in a person's home, a small restaurant or an outdoor venue. Some individuals might have a personal caterer who provides private catering services whenever needed.

There is a niche for all types of catering businesses within the segment of catering. The food service industry is divided into two general types: commercial segment and non- commercial segment. Catering management may be defined as the task of planning, organizing, controlling and executing. Each activity influences the preparation and delivery of food, beverage, and related services at a competitive, yet profitable price. These activities work together to meet and exceed the customer's perception of value for his money.

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Primary or commercial catering

These are the establishments whose main aim is to earn profit by providing food and beverage to the guests as per their demand. Hence, they are also referred as commercial catering, establishments. Such as hotels , restaurants, fast food outlets, ears, pubs, etc.

  1. Residential- These type of establishment provides food n beverage along with accommodation. Such as hotels , motels, resorts, ship or cruise lines, etc.
  2. Non-Residential- These types of establishment provides only food & beverage. Such as restaurants, pubs, night clubs etc.

Secondary or non-commercial catering

These are the establishments that provide food and beverage as a part of another business. Their aim is not to earn money. Instead, the establishments are there to provide welfare services at affordable prices, such as industrial canteens, hospital catering industry By shorthanded quality and the quantity of the food should be equally good, through this type of menu offered in this type of catering might be different from another.

May be deemed as those operations in which making a profit from catering facility is not the outlet's main concern. Since the operations are completely or partially subsidized by a parent body, such establishments' primary obligation is in the well being or care of their guests/ customers/ patients. Unlike commercial catering establishment the guests/ customers/ patients do not have choice of catering facilities.

Institutional catering

Institutional catering includes school, colleges, universities, hospitals, orphanages, old age homes, prisons etc.

In some of these establishments no charge is made to certain group of customers to for the provision of food & beverage services as they are completely or partially subsidized by various government funds. 2) Transport The provision of food and beverages to passengers, before, during and after a journey on trains, aircraft and ships and in buses or private vehicles is termed as transport catering. These services may also be utilized by the general public, who are in the vicinity of a transport catering unit.

The major forms of modern day transport catering are airline-catering, railways catering, ship catering and surface catering in coaches or buses which operate on long distance routes.

Surface catering

Catering to passengers traveling by surface transport such as buses and private vehicles is called surface catering. These eating establishments are normally located around a bus terminus or on highways. They may be either government run restaurants, or privately owned establishments. Of late there has been a growing popularity of Punjabi style eateries called Dhabi on the highways.

Industrial catering

The provision of food and beverages to 'people at work,' in industries and factories at highly subsidized rates is called industrial catering. It is based on the assumption that better fed employees at confessional rates are happy and more productive. Catering for a large workforce may be undertaken by the management itself, or may be contracted out to professional caterers. Depending on the choice of the menu suggested by the management, catering contractors undertake to feed the workforce for a fixed period of time at a predetermined price.

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