Catering Co's- VS -Restaurants

Joined Aug 11, 2000
I'd expound on that...."restaurants" is pretty generic, chain, fine dining, bistro, pizza can be same, huge, brats and beer, 500 sit down...etc....
each has it's place and lessons to learn....
You work in each for hopefully different reasons.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Where do you fit in? It all depends on how each operation fits your lifestyle and needs. For honing your skills on the line, there is no better place than a restaurant. Grill a steak 40 times a night or make the same sauce 304 times this week. There is no better practice. You can't work the line catering :D Catering, OTOH, is a different beast altogether. Very seldom are you able to come close to a la carte restaurant quality. Some catering companies cook on premises. They actually drag their ovens, grills, and 6-top to event locations. Working a no compromise event like this is a treat.

Joined Sep 25, 2000
I very much agree in all aspects. I have often said that starters should always learn the restaurant ethics first before transfering into catering. Kuan is very accurate with his/her statement. On the other hand, if you love cooking and hard work, either would mold you into something your mother would be proud of.
Joined Jan 15, 2001
Ditto. Both are hard work, but catering to me is a bit more difficult and challenging. Clients are more in control of picking the menu, so sometimes you have to come up with customized menu items(if you are the chef). It's a good place to learn how to do prep work, particularly if the company consistently gets booked for very large parties. Even the dishwashers are excellent choppers. Drawback is the slow time.I started my skills in pastry in a restaurant, progressed to a bakery and now a catering company. I had to work equally hard at all three, but catering seems to require a bit more planning and organization.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
I'm glad to have learned my trade in the order I did: Hotels, Restaurants, Catering.

In hotels, I learned speed and volume.

In restauarants, I learned quality, along with perfecting the speed. It's harder than hotels or catering, but worth doing.

In catering, I learned organization, and planning. Weather becomes an issue as well, which can affect the food.

I think the money is relative to where you are and what your employer is willing to pay for the job you do. But if you're just starting out, don't expect much. Just absorb as much as you can, wherever you end up.
Joined Sep 22, 2000

It all depends on what you want out of life. For me I worked in a Up scale hotel in the banquets dept. 3500++ I was mainly in the PM banquets / saucier, but I also helped out in every culinary dept. am banquets, garde manger, butcher, fruits, pastry, bakery, room service... etc. Also I have worked or helped out in any of the other 13 kitchens.

I am no longer there at that hotel, for me I got what I wanted out it and it was time to move on. Now I am in another hotel and when I see big numbers, No problem. I know what to do to make it happen.

Joined Aug 14, 2000
More important is who you are working for and/or with. You can be in a great restaurant and not learn anything, or you can be in a Mom and Pop joint where the owner takes you under his wing and you learn a lot.

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