what is a catering assistant?

As a catering assistant, you maintain kitchen organisation and general cleanliness in the cooking and service areas. Additionally, you help with basic food preparation tasks, including operating slicing and chipping machines. On shift, you have storeroom and stock duties, receiving deliveries and putting them away. You also take care of washing equipment, cleaning crockery, collecting rubbish, clearing tables, and even serving customers when required.

To be a catering assistant, you need physical stamina and the ability to work well with others under pressure. Catering assistants work as part of a kitchen team in a fast-paced environment. Hence, attention to detail is important, as is excellent spatial awareness to avoid accidents in the confined space of the cooking area. You work quickly and efficiently, lifting boxes, using potentially dangerous tools and equipment, and delivering prepared meals.

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average salary of a catering assistant

According to Payscale, the average salary of catering assistants in India is ₹198,000 per year. When you are new to the role, you mainly assist with simple food preparation tasks due to your minimal experience handling clients. The starting annual salary for entry-level catering assistants is ₹162,000. With experience and additional responsibilities, your earnings increase to over ₹253,800 yearly.

how to increase your salary as a catering assistant

The earnings of catering assistants differ based on experience and qualifications. When you have extensive cooking experience or additional certification in preparing certain meals, you are likely to earn more. The match between your educational qualifications and the job requirements usually affects your earnings. For instance, having a degree positively influences your earnings.

As a catering assistant, you work in shifts. When you work in less favourable shift times, you are likely to be paid a premium rate. If your employer does not have shift schedules, working overtime earns you a higher salary.

Photo serie Hospitality
Photo serie Hospitality

types of catering assistants

As a catering assistant, you can find work in various organisations. Depending on the size of the company, you are either focused on a few repetitive tasks or have broader areas of responsibility:

  • cafes and pubs: small hospitality businesses need their staff to do a little of everything. As well as assisting cooks or chefs by washing and preparing ingredients, performing basic cooking tasks, and managing stock levels, you also clean serving areas and wash plates and utensils. In some businesses, you order supplies and receive fresh produce. You assist the wait staff in setting and clearing tables, serving meals and taking orders from customers during busy periods.
  • hotels and restaurants: as a catering assistant in a small hotel or restaurant, you take many of the same broad responsibilities as in a cafe or pub. In larger establishments, your tasks are more focused but involve basic food preparation and cooking. You also manage the stock levels to ensure ingredients are on hand, handle dishwashing duties, and keep the kitchen and service areas clean.
  • event catering: as a catering assistant in an event management company, you help prepare food for transport and service. You work in the company's kitchen, maintaining cleanliness and preparing ingredients, as well as helping your team pack up the meals to be delivered to the event. When working on-site, you could be at the back of the house, or you might be responsible for clearing tables and packing away equipment at the end of the event.

working as a catering assistant

Want to know what it's like to work as a catering assistant? Then read more about your responsibilities, work environment, colleagues and schedule.


education and skills

If you want to work as a catering assistant in India, you require some educational qualifications. You can pursue a diploma in hotel and hospitality management to prepare you for the role. The minimum qualification for the diploma is the achievement of a 10+2 level of study with an overall score of 50%. Entrance tests like the Mangalayatan University Joint Entrance Exam (MUJEE), Common Admission Test (CAT), and Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) are also conducted before admission. Alternatively, pursue a diploma in culinary arts after completing your 10+2. When you complete the college course, look for entry-level jobs to help you gain experience.

catering assistant skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of catering assistants include:

  • customer service: as a catering assistant, you serve customers, which requires good customer service skills. You should have a pleasant demeanour and answer customer questions thoughtfully and accurately.
  • computer skills: as a catering assistant, it is important to understand how the point of service (POS) systems work. Your computer skills help you place orders and prepare customer receipts promptly.
  • nutrition knowledge: as a catering assistant, you use your nutrition knowledge to answer customer questions. You also need knowledge of the cooking techniques of food served in the restaurant if a customer has allergies.
  • organisation skills: as a catering assistant, you require organisation skills to manage your schedule and maintain the structure of events. Since you have multiple duties, time management skills are useful.

FAQs about working as a catering assistant

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a catering assistant.

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