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Catering: A Guide to Managing a Successful Business Operation 1st Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764557989
ISBN-10: 076455798X
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Frequently Bought Together

Catering: A Guide to Managing a Successful Business Operation + The Professional Caterer's Handbook: How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Catering Business (with CD-ROM) + Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen: The Indispensable Guide for Planning a Party
Price for all three: $82.72

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Catering is one of the fastest-growing segments of the food service industry. To succeed in this highly competitive arena, you need not only culinary expertise, but also a wide range of business skills. That's why Bruce Mattel, a successful caterer with more than 20 years of food service experience, teamed up with The Culinary Institute of America to create this indispensable guide. It's brimming with practical information and real-world know-how—everything you need to set up and run a profitable catering business.

Beginning with an overview of the catering profession, the book explains the various kinds of career opportunities available as well as the skills you need to succeed. It walks you through every aspect of operating a catering business, including:

  • Launching a catering enterprise

  • Pricing for profit

  • Setting up a catering kitchen

  • Hiring and managing staff

  • Marketing the business

  • Planning successful events

  • Establishing impressive service

  • Preparing distinctive food

  • Managing the dining room

For each topic covered, Catering provides detailed information and guidance on best practices, complete with the hands-on examples and insider tips you need to troubleshoot difficulties and creatively meet challenges in your own catering business.

This invaluable reference is full of tools and resources to help your operation succeed. To assist you with the practical aspects of your operation, you'll find a detailed sample business plan, helpful recommendations on staffing and equipment, complete examples of how to price events, and much more. And to make sure your service and food receive accolades, you'll find in-depth advice on service styles, tips on active buffet stations, and sample menus for a wide range of events. Featuring more than 70 instructive photographs and illustrations throughout, Catering is your road map to a thriving catering business, whether you're new to the field or a veteran caterer who wants to improve performance.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Catering

"Every restaurateur also wants to be in catering but doesn't always know how to take that step. Catering shows us how to take that step with ease and grace."
—Nick Livanos Co-owner of The Livanos Restaurant Group

"This book is the most comprehensive, all-in-one resource I have seen. It is filled from cover-to-cover with accurate, updated, and detailed information on all aspects of the catering industry. It is a must read for both novices and experienced caterers."
—Alison Awerbuch Executive Vice President and Partner of Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

"If this book had been around when I started my company, it would have shaved ten years of frustration and foolish decisions off my career and added ten years to my life. The devil (or the profit) is in the details and Catering covers the details, chapter by chapter, with entertaining examples and insightful photographs."
—Lori Daniel Chief Inspiration Officer/Founding Chef and Co-Chair of Two Chefs on a Roll

"After twenty-six years of building my business on intuition and creativity, I wish I would have had this book when I first started. If you are starting a catering company, buy this book! It sets the standard for today's competitive market with emphasis on profitability."
—Elaine Bell Owner of Elaine Bell Catering

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076455798X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764557989
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BlkSwan3222 on March 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after borrowing it from the library and renewing it twice. I found it to be a good primer for anyone who is considering catering as a business. I'm a foodie and but haven't been to cooking school or anything like that, so I found the explanations to be clear and easy to follow. Also learned things I had no idea needed to be taken into consideration when starting a food business.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on March 9, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach at York College and fall semester was the first year that York offered an Introduction to Catering Management class. In my non-academic life, I am the owner of a catering business that has been in business in Philadelphia for 84 years, and we have catered for celebrities, presidents and even the Pope. The business is largely an off-premise business with a few exclusive contracts. To be completely honest with you, there is very little written about off-prem catering. There are plenty of books that are all on the order of the celebrity chef books, ie plenty of foam but little meat on the plate, much like one of the more ridiculous food trends in vogue lately. And what is out there that isn't self-congratulatory is thin on the realities and challenges of my world after you've managed to get set up.
This text is a decent text, but really doesn't get to the sorts of logistics an astute caterer needs to master. My guess, and if I'm wrong I apologize, is that whatever experience the author has has been in the context of an hotel or on-premise business. The world changes more profoundly than you can imagine when you put it all on the truck. The instructional points are thin in this text at that point.
I used this book as the text in the Fall because I felt it would be a simple enough introduction. It was a little too simple for the level of students at York. It's clearly written and there are great support materials for the teacher from the publisher, but I couldn't help but feel that the material was slightly dated, slightly off, and the students, many of whom are working in catering as a part time job, felt it was slightly less than it could have been.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth W. Johnson on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-organized text with comprehensive coverage of business challenges faced by a caterer, ranging from in-hotel to off-site mom/pop style businesses. It is very helpful and readable, although I hoped for more recipes and display ideas to leaven the text.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Monique Liles on March 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is EXCELLENT! Can't put it down...and it is answering any and ALL questions I have thus far concerning this industry!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan F. on September 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lots of relevant information, will be a good tool for future reference. Really glad to add it to my culinary library.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MnM on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good text for those in need of managing skills... I wish the food prep section was bigger, but this is a very nice text manual, especially if you are considering, or just starting out in the field. I was hoping for something slightly more advanced, though I use it as a reference even still.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Sullivan on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My partner is getting into catering. We've done a bunch so far and I thought the time is right to get serious. This book looks to be a good start! It arrived in excellent condition!
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