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The Professional Caterer's Handbook: How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Catering Business (with CD-ROM) Hardcover – Illustrated, December 30, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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  • The Professional Caterer's Handbook: How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Catering Business (with CD-ROM)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most comprehensive catering publication I have ever seen. Valuable reading for even the seasoned caterer!" -- Mary Crafts, Owner / Senior Event Planner, Culinary Crafts<br /><br />"This leaves no possibility unexplored. If catering is an art, assimilating this book will make a Picasso out of you." -- Wahid Fakhir, Wahid.Fakhir@peabodyorlando.com<br /><br />"The most comprehensive catering publication I have ever seen. Valuable reading for even the seasoned caterer!" -- Mary Crafts, Owner / Senior Event Planner, Culinary Crafts<br /><br />"This leaves no possibility unexplored. If catering is an art, assimilating this book will make a Picasso out of you." --Wahid Fakhir, Wahid.Fakhir@peabodyorlando.com

ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards Reference - Gold; Business Winner - Eric Hoffer Awards 2007 --Book Awards

About the Author

Douglas R. Brown is a best selling author and publisher of computer software and books specific to the food service industry. His extensive background and years of service in the food service industry provides the practical insight into the business so desperately needed in the highly volatile food service industry."
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.; Har/Cdr edition (March 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910627606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910627603
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.7 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brandi M. Seals on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Professional Caterer's Handbook: How to open and operate a financially successful Catering Business" by Lora Arduser and Douglas Robert Brown is a great resource for anyone in the catering business. The book covers the start-up basics such as getting a loan, do on-site or off-site catering, and much more. It also goes further into the catering world by providing samples of catering contracts, profiles of caterers, and a comprehensive list of catering equipment one would need for any sized operation.

The book seems to focus mainly on off-site caterers specializing in weddings, but they do bring up other functions that require caterers as well as briefly touch on on-site catering operations.

I loved the guides within the book on table settings for various kinds of meals. From dinner with salad to breakfast, I now know the proper table arrangements. The book also gives examples of room layouts for various functions and tips on how to layout the buffets so that guests don't over-consume the more costly items.

For those that will be serving alcohol there is an excellent section that discusses kinds of liquor, suggestions on what to stock and what to look for. The authors define different bar terminology, but it is fairly basic - such as virgin and on the rocks. They cite sources to visit for more information on wine, but do provide a list of descriptive wine terms and a guide as to what serving temperatures are appropriate.

I think the section on cost control is very extensive and can help anyone in the industry become more aware of ways that money can be easily and inadvertently wasted. There is also a catering and event check list that I think is invaluable to anyone just starting out.
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Format: Hardcover
Handbooks fit in your back pocket. This is more like an encyclopedia for caterers: newbies and experienced alike. No stone is left unturned in this compendium. The chapters are well laid out and the information is easy to find. It is the perfect balance of substance without overkill. The average caterer need book a couple of deli platters to pay for this. I think it's a must for anyone in or thinking about getting in the catering business!
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Format: Hardcover
If you want to enter the catering business, there are plenty of lighter guides on the topic on the market - but if you're really serious about professionally entering the business, you can't be without THE PROFESSIONAL CATERER'S HANDBOOK: HOW TO OPEN AND OPERATE A FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL CATERING BUSINESS. A cd-rom supplements the weighty exploration which is actually a detailed manual of step-by-step instruction on all the basics. From bookkeeping and handling profits and loss to considering the pros and cons of professional equipment, there's no better guide on the market. College-level culinary schools in particular must have this reference.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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Format: Hardcover
This beautiful hardcover addition is by far the best and most inclusive synopsis of how to run a business that I have read in a long time. This is a must have for any caterer or prospective caterer. Starting from the basics and covering everything that ones needs to know to start a catering business, this book is has a fantastic layout that is simple and easy to use and understand.

The complementary CD-ROM has all the forms needed in order to organize the business.

Starting from page one, anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a caterer will be inundated with all the information needed to make that dream come true. It shows every aspect step by step to save the reader both time and money. There are plenty of charts, graphs, and pictures to complement the explanations in each chapter.

It covers any question that the entrepreneur may have from portion sizes to beverages to costs. It goes into great detail on many subjects, even those that one would not first think about, even offering suggestions on the types of questions to ask prospective employees. The book has many different methods that people can use in order to get to the same goal and the authors offer their suggestions on which are methods work best.

Catering is the dream job of many people and this book will go a long way to helping to fulfill the dreams.
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Format: Hardcover
Although the sheer size of this book is initially daunting, the information could not be more comprehensive and useful. For novice or veteran caterer, this book belongs on your reference shelf. Among others, the chapters include information on getting started, marketing, personnel, equipment, record keeping and cost controls. Presented in black and white, one of the more endearing features are the photographs and diagrams interspersed throughout numerous chapters - uniforms, table cover setups, major equipment options, cookware selections and sample menus; practical, useful and to the point. Of special note is the detailed information provided on wine terminology. The tasting vocabulary, the section on understanding wine labels and the tips for serving wine and cocktails will help any professional train their staff appropriately. Too many times caterers end up getting bad press due to inexperienced help; largely over something that is easily prevented. The accompanying CD-ROM offers easy-to-use templates that can be applied to daily and seasonal operations; such as a survey of competition, event checklists, contracts, site lists and miscellaneous catering forms. The inclusion of listings under "Journals & Trade Publications" and "State Restaurant Associations" - both found on the CD-ROM as well as in the book itself, are clearly beneficial. Without having to do the research yourself, you are provided with additional resources that only serve to better prepare you for this demanding business. There are less expensive books, but none as helpful.
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