Career Development

What Does a Catering Sales Manager Do?

Find out what a catering sales manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a catering sales manager.

Catering sales managers are responsible for managing the sales efforts of their company’s catering division. They oversee a team of salespeople who sell event planning services to clients, including everything from full-service catering to rentals and other related products and services.

Catering sales managers must be able to effectively manage a large team of individuals with varying levels of experience and knowledge. They also need strong leadership skills in order to coordinate the efforts of these individuals towards common goals.

Catering Sales Manager Job Duties

A catering sales manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Planning menus and ordering supplies for events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Negotiating contracts with clients and event planners to determine prices and terms of service
  • Creating detailed event plans and timelines to ensure that all tasks are completed on time
  • Coordinating with venue managers to ensure that all aspects of the event are handled smoothly
  • Training staff in food preparation, presentation techniques, and customer service skills
  • Determining staffing needs for each event based on guest count and type of event
  • Developing new business opportunities by contacting potential clients, attending trade shows, and participating in networking events
  • Overseeing catering operations during events to ensure that clients’ needs are met
  • Preparing marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, menus, and price lists for prospective clients

Catering Sales Manager Salary & Outlook

Catering sales managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $89,500 ($43.03/hour)

The employment of catering sales managers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by the increasing automation of food preparation and catering equipment. This automation will allow catering companies to serve more customers with fewer employees. In addition, some catering companies may choose to outsource their food preparation to restaurants or other food providers.

Catering Sales Manager Job Requirements

A catering sales manager typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to become a catering sales manager. Some companies may prefer a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). An MBA is often preferred for senior-level positions.

Training & Experience: Most catering sales managers have previous experience in the catering industry. They may have worked as a catering assistant, a waiter or a cook. They may have worked in a management position in another industry.

Catering sales managers can also receive on-the-job training to learn more about the catering industry. They may learn about the products and services the company offers, the catering process and the catering industry in general.

Certifications & Licenses: Catering sales managers don’t need certifications to earn their positions, but these professionals can increase their earning potential and appeal to hiring managers by earning professional certifications.

Catering Sales Manager Skills

Catering sales managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential for catering sales managers, as they are often the primary point of contact for clients. Catering sales managers use their communication skills to send emails, make phone calls and write proposals. They also use their communication skills to train and coach their team members.

Leadership skills: A catering sales manager is a leader in their company and is responsible for the success of their team. Leadership skills like delegation, motivation and goal-setting are important for a catering sales manager to have. They can use these skills to help their team members grow professionally and help the company achieve its goals.

Problem-solving skills: As a catering sales manager, you may be responsible for resolving customer issues. Having strong problem-solving skills can help you address customer concerns and find solutions to their problems. You can also use problem-solving skills to help your team members find solutions to their issues.

Organizational skills: As a catering sales manager, you may be responsible for managing multiple projects at once. Having strong organizational skills can help you manage your time and responsibilities more efficiently. You may also be responsible for managing the schedules of your employees, so having good organizational skills can help you delegate tasks and create a balanced work schedule.

Sales skills: Sales skills are the abilities you use to convince customers to buy your company’s products or services. As a catering sales manager, you may be responsible for generating revenue for your company. Having strong sales skills can help you meet your company’s sales goals and increase your earning potential.

Catering Sales Manager Work Environment

Catering sales managers work in the food and beverage industry and are responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing catering events. They work closely with clients to determine their needs and preferences, and then develop a catering plan that meets those needs. Catering sales managers also work with chefs and other kitchen staff to ensure that the food is prepared and presented according to the client’s specifications. They also work with the waitstaff and other service personnel to ensure that the event runs smoothly and that the guests are satisfied. Catering sales managers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate the schedules of their clients. They may also travel to meet with clients or to attend industry events.

Catering Sales Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how catering sales managers work. Catering sales managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Food Trucks

The food truck industry is growing rapidly, with more and more trucks popping up all over the country. This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the popularity of street food and the ease of starting a food truck business.

As the food truck industry grows, catering sales managers will need to develop new strategies for selling their products. This may include developing partnerships with food trucks or creating special events where customers can try different dishes.

More Focus on Healthier Options

As the health-conscious movement continues to grow, businesses are beginning to focus on offering healthier options for their employees. This is leading to an increased demand for catering sales managers who can provide these options.

Catering sales managers who are able to provide healthy options will be in high demand as businesses look for ways to improve the health of their employees. In order to stay competitive, catering sales managers will need to be familiar with the latest trends in healthy eating and be able to provide menu suggestions that meet the needs of their clients.

A Greater Emphasis on Customer Service

Customer service has always been important in the catering industry, but it is becoming even more important as customers become more demanding.

As customers become more accustomed to excellent customer service from companies like Amazon and Uber, they will also expect the same level of service from the businesses that they do business with. This means that catering sales managers will need to be prepared to provide excellent customer service at all times.

How to Become a Catering Sales Manager

A successful catering sales manager career requires a combination of hard and soft skills. You need to be able to sell, but you also need to understand the catering industry and have a strong network. You should also be able to manage people effectively and work well under pressure.

If you want to become a catering sales manager, start by building your experience in the catering industry. Work as a server, bartender, or chef assistant to learn about the business from the ground up. Then move up the ladder and take on more responsibility. Eventually, you’ll be ready for a management role.

Related: How to Write a Catering Sales Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Catering sales managers typically start out working in catering sales or as catering coordinators. With experience, they may move up to catering sales manager positions. Some catering sales managers may eventually open their own catering businesses.

Catering Sales Manager Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we specialize in creating memorable events through innovative and delicious catering. We’re looking for a sales manager with a passion for food and event planning to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience in catering sales, as well as a strong network of industry contacts. They will be responsible for generating new business opportunities and developing relationships with clients. Additionally, they will work closely with our culinary team to develop custom menus that exceed our clients’ expectations.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain relationships with current and potential clients to secure catering business
  • Understand the needs of each client and work within those parameters to create a unique and memorable event
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all catering sales inquiries, providing prompt and professional responses
  • Proactively solicit new catering business through networking, cold-calling, and other lead generation activities
  • Convert leads into bookings by presenting customized catering proposals and menus
  • Achieve or exceed monthly and annual sales targets set by management
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments to better serve clients and close sales
  • Attend trade shows, conventions, and other events to generate new business opportunities
  • Collaborate with other departments within the company to ensure smooth event execution
  • Manage administrative duties related to catering sales, including contract preparation and client invoicing
  • Train and supervise catering sales staff, ensuring that they are providing excellent customer service
  • Monitor competitor activity and adjust sales strategies accordingly

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, hospitality, or related field
  • 3-5 years proven sales experience in catering or related industry
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Proven ability to close deals and achieve quotas
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience working in a hotel or resort setting
  • Familiarity with Delphi or other catering software
  • Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation
  • Destination Management Certified Professional (DMC) designation

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