Catering Professional

This catering certification program will equip you with all the foundational skills you need to succeed in the high-demand and rewarding catering and events industry. You will learn everything from event and function management to collaborating with other catering services, and you will be able to plan and execute successful food preparation and beverage management requirements with ease.

This comprehensive catering course will also teach you best practices for marketing your catering business,...

6 Months / 100 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

George Mason University

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Course code: GES2024

What you will learn

  • The foundations of various disciplines, including event planning, food and beverage management, sales and marketing, human resources, accounting, and legal contracts
  • To effectively manage employees, businesses must handle inductions, appraisals, exits, staffing, food safety, legal compliance, licensing, budgeting, and profits

How you will benefit

  • A broad-based training in catering prepares you for entry-level work in the industry
  • Knowledge of catering management can complement previous work experience within the catering and events industry
  • Discover the basics of catering management without the need to pursue a degree in hospitality

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 100 course hours
  1. The Elements of Catering Services
    1. Introduction
    2. Catering Events
    3. Food Service Styles
    4. The Essentials of Main Service Styles
    5. The Advantages of Main Service Styles
    6. Resources Required for Main Service Styles
    7. Budget Considerations for Main Service Styles
    8. Calculating Human Resource Requirements for Main Service Styles
    9. Matching the Service Style to the Catering Event
  2. Events Management Collaboration
    1. Introduction
    2. The Structure of Event Types
    3. Event Planning
    4. Additional Catering and Event Services
  3. Food Production Practices
    1. Introduction
    2. Food Production Systems and Methods
    3. Food Safety Requirements
    4. Converting Measurements
    5. Portion Estimation for Events
  4. Beverage Management Requirements
    1. Introduction
    2. Legal Considerations
    3. Characteristics of Spirits
    4. Characteristics of Wine
    5. Beverage Profit Margins
  5. Sales and Marketing Plans
    1. Introduction
    2. Target Markets
    3. Marketing Plans
    4. Sales Forecasts
  6. Catering Contracts
    1. Introduction
    2. Elements of a Contract
    3. Essential Clauses
    4. Other Laws
  7. Human Resource Planning
    1. Introduction
    2. The Recruitment Process
    3. Employee Inductions
    4. The Training Cycle
    5. Performance appraisals
    6. Exit Interviews
  8. Accounting Principles
    1. Introduction
    2. Accounting Terminology
    3. Financial Statements
    4. Accounting Methods
    5. Inventory Valuation Methods

Thea Roberts

Thea Roberts is an instructor with a background in business administration. Previously, she was a finance officer and employment advisor. She also held a position in the Washington State Ombudsman Program. Roberts holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Arts.

Liselle Turner

Liselle Turner is a content writer and project manager. In addition to her background in advertising, she has worked in the learning and development industry. Turner holds a Bachelor of Business, a Diploma of Hospitality and Management, and a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

According to Indeed, catering involves designing, cooking, and serving specialty meals to event guests at weddings, anniversary parties, or corporate meetings. They start by meeting with a client to determine the scheduling, menu, and pricing, then develop a price estimate and a contract for the event. Caterers typically cook off-site and transport food, serving pieces, and tableware to the event. This fast-paced industry requires extensive knowledge of food and excellent interpersonal skills.

Indeed reports that the average salary for a caterer is $53,560 per year. The salary for this role often depends on their level of expertise, the services they provide, and their company's location. For example, a catering manager's salary is $57,955 vs. a catering director's salary of $78,475. On the other hand, a catering coordinator's salary is reported at just over $41,000. If you work for a catering company, you might make a different salary than if you provide freelance services. The size of the events you cater for may also influence your average salary.

The average salary for a caterer is $53,560 per year. The salary for this role often depends on their level of expertise, the services they provide, and their company's location. If you work for a catering company, you might make a different salary than if you provide freelance services. The size of the events you cater to may influence your average salary.

Yes. This course helps prepare you for the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) offered by the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE).

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

Our courses are designed to accommodate various learning preferences. Depending on the course structure, you may get different forms of support. Self-paced courses are designed to be user-friendly and independent, minimizing the need for external support. In courses with instructors, our direct platform support feature includes opportunities for questions, discussions, and remediation, with email and phone support available for select courses. Our student advising team is available to guide you on program requirements and administrative requests, but they do not provide assistance with course content. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary support for success, whether it's through self-paced exploration, direct communication, or guidance from our advising team.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

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