How the Best Caterers Find Great Employees

Nov 19, 2021

In the competitive world of catering, finding and retaining top-quality employees is crucial for success. Catering businesses depend heavily on skilled and dedicated staff to provide exceptional service and deliver memorable experiences to clients. At 5 Fold Agency, we understand the challenges caterers face when it comes to recruiting and maintaining a talented team. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective strategies that the best caterers use to find, hire, and retain great employees.

1. Understanding the Catering Industry

Before diving into the specifics of employee recruitment, it's important to have a solid understanding of the catering industry. Catering services encompass a wide range of events, from weddings and corporate parties to large-scale conferences and social gatherings. Having a clear understanding of the industry landscape and its unique demands will help caterers effectively tailor their recruitment strategies.

1.1 The Demand for Exceptional Talent

The catering industry thrives on delivering exceptional culinary experiences paired with outstanding customer service. Therefore, it is essential for caterers to build a team of talented individuals who not only possess the necessary culinary skills but also have a passion for creating memorable events. The demand for exceptional talent in the catering industry is high, making the recruitment and retention process even more critical.

2. Crafting a Compelling Employer Brand

Successful caterers know that attracting top talent starts with building a strong employer brand. An employer brand is how your catering business is perceived as an employer by prospective and current employees. To craft a compelling employer brand:

  1. Define your unique selling points (USPs) - Highlight what sets your catering business apart from competitors. Showcase your commitment to employee development, a positive work environment, and opportunities for growth.
  2. Showcase testimonials and success stories - Share testimonials from current employees who have experienced career growth or who have been part of memorable events. These stories can inspire candidates and give them a glimpse into the positive work culture.
  3. Emphasize training and development opportunities - Illustrate your commitment to employee growth by outlining the training programs and professional development opportunities available within your catering business.

3. Utilizing Targeted Job Listings

When it comes to finding great employees, using targeted job listings can significantly increase the chances of attracting qualified candidates. Caterers can utilize various channels to advertise job openings:

  • Online Job Boards and Industry Websites - Post job listings on reputable industry websites and online job boards that cater specifically to the hospitality and catering industries. This ensures that your listing reaches a relevant audience.
  • Utilize Social Media Platforms - Leverage the power of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to promote job openings. Make sure to highlight the unique aspects of your company culture and workplace environment.
  • Collaborate with Culinary Schools and Training Programs - Develop partnerships with local culinary schools and training programs to tap into a pool of aspiring culinary professionals who are eager to kickstart their careers in the catering industry.

4. Implementing Effective Interview and Selection Processes

Once you've attracted a pool of potential candidates through targeted job listings, the next step is to effectively evaluate and select the best fit for your catering business. This process involves:

4.1 Structured Interviews

Conduct structured interviews that assess both the technical skills and the personality traits necessary for success in the catering industry. Develop a set of standardized questions that delve into the candidate's experience, problem-solving abilities, and customer service orientation.

4.2 Practical Assessments

In addition to interviews, consider incorporating practical assessments to evaluate candidates' culinary skills. This may involve having candidates prepare a sample dish or participate in a practical demonstration to showcase their abilities.

4.3 Reference Checks

Conduct thorough reference checks to validate candidates' qualifications and gain insights into their work ethic and professionalism. Contact previous employers or supervisors to gather feedback on the candidate's performance and team dynamics.

5. Fostering a Positive Work Culture

Retaining great employees in the catering industry goes beyond competitive salaries and benefits. Fostering a positive work culture is essential for employee satisfaction and long-term retention. Here are some strategies to cultivate a positive work environment:

5.1 Encourage Open Communication

Establish open lines of communication within your catering team. Encourage employees to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Actively listen to their input and implement positive changes based on their suggestions.

5.2 Recognize and Reward Achievements

Show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of your employees by recognizing and rewarding their achievements. This can be in the form of performance-based bonuses, employee of the month awards, or public acknowledgments during team meetings.

5.3 Employee Development and Growth Opportunities

Prioritize employee development by offering ongoing training, workshops, and opportunities for career advancement. Provide clear pathways for growth within your catering business, allowing employees to see a future and progress within their roles.


Finding and retaining great employees is a key challenge in the catering industry, but by implementing effective strategies, caterers can build a skilled, dedicated, and passionate workforce. At 5 Fold Agency, we understand the unique demands of the catering industry and are here to support you on your journey of finding and nurturing exceptional talent. By focusing on your employer brand, utilizing targeted job listings, implementing effective interview processes, and fostering a positive work culture, you can position your catering business as an employer of choice and attract the best employees in the industry.

Shawn Willis
Great tips for caterers! 🍽️
Oct 7, 2023