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Online Class: Catering 101

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Course Description

If you are the kind of person who...

  • thrives on cooking for your friends,
  • wants everyone to come to your house for dinner,
  • feels like you have more party food ideas than you could ever possibly execute in your own home

...then you might want to start your own catering business.

Caterers cook and transport food for other people's parties. Unlike restaurants where all the cooking and serving happens at the same location, caterers have the added logistical challenge of transporting food from their kitchen to the party venue.

Caterers work closely with their clients to develop a menu and a party plan that meets their clients' desires and budget. To be a successful caterer, you must have business savvy, be great at dealing with people, and able to handle stress.  Additionally, you'll need be an excellent cook as well as be creative, organized and efficient. Some caterers have several of these qualities when they start out, but they have to develop the others as they go along.

This course discusses in detail the critical aspects of management involved in running a catering business like how to get the appropriate licenses and permits, what kind of kitchen you need, basic food safety practices, party planning, cooking for a crowd, planning meals, dealing with customers, understanding how to price your services, and moving the food safely from one location to another.

If you are passionate about food and you feel like you have what it takes to start your own catering business, this course can help you understand the critical steps involved in starting off on the right foot.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Support
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
IACET Accredited Provider
Universal Class, Inc. has been approved as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this approval, Universal Class, Inc. has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is widely recognized as the Standard of good practice internationally. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, Universal Class, Inc. is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its courses that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating: (543 votes)
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
  • Lesson 1: What Is Catering?

    Unlike a restaurant, which prepares food in the same location that it will be served, caterers generally cook the food in one place, and take it to a party venue to be served.
  • Lesson 2: State and Local Regulations

    Most areas of the country require that people who are cooking for others, do so in a commercial kitchen. Specific requirements vary among states and counties.
  • Lesson 3: Food Safety

    Food safety is a critical issue, and it deserves a whole course of its own, but this section presents some basic food safety guidelines.
  • Lesson 4: Business Planning

    A business plan is like an outline that describes your business. In the beginning, there will be some issues you aren't sure how to answer.
  • Lesson 5: Getting Started

    Before you quit your day job, make a detailed analysis of what all your startup costs will be.
  • Lesson 6: Marketing

    For a catering business, marketing means letting people know you are out there, making sure they understand what kind of events you do and what you want to do, and ensuring they are able to find you when they want you.
  • Lesson 7: Party Planning

    In the early days of your business, most clients are likely to be friends and family members with whom you already have a relationship, and who will only be so hard on you if something goes awry.
  • Lesson 8: Meal Planning

    Meal planning can seem like an overwhelming task, but once you understand the occasion, the venue, and its limitations, the most important thing is what the customer wants.
  • Lesson 9: Shopping

    The contract is signed, the menu is ready, and you are about to go shopping. As a professional caterer, you are armed and ready with an extensive list of everything you need, organized by the store in which you plan to buy it.
  • Lesson 10: Timing and Kitchen Efficiency

    The more efficient you make your work processes, the less time it takes. The less time it takes, the more profitable you can be.
  • Lesson 11: Logistics: Getting the Food to Its Destination on Time

    There are two ways catered food can arrive at its final destination: either the caterer takes it, or the customer picks it up.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Catering 101
Course Number: 7550523
Languages: English - United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other English speaking countries
Course Type: How To
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: UniversalClass Staff Instructor
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $40.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $65.00

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what is catering.
  • Summarize state and local regulations.
  • Describe food safety.
  • Describe the business planning process for successful catering business.
  • Summarize getting started techniques and procedures for your catering business.
  • Identify marketing techniques for a successful catering business.
  • Describe party planning and the role of catering.
  • Summarize meal planning.
  • Identify shopping needs for a successful catering company.
  • Summarize timing and kitchen efficiency for a successful catering.
  • Recognize logistics in a successful catering business, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
An IntroductionAssignment5
Lesson 1 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 1. Introduction. What is Catering?Exam10
Lesson 2 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 2. State and Local RegulationsExam10
Lesson 3 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 3. Food SafetyExam10
Lesson 4 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 4. Business PlanningExam10
Lesson 5 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 5. Getting StartedExam9
Lesson 6 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 6. MarketingExam10
Lesson 7 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 7. Party PlanningExam10
Lesson 8 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 8. Meal PlanningExam10
Lesson 9 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 9. ShoppingExam7
Lesson 10 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 10. Timing and Kitchen EfficiencyExam9
Lesson 11 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 11. Logistics: Getting the food to its destination on timeExam10
The Final ExamExam55
Total Points:440

Student Testimonials

  • "The entire course was helpful." -- Phyllis B.
  • "The instructor was great! I was glad to get the feedback that i did get." -- Nicole D.
  • "The course was very helpful. I learned a lot from taking this course." -- Shirley Faye B.
  • "The instructor was very responsive and engaged with my progress." -- Sheryl J.
  • "I really enjoyed the course, it was very helpful to me. My instructor was very nice...She did her part very well." -- Rochelle J.

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