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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 Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating: (794 votes)
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
9/20/2017 4:47:21 PM

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. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: How Catering Works; What Is Catering?
  • Take Poll: Catering Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1. Introduction. What is Catering?

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. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Food Catering Requirements Example; Guide to Catering Establishments; FDA
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2. State and Local Regulations

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. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Food Safety; Foodborne Illnesses
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3. Food Safety

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. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Sample Catering Business Plan; Starting a Business; Starting a Catering Business
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4. Business Planning

Lesson 5: Getting Started

Before you quit your day job, make a detailed analysis of what all your startup costs will be. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: How to Start a Catering Business; Starting a Catering Business; Sole Proprietorship Startup Costs
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5. Getting Started

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. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Catering Marketing; Marketing Plan for a Catering Business; Marketing Ideas
  • Take Poll: Marketing
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6. Marketing

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. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review Article: Catering Tips
  • Take Poll: Meals
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7. Party Planning

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. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Meals on the Go; Food Presentation Tips
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8. Meal Planning

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. 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Beverage Planning; Planning Tips; Catering Food Quantity Guide
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9. Shopping

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. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Ten Catering Tips; How Much Food?; Time-Saving Tips
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10. Timing and Kitchen Efficiency

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. 67 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: More Marketing Tips; Keeping Food Warm; 10 Catering Tips
  • Take Poll: What do you think about this course?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11. Logistics: Getting the food to its destination on time
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

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 and other English speaking countries
Course Type: How To
CEU Value: 0.5 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: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what is catering.
  • Know state and local regulations.
  • Describe food safety.
  • Describe the business planning process for successful catering business.
  • Know 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.
  • Know meal planning.
  • Identify shopping needs for a successful catering company.
  • Know 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.

Student Testimonials

  • "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.
  • "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.

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