Catering is an increasingly popular vocational training course that is offered in some schools. It differs from Food Technology, which has long been a GCSE option, as it looks at commercial catering rather than self sufficiency family based cooking skills. It’s an excellent choice for those considering a career in the restaurant trade, as you will learn valuable skills and have a chance to see whether the idea matches up to the reality.
The course is normally offered at a local college, as it will require access to a teaching kitchen set up. There are many colleges that offer Catering courses at higher levels, and will therefore have a commercial kitchen set up and in many cases will have a public facing restaurant where you can showcase your skills at a lower than normal price to members of the public.
You will learn about all aspects of running a restaurant, so not just food preparation and cooking but also setting up tables, serving and presentation skills, waiting tables, clearing and billing the customer. Most courses will look at complaints and how to deal with them, as well as how to use feedback to improve the services you provide. The skills involved in food preparation will obviously form part of the course, so you will be able to demonstrate your new skills at home and impress your parents. You will also learn the ins and outs of food hygiene and safety, as this is also taught.