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Catering manager

Catering managers in the NHS are responsible for providing food and drink for patients and staff. They have to make sure that the food and drink is high quality, within budget and served on time.

Training and qualifications required

Catering managers in the NHS have a relevant qualification, usually a degree or HND eg in hospitality management, hotel and catering management or culinary arts management. To get onto a degree or HND course you usually need appropriate level 3 qualifications. Some cooks or chefs enter the NHS as catering assistants and take qualifications while they are working and gaining experience. If you join the NHS as a catering manager you will be given the training you need to introduce you to the department and its systems and procedures. You are likely to have opportunities to take further qualifications. You may also be expected to go on short courses in particular topics such as special diets.

Expected working hours and salary range

Catering staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As a cook team manager, you'll typically be on AfC band 4, and with further training and experience, you could apply for posts as a catering manager at AfC bands 5 and 6. Catering managers in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They may work shifts including early starts and evenings. Terms and conditions will usually be different for catering managers staff working outside of the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

As a catering manager, you have to be interested in food and drink, flexible and adaptable, able to plan ahead and prioritise and keen to provide good customer service. You'll need good organisational, management, budgeting, problem-solving and communication skills.

Prospects

With experience, catering managers can progress by being responsible for larger departments. With further experience, they may become head of a trust’s catering service. There may be opportunities outside the NHS.
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