Types of Catering Establishments

Generally, catering can be divided into two major types or sectors:

1. Primary or commercial catering/profit sector catering
2. Secondary or welfare catering/cost sector catering

Profit Sector Catering
Profit sector catering, also primary or commercial catering comprises establishments whose main aim is to earn profit by providing food and beverages to guests based on demand. Hence, they are referred to as commercial catering establishments. These include hotels, fast food outlets, bars, public houses (pubs) etc.

Cost Sector Catering
This type of catering, also, called secondary or welfare catering comprises establishments that provide food and beverage as part of another business.

Their aim is not to earn money, instead the establishments are there to provide welfare services at affordable prices, such as industrial canteens, hospital canteens, school/college canteens, railway catering services, airline, ship or cruise lines catering services.

Catering Establishments
Catering establishments may also be categorized by the nature of their services and the demands they meet. The following are some of the catering establishments and services:

(i) Hotel Catering
A hotel is an establishment where people stay, usually for a short time, paying for the moms and meals. Hotel catering therefore provides food and drinks for the needs of hotel residents.

(ii) Restaurant Catering
A restaurant is an establishment that serves the customers ‘th prepared food and beverages to be consumed on the premises. Restaurants are sometimes also a feature of a larger complex, typically a hotel, where the dining amenities are provided for the convenience of the residents and for the hotel to maximize their potential revenue.

(iii) Mobile Catering
A mobile caterer serves food directly from a vehicle or a cart that is designed for the purpose. Mobile catering is common at outdoor events such as concerts, workplaces, workshops and downtown business districts.

(iv) Outdoor Catering
This involves catering for functions like marriage, parties or conventions. The type of food and set up depends entirely on the price agreed upon. Another form of outdoor catering is event catering. Events range from box-lunch drop-off to full service.

(v) Transport Catering
This is the provision of food and beverages to passengers, before, during and after a journey on trains, aircraft, ships and in buses or private vehicles.

These services may also be utilized by the general public, who are in the vicinity of the transport catering establishment. The major forms of modem day transport catering are airline catering, railway catering ship catering and surface catering in coaches or buses which operate on long distance routes.

(a) Airline catering
This may be carried out on board or situated at airport terminals. Catering to passengers enroute is normally contracted out to a flight catering unit of an airline.

(b) Railway catering
This involves catering to passengers both during the journey and at different halts at railway stations. Travelling by train can be very tiring, hence people are given a variety of refreshments to help make the journey less tedious.

(c) Ship catering
This involves catering for the cabin crew and ship passengers. Ships have kitchens and restaurants on board. The quality of services and facilities depend on the class of the ship and the price the passengers are willing to pay.

There are cruises to suit every pocket. They range from room service and cocktail bars to specialist dining restaurants.

(d) Surface catering
This is catering to passengers travelling by surface transport such as buses and private vehicles. They are normally located around a bus terminus or on highways. They may be government or privately owned.

(vi) Retail Store Catering
Some retail stores, like big departmental stores introduced -this concept to stop the inconvenience of customers going to look for where to eat during shopping

(vii) Club Catering
This refers to provision of food and beverages to a restaurant clientele. Some examples of clubs for people with similar interests are tennis clubs, golf dubs, cricket dubs etc. Food served in these dubs are of a fairly good standard and economical. They offer entertainment with good food and expensive drinks.

(viii) Welfare Catering
Provision of food and beverages to people to fulfill a social obligation, determined by a recognized authority is termed welfare catering This grew out of a welfare state concept, prevailing in western countries; It includes catering in hospitals, schools, colleges, the armed forces and prisons.

(ix) Industrial Catering
This is provision of food and drinks to those who work in industries and factories at highly subsidized rates. It is based on the belief that better fed workers at concessional rates are happy and more productive. It may be carried out by management itself, or may be contracted out to professional caterers. It can be carried out for a fixed period of time at predetermined price.

(x) Leisure-linked Catering
It involves the sales of food and drinks through kiosks, and different stalls, at exhibitions, galleries, theme parks, and theaters. This type of catering is brought about by the increase of leisure time.

Other Methods of Catering Services especially at Parties

These include:
(a) The station method
(b) The follow up method
(c) The combination method

(a) The station method
In station method, each service person is assigned two tables of either eight or ten guests. The service person is solely responsible for the service at those two tables. This method is used when a large staff or temporary workers are hired to serve a large party

(i) It affords the caterer the opportunity to know who is responsible for service at all tables.
(ii) The workers might not necessarily be permanent staff.

(i) It is the slowest type of party service.
(ii) Guest tables usually will not be served in the proper order.
(iii) Service people will only setup their own tables.

(b) The follow up method
This is the most efficient and quickest method. It takes proper planning, cooperation and leadership. Here the group works as a team.

(i) It is fast.
(ii) All guests are served in proper order.
(iii) Food is picked up quickly from kitchen.

(i) It is difficult to teach temporary workers to use this system.
(ii) The temporary workers lack proper organization and team spirit.

(c) The combination method
Combines the best features of follow-up and station methods. Serving food is done by team system while clearing is the responsibility of a service person.

(i) his used by other permanent and temporary staff.
(ii) It saves staff.
(iii) Tables are served in order

(i) Lower than the follow-up method.

Scroll Down to Select Page 4 for the next lesson – Lesson Three: Careers in Catering

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