Are you a good cook and you are interested in starting a catering business, but you are contemplating on the need to attend a catering training certification program? If you are in such a situation, then i advice you read on. Caterers perform a vital service of helping to prepare and present delicious and healthy meals for clients and to perform this job excellently; they need some level of professional training and certification.

Apart from the fact that enrolling for, and obtaining a catering certification helps to enhance performance of a caterer, it is also a basic legal requirement for starting a catering business in some countries. The most popular catering organization in the world is the National Association of Catering Executives, which issues its members with a Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) after passing a comprehensive examination. The certificate is usually renewed every five years.

The NACE is not the only organization that offers professional catering certification programs. There are several other catering institutes where you can enroll for professional catering certification. You just need to find the one that best suits you in terms of location, costs, reputation and relevance.

The advantages of enrolling for a catering certification are numerous as it is generally a win-win situation. Apart from the fact that you would have to shell out a few hundreds or in some cases, thousands of dollars to enroll for a certification program, you have nothing else to lose. Some of the advantages of attending a catering certification program include-:

 Top 10 Benefits of Attending a Certification Training Program

1. Having training and certification boosts confidence

When you attend a training certification program and obtain a license that certifies you as a professional caterer, it boosts your confidence. You are able to approach customers confidently especially the corporate clients and whenever any questions about your competence arises, you are able to convince your customers that you have what it takes to carry out the job in the most professional way. People find it easier to trust your services when they know that you are a certified professional. Getting a catering certification means getting more catering jobs.

2. It makes you familiar with trends

When you attend a catering certification program, it keeps you abreast of changes in the catering industry. The catering industry is an evolving one and there are new trends coming up everyday. For instance, few years back, mobile catering wasn’t as popular but it seems to be gaining more prominence these days. Another instance is gluten-free catering. This was not popular in the 90’s or early 2000’s but it’s becoming more popular.

There are now several niches in the catering industry that caters to different needs and categories of people. For instance, there are kosher certified caterers that cater to the Jewish, halal caterers for the Muslims and vegan caterers. Catering certification training keeps you informed and generally in tune with these trends, so that you can also make necessary changes to your business to keep up with the trends; before you get left behind by the crowd.

3. You gain access to more business opportunities

When people place advertisements searching for caterers, it is not uncommon to see phrases like “we need a PROFESSIONAL caterer for……” People generally prefer to hire professional caterers especially the corporate clients. So how do you prove to your clients that you are a professional caterer? Through a professional certificate of course! If you have a professional catering certification, it’s easier to get jobs with corporate clients and even individual clients.

4. Certification opens you up to networking opportunities

You cannot relegate networking to the back seat in any business. Networking takes the forefront of any business because that is how you get more clients. When you attend a catering certification program, you automatically increase your chances of meeting more people and subsequently, getting more clients.

Some catering certification institutes have a database of their members on their website, so that people who need professional caterers in your area can easily locate and hire you. This is just one of the many advantages of attending a catering certification program.

5. You gain more business management knowledge

It’s not all about cooking in the catering institutes. They also teach you about the business side of things. You would learn how to manage the financial aspect of your business. You would be able to prepare your business accounts at the end of every month or yearly.

You would also learn how to file your taxes and discover ways to reduce tax liability. Some would even assist you in obtaining loans for your business and give you necessary assistance to help you find your footing in the business financially.

6. You will gain experience

Attending catering certification training programs increases your experience because you would most likely be involved in some field trips or be placed under another senior professional caterer for internship. This would help you to gain more experience in handling the business.

7. You get practical training

This is yet another advantage of enrolling for a catering certification program. You would learn more about the practical aspect of your business such as how to plan menus, how to take inventory, storage methods, how to prepare cuisines and all the various cooking techniques.

8. Getting trained will improve customer service skills

A lot of caterers think this is unimportant as long as they know how to prepare delicious meals. This is just as important as every other aspect of your business because the continuous existence of your business depends on this. If you do not know how to get and maintain your customers, then your business is threatened.

Customers can be difficult sometimes and you just need to know how to please each customer. Attending a catering certification program would ensure that you are armed with the skills needed to manage your customers and keep them coming back.

9. You will gain legal recognition

When you obtain a catering certification, your business would look better in the eyes of the law. As a matter of fact, some countries require you to have a professional catering certificate before you can practice as a professional caterer. Obtaining a professional catering certificate would show that you understand best practices and you are adequately trained to handle the catering business professionally, so that people who patronize your services are protected and safe.

10. You will have Marketing / competitive advantage

Lastly, enrolling for a catering certification training  course increases your marketing and advertising skills. You will be taught how to package and market your business and generally increase your chances of getting more business and patronage.

In conclusion, if you are planning to start a catering business, i would encourage you to enroll for a catering certification program and if you are already in the business and you haven’t attended a catering certification program before, i recommend that you to enroll for one because the benefits of enrolling for one cannot be over-emphasized.

Ajaero Tony Martins