Did you know there is a 9% overall job growth outlook for sales and catering coordinators between now and 2026? Prepare your resume and skillset to become even more competitive in this growing job market. Explore the tips outlined in this article to successfully boost group sales, support hotel catering teams, and manage staff at hotel events.
What is a sales and catering coordinator?
A sales and catering coordinator at a hotel is in charge of increasing revenue, facilitating events, and managing all the nitty-gritty details that go into successful live events. There are many different ways to become a sales and catering coordinator but all paths involve business management.
Also, successful sales and catering coordinators are great at customer service, finance, and organization. Skills such as quick problem-solving and improving the efficiency of established systems are also highly desirable for this job.
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How to be a successful sales and catering coordinator
A successful sales and catering coordinator excels in all three major areas of their position which includes sales, catering, and management. Follow these tips to excel in every way:
1. Boost revenue
Give valuable budget input, upsell clients, and streamline communication between leads and hotels to improve profits.
Assist with the budget.
Help your hotel management team create realistic budgets with details such as quotes from vendors, data from similar past events, and revenue forecasting.
Keep a list of go-to vendors with their contact information, pricing, and specialties. Update your notes on their rates and services at the beginning of each new year since vendors tend to grow and change their businesses over time.
Organize data from similar past events using a hotel event planning software such as Cvent or a catering management platform. Track key details such as projected spend versus actual expenses. Print custom reports that support your budget recommendations for hotel and event managers to look over.
Forecast revenue ranges – hotel food and beverage typically makes up 25% of the overall revenue anyway, so it makes sense to include it in your budget notes.
Successful sales and catering coordinates know how to upsell clients and improve the efficiency of food and beverage operations. Upsell clients on particular vendors, larger menus, or special add-ons with visual proposals. Include 3D space diagrams made with a hotel catering software tool such as Social Tables to persuade them.
Then, improve the efficiency of food and beverage operation with an all-in-one event communication platform. Bring planners, managers, and clients together with easy to reference event notes and centralized messaging.
Also, come up with ways your hotel can find more business. Reach out to your professional associations for corporate client recommendations or referrals in the short term. Then, build your own loyal fanbase of event planners and corporate executives over time to provide even more value to hotels – and make yourself an irresistible hire!
Communicate the client’s vision.
Help hotel management understand the client’s vision with a questionnaire template you can use to document the most important details of every meeting and digital interaction. Include template items such as what they do, what’s most important to them, and why they want to host this particular event at this specific time. Specifics like these inspire hotel managers and event planners to find relevant solutions for their needs and wants.
2. Support hotel event catering teams
Put in timely orders, ensure chefs stay up to code, and keep an eye on big picture event concerns to help teams excel.
Recognize that successful sales and catering coordinators often order ingredients for hotel event menus, kitchen supplies as needed, and back-office supplies on a regular basis. Get familiar with digital catering equipment stores such as WebstaurantStore and Caterer’s Warehouse.
Next, make a digital calendar system to organize all three ordering schedules. Color code orders by food, kitchen, and office. Set up automatic email reminders for food orders two to four weeks in advance of events.
Then, crowdsource a list of low inventory kitchen supplies by posting a sign in the food prep areas. Finally, use convenient tools such as Amazon’s Subscribe and Save to automatically restock office supplies on a quarterly or bi-yearly basis.
Meet kitchen sanitation and safety requirements.
Make sure all of your chefs and hotel event staff practice government-recommended food safety tips such as proper surface disinfection and meat temperature monitoring. Prepare a list of general hygiene reminders and place them in areas where your staff can easily review it all.
Double-check that everyone who will handle food at the event has a valid ServSafe certification.
Restock hand soap, dishwashing detergent, paper towels, and cleaning supplies at least a week ahead of the event. Keep disposable gloves and hairnets in an assortment of sizes available. Have an emergency first aid kit and working fire extinguisher at the ready.
Work together with your chefs to prepare a kitchen layout. Give workers plenty of room to move around without bumping into one another and set up work stations with electric gadgets that are far away from any potential water spillage. Hire or assign dishwashing and utensil sanitation to one person or team and keep a steady flow throughout the event.
Encourage workers who feel under the weather to stay at home. Promote healthy habits such as water consumption and light stretching while on the job. Also, send out a notice ahead of time asking all event catering employees to wear proper non-slip foot attire. Take this opportunity to send out liability forms too.
Oversee food presentation.
Keep client order notes and inspiration images in a binder for quick reference during the event. Have sanitized cloths ready to wipe off sauce splatters and thumbprints from dish and platter edges. Create a mockup presentation tray for servers or whoever is in charge of plating. Restock cocktail napkins, swizzlers, and garnishes when they’re half empty if they’re on public display as part of your decor.
Manage event guests.
Greet them yourself or assign a guest check-in team to the task. Provide them with chairs and a table or a podium. Brief them on the event timeline any other relevant details such as breaks and meal opportunities. Create a coat check system for any event that takes place during the fall or winter.
Use event catering software to create an event layout your guests will enjoy. Add meal preferences and special dietary restrictions to individual guest profiles and assign seating where needed.
3. Excel at management
Lead employees from beginning to end to help make your hotel events the best they can possibly be.
Manage employee event schedules.
Book and confirm hotel event staff for given event days. Include setup and breakdown in your shift assignment details. Confirm availability before you add them to your event schedule.
Work with your hotel property and make a plan for what to do if one or more event staff members call out sick. If you can, have at least one well-rounded team member on call during the course of your event just in case you need extra help at any point.
Supervise hotel event staff.
Make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are and when they can take their state and federal mandated breaks. Set aside a coat room or closet for them to neatly place their personal belongings. Provide a locked safe for valuables or, if there are celebrities in attendance, their phones.
Keep them informed with an event briefing at the start of their shift. Cover topics such as menu items, client goals and expectations, and the schedule for the day. Help them find things to do if there is a lull and suggest some simple busy work activities that will greatly help out chefs during a rush.
Coordinate hotel event setup and breakdown.
To set up the event: Plan out and gather a list of decor items and set up supplies you’ll need ahead of time. Create an event setup schedule and prep staff accordingly.
To break down the event: Assign teams of people to remove the trash, run dishes to the kitchen, pack up table cloths, and break down furniture. Have one point person review and communicate expectations rental companies have about their items.
Learn even more about the best sales and catering coordinator jobs
A sales and catering coordinator increases hotel revenue, oversees catering teams, and manages event details.
Become a catering sales manager by applying for an open position or gaining experience in the hospitality industry.
Become a successful catering coordinator by 1. learning how to upsell clients and find new event leads, 2. staying on top of the latest industry trends, and 3. finding new ways to streamline office and event processes.
Become a successful sales and catering coordinator with the right tool
Now you know exactly what a sales and catering coordinator at a hotel is along with tips and tricks for how to excel in every major area of responsibility. You also know how to become successful in this industry. Next up: check out this helpful event management software for hotels that will help manage guests, collaborate with clients, and so much more.