The Food Service Industry (Catering Industry in British English) encompasses those places, institutions and companies that provide meals eaten away from home. This industry includes restaurants, schools and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, and many other formats, including ‘on-premises’ and ‘off-premises’ caterings.
Catering is a multifaceted segment of the food service industry. There is a niche for all types of catering businesses within the segment of catering. The food service industry is divided into three general classifications: commercial segment, noncommercial segment, and military segment. Catering management may be defined as the task of planning, organizing, controlling and executing. Each activity influences the preparation and delivery of food, beverage, and related services at a competitive, yet profitable price. These activities work together to meet and exceed the customer’s perception of value for his money.
Catering management is executed in many diverse ways within each of the four segments. The first, commercial segment, traditionally considered the profit generating operation, includes the independent caterer, the restaurant caterer, and the home-based caterer. In addition, hotel / motel and private club catering operations are also found in this category.
Catering Management is executed in many diverse ways within each of the four segments. The first, commercial segment, traditionally considered the profit generating operation, includes the independent caterer, the restaurant caterer, and the home-based caterer. In addition, hotel / motel and private club catering operations are also found in this category.
The figure above, illustrates how the food service catering industry is segmented. The non-commercial segment, or the ‘not-for- profit’ operations, consists of the following types of catering activities: business / industry accounts, school, college and university catering, health care facilities, recreational food service catering, social organizations and transportation food service catering. The military segment encompasses all catering activities involved in association with the armed forces and / or diplomatic events.
Types of Catering
There are two main types of catering on-premises and off-premises catering that may be a concern to a large and small caterer. On-premise catering for any function - banquet, reception, or event - that is held on the physical premises of the establishment or facility that is organizing / sponsoring the function. On-premise catering differs from off-premise catering, whereby the function takes place in a remote location, such as a client’s home, a park, an art gallery, or even a parking lot, and the staff, food, and decor must be transported to that location. Off-premise catering often involves producing food at a central kitchen, with delivery to and service provided at the client’s location. Part or all of the production of food may be executed or finished at the location of the event.
Catering can also be classified as social catering and corporate (or business) catering. Social catering includes such events as weddings, bar and mitzwahs, high school reunions, birthday parties, and charity events. Business catering includes such events as association conventions and meetings, civic meetings, corporate sales or stockholder meetings, recognition banquets, product launches, educational training sessions, seller-buyer meets, service awards banquets, and entertaining in hospitality suites.
Sectors of Food Service Industry
India Catering Industry has maintained the growth rate of 15 to 20 per cent and the Rs. 15,000 crore & Industry has not seen any negative impact of slowdown.