Catering Director--Hotel

Jamie Breslin

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I am in charge of the catering department that generates the largest amount of revenue by selling events in our hotel . I oversee a staff of catering managers and conference service managers who plan and book events for clients. What skills are needed? This job requires someone who is very detail-oriented. It is helpful to have knowledge of food and beverages. A person in this field must enjoy dealing with people and working in a team environment. Communication skills are very important as you are taking communication from the client and passing it on to the various hotel support departments. What was your major? Food and Nutrition Major, Business Minor How did you get started in your career? I started my career through an internship program with the Hyatt Regency. What experience do you need in this job? We look for someone with a positive attitude, computer skills, a professional appearance, and someone who is motivated and willing to learn. We also look for people who can appreciate and recognize the luxury standards set at a hotel like the Four Seasons. Describe your "typical" workday: I meet with my staff each day to go over the day's events. I also have customer appointments to discuss details of events that are already booked. I participate in tastings almost everyday. Part of my day is spent talking on the phone with potential clients actually selling future events. If an event that I have booked is occurring, I am out on the floor overseeing the process to make sure that all the details are right. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The hardest aspect of this job is balancing everything and staying focused. This position requires multitasking -- there is a lot of stop and start activity. And you can't forget where you left off! What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? At this stage in my career, the most rewarding aspect for me personally is developing new employees into successful catering careers. I enjoy the evolution of an event from selling, to planning, to the actual successful event. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Most of the time people enter this field at the administrative level. You need to be open-minded and to develop good social skills. It is also important to develop strong computer skills in programs like Word and Excel.