Assistant Catering Manager

Job Summary

RISD Dining and RISD Caters is actively seeking an Assistant Catering Manager to join its in-house dining and catering program. Be a part of the group that delivers exceptional hospitality by supporting local farms through seasonally-inspired menus, and utilizing the strengths of its staff to provide the absolute best in culinary artistry to the greater community.

The Assistant Catering Manager, under the direction of the General Manager, Catering and Conference Services, oversees the day-to-day set-up, service, presentation, and various other aspects of catering event planning and production. Ensures that all aspects of events are timely and that quality standards are met for our premier art and design community. Responsible for hiring, training, scheduling, coordinating and supervising wait staff, caterers, and bartenders. Serves as the key contact for and provides consultation, coordination, and execution related services for conferences being held on RISD’s campus. Stays current with emerging trends and recommends and implements ideas/methods, as approved by leadership, to advance and promote RISD Catering/Auxiliary Events and Services and to assure that RISD Catering/Auxiliary Events and Services are competitive and meet financial goals. Regularly seeks customer feedback to gauge success and challenges; makes recommendations to RISD Caters & Conference Services Manager based on feedback obtained; and implements as approved. Responsible for creating a positive working atmosphere that fosters communication among all workforces. Act as a participatory member of the supervisory staff, mentoring through example. Serves as a back up to the RISD Caters & Conference Services Manager in event of absence.

Essential Functions

  • Monitor the status of all upcoming caterings and anticipate needs for equipment; food products; and beverages. Ensure that the purchase and acquisition of all necessary goods are done in a timely manner. Manage orders for all event sundries (i.e. linen, liquor, rentals, etc.) within financial targets and quality standards. Serve as the day-to-day liaison to catering purveyors. Log all deliveries, verifying the accuracy of each shipment, handling any shortages or deficiencies, and coordinating timely returns of products or equipment.

  • Plan, staff and manage assigned catered events. Ensure consistency in standards associated with set-up, service, presentation, completion, break-down and follow up of event. Serve as the key contact and liaison for premier clients such as Presidents Office, Institutional Development and the Museum. Monitor event activities to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and satisfaction of participants. Resolve any problems that arise.

  • Responsible for presenting RISD Caters and Auxiliary Services value-add products and services in a manner that highlights and promotes our distinct features/advantages, coordinates and leverages the RISD community, and ensures our competitive market posture.

  • Responsible for transportation/delivery logistics of event needs and staff in accordance with RISD’s Fleet Policy. Ensure that vehicles are regularly maintained. Coordinate transportation schedule.

  • Hire, train, develop, evaluate and manage full-time, part-time, on-call and/or temporary wait staff. Develop and recommend, policies, procedures, and training programs to continually improve and refine operations and communication and implement as approved by manager. Identify inefficiencies and work with all labor sources to remedy using various tools and techniques.

  • Review and reconcile Catering departmental inventory and assist with regular periodic inventories for all locations. Oversee periodic inventory of catering small wares, linens, liquor, paper and plastic supplies, bottled beverages, coffee service supplies, etc. Maintain storage areas and freezers in proper order and ensure sanitary conditions.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required and at least three years in catering/event planning, and/or related food service industry experience, preferably in a college university setting, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Previous experience guiding or mentoring others.

  • Must be able to market and sell catering to a visually discerning audience, and to communicate effectively with faculty, staff, students and a discriminating external clientele.

  • Must be sufficiently experienced in food presentation, logistics and service and use independent judgment in regularly determining product substitutions for food items including specialty catering items, choice meats, and perishable produce.

  • Ability to handle high profile and sensitive events, scenarios, and constituencies, including VIPs.

  • Must hold a Rhode Island Certificate of Sanitation Management, be Barcode or TIPS Certified for Responsible Alcohol Service.

  • Must possess a valid driver's license.

  • Knowledge and compliance of safety and HAACP standards.

Valued but not required skills and experience:

Previous experience with banquet purchasing, rental contract agreements, accounts receivables and payables.



Work Schedule

Full-time, 35 hours per week. Must be available to work on evenings, and occasional weekends, and to travel as required.

All dining and catering staff are considered essential personnel to the school and are therefore required to attend work even when the school is closed.

Employment Status (Temp, Term, On-call, etc)

Regular, Full-Time



Documents Needed to Apply


Cover Letter

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

For certain positions, RISD is currently supporting remote work arrangements due to the pandemic. When work resumes in person, employees are expected to perform work on campus.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Dining - Catering

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