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Selecting projects and activities for a Catering industry placement

It’s up to you to decide on the projects and tasks that students will do during their industry placements in collaboration with the student’s college or school.

Industry placements should be designed so that the student can apply and enhance their knowledge of the industry as well as their technical catering skills in a variety of ways. As the student progresses, they might develop an interest in a particular area of catering.

Identifying placement projects

Look for projects and activities for placement students that:

  • allow students to understand the realities of food preparation and production
  • provide opportunities to work alongside skilled chefs and catering professionals
  • line up with your future skills needs to attract and challenge high-calibre students
  • provide opportunities for students to make a meaningful contribution to food service in the sometimes high pressured environment of the modern kitchen
  • allow learning and contribution without being an added burden for their supervisors or slowing down overall projects or business processes

You can use the planning the content of an industry placement article to structure industry placement projects and activities to provide meaningful experience for the student and to deliver tangible benefits for your organisation.

Industry placement example scenarios

Contents

School catering

A placement student is undertaking a day release placement working as part of the food production team for a catering company who deliver meals to a group of schools.

Projects and activities:

  • Research and recommend ways to increase sustainable, local food ingredients into meals to reduce production and transport costs
  • Design new dishes and menus, with specifications for their preparation to promote healthy eating and the fight against childhood obesity
  • Analyse and report on performance against food safety requirements

Restaurant catering

An industry placement student is joining the kitchen of a restaurant that offers lunches and dinners for diners.

Projects and activities:

  • Working alongside chefs in the different disciplines within the kitchen applying skills across different food preparation areas
  • Assess and report on the kitchen’s current performance against the kitchen’s health and safety requirements and policies
  • Research and develop a new dish offering, including ingredients, costing, developing and testing the dish

Hotel catering

A small chain of boutique hotels traditionally recruits apprenticeships as part of their staff recruitment and development strategy. They now also take on several industry placement students each year across their hotels, as part of their longer-term recruitment strategy.

Projects and activities:

  • Investigating waste at each of the breakfast, lunch and dinner services to identify potential savings in food quantities, excess ingredients available for re-use and other efficiency savings
  • Prepare dishes in the food preparation area and produce a report on ways the hotel chain may benefit from sharing practice across teams
  • Monitor deliveries and the quality of raw ingredients and provide suggestions for potential improvements

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