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 a n d
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.