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How 5 Caterers Got Happily 'Into the Weeds'

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Being "in the weeds" is restaurant lingo meaning "I'm overwhelmed and unable to catch up." Most of the time being even temporarily in the weeds is a good thing, because at the end of the night the busy server will likely make bank in tips.

Catering is the fastest-growing segment of the food industry, according to the International Caterers Association.

Being in the hospitality and food industries means caterers endure long hours, demanding clients and aggressive competition from others trying to be bigger and better to snatch clients. But it is also a chance for someone to use their passion about food and decor to make a living, while being in control of the experience they give to customers.

The ICA, an association made up of on- and off-premise caterers, estimates there are 80,000 caterers just in North America and expects "substantial" growth, according to its Web site.

After speaking with a handful of caterers, common themes for success emerge: being detail-oriented, being able to listen to clients' needs and desires (even if they aren't speaking them aloud) and a general passion for food and hospitality.

Here are five caterers who like being in the weeds:

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