CEO & PRESIDENT OF WOLFGANG PUCK CATERING
Carl Schuster brings over thirty years experience in the hospitality industry to his role as CEO of Wolfgang Puck Catering (WPC). With his partner, legendary chef Wolfgang Puck, Schuster founded and oversees the continued growth of the premiere national catering company.
Born in Minneapolis, Schuster’s heartland values directed his career path towards hospitality, following his father’s footsteps into the hotel business at a young age. Years of experience cultivated a passion for genuine service, and Schuster gravitated to food and beverage operations. He embraced the opportunity of an executive position with Kimpton Group, extending his fine-dining and banquet expertise. A leadership role with Manhattan-based Restaurant Associates (RA) persuaded Schuster to transition into catering and managed services. Responsible for developing RA’s west coast market, Schuster worked closely with Wolfgang Puck on the Academy Awards® Governors Ball, then held at an RA venue.
Identifying a unique opening in the marketplace for a chef-led national catering company, Schuster and Puck founded WPC in 1998. From an off-premise catering operation in Los Angeles, Schuster has steered the company’s national expansion into Cultural & Museum, Sports & Entertainment, Convention and Corporate hospitality. Delivering on Puck’s vision of a true restaurant-quality experience in a special event setting, WPC provides catering and corporate dining services in twelve major markets across the country for events up to 10,000 guests. Schuster credits the uniquely talented culinary team led by Chef Partner Matt Bencivenga for the company’s success, continuing to raise the bar on culinary innovation and uncompromising quality.
Schuster has developed key partnerships with leading entertainment and real estate companies including AEG, Woodbine Development, and Live Nation. In 2004, Schuster orchestrated a partnership with Compass Group North America, the leading foodservice management and support services company with $13.6 billion in annual revenues and over 500,000 associates worldwide. Parent company of premium operators Restaurant Associates and Levy Restaurants as well, Compass Group’s partnership fueled WPC’s growth from $10m to over $140m.
Schuster shares Puck’s dedication to giving back. He serves on the executive boards of Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board and the L.A. Sports and Entertainment Commission, and a state commissioner for Visit California. He is an active board member of Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA; the Fulfillment Fund, empowering students to achieve their dreams; and Camp del Corazon, a free summer camp run by volunteers for children with heart disease. Locally, Schuster supports community school and recreation programs, and chairs YMCA and American Cancer Society chapter events.
Schuster is a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of WPO (World Presidents Organization). He lives in San Marino, California, with his wife Leslie and children Alexandra and Jake.