I am developing a catering menu in the next week or two.
Up until now I have been doing very well just selling large pizza orders for catering, but I would like to develope it.

I am not sure how others do it but I would love to hear.

Ie do you offer pastas?
do you charge per person?
what set up to you include in the catering?

Any of these questions answered would be great. Thanks.

We used to do catering. We sold pastas and salad and bread. We charged per person and they were given a choice. For example one pasta salad and bread. Choice of two pastas, salad and bread. etc. We did fruit and veggie trays. We kept it simple.

It actually went over quite well. We were reasonably priced, not real fancy so people got great food at a great price.

The problems we ran into:

We had to purchase chaffing dishes, pans, utentils, drink dispensors. First couple of jobs paid for these items.

In the begining we had lots of left overs because we wanted to make sure we didn’t run out. Over time and really good records we were able to get it pretty right on.

Most all catering jobs are on Friday and Saturday night. Will you have enough staff to send to the catering job? Do you have enough space to give up on a Friday/Saturday to prepare. We found it very difficult to handle our rush while trying to get things prepared for 200 people.

Do you have a van or transportation to carry all the items?

My advice:

Always and I mean always put it clearly in writing what they are getting when the meal service starts AND ENDS, what will happen to the leftovers and who will bring containers for left overs. Is electrcity available, kitchen and water. Always, Always get a non refundable down payment. (Enough to cover food cost) Always have a deadline for how many people will be served. We did a week if they said 100 they had to pay for 100, even if 25 showed. We did allow them to add a few last minute (update it in writing) but never were allowed to lessen the amount.

And finally if you don’t listen to anything else I say…GET FULL AND FINAL PAYMENT BEFORE ANYONE EATS ANYTHING. Even if it is a “regular” a “friend” no matter what get payment.

The final straw for us is when we got stiffed the guy was “real busy and good for it” we got scr**ed! We let people eat and truly believed we were going to get paid. NOT!

We just got to big for our britches and could no longer handle the pizza place and catering on busy friday and saturdays.

Catering is a lot of fun cuz usually happy occasions. You are there for the feedback. You will be amazed at your ability to handle situations that arise.