New caterers in the business need to know the importance of a catering invoice and the existing businesses need a better template to serve their customers better. Before or after an occasion, it helps in laying out the items in a structured manner and also includes the prices and the final bill estimate. To inform your clients beforehand, you need to provide them a catering invoice.
What is a catering invoice?
Usually, aside from providing food, catering services also include cutlery, servers who tend to the tables, a catering set-up, custom menus, and the clean-up after the event.
Why make this invoice?
As the owner of a catering business, you would write the catering invoice for several important reasons including providing an itemized list of the costs, terms, and services you will provide.
This is a formally-written document that serves as a summary of all the work done and a payment request. Creating an invoice for a catering business is not a luxury but a necessity, especially because you need it even for your taxes.
How do you write a catering invoice?
You work hard on all business aspects to ensure that your clients and their entourage will have great experiences at all of the events that you cater to. Commensurate to this, your catering invoice should work equally hard for you. Here are some things to consider when writing your catering form or template:
- Include your business’ name, address, and contact details. You may also mention that you offer services for special events or specific types of cuisines.
- Insert your company website address, logo, and fun graphics to brand your business.
- Insert the name of your customer and their contact details.
- Add a unique invoice number.
- Write the invoice date, the catering date, and the due date of the payment.
- Include an itemized list of all the food you provide, descriptions of special orders, and the price for each item.
- Include a list of other charges like those for delivery, serving or cleaning up after the event. Include costs and descriptions for each.
- If you’re giving a discount for corporate clients or regular customers, add a line that highlights the discount.
- Calculate the total price. Don’t forget to include the applicable taxes – then write the total down.
- Include your terms of payment and the methods of payment that you accept.
- Add a note at the bottom to thank your customers for their business.
How do you price a catering job?
If you have a start-up catering business, it could be a challenge to determine how much you will charge on your catering invoice, especially if your client is somebody you know. But remember that you must pay for all of the equipment, food, and service you will provide.
This lessens the impact of pricing your services even with family or friends. Before creating your catering invoice template, here are some tips for pricing catering jobs:
- Find out the guest count
Nothing affects the price you charge more than the number of guests that will attend the event. Although not all of the invited guests will show up and sometimes, those who didn’t RSVP will attend. Because of these uncertainties, it’s a good idea to include a policy regarding changes and guarantees. Doing this protects your business.
- Consider what services and food you will provide
The total cost also depends greatly on your client’s choice of service and menu. For instance, an hors d’oeuvres buffet typically has a lower price but adding more buffet stations can increase the price.
You may advise clients with a minimal budget to feed their guests outside of the regular mealtimes so that you won’t have to serve a lot of food. Also, discuss any special requests or additional items. Go over the potential menus and get their approval on all of the ingredients you plan to use.
- Add the food costs
After your client approves the menu, you can now create a detailed list of ingredients with their corresponding quantities and get the total on how much all these will cost you. You will also include this information on your catering invoice sample. Next, you need to find a supplier to assign a price to the special ingredients that your client has requested.
Also, remember that it’s much easier to determine how much food you need if you will serve each guest with a set meal rather than a buffet. It’s also important to remember that your food costs should be around 30% of the total price of your catering services.
- Add the supplies costs
Consider if there is a need for these items and how much they will cost:
Linens like tablecloths, napkins, and the like
- Add the bar costs
Adding a bar to the occasion could be quite expensive. In most cases, clients have to pay 2 to 3 times the food costs for this addition. Some clients might opt to bring their own alcohol then hire a professional bartender if the venue allows it.
If left with no choice, you need to add the prices of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, the bar set up, ice, the services of a bartender, and other related costs.
- Include a service charge
Service charges typically include labor costs. Depending on the size of the event, you can determine how many assistants and servers you need. It’s also appropriate to include a gratuity – or you may leave it to your clients to tip your staff.
The service charge also covers coordination and administration costs. This refers to the overhead. To compute this, consider the following:
The salaries of the owner and the administrative staff’
The cost of renting the venue
The cost of marketing
The cost of equipment
The costs of utilities like gas and electricity
The costs of vehicle maintenance and fuel
The cost of internet
The costs of your phone bills
The cost of insurance
The cost of taxes
From all of these, factor in your profit margin. You can either factor in a percentage or add a flat fee.
- Compute the total
Finally, add all of the costs together to get the total price to charge your client.