Normally, in some countries, there is no such thing as a catering contract. If ever there was a specific contract, it would be simply verbal communication between the caterer and the client.
But if ever the catering company would need a physical copy of the transactions, then you could always be conventional and prepare a physical contract.
It is always best to begin the contract in a formal manner. It does not have to be lengthy, but it has to be detailed.
This Catering Contract is entered into between Creative Cuisine (“Caterer”) and Toshide Yamazaki (“Client”) together, (“Parties”) and sets forth the business agreement between the Parties relating to catering services to be provided by the Caterer for Client for the event identified in this Contract set on this day May 6, 2046.
It is important that the client provides details to the catering company beforehand so that they may have an idea of what kind of event that they may have to cater. For instance, if the event was going to be a children’s birthday party or a high school reunion, indicate the kind of event there so that the caterer will know the kind of food that is best for the occasion. Aside from the kind of event itself, it is also crucial to add the following elements in the event details: the date of the event, the start and end time, location, and an estimated number of guests. You may also see Essential Contract Templates.
Toshide Yamazaki is hiring Creative Cuisine to provide food and beverages, and related services, for the following event (“Event”):
Date: June 1, 2051
Event start time (for guests): 6 pm
Event end time (for guests): 9 pm
Location: Beijing Bird’s Nest Stadium
Estimated number of guests: 1,000 people
Tip: Even though it is just an estimate, it is important that you have a number to give to the caterer so that they may have sufficient time to prepare the essentials that are needed for the event itself without procrastinating too much. When the event is drawing near, the number of guests can always be adjusted to give a more precise and accurate number of the people attending the said event on that day.
As mentioned before, it is important to state the kind of event that the caterer will be serving so that they can best determine the kind of food to be served. But as always, it is up to the discretion of the client on what kind of food he or she would like served during the occasion. The food choices can range from oriental cuisine to continental cuisine, or local or international cuisine. But it is also important to note that different packages have their own corresponding rates, so best make sure that the food fits within your expected budget, or there’s going to be trouble. But the caterer also has the right to make a few changes in case the ingredients are not available for the certain course.
Creative Cuisine reserves the right to make small changes to the menu designs if key ingredients are unable to be sourced due to reasons beyond the control of the Parties. The following limitations will apply to this reservation of right — [LIMITATIONS ON MENU ALTERATIONS].
Tip: This is also a good opportunity for the client to note if there are certain people that have food restrictions due to their allergies. For any add-ons such as soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, separate agreement examples must be signed between the client and the company.
It is important to establish coordination with the catering services so that on the day of the event itself, the caterers would not have a hard time setting up the necessary equipment and food for the event. The only job of the catering company is simply to provide the food, the necessary utensils and the plates. Tables and chairs would be another add-on to the part of the client, thus increasing the bill.
As Mordo from Doctor Strange would point out, the bill always comes due. There are many ways to pay: through cash or card, or through check. In a catering business, it is always charged per person. For example, the total cost of the catering would be $1,000 for at least a hundred guests, then each guest would have to shoulder 1/100 of the amount, or simply pay $10. It is always best to make a deposit a week prior to the event so that they know that you will be paying the rest later on.
As of the signing of this Contract, the total amount is estimated to be $ (“Estimated Total Cost”).
Payment will be made to the Caterer as follows: $ deposit due on the date of signing, and the balance of approximately $ will be due one week in advance of the event. The exact amount due will be determined and provided from Client to Caterer in writing, one week in advance of the Event along with a Final Guest Count.
Tip: A total estimate here makes sure both sides have in mind the approximate total value of the contract; that will be used later for cancellation fees.
As mentioned before, the caterer’s job is very simple. Bring the food, along with the plates, utensils, drinks (if ever) and along with some waiters to serve their drinks or to manage the food intake of the people (in case it is a managed buffet). But it is the client who will have to do the dirty work: finding the venue and paying for the location, inviting the guests to the aforementioned event, handing out the invitation designs, planning the program, etc. It is solely the client’s responsibility to handle all the related costs that will incur during the event proper.
The caterer has general liability insurance relating to caterer’s services at the event itself. However, the client will be able to indemnify and hold the caterer harmless for any damage, theft, or loss of the caterer’s property occurring at the event, caused by any of client’s guests.
Should the client request a cancellation prior to the event perhaps due to an emergency or perhaps due to a personal reason, it is important that it should be stated in the contract. Phrasing the said cancellation of the contract can be like this:
The client fully understands that upon entering into this contract, the caterer is dedicating time and resources to this event and thus cancellation would result in lost income and lost business opportunities in an amount hard to precisely calculate. Therefore, the following cancellation limitations will apply. If the said client requests cancellation of this contract 90 days or more before the event, caterer shall be entitled to [50 percent FOR THE 90 DAY CANCELLATION] percent of the Estimated Total Cost.
If Client requests cancellation 45-89 days before the Event, Caterer shall be entitled to [75 percent FOR 45 DAY CANCELLATION] percent of the Estimated Total Costs. If Client requests cancellation 31-44 days before the Event, Caterer shall be entitled to [85 percent FOR 31 DAY CANCELLATION]. After 30 days in advance of the Event, Caterer shall be entitled to 100 percent of the Estimated Total Cost.
The Client’s deposit will be credited against the cancellation fees owed. Any balance will be payable upon the notice of cancellation.
The caterer must comply to all the health requirements that are set about by the state. Sanitation, food preparation and all that.
Which company does the catering? Who hosts the event? Who is in charge of serving the drinks? Assigning the right people for the task is very important. It is often deemed something very personal. If another party is going to be involved in the event, it is important for both parties to have some sort of agreement with one another otherwise, it would be seen as a breach of trust.
If for any reason that the caterer assigned to the event would not be able to cater the occasion for reasons that are simply beyond the company’s control, the client can look for a replacement with no additional cost to the client, or to simply repay the client in full as they were not able to do their part.
Be it from the client or the caterer, there may be some sort of dispute that might transpire between them if either party is not careful about what they post about the other online. Both parties agree to not post any negative information about the other arising out of this contract or even the event on an online forum or website without providing an advance written a notice of the intended content thereof, and by giving the other party with an opportunity to resolve any issues between the parties.
Tip: Once a client will say something negative about the company, it is only a matter of time before the word gets out to let other people avoid booking with that catering service anymore. Just like how a band-aid helps in treating a wound, try to make reparations with the previous client as not to cause any damage to your reputation as a business.
This Contract will be interpreted according to the laws of the State of [STATE] and any legal action must be filed in the County of [COUNTY] in the State of [STATE].
This document, along with its exhibits and attachments, constitutes the entire agreement between the Parties.
Executed on [SIGN DATE]
[CATERER ADDRESS] [CLIENT ADDRESS]
[CATERER CITY, STATE, ZIP] [CLIENT CITY, STATE, ZIP]
[CATERER PHONE] [CLIENT PHONE]
EXHIBIT A – MENU
This sums up our catering contract article. We hope you found it informative and will guide in making your own catering contract.