A catering invoice is a form used to bill a client for the provision of catering services, or for supplying food, drinks, and staff for guests. The invoice itemizes the work involved in catering the event, including setup, delivery, and cleanup, and lists the charges associated as well as the terms by which the bill can be paid.
Table of Contents
- How to Create a Catering Invoice That Will Get You Paid Fast
- What is Catering?
- Types of Events Caterers Work
- Catering Types
- What Does a Caterer Actually Do?
- Does a Caterer Need to Be Licensed?
- Caterer Salary & Hourly Rate ($/hr)
- How Much Does Catering Cost?
- Benefits of Catering
- Catering Statistics
- What to Include on a Catering Invoice
A catering invoice is a document that is provided by a caterer to a customer to request payment and record a transaction. Catering invoices are an essential component of a billing system for catering businesses and self-employed caterers.
Catering is the term used to describe the process of providing food and drinks for an event such as a wedding, banquet, or other occasion. The word “catering” is derived from the French word “cater”, which means “to supply food”.
Catering can be provided to a remote site or a site such as a hotel, hospital, pub, aircraft, cruise ship, park, movie theater, stadium, or another event venue. If the food is to be made on-site, the caterer will be responsible for hiring the chef and servers to distribute the food. If not, the caterer is responsible for sourcing and transporting the food to the event venue.
For smaller events, caterers generally request notice of about a week, but for larger events (like a wedding), the caterer may need up to a month to assemble what is needed.
- Corporate Event
- Family Reunion
- Holiday Party
- Birthday Party
- Bridal Shower
- Baby Shower
- Business Meetings
- Cultural Rite of Passage
- Retirement Party
- Engagement Celebration
- Gender Reveal Party
- Food Truck
- Full Service
- Office Catering
A caterer is responsible for liaising with a customer about the event, the customer’s dietary preferences, and any special requests. The caterer must then plan a menu, make a list of foods and drinks needed, cost out each item, and work with the customer to finalize the plan. The caterer is responsible for the delivery of food and drinks and for the setup and cleanup of the food service area.
Whether a caterer needs a license depends entirely on how the food and drinks will be supplied for the event.
- Required – If a caterer is preparing the food themselves, a license is required in all 50 states. The caterer will be required to apply through their local municipality and state while also registering with the FDA (CPG Sec. 110.300).
- Not Required – If the caterer acts as the go-between and provides food already prepared by another licensed individual or restaurant, then a license is not required.
- Required – If the caterer is serving alcoholic beverages, a license is required. Obtaining a liquor license is not easy in most states and requires payment of hefty fees and a thorough background check.
- Not Required – If the caterer is serving non-alcoholic beverages, a license is not required. The caterer can purchase soda and juice drinks from a wholesaler and re-sell them to the event’s host.
Salary: $54,360 (source: Glassdoor)
Hourly Rate: $14.79/hr (source: Payscale)
Generally speaking, catering costs can range anywhere from $10 per person to $100 per person or more. The final cost will depend on a number of factors, including the number of guests, the menu, the location, and any special requests.
Catering can be an extremely beneficial service for a variety of events and occasions. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of catering is that it can save someone hosting a party or event a great deal of time and effort in the kitchen. Catering can take care of all of the food preparation and cooking, leaving the host or organizer free to focus on other aspects of the event. Catering can also be a great way to impress guests.
- The average catering order is $500.
- The average catering company has five (5) employees.
- Weddings are the most popular type of event catered, accounting for 26% of catering revenue in the United States.
- Corporate events are the second most popular type of event catered, accounting for 23% of catering revenue in the United States.
A catering invoice should include the following elements:
- Name and contact information (e.g. phone number, address, email) for catering business
- Name and contact details for the client
- Date of event
- Description of catering services rendered
- Pricing of services
- Total payment due
- Payment terms
The catering invoice can be generated in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word and exported as a PDF to send to a customer. Online invoice generators such as Invoice Maker offer an easier, simpler way to invoice.