Are you offering catering services? Then, you must be all too familiar with the unique challenges of this particular type of small business. The most formidable challenge is, of course, attracting new clients. How do you win over customers in a market that is saturated with competitors? The key to success is being able to craft a winning catering proposal. How do you do this? Here are some great tips to help you make one as well as some proposal samples and templates you can use. You may also see proposal templates.
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Restaurant Catering Proposal Template
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How to write a catering proposal
The point of a sample catering proposal is to show possible customer services and clients the type of services that you offer, the details of these services, the types of food and drinks you serve, and the prices you charge for all these things. People always have a hard time searching for caterers that meet their specific needs, which is why having a well-made proposal can easily help them pick the service that best suits them and their event. Caterers generally offer services for all kinds of parties, but clients prefer to choose those who specialize in the type of event that they are going to host. So, if you want to make a winning catering proposal example, then follow these steps:
1. Prepare your cover letter
The first thing you must do is to create the cover letter. This has to include the type or nature of the event, the time and date, the location of where it is going to be held, and the minimum guest count. The cover letter is basically a summary of the entire catering service and the sample agreement that will be made between you and the client. Putting in a minimum guaranteed guest count is a standard for just about every catering contract.
Catering services generally charge a base for a guaranteed person count, but a set fee can also be charged for unmeasurable per plate numbers. You have to provide a list of how much you are going to charge so that your client will have a general idea of how much he or she is going to spend.
2. Write the contract proposal
This is the part that should get your clients hooked on what you have to offer. The first item that your clients should see on your proposal is a list of all the different food and beverages that your business is going to serve. Advertising proposals note the menu items offered as well as the price for each and every single item that can be found on the food menu. Clients typically have the option of choosing any of the items that are on the menu.
You have to make sure that yours guarantees a variety of daily meals as this will make the client really think about what they want as well as let them know that yours is a business that thinks about the food needs of all clients. Do not forget to list the beverages and the prices of all the different items. Try to make sure that you place the most expensive items at the top of the list so that clients will be more interested in taking a look at the other options on your menu.
3. List all additional fees not in the food and beverage section of the contract proposal
If you have any additional fees, try to charge a few of them as possible, even if it means having to increase the price of the items on the Catering menu. You have to state the number of employees that you are going to need in order to cater to the guest count as well as any additional labor day costs. If the client wishes for you to decorate the venue, then you have to include rental or decoration costs for any items such as centerpieces or table linens, too.
You must also include any details regarding all of the extra services that your business can provide and their associated costs. This way, clients will have a general idea on what they would like you to do, as well as know how much they are going to be spending if they ask you to provide these extra services. Nothing will make a client more frustrated than not knowing that even something as simple as cutting the cake is going to cost them money, so make sure that all of this is clearly written down in the contract proposal.
4. Determine the final price quote
Create a separate page of the business contract proposal that contains the final price quote of everything that you are going to provide the client. List down all of the charges, add up all of the costs, and then place a grand total at the very end. Make sure that the grand total is emphasized for the client.
The reason why you have to do this is so that the client will be able to see everything that he or she has asked you to provide for the event proposal. Let us face it; there might be times when the services that the client never asked you to provide may accidentally be included in the service charge. So, allowing the client to spot errors such as this prevents them from spending any more than they need to, earning you their trust and confidence.
5. Include a page that explains the policies of the catering contract
You have to be sure that everything in the contract agreement is properly explained to your client so that he or she will not do anything to break the contract. This should include the explanation of the company policies regarding the guaranteed minimum guest numbers, the guaranteed length of time that you will be providing your services onsite, the final payment terms, the cancellation terms, and much more. This is to ensure that both you and the client understand how things should work during the service and that neither of you break the contract unless one of you is willing to bear the consequences of doing so.
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Tips for a successful catering business
You cannot really make a proper catering proposal if you do not even know how to run a successful catering business. So, the following tips can help ensure that your catering business can succeed in a competitive environment.
1. Gain catering job experiences
If you are planning on running your own catering business, then you should have at least some experience in providing catering services first. One of the best ways to get experiences is by working as a server for an established caterer as they are always looking for good people to help them out during events. This helps give you first-hand information that you need to know the ins and outs of the catering industry. This should also help you decide if you truly want to take part in it yourself. Plus, it will give you an idea of just how taxing it can be to serve people hours on end.
2. Find a licensed commercial kitchen for rent
If you will be running this kind of business, then you cannot just prepare all of the food with the kitchen that you have at home. You have to be able to find a licensed catering kitchen within your area. Do your marketing research and try to get the cheapest but a best quality option. Then, you may ask for the hourly rates so you can prepare your simple budget.
3. Set your catering prices
Just like every business, you have to set up a price list for whatever you will be selling. Think about how much everything is going to cost; from the items that are on your menu to the fees for any additional services that you are going to provide. Make sure you tally up the hours you put into catering every event as this will help you determine the kind of rates that you are going to charge your customers.
4. Rent catering equipment
One of the best things about the catering business is that you do not necessarily have to buy equipment; instead, you can just rent them. All you have to do is make sure that you invoice your client for all the equipment list that you have rented out. This way, you will be sure to get your money back and you can slowly build up your inventory.
5. Become an approved caterer
Most venues maintain a list of approved caterers that can operate within their facilities, so make sure you get on this list as this is a great way to start and maintain your business.
6. Promote your business
With today’s technology, promoting your business is easy. All you have to do is make use of social media strategy tools such as Twitter or Facebook to help you out. With these platforms, you can post about your business and provide information to clients in a manner that they can easily share with their friends and family members. Who knows? You may just gain a group of followers who can handle word-of-mouth marketing strategies for you.
If you would like to know more about catering proposals or if there is anything related to the topic that you would like to learn about (such as how to come up with a catering quotation or how to use the related templates), then be sure to click on the article links we have provided.