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What is a Catering Menu?

Businesses that focus on providing food, drinks, and/or meals to a group of people who are gathered for an event or unique purpose is called a catering business plan. To be approved as a provider of this service, a caterer needs to create a catering menu that adheres to a client’s requirements.

Different kinds of catering companies exist depending on the type of event that they usually provide for. For example, there are breakfast catering services, BBQ catering services, wedding catering services, or, the most common, restaurant catering services.

Therefore, a catering menu is a printed document that lists down all the food, drinks, and/or meals that a client has requested for or approved of for use during the contracted event. These printed menu lists are also necessary for facilitating the delivery and the presentation of food menu during the event.

With the help of our short guide below, you can further make sure that any creative menu card design you create is especially suited for the type of event you are catering for. Read and study all the steps below.

How to Make a Catering Menu

catering menu template

1. Plan Your Menu

First off, you must have a concrete catering plan. This does not only involve making a catering menu. But it should also include all aspects of the catered event.

To illustrate, you must know what the event is for, who are the guests, what are the client’s preferred meal options, and if there are any other food or presentation requirements you need to comply with.

2. Use Sensory Words

Now, onto the actual crafting of the catering menu. Just like making other kinds of restaurant menu or reception menu cards, the most effective menus are those that include descriptive words. Evoke feelings of hunger, want, craving, or even nostalgia using sensory words.

A few examples are creamy, crispy, warm, yummy, bathed in, tart, and a lot more. Now, hasn’t listening to those few sample words suddenly made you want to eat?

3. Add Food Photos

Don’t forget the effect of a highly visual human brain when it comes to designing a catering menu. If you really need to include food photos, make sure that they have high resolution and well-optimized to match the color palette of your printed menu cards.

Nothing is as jarring as a full-color food photo in a vintage-themed menu card design. So, if you think that adding a photo is redundant or couldn’t be done well enough, just remove the photo and replace it with an illustration.

4. Keep It Simple

Most of the time, catering menus are used for formal corporate invitations, wedding receptions, or semi-formal luncheons. In these events, the menu card serves as an informational tool. Therefore, the focus should not be on the menu but on the actual food items themselves.

5. Don’t Put a Currency Symbol

A currency symbol on printable menu cards reminds diners that money is being spent and, therefore, they become more careful of the amounts that they are paying for. As a restaurateur or a caterer, it is in your best interest to make customers order more. So, removing the dollar sign is the best thing to do.

Also, most catered events will already be paid for by the client. You do not need to indicate the cost of a serving of a food item.

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