If you work in the hospitality business, you already know the importance of receiving payments or sending payments on time.
If your payment is not on time, your catering crew will not show up and your client has to deal with the consequence. The last thing they need is a whole bunch of hungry guests that are hell-bent on leaving them a negative review.
Or if it’s some kind of a family gathering, then the consequences can be even worse. Like they say, nobody hates like family.
So what should you look for when you’re trying to send an invoice to your client as a caterer?
Well let’s start with some business basics first …
In the catering industry, one thing you have to do right off the bat and that is to collect your payment first. There are no deliverables sent in a catering business (Food and Beverage in this case) until you receive the payment and in full.
The main reason is you need the payment to cover your costs for the ingredients, the chefs, the cooks and all the ingredients to create the product for delivery before making it.
That’s just how the business works and how the catering industry is. Again, we’re not talking about half of the payment, quarter of the payment or anything along those lines.
You need the full payment and we can’t stress that enough. Or you’re running your business the wrong way. Sorry if it sounds pretty harsh but when it comes to this industry, you can’t take any chances.
The product, and the food is only delivered upon receiving full amount.
Now the catering industry is also quite diverse so for each industry you have to create a more specific invoice.
Wedding Catering Invoice
When you’re sending your wedding catering invoice, you want to make sure that you’re charging for every additional product or service in your food arrangements.
Food and beverage costs in wedding can also surpass quite easily so make sure you talk to your client about it before sending them an invoice.
In most cases, the wedding catering business requires an additional 30% on alcohol related services because it’s just a natural thing to drink more than predicted. This is a very common trend in most celebrations.
Birthday Party Catering Invoice
Although this can be a really fun and lucrative event, birthday parties can also be quite hectic. This is because of the I’m going changes that are requested by the party involved. Although in most cases, birthday parties are pretty predictable, things can change at the very last second.
Especially if new kids decide to join or there are far away families that’s only change their mind to join in the fun. Bottom line, you have to be a little bit flexible here when trying to collect your payment.
So what would be the best way for you to get your payment and deliver the goods? Let your client know that you will charge them 10 to 20% more for any additional last-minute changes from the beginning.
If these changes don’t happen, you will simply return the 10 to 20%. In most cases, the client would actually appreciate that and let you do things this week. Most clients actually really appreciate this kind of flexibility.
What’s these kind of things are taken care of, then proceed with sending them a full invoice plus the 10 to 20% extra charge if they agree to it and move forward with your work.
Corporate Catering Invoice
This is actually a really good gig to get most of the time. Corporations are businesses that arrange catering services have the money to do it in a professional in their dealings as well. At least in most cases.
They will give you an itinerary of what they need right from the beginning, you prepare the necessary food and deliver it on time. In most cases the quality off your food is good they will leave the reviews and even recommend you to other companies or businesses that they may know.
When doing any kind of corporate catering the more professional you are the more professional response you’re going to get. So make sure you get all that paperwork and invoicing taken care of right from the beginning.
Buffet Catering Invoice
These kids can be quite lucrative and if you can get a few on a consistent basis, your catering business can really stabilize in just a matter of weeks. Buffet catering happens on a consistent basis so if you can grab a few clients like this, you’ll be set for quite some time. That said, you also have to be very flexible.
They’re not as crazy as a wedding catering requirement but sometimes it can be challenging. as far as sending these guys an invoice goes, do it in the beginning but at the same time show them that you are flexible.
Let them know about your extra charge as well for any additional changes that they may require after the very. In most cases though, you have a good time having this kind of clients.
If someone is setting up a buffet, especially on a regular basis they most likely know the business very well and understand where you’re coming from to. All they care about is getting their food served to their customers and to do that,
They will work with you in a very professional way right from the beginning. These surprisingly you can see it on your ideal clients in this kind of business. Can you send them your invoice, and it will be filled right away.
Sit Down Catering Invoice
Getting paid at a sit down catering shouldn’t be an issue either as most of these events are held in senior homes.
The serving part might be challenging, but rewarding at the same time. Your invoice should be taken care of immediately and since senior homes are very strict on what they feed the seniors, they will be extra diligent with their order.
Just make sure you can deliver their order and send them your invoice right away. Sometimes their accounting is taken care of by third parties which could require something before your payment is received.
Food Truck Catering Invoice
When you were working with the food truck catering business, time is money for them. In most cases, they will only order side dishes or ingredients that will help them create the side dishes. So it’s almost like a grocery delivery service for you.
They will send you a list of things that you need to get, if thatIt’s something you can do, is send them an invoice for it and they will most likely fulfil it right away. Also food truck business is seasonal, so they will contact you at a certain time of the year and then there’s gonna be a long gap.
So you want to make sure that the food truck business is not the only type of client that you depend on. Do you want to diversify your clientele and their type immediately.
Bottom line though, working with food truck businesses can be quite fun and you will get paidEither the same day or in a day or two.
Office Delivery Catering Invoice
Here when you sent an invoice, your payment will be taken care of right away. You’ll have a similar experience to when or if you offer corporate catering services.
Office deliveries usually happen around lunchtime so your payments will be the last thing that’s going to be on your mind. Just make sure you deliver the food literally right away so you can keep them as a client. If you look at the situation from an employee side it will definitely understand this.
They usually get 45 minutes or an hour for lunch. So you want to make sure that you give them the fastest and the best service possible so you can retain their business.
Since you don’t have to worry about getting your invoice for filled with these guys make sure your game is onThe next level.
Restaurant Catering Invoice
This could be quite a headache but at the same time a big moneymaker for your catering service. For restaurants, time is money. So you want to make sure your delivery is on time and you understand what restaurant you’re serving as well.
For example, if you’re serving a pizza place, make sure you yourself have extra dough or pizza sauce lying around. as you may not always have the time to go out and get them additional things that they may request at the very end.
These are just how things work in a restaurant business. It’s very fast-paced, very dynamic and you need to be on the ball all the time. As far as getting your invoice paid, that sometimes can be a little tricky, depending on what’s going on with the restaurant.
If they’re too busy, it makes sense but if they start giving you excuses like all the managers in here or something along those lines,You need to rethink your relationship with them. After all you’re in a business too and getting your invoice fulfilled or receiving your payment is a priority.