What should be included in your catering contract?

A catering proposal letter is used to get a quote of services from catering companies that want to provide you services for an event. The caterer will prepare a letter after the initial meeting with the client to provide a specific price and a general service agreement. This article will go over the different parts of a catering proposal letter.

The Cover Letter

The first section of a catering contract or catering proposal letter is the cover letter. This letter will include a summary of the services offered, the name of the event and the date, and the location of the event. It could also contain the minimum guest count if it is required, and a summary of the services the caterer offers.

The second section of the contract for catering services should list the specific menu items and drinks that the client selected at the initial meeting. The charges should also be listed alongside the menu items and drinks. They should list appetizers, bread, entrees, salad options, and desserts. If there are any combination deals, those should be included as well.

Extra Charges

The third section should be dedicated to any additional charges the caterer might have. These should include rental prices for:

  • Silverware
  • Linens
  • Centerpieces
  • Dinnerware
  • Serving Dishes
  • Glassware
  • Chafing Dishes

The prices per item and the prices per group should be put alongside the items. Labor costs for delivery and staff costs should also be listed so the client can get a decent estimate. If the staff costs are listed, you typically take the hourly rate times the number of hours, times the total staff members.

Final Quote

The final quote is simply the cost of everything listed above added together for a subtotal of service rendered. If there is a deposit, that should be clearly listed and added into the grand total as well.


If the caterer has any specific policies they should be spelled out in the proposal letter. This includes the minimum guest count, payment options, payment terms, and a service guarantee.

Payment Information & Signature

The final part of the contract is a line stating the client agrees to every part listed above and space for their signature. The customer’s payment details should be listed below the signature section, or if possible taking payment via credit card. You should end the letter by thanking the client for their business.

A contract will act as a legally binding document between the caterer and the customer. This will protect both parties from any misunderstandings or miscommunications that might occur with a verbal agreement. If you have a contract, everything will be in one neatly organized place for an easy reference point.

This story originally appeared on the LegalForms blog. | photo.credit

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