Catering Proposals: What Are They?

A catering proposal is an official document received by potential clients coming from a catering service business. And it proposes all the details about the catering and events services from the payment plan, terms and conditions, quotation, etc. Hence, the proposal is what clients need when they want to hire catering services to host or attend an event.

According to a 2020 survey, the American catering sector’s market size reached $11.35 billion.

What Should Be Discussed in a Catering Proposal?

A lot of details are to be tackled in a catering proposal. And some of the most common examples are the following:

Client and Catering Service Details: It is standard to identify who the client and the catering company are. That way, both parties are properly introduced from their names, addresses, contact numbers, and other basic info.Type of Event: What type of event is being proposed in the first place? The food being offered, themes, and designs would vary according to the event type. So whether you are planning a wedding, birthday, or a formal business event, set the event type to know how to adjust to the theme.Schedule: You can’t ignore mentioning the expected time and date of the event requiring catering services. A complete schedule is required in the catering proposal.Venue: Besides the date, incorporate the location of the event as well. If there will be two or more locations expected, enumerate all the venues. The same goes for possible fees from the travel fare, plane ticket, etc.Prices and Payment Terms: The price list or rates section would be an important part of the catering proposal. Everything should be calculated from the food rates, taxes, tools and equipment costs, and more. The same goes for the payment method if clients should pay in cash or another payment term.Terms and Conditions: Setting the rules, terms, and regulations will be crucial to set a formal agreement on what is allowed or prohibited from the catering service. This is also the part where you mention the termination of the contract, liabilities, and other important considerations.Guest Count: Most importantly, estimate how many guests can be accommodated from the catering service. The guest count matters a lot not only for the number of food to prepare but also the tables, chairs, and other services.Food and Menu: Of course, you can’t ignore the food and menu. Catering service companies will note what to offer for lunch, dinner, and the rest. The same goes for grouping meals into appetizers, main courses, desserts, and drinks. Inserting the price beside every food’s name is the standard format for this.

How to Make a Catering Proposal

Are you ready to create a catering proposal? Don’t fret; the process is easy, especially when sample catering proposals are available above. You can work on every template to edit, download, and print as many times as you like. And to perfect your proposal, don’t forget to observe these four simple steps:

Step 1: Set the Cover Letter

The cover letter sets the introduction of your catering proposal. That is where you note your intention in getting catering services. Don’t forget to clarify the event’s nature, type, date, and other important elements. And just like writing a detailed letter, be cordial as well to set a positive tone, which will be appreciated by both catering companies and clients.

Step 2: Insert the Catering Proposal’s Elements

Remember those elements on what should be discussed in a catering proposal, which was discussed before? Those are the client and catering service details down to the food and menu. Add them to your proposal one by one. So this is the part where menu selections, payment information, and other extra details will be written.

Step 3: Be Careful in Explaining Policies

The terms and policies section should be written clearly. There might be conflicts and disagreements whenever such details are poorly explained. For example, what happened during the event might lead to legal battles due to a rising conflict. Thus, what was given ahead from the policies should be followed, if both parties signed the proposal already.

Step 4: Tally All the Expected Expenses Accurately

Estimating the costs for the catering service must be tallied. And instead of explaining that word by word, you can simply show the calculations in a tabular chart. Ensure that all the numbers are precise enough or complaints might rise afterward. Finally, decide the proposal’s output. Should you want a printed copy or maybe a soft copy? The proposal’s format and content will be up to you.


Why is a catering proposal vital?

Catering proposals are essential for varying purposes. For example, caterers and food establishments would know how to offer their catering services properly because the proposal details what should be done and shouldn’t be done during an event or occasion. Also, clients can see all the costs involved in paying catering services, including extra charges, since they are written in the proposal.

What are the most important components of a catering proposal?

Catering proposals would likely have the following essential components:

  • Cover letter
  • Menu and rates
  • Additional fees
  • Total costs
  • Explanation of terms and policies
  • Payment method
  • Signatures

How much does a catering service cost per person?

Although charges vary from one catering service company to another, the average cost for catering is between $7 and $45 for each person. But for high-end services, it would be between $20 and $110 per person.

If you are a catering service company offering food and event services, feel free to use our sample catering proposals. In a single template of your choice, you can already set the proposal’s scope, food sample menus, budget, and a lot more. And the best part of it all—you need not start from scratch! Check out ready-to-edit sample catering proposals now!