The Ins and Outs of a Catering Contract

Thinking of hiring a catering company for your next big event? Look no further than Catering By Mario’s, Philadelphia’s premier catering company. Catering By Mario’s offers off-site catering in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Whether you are planning a corporate event, a major fundraiser, or your daughter’s wedding, Catering By Mario’s is the catering company for you.

We believe that our services are the best in the business, and one of the ways we support that claim is by documenting every event we cater. Part of the documentation process involves drawing up a catering contract. This way, Catering By Mario’s and the client are both on the same page – literally! With Jane and John Hancocks abound, no one is left feeling out of the loop. With everything accounted for by both parties, there is less stress, and everyone is aware of the expectations.

Why Contracts are Imperative to Your Event

We can’t stress enough the importance of written catering contracts. They are more than a discussion of food, beverages, and decor on paper. These pieces of paper are legally binding, written agreements outlining service expectations between a caterer and their client. This is not just for the benefit of the catering company to cover their butt; this will effectively open up concrete expectations for the communication of essential event deliverables. For our sake, we take these contracts seriously, and as the customer, you should too.

A finely-tuned catering contract will clearly outline all obligations, timelines, and payment expectations for both parties entering the agreement. When reviewing your choice caterer’s (Catering By Mario’s!) proposed event contract, be sure to pay close attention to all expectations in regards to food service, procedures, fees, liability concerns, and dates of delivery for your event.

If you have any issues with the drafted agreement, bring them up with your caterer – our job is to ensure you are 100% satisfied with the arrangement BEFORE the event begins. By clearing up any inconsistencies, answering any questions you may have, and nipping any glaring issues in the bud, we both do our due diligence as service provider and customer to create the most successful event possible.

Catering Contract Must-Haves

  • Detailed cost breakdown of food and services in addition to total estimated cost.
  • A ratio of staff to guests
  • The menu and type of service provided (sit down dinner, buffet, or combination)
  • The cost-per-hour rate for staff
  • The type of beverages served (alcoholic or non)
  • Outline rental costs, including facility rental, setup fees, cleanup fees, overtime fees, portion sizes, fees for additional guests, and delinquent account charges.
  • Insert a fee agreement which includes all the costs we have already mentioned, in addition to estimated tax and gratuity.
  • Include a payment schedule if appropriate – standard catering contracts include a down payment or retainer fee to cover basic food costs to initiate the agreement.
  • Because event details can change unexpectedly, ensure you have negotiated terms with your caterer for refunds or cancellation of the catering agreement.
  • Also, it’s important to outline required steps for a breach of contract – this could help you avoid costly legal fees.

There you have it. With this information, you are all the more prepared to have a headache-free catering experience knowing the expectations and responsibilities of all parties involved. Catering By Mario’s is the premier off-premise catering company in South Jersey and Philadelphia. To learn more about Catering By Mario’s and the catering services we offer, please visit our website here, or call us at (267) 234-7905. We look forward to serving you!