Catering agreements play an important role in the success of an event. Whether signing an agreement for corporate catering services or providing wedding catering, the purpose is to spell out the responsibilities of everyone involved.
A Catering Agreement is a specific type of service agreement whereby one entity, the caterer, contracts to perform catering services at a respective event(s) for the other entity, the client. In these agreements, the caterer can be either a legal entity or a person, and so can the client.
Catering agreements are often used by caterers and their clients to document engagements. Written legal agreements can reduce the number of disagreements between parties if they are drafted correctly.
Our catering agreement template is more than a printable blank PDF form that you can download to Word. We have broken down everything you need to know to create a successful agreement to protect your business. If you need additional protection for your catering business, consult legal experts.
Every caterer should use a catering contract to protect themselves and their clients. The definition of expectations is key to a successful contract. An effective contract clearly specifies the caterer’s and client’s responsibilities, preventing ambiguity, and serves as a legal document in preventing disputes. Catered events can be stressful for everyone, but if you start with a good contract customized to your and your client’s needs, you will be on the right path.
Catering agreements should include a detailed section covering menu-related items and other services such as:
Namely, the date of the event, its location, event start time and end time, the estimated number of guests, etc.
An agreement should specify all the details of the food the caterer will provide. Not only does this include the main course but additionally any appetizers or snacks served before the main course as well as any beverages. Food substitutes and alternative dishes may also be included in the agreement, for instance, for guests with allergies or dietary restrictions.
Catering services often include food for an event and serving it in a banquet sit-down meal or buffet style. There may be clear instructions on how to serve the food and beverages in the catering agreement and whether there will be waitstaff or a buffet-style presentation.
A provision detailing how leftovers will be handled may be included in the agreement.
If, according to the parties’ arrangement, the caterer must provide any equipment or items, such as glassware, utensils, and table linens, this should be specified in the catering agreement. The agreement may define any additional services the caterer is expected to provide, for example, the setup before and any cleanup afterward.
Food and service fees should be detailed in the catering agreement. For instance, there may be a clear breakdown of the cost of:
Payment schedules are usually included in catering agreements. An initial deposit is usually required upon signing the agreement, followed by installment payment(s) before the event and a final fee to be paid afterward if there are any additional charges.
Usually, Catering companies should have liability insurance for events, but event organizers can request that their insurance include coverage for event-related liability as well.
Usually, all health and safety regulations should be followed by the caterer. Any licenses or permits they need can be requested by the event organizer. For example, a permit and additional catering contract forms may be required if alcohol is served.
Should the event be canceled by organizer, the cancellation clause should state the cancelation procedure, namely: the terms of notification on cancellation, explicitly how much will be refunded and the period of refunding. Usually, refund amounts vary depending on when the cancellation takes place. Event organizers will receive a smaller refund the closer the event date gets.
Event organizers and caterers usually establish a legal relationship through a catering services agreement. The document should be carefully reviewed before signing by both parties.
Catering agreements do more than discuss food and beverages; they outline service expectations between caterers and clients. Both parties will understand their obligations, timelines, and payment expectations. The client provides the caterer with the event’s details, the expected duration, number of guests, vendors involved, and a detailed breakdown of food and other services.
Most catering agreements require a downpayment to cover food costs and initiate the transaction. The caterers should consider a copyright provision for recipes, menus, ingredients, and cooking methods. Please use our free simple catering agreement template to guide you.
An agreement for catering services is always a best practice, even when hired by a friend or family member. If you follow our catering agreement template, you will benefit from making this document for the following reasons:
A well-written catering agreement contains the obligations, timetables, and payment schedules for both parties to the agreement. It should contain information about the client’s expectations regarding the foodservice, delivery dates, menu, and expectations regarding fees and payments. As a caterer, you need the catering agreement to stipulate your rights and duties in order to protect yourself from any possible legal action if something goes wrong.
When you use this simple catering agreement template, you assume all responsibility and liability. No legal responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, or functionality of the legal document.
The use of these legal forms or the form templates on this website could result in direct or indirect losses or damages caused by the loss of use or profits resulting from their use. By downloading, printing, or using this simple catering agreement, we accept no liability for any loss or damage you may suffer.
Frequently Asked Questions
When a client cancels within a certain number of days before the event, the entire deposit will be refunded. The standard refund is 50 percent of the original deposit if the client cancels up to 30 days before the event. Be sure to include a cancellation policy in your contract before signing it.
After you or your client has determined the category of their event, they can start thinking about how to save money. Clients determine what they will order when it comes to catering contracts.
Because you will offer several options, it will be easy for a client to overlook their budget. Thus, they may end up with more food than they can eat or afford. When your client hires you for an event, here are a few pointers you can offer to help them save money and time. Make sure they know:
The problem with oral agreements is they are hard to prove. Courts would decide which version of the truth to accept if a dispute arose. Generally, the court must uphold the terms of a written agreement even if they do not agree with it.