Updated on February 10th, 2023
A catering service contract is an independent contractor agreement between a caterer and their client. The document relays the terms by which the contractor will provide catering services for an event or over a fixed period of time.
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CATERING SERVICE CONTRACT
This catering service contract (the “Contract”) serves as a contract between [CLIENT NAME], hereafter referred to as the “Client,” and [CATERER NAME], hereafter referred to as the “Caterer,” for catering services.
1. SERVICES. The Caterer agrees to provide the following services to the Client:
– Preparation and cooking of food.
– Serving food and beverages.
– Set up, breakdown, and cleaning of the food service area.
– [ADD OTHER SERVICES, IF APPLICABLE].
2. FEES. The Client agrees to pay the Caterer a total fee of $[AMOUNT] for the services described above. This fee includes all service, food, and beverage costs. Any additional services requested by the Client will be billed separately.
3. PAYMENT. Payment is due in full upon completion of the services. The Client agrees to pay the Caterer within [#] days of receipt of invoice.
4. CANCELLATION. If the Client cancels the catering services, the Caterer reserves the right to retain an amount equal to $[AMOUNT] of the total fee as a cancellation fee.
5. LIMITED LIABILITY. The Caterer shall not be liable for any direct or indirect, special or consequential damages, including loss of profits, arising out of or related to the services provided. The Caterer’s total liability shall not exceed the total fee paid by the Client.
6. GOVERNING LAW. This Contract shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of [STATE].
The parties agree to this Contract on [MM/DD/YYYY].
Client Signature: ____________________
[CLIENT PRINTED NAME]
Caterer Signature: ____________________
[CATERER PRINTED NAME]
When to Use a Catering Service Contract
Catering contracts are most commonly used for special events, such as weddings, birthdays, family gatherings, staff parties, and fundraising events. However, they may also be used to provide meals on a continuous basis for a school or workplace cafeteria.
By hiring a contractor to provide food services, the client can focus on other event planning tasks. Before hiring a professional caterer, the client should be sure of their budget, venue, food preferences, and number of guests.
What to Include in a Catering Service Contract
The terms of a catering service agreement are generally negotiated between the contractor and client prior to its signing. Clients may have specific demands for the catering of their event; a well-drafted agreement will usually detail these specifications along with the below standard provisions.
A service contract must provide the basic contact information of the contractor and their client, including their names and mailing addresses.
The agreement will need to state the duration of the service agreement, which may be for a single event, multiple events, or for ongoing catering services provided to a school or staff.
The services and supplies that the caterer is expected to provide must be clearly laid out in the contract, including the following:
- Event location
- Menu options
- Food services
- Cutlery, glassware, and dishes
- Liquor service
Additional services that the caterer is required to provide before and after the event must also be stated in the agreement, such as food preparation, table setting, and cleanup.
Payment Amount and Schedule
The contract will need to relay exactly when and how much the contractor will be paid. Contract caterers will either charge their clients an hourly rate, a flat fee, or on a weekly or monthly payment schedule. It is common for clients to be required to pay a deposit fee as a retainer on the caterer’s services.
It is common for catering contracts to include a cancellation policy that allows the client to terminate their agreement with a certain number of days’ notice.
Benefits of a Catering Service Contract
Both parties benefit from drafting and executing a catering contract. The signed agreement accomplishes the following:
- Acts as a detailed record of the agreed-upon services that can be used as a reference by both parties
- Minimizes disagreements
- Ensures timely payment
- Protects both parties from certain liabilities if the contract isn’t fulfilled by the other
- Guarantees the caterer’s services for the client’s events
- Allows the caterer to project their income and plan their work schedule
In addition to the above benefits, using a contract shows the caterer’s professionalism and improves their business relationships by maximizing their ability to meet their client’s expectations.