Drafting a Comprehensive Catering and Food Service Contract: Which Services Should Your Business Offer?

11 Feb



  • Introduction
  • Food catering services that should be included in a contract
  • Why is Europe at the forefront of this industry?

Family get-togethers or formal/informal meetings which involve a handful of people can be easily managed by the host. For such events or programs, the host cooks for the guests himself/herself. However, in public events where hundreds of guests are invited, the host hires catering and food services. Catering services usually include the food caterer delivering the food to the client’s event location or cooking and serving the food at the event location itself. For on-location cooking, food catering companies send their chefs and employees to prepare and serve food. For this purpose, the client and the catering company sign a catering and food service contract. This contract serves as a legal agreement between the client and food caterer to deliver or cook food and provide ancillary services at the client’s event.

Which food services should your catering business offer while signing a contract with the client?

As part of the catering contract, the food service company is expected to provide some ancillary services, apart from cooking and serving food. Firstly, the catering business must provide the client with different menu choices. The client, depending upon the type of occasion and event, will choose the suitable menu. Many catering companies even offer customization of menu; thus, the client can opt for multiple cuisines or a single type of food menu, as per his/her needs. Moreover, the catering company has to take into account the specific needs of the client; for instance, there may be some vegetarian or vegan guests invited to the event. The food service, if asked for, has to prepare separate food for such guests. Also, certain food allergies, if mentioned by the client, must be considered by the catering company while cooking the food. Thus, arranging for food substitutes and alternatives falls within the ambit of catering contract.

Secondly, the client and the catering company must also decide on the type of food service that is to be provided at the event. Catering companies offer either sit-down meal services or buffet services; the catering and food service contract includes the client’s preference, and the company must abide by it. Also, these contracts deal with the issue of leftovers; while on-location cooking rarely gives rise to this problem, contracts involving delivery of cooked foods usually include a provision on how the leftover food should be dealt with.

Moreover, most catering contracts ask the food service company to provide utensils, cooking ware, and other equipment necessary for cooking and serving. Also, the contract may talk about the dress code of the company staff and the number of employees that will be attending the event to provide the catering services. Furthermore, the event timings, set-up arrangements, cleaning services, etc., are all included in the contract.

Why has the contract catering industry flourished in the Europe region?

The catering and food service contract industry is anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 5.3% during the 2023-2032 period. A major factor influencing the growth of this industry is the increasing demand for catering services from different institutions including corporate organizations, industrial establishments, educational institutions, hospitality service companies, healthcare sector, sports industry, etc. Furthermore, the growth of the contract catering industry can be attributed to the massive demand for food catering services in the Europe region. The rise in per capita income of people in this region has resulted in a rise in expenditure on outdoor dining. As a result, there is an increased preference towards opting for food catering services while arranging social gatherings.

However, the industry in the Asia-Pacific and LAMEA regions is not far behind; these regions, too, have experienced a huge growth in the demand for food catering services. The rise in proportion of the middle-class population is the main reason behind this increase in demand. Furthermore, governments in several countries of these regions have formulated policies that have enhanced the trust in catering and food service companies. For instance, the Singapore government, a few years back, enacted the Whole-of-Government (WOG) Healthier Catering Policy which pushed the people towards healthier eating choices. The catering companies, too, adopted this policy which helped them gain a good reputation among the people.

To sum it up, the catering and food service contract industry is soaring at an incredible CAGR and is projected to garner immense revenue in the coming period. The rising disposable income of people around the globe, especially in Europe, is predicted to help the industry rise. Also, favorable governmental policies in the Asia-Pacific and LAMEA-region countries will augment the growth rate of the market. In such a scenario, a catering business should try to offer a comprehensive contract that will cover various aspects such as food menus and customization, alternative food options, cleaning services, etc. This will help the business gain a loyal customer base in the long run.

have an in-depth understanding of the different segments and sub-segments of the catering and food service contract industry, feel free to contact us.

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Author's Bio- Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the reputed Vishwakarma Institute of Technology. He has a special interest in the fields of forensics, world history, international relations and foreign policy, sports, agriculture, astronomy, security, and oceanography. An ardent bibliophile and melophile, Akhilesh loves to write on topics of his interest and various other societal issues. This love for writing made him enter the professional world of content writing and pursue his career in this direction.


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