Catering Project Outline

Booking events

  1. Receive enquiries from prospective clients and:
    1. Fill in client contact form.
    2. Identify the kind of event and number of guests.
    3. Fill in kitchen and venue form. This determines every detail about the food and amount of clients we can cook for (i.e. draft menu, fridge space, storage space, kinds of foods most suitable for the event).
  2. Determine one person with whom you will liaise as the client.
  3. Check feasibility:
    1. Ensure date doesn’t clash with other booked events.
    2. Check that staff and vehicles will be available for the event.
    3. Book to hire kitchen space for the date and prior days ahead for preparation and storage of food.
    4. Check the need for liquor licensing and staff qualified for Responsible Service of Alcohol.
  4. Preview the venue:
    1. Determine timeframe of availability (e.g. some hired venues have limited availability before and afer the actual event, you might need keys, etc.).
    2. Assess the kitchen (e.g. bench, refrigerator space).
    3. Plan the use of space (dining area, kitchen, access ways, parking).
    4. Determine the electrical capacity for electrical equipment (e.g. fryers and warmers).
    5. Determine cleaning requirements before and after the event.
    6. Determine travel distances.
    7. Estimate travel times and bump-in/bump-out times.
    8. Determine any venue-specific risks (e.g. OHS risks, electricity outage, traffic congestion en route).
  5. Consider other kinds of risks (e.g. vehicle breakdowns, unfavorable weather, changes in availability of produce, staff falling sick, cost blow-outs).
  6. Make an "accept / reject" decision to quote for the event.


  1. Determine an overall project time-line. It should include all preparation, travel to and from the event, setup, and bump out.
  2. Determine an event run sheet.
  3. Generate and send quote:
    1. Consult Chef to create a specific menu and set a food budget.
    2. List event requirements and set a total budget of costs (including costs other than food, such as staff, vehicles, kitchen hire, equipment hire, profit, etc.)
    3. Consider pricing factors.
    4. Write and check quote.
    5. Send quote to client.
  4. Confirm booking with the client.
  5. Bill the client:
    1. Use the quote as the basis to write an invoice.
    2. Invoice the client with a reminder of the due date for payment.
  6. Decide on team members for event.
  7. Check that staff have all necessary skills for the event.
  8. Delegate food shopping to Chef.
  9. Call the client two days before event to confirm the time of arrival and event details, including last minute details and possible minor changes.
  10. Give staff a pre-event briefing (what kind of event, when and where, uniform, run sheet, allocation of specific tasks, possible problems to anticipate, etc.)
  11. Chef oversees pre-event food preparation.
  12. Oversee packing of vehicles and check you have everything against the list.

During events

  1. Manager:
    1. Liaise with client or Event Coordinator.
    2. Monitor compliance with run sheet, including making any necessary adjustments.
    3. Oversee Chef, Maitre d, and scullery, and ensure good coordination between them.
    4. Resolve any problems as they occur.
  2. Chef oversee all food preparation.
  3. Maitre d oversee dining service.

After events

  1. Work with the bookkeeper to do a financial acquittal of the event.
  2. Allow time in staff meetings for each staff member to review the event. What did we do well and what can we learn?
  3. Make any necessary changes to this project planning checklist and your procedures.