When you provide catering services, you know that every job will be different. The foods the client selects, the services they decide they want, and even the number of staff needed to provide the desired food service will vary. Therefore, the final pricing will also change from job to job. With this level of variety, you'll want to provide customized invoices for your catering business.
A professional invoice will let clients know important information, including the total amount due, the due date, your contact information, their payment options, and your company name.
We'll walk you through what you need to know about creating an invoice as a caterer and guide you through a template that you can customize to fit your business.
How Do Catering Companies Bill Clients?
For most caterers, the process of providing catering services and then billing clients will follow these steps:
- Clients will reach out with specific catering needs. The jobs might range from a large-scale special event, such as a wedding, to a small gathering. You might also offer corporate catering options and provide food for business events.
- You will speak with the client to determine their precise needs. You will then provide a quote based on an itemized list of details, such as the food requested, the length of the job, the services needed — such as whether you will provide servers or a buffet-style event — and the amount of staff and supplies needed to cover the event.
- Depending on the size of the gathering, some caterers will require a deposit. This downpayment helps protect you, as you'll have limited your ability to schedule other jobs on the day when you have been booked for this event.
- You will then perform the services requested and provide the client with the final service invoice. This invoice will detail the services you have performed, note the down payment already paid, and let customers know the payment terms you require. This might include the payment methods you can accept in addition to your payment due date and late payment policy. You will also want to include an invoice number to help you carefully track invoices for billing purposes.
Free Catering Invoice Template
As a business owner, you can easily create customized catering invoices with Skynova's template. This template provides a blank invoice that you can fill in, making it easy to customize based on your business and the services you provide for your client. You want your catering bill to be easy for clients to understand and follow so that they know precisely what they owe, the services received, and when they have to pay.
As you prepare to fill in this invoice template, you should have some vital information ready for entry. Having this information readily available will help the entire process go smoothly so that you can finish your accounting responsibilities faster and get back to the joys of owning a business.
- Know the dates of the service and your client's information: You will need to make sure these sections are filled out correctly and clearly so that both you and the client can quickly reference the services fulfilled.
- The cost of your services: You should know how much you told your client the catering would cost based on your quote. Remember that a quote is binding and is the amount you should charge for your services. It differs from an estimate, which is more subject to change.
- You also want to provide the client with a breakdown of the cost of the different components of your service, such as the cost of materials, food preparation, and the hourly labor rate of your workers.
- If you offered this particular client any discounts then you will need to note those discounts on the invoice form, as well. Similarly, if you have any important notes you want to communicate to the client, such as payment due dates, then you will want to be organized with this information, as well.
As you run your catering business, you will find that these accounting tasks might not be the most exciting part of business ownership, but their importance should not be underestimated. Staying on top of your invoices can help you avoid missing payments, carefully track which clients have paid and which have not, and help you maintain your cash flow.
Quality accounting can also help you better plan for growing your business. For example, you might notice busy and slow seasons for your catering company or you might see patterns in particular services or foods that clients seem to appreciate.
The more insight you have into these areas of your business, the easier it will be to find ways to expand your business and nurture the growth of your organization.
How to Create a Custom Catering Invoice
As you create these important invoices, make sure that you and your organization appear professional in the eyes of your clients. Taking steps to customize your invoices can help with this goal.
Customizing your invoice will help you in a few ways:
- It will help create a strong association with your brand for the client. They will know precisely who sent them the invoice and the services you provided.
- It will make it easier to find repeat clients. If a past client was pleased with your services and wants to hire you again, a branded invoice makes this simpler. Not only will you have your contact information on the invoice itself but you will also have your branded logo clearly present. The logo can help your client recognize your business again, even if they look online for catering companies. When they see your logo, they will remember the outstanding catering job you provided.
- The business will appear more respectable. Rather than having a bland template with a few numbers written down, the invoice will look custom-made for your business. This can help create a positive impression of your business, even after you have finished providing the catering services.
With the Skynova template, you can customize your invoice in three key ways:
- You can upload your company's logo and include it prominently on the invoice. Make sure your clients see this logo whenever they glance at the invoice. The logo will also be paired with key company information, including your business name and your company phone number.
- You can include a purchase order number. The purchase order number (P.O. #) helps you and the client compare services ordered to the final invoice amount so you can easily make any changes to the invoice, if necessary.
- You can include sales tax. Since sales tax varies regionally, you want to make sure that you can type in your own information for the client's benefit. People also appreciate having an invoice that accurately shows the final total, including any taxes, so they know what they owe.
Catering Event Invoicing Is Easy With Skynova
Accounting and producing invoices play a critical role in the growth of your business. Therefore, you want to take the time to create personalized, professional invoices that you can quickly and efficiently issue to clients to ensure you get paid on time. Skynova's catering invoice template can help make it quick and easy for you to excel in managing your finances.
When you pair this template with the accounting software from Skynova — which was specifically designed to help small businesses like you with their accounting needs — you'll find that accounting has never been easier or faster.
See how Skynova can help support your business today.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines for creating catering invoices and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting accounting standards.