When you own or manage a catering business, sending invoices is critical to your business's health. Skynova's invoice template is just the quick fix you need to streamline the invoicing process because you can create a professional, customized free catering invoice template in a few minutes.

Although you can use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel to create invoices for your business, they often add unnecessary steps that make it take that much longer to deliver an invoice. Using Skynova's invoice template, you can easily edit your invoice onsite and download a printable PDF to deliver to your client. You can even send the invoice directly to your client onsite without having to download it. If you run a small or corporate catering business, check out the template we've made below:

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How to Create a Catering Invoice

Paperwork is possibly one of the last tasks you have time for when running a catering company. Unfortunately, invoicing is a critical element of daily operations.

Also, you need to get paid for your food costs and labor. The best way to encourage client payments is to invoice them for the products and services delivered. Skynova's professional invoice template can help you do just that — saving you time, effort, and money.

Take the hard slog out of paperwork in a few easy steps. Follow the prompts below to create an expert catering invoice template to send to all of your clients.

  1. Add Your Business Address and Your Client's Address

    As a caterer, you will want your invoices to contain all relevant contact information. Remember to include the full details of your business as the sender and the recipient's details. Indicate in the field titled "Your Name" whether you are sending the invoice in your personal name or as a separate company name. Repeat this process by filling in the client name and address where indicated.

    If you only deal with the client online, you'll also want to enter their email address or phone number. Double-check that all of their details are correct, as you do not want to make a mistake on this critical document. Once you are satisfied that everything is accurate and the client can quickly contact you regarding an order, move to the next step.

  2. Add Your Invoice Number

    Invoice numbers are a standard part of an efficient accounting process. They help you keep track of outgoing food orders and incoming payments. Tracking and balancing your transactions supports good business practices.

    When using Skynova's invoice template, it is vital to include a unique number for each invoice. Each unique invoice number helps keep a record of transactions and allows you to quickly source the correct invoice in the case of queries. Exclusive invoice numbers further help separate service order invoices, and Skynova's system ensures you never produce a duplicate invoice number.

    Develop a number system for your invoices that begins with #0001 as a good starting point. If it helps to add the first three letters of the first and last names of the client, do that. Avoid getting too ambitious, though, as simplicity is often the best route to follow.

  3. Add Dates to Your Invoice

    Include the date of the invoice where indicated. Invoice dates are typically created on the day this document is created. It may also be helpful to include the date of event as well as the payment due date. Whichever system you use, the invoice date is vital for accurate accounting purposes.

    Another standard practice when creating a professional invoice is to specify a payment period. Payment periods should be discussed with clients before exchanging catering services. It is only fair to be transparent in business dealings by explaining payment terms upfront, and clients appreciate the transparency. You should also discuss payment methods with your clients, especially if you only accept certain payment types.

    If you and the client have agreed to a 7-day payment period, include this detail on the invoice. Alternatively, include a 30-day period on the document. The payment period and agreement should be clear that this period begins from the date shown on the invoice. Again, double-check the details to avoid potential unpleasantness caused by any inaccuracies.

  4. Calculate and Enter the Cost of Your Services

    Skynova's invoice template accommodates as many items as you need to keep your catering business transactions up to date. Choose unit prices for each item, followed by the number of units purchased as inputs. Skynova's system automatically produces a total, so this is one more thing you don't need to worry about — accurate invoice totals!

    Catering businesses can use complex billing. Decide how you will reflect unit prices and quantities. Be as specific or general as you need to be, but be accurate. If small items take up too much space, place them under one category with an understandable name.

    How you decide to reflect transactions will depend on you and the size of your catering business. Sometimes, more detail is needed to reflect accuracy and avoid misunderstanding, including subtotals and sales tax.

  5. Calculate and Enter the Cost of Your Labor

    Catering services are demanding — physically and mentally. Make sure you charge for your labor where indicated in the invoice template. Add labor costs on an hourly or daily basis, or include these per catering event. Whichever suits you, Skynova's invoice template is flexible enough to adapt to specific circumstances.

    Keep tight control over labor costs to avoid selling your food services short. Enter these costs in the catering service invoice template under "Unit Price," followed by the hourly rate if this is the agreed cost method. Select "Quantity" to input the total number of hours invested in a project. Where multiple projects are managed, add separate line spaces to include pricing and quantities for all catering events.

    If you do not want to specify labor costs, include a total fee for services rendered. Skip to the "Item" field, choose "Product" from the drop-down menu, and type in a description of the services and unit price.

  6. Enter Any Discounts Provided to the Client

    Clients love discounts on purchases or referrals. Treating your clients to these price reductions encourages loyalty, which is a great way to attract more business.

    Reflecting discounts on your Skynova invoice template is easy. Add discounts to the list of line items by choosing "Item" in the drop-down menu and selecting the "Discount" category.

    Give a brief explanation of what has been discounted. Make the description clear enough for immediate recognition (and appreciation).

    Input the discount rate or figure under "Unit Price," after which the amount will show up with a minus sign that looks like this, "-20.00." This discount will automatically reflect as a deduction on the invoice total due.

  7. Add a Note Describing Your Work and Providing Any Additional Information

    Consider adding a note to explain certain items on the invoice. Not everyone is familiar with how food services work, so a clarification note will help your clients understand certain items a little better.

    Maybe you feel the need to remind a client of specific terms, make a payment on time, or include a thank-you note. A show of appreciation for their support goes a long way toward building goodwill. A reminder is often also appreciated in the hustle and bustle of life when important things like your invoice may be forgotten.

    Use the "Notes" section in our catering invoice template to clarify any items, express your thanks, or offer discounts or promotions. This is your invoice, so use it to shine (while encouraging prompt bill payment).

Invoicing Tips and Best Practices for Catering Businesses

Our invoice template is designed to be user-friendly for small businesses "on the go." Creating customized invoices that improve business reputation has been made easy to support your passion.

Despite all the user-friendly aspects of Skynova's free catering invoice template, there are some areas where a little extra advice may be welcome. Read through our tips to learn how you can further leverage Skynova to manage and grow your catering business.

  • Start the Invoicing Process With Quotes or Estimates

    Professional quotes typically precede invoices. Live up to your reputation as a top caterer in the industry by drawing up a comprehensive quote. Clients want to know what they are paying for. Skynova's quote template is the ideal document to help manage your administration process (and client expectations) from start to finish.

    Sometimes, clients are exploring their options for a major event or working on a tight budget. They want the best possible service but still need to weigh their options. Help them make up their mind by offering to send them an estimate for the special event. Look into using a Skynova estimate template to deliver a professional evaluation of the pricing they can expect.

  • Invoice Regularly and With Conviction

    Slow-paying clients can give you headaches. You may have regular clients who constantly pay late or have provided services to a new client who just does not get back to you. Regular invoicing with clear payment information is sometimes necessary to prompt payment.

    Be persistent with invoice production and include additional notes that encourage late payers to meet their financial obligation. Keep the note professional, and avoid treating the matter as casual. Here's where Skynova's recurring invoices can take some of the pain out of this process.

  • Keep Administration Current With Invoice Tracking

    As a business owner, keeping track of invoices can be tricky. You want to spend time in the kitchen following your passion rather than being stuck with pesky paperwork. Unfortunately, if you do not keep up to date with administration, you could lose money. Skynova helps business owners to track their invoices, taking the sweat out of this chore.

  • Break Down Invoice by Meal Type

    Another helpful tip when designing your catering invoice template? Think about breaking it down by meal type to make it more friendly for your client. For example, separate line items for "sandwiches," "desserts," and "beverages" can help them understand where their money went.

Skynova Helps Take Your Catering Business to the Next Level

Catering takes full-time effort, whether you do it part time or as a primary source of income. Because you need to concentrate all of your energy on business operations, reputation, and getting the catering job done, Skynova's invoice template relieves some work pressure.

Further relief is possible if you want to access more business products. Whether you want help with invoicing, order forms, packing receipts, or other business-related administration work, Skynova's product selection can help grow your business to the next level.

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