Why caterers should send professional invoices
You do it all – from large celebrations to small business meetings. No catering job is ever the same, so no off-the-shelf invoice will do.
You need an invoice that is flexible enough to capture the price of all the food provided, serving instructions, and any special dietary or delivery requirements, while still being clear and easy-to-understand for your customers.
Besides being a dedicated foodie, you also supply great customer service, so your invoice should be as polished and professional as the great catering you provide. A good-looking, well-organized invoice will add to your outstanding reputation.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our array of beautiful catering invoice templates and pick the one in the color and style you like best
- Download the invoice template you have decided on in the format you want, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s FREE!
- Add on your catering business name, address, phone number, and email address. If you offer services for certain special events, or a particular type of cuisine – mention it here as well
- Insert your mouth-watering catering company logo, website address, and any fun graphics you use to brand your catering services
- Insert your customer’s name and up-to-date contact information
- Add a unique invoice number
- Insert the date of the invoice, the date of the catering, and the payment due date
- Include a itemized list of all the food provided, along with descriptions of any special orders, and the prices for each
- Include a list of any other charges, such as serving, delivery, and cleaning up, with descriptions and costs for each. The template is easily tailored to make sure you cover all the services you provide
- If you are including a discount for a regular customer or corporate client, add a line highlighting the discount so your customers know they are receiving a great price for your outstanding catering
- Calculate the total price, including all applicable taxes, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, including your accepted methods of payment
- Add a personal note at the end to thank your customers for the business – especially if you’d like them to refer your catering expertise to their friends and business associates
- Save a copy – and give a copy to your customer
When is the right time to send an invoice to your catering customers?
Some caterers invoice at the end of an event. If it’s a large catering assignment requiring a lot of food preparation, baking as well as hiring staff to serve and clean up, many caterers ask for a percentage of the cost up front, with the remainder being paid when the event is finished.
Whatever payment time period you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.