Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped many businesses find the right catering software so they can plan menus, manage bookings and venues, bill customers and run reports.

Showing 1-20 of 36 products

Flex Catering

Flex Catering is a web-based food and catering management software, which assists corporate caterers, restaurants, cafes and food businesses. Suitable for companies of all sizes, the solution organizes orders, products, customers,... Read more

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FoodStorm

FoodStorm Catering Software is designed for mid-size and enterprise-scale catering businesses. It offers a flexible solution and can support corporate catering, on-site catering, event catering, retail catering and large-scale foo... Read more

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Tripleseat

Tripleseat is a web application specifically designed for hotels, restaurants, and special venues to help manage sales and events. These tools help users oversee the catering business planning process by allowing detailed tracking... Read more

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Marketman

MarketMan Restaurant Management is a cloud-based platform that assists small to large-sized restaurants with procurement, food delivery tracking and accounting. Its key features include menu planning, budgeting, supplier managemen... Read more

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Total Party Planner

Total Party Planner is a cloud-based catering software suitable for small, midsize and large caterers and event planning companies. Primary features include event management, task management, communication tracking, scheduling and... Read more

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Better Cater

Better Cater is a cloud-based catering solution that is suitable for small and midsize catering businesses such as corporate catering, on-site catering, restaurants, event caterers, food trucks and large-scale food preparation. Ke... Read more

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Caterease

Caterease is a cloud-based and on-premise catering solution suitable for caterers, event planning businesses, casinos, restaurants and more. Key features include event management, account management, marketing, print designing, qu... Read more

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CaterZen

CaterZen is a cloud-based catering management solution that allows caterers to manage operations, sales and marketing. It also helps users track sales, take orders, view reports for kitchen planning and manage employees. The ... Read more

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STS Cloud

STS is a cloud-based Sales and Catering system that supports catering and sales work groups and enhances their performance. As it is 100% web-based, it does not require installation or maintenance. Users can access a customer’s de... Read more

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Sapaad

Sapaad is a cloud-based restaurant point of sale (POS) and delivery management system designed for food businesses, such as cafes, fast food and full-service, walk-in, dine-in, take-out and home delivery. It offers point-of-sale (... Read more

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Event Temple

Event Temple is a cloud-based event management solution designed to manage bookings and revenue for venues and hotels. The solution can be used by hotel chains, independent hotels, clubs, wedding venues and convention centers with... Read more

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Priava

Priava is purpose-built for event management, conferencing, and performing arts venues. With an easy-to-use web interface, the software requires minimal training, yet the functionality provides for any degree of complexity involve... Read more

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When I Work

When I Work is a cloud-based employee scheduling solution that helps organizations track time and attendance, create and edit employee schedules, add new jobs to the calendar, review timesheets and fill shifts. When I Work le... Read more

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Event Booking Engines

Event Booking Engines is a cloud-based solution designed to help hospitality groups and restaurants manage tasks, contracts, lead transfer and event ticketing. Key features include customer management, online signature capture, ca... Read more

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Infor Sales & Catering

Infor Sales and Catering is a cloud-based venue management solution that helps small to large enterprises automate the entire event life-cycle, from booking to performance analysis. It enables users to create custom proposals and ... Read more

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Connecteam

Connecteam Time Clock is a workforce management system that is suitable for companies from a range of industries including retail, food and beverage, transportation, construction, and healthcare. Companies can create and personali... Read more

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Function Tracker for Caterers

Function Tracker For Caterers is a cloud-based catering management solution designed for small and midsize businesses. It offers menu management, staff management and equipment management functionalities within a suite. The m... Read more

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Deputy

Deputy is a cloud-based human resource management (HRM) solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals and provides them employee management and scheduling functionalities. Deputy's rosterin... Read more

Curate

Curate is the platform for event professionals looking to save time and increase profits through streamlined processes. Unlike Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and sticky notes, Curate automates the event folder, allowing event prof... Read more

Nowsta

Nowsta is a cloud-based workforce management solution designed to help businesses streamline the entire employee lifecycle, from managing work requests to gaining insights into labor costs. The centralized dashboard enables manage... Read more

Buyers guide

There's a huge variety of software designed for all facets of the restaurant and hospitality industries. From software to manage hotel reservations to software restaurants use for their point-of-sale systems, there are software solutions for nearly every type of hospitality and foodservice business.

But the key to getting the most out of your software purchase is to carefully select the product that most closely matches your particular business and business model. For catering businesses, there is specialized catering management software. It's purpose-built for the unique challenges and demands of running a catering business and is the focus of this buyers guide.

Here's what we'll cover:

What is catering software?

Catering software helps restaurants and food service companies manage all the organizational challenges of running a catering business. The software can be used by caterers to manage bookings, plan events on an online calendar, design custom menus and send bills to customers.

Here's a thought experiment to visualize the benefits of replacing spreadsheets with catering software at your small business:

Imagine you've recently launched your own catering company. It's the result of years of hard work and months of planning and preparation. You've already catered several events—all smashing successes—and thanks to some word-of-mouth publicity, many potential new clients are calling and emailing to learn more about your business.

Like many new small businesses, you start using a spreadsheet to track your client interactions, agreements and processes. Going back and forth between emails, spreadsheets, calendars and notes from your phone calls and in-person meetings, you try your best to stay organized.

And, like every other business that begins this way, you eventually reach “peak disorganization". An appointment or two is missed, a client's question goes unanswered, and you realize that you need to find a better way.

That better way is, of course, software designed specifically for caterers. An example use case of catering software is streamlining client communication, such as agreeing with clients on booking amount, revising menu items collaboratively, blocking dates for the event and selecting venues. All of this information can be organized and centrally managed: which usually gets lost, when tracked, using a heap of spreadsheets.

While catering software eliminate error-prone manual processes, there're a variety of vendors offering catering software that differ in terms of features and applications.

Choosing the right catering tool for your business means understanding the software features your business requires. We discuss those in the following section.

Common features of catering software

Depending on the vendor and product you choose, your catering software could come with any or all of the following features.

Booking management Help manage all aspects of the booking process, from initial estimates to follow-up revisions. They also help manage customer contact information and other details.
Billing and invoices Assist in the sending, collecting and monitoring of prepayments, standard invoices, and all other billable charges.
Calendar planning Organize dates, times and places for future events and ensure that no staff or venues are double-booked and that no important appointments get missed.
Menu planning Tools to help create, revise and collaborate with clients on menu items, course selection and special dietary requests.
Venue management Manage reservations and communication with (third-party) venues, ensuring caterer, clients, and the venue all stay on the same page.
Rentals and orders Plan, arrange, and manage agreements with (third-party) equipment rental companies and assist with the related billing and invoicing requirements.
Analytics dashboard Get an easy-to-understand dashboard display of key metrics across multiple measurements. Automate reporting and customize dashboards with desired analytics.

In addition to these examples of core features, some vendors will offer different add-ons and integration tools. Some, for example, may have a feature that integrates the catering software calendar into your website, showing customers your up-to-date availability. Others may have features to integrate into your web-based email platform, saving you from needing to go back and forth between multiple windows.

Benefits and potential issues

Now, all those features might look great… and they are! But one of the biggest benefits of using dedicated catering software isn't listed above. That benefit is increased efficiency. It's built from the improved workflows that specialized software helps create and it's the best way to lead your catering company to success.

Other benefits include improved communication and a better customer experience. Catering software allows for automated communications and communication reminders, so you won't need to worry about missing a follow-up phone call or email. This also improves the experience of your clients, as they'll be kept in the loop and won't need to wait long for answers to their questions.

To avoid any potential issues, ensure that whatever platform you choose will work well with the way you already work. In other words, don't choose a catering platform that's designed for much larger or much smaller businesses, as those could leave you with too many or too few features. (Yes, too many features can be a problem, especially if they can't be turned off.) We encourage prospective buyers to take advantage of the free trials offered by many vendors, as this is the best way to ensure a good fit.

Catering software pricing and purchasing options

Most catering software platforms are sold as cloud-deployed software, also called Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. This means that the software runs on third-party (or the vendor's own) servers. There are several benefits to this deployment model, making it the most popular choice for many small and mid-sized caterers.

The first big advantage of cloud-based catering software is that you don't need to install it, update it or worry about its security. All of that is handled on the backend by the vendor. All you need to start using your new catering software is to go online and log into your account.

That brings us to the second advantage: accessibility! Since the software is hosted online, it can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. Many catering platforms are even mobile compatible, making it even easier to navigate the system while you're on the go or setting up for your next event.

Finally, the flexibility of cloud-based catering software is another big advantage. New users can be added easily and software subscriptions can be changed and updated, often with only the click of a button.

For costs, many catering cloud-based platforms are sold with either monthly or annual subscriptions. Prices range from $50 to $150 per month for one user. Some vendors allow more than one free user, while others may assess an additional monthly charge for each additional user. (Note: a "user" is simply anyone on your staff who will need direct access to the software.)