About 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 reporting.

Total Party Planner allows users to manage the catering process from creating proposals through reporting. Features include contact management, marketing email management, venue management, staff management, vendor databases maintenance and appointment management.

Features offered via integration are lead automation, credit-card processing and signature capture. Third-party integrations include Constant Contact, Quickbooks, e-SignLive, Authorize.net, EVO Payments International, XCharge Payment Processing, Microsoft Office Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal, Google Maps, Social Tables and others.

Total Party Planner is available with monthly and annual subscription pricing. Android and iOS mobile applications are also available. Support is offered via phone and email.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic)

113 Reviews of Total Party Planner

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.86 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(100)

4 stars

(10)

3 stars

(3)

2 stars

(0)

1 stars

(0)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 113 reviews

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October 2016

Chef Steven from Memphis Fire Barbeque Company Inc.

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

Very few things can buy you time to actually run your business - TPP does, and extremely well!

I was you, 1 year ago. My restaurant was running me, requests for catering were pouring in and we had just put our catering food truck on the road. I was stressed to the max, drowning in Excel Catering Event Order spreadsheets and missing catering pick-up orders and panicking my kitchen. I know.. you assume that I'm a newbie, and that's sweet. I'm in my 30th year of cooking for a living, and at the age of 43 own one of the top restaurants in my industry category in our Province. We staff 40 plus people for a 15 table full-service restaurant that turns 10 to 11 times a day from Thursday to Sunday - every week. That doesn't include six figures per year in take-out and six figures in Catering now a year later. Add to that, I'm no slouch on the computer and can code in Excel like it's second nature. Why do you need to know this? It gives you context for this review. Without Total Party Planner to take away the headaches of searching for pricing, building proposals, databasing clients and providing seamless continuity for all of our communication, we wouldn't be able to grow like we have. Yes... evaluate how much the software costs, and look at your business and determine if you can afford it - it's not cheap. However, bear in mind this one caveat. - How much is your time worth? - How much are you spending in repairing your credibility with clients, when you miss a detail? - How much are you losing when you forget to add a detail to an order and have to take it at a loss? - Are your skills being utilized in the right facet? I'm a chef, not an event planner and certainly not an accountant. TPP assists me to be a better business person. I could have designed a database in MS Access, or continued in Excel - but why? My results would not have produced the package that TPP offers. I know what you're thinking... this reads too good to be true, and in fact, there is one thing that needs to be cleared up. This program came easy to me, it all made sense from a Culinary perspective and the types of information required to utilize the program to its fullest were familiar to me. There, I said it, this is a professional level program. Not that it's just for enterprise level clients, but, hospitality professionals. Just be prepared. The learning curve here is quite steep for the uninitiated. But.... Their customer service is outstanding... really... they care - a lot. I use 8 different subscription business services, and TPP is the best!

Pros

This software allows hospitality professionals and entrepreneurs who own small to medium sized operations present themselves in a polished and consistent way

Cons

The steep learning curve would be a con for those who aren't computer savvy. This was not my case, but teaching other staff members has presented these challenges. With proper coaching, which TPP does so very well, and which I have modelled my internal training on, you can be up and running in a fairly short time.

Be prepared though, no matter which software suite you choose, there is a ton of hard data that needs to be inputed. TPP handles this really well, and after using it for a year, I can navigate around and produce proposals and maintain my financials with ease.

Response from Computica of Total Party Planner

Replied October 2016

Chef Steven, thank you for such a detailed and informative review! In addition, thank you for your business. I'm glad we were able to help relieve some of the stress that comes with restaurant catering. We are always working to make the software easier for new clients to learn. In fact, we will be releasing a brand new interface in 2017 that streamlines the entire event building process. We are super excited about it! If there is anything we can do for Memphis Fire barbeque Company please let us know. -- John Cohen

October 2016

Colin from Delectables Fine Catering, Inc.

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

Great piece of software, with the best customer service around

I work for a mid-sized off-site catering company. We have used Total Party Planner (TPP) for more than a decade, so we have lots of experience in using this product, over 25,000 events. We started off on the stand-alone version and ran it for about 8.5 years, then switched over to the web-based version more than a year ago. Before we purchased TPP, I tried 3 or 4 other pieces of event planning software over several months. TPP was clearly the best: The most organized, and the easiest to use. And the web-version is easier and faster to use than was the stand-alone version. TPP is an excellent piece of software. It is stable, and just plain works well. You can tell that the people who designed the software have a background in catering, because it does the things you need it to do to help automate the process. Many of our sales people (5) are not what I would call 'computer people', and one in particular took some time getting used to TPP, but now they are all lost without it. One thing we do that is somewhat unusual (for a catering company) is we do a fair number of deliveries where the food is delivered in disposable containers, with no servers, mostly business lunches. We use a different report for these to make clear to the kitchen at a glance that this is a delivery and not a full-service event, and the people at TPP helped us to 'tweak' that report to include everything we needed in it. That was hugely important to us, and TPP was glad to help modify the report. To be fair, I cannot comment on a couple of features. We don't use the room reservation system, as we have no rooms to manage. I also cannot comment on the recipe section of the software, as we used different recipe software before TPP came along and have stuck with it, because the kitchen people know how to use it. The best part of TPP may be their Tech Support. It's simply the best I have ever used, for any software. 95% of the time when we call them, a real person answers the phone, and our issue is generally resolved in 5-10 minutes. On the very rare occasion when we get the answering machine, we always receive a call back within 10-15 minutes. No software is perfect, and TPP is no exception. Occasionally it feels like there is an extra mouse click or two required to do some simple thing, but at least the program is consistent about that from section to section. For event planning, it would be hard to improve upon Total Party Planner.

Pros

Great Customer Support. Consistency from section to section. Ease of use. Speed of screen updating.

Cons

Some things feel like they require an extra mouse click to handle. The report on what has and has not sold over time needs some improvement.

September 2016

Michonda from Weber Catering & Events, LLC

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2016

Total Party Planner ROCKS!

Total party planner is awesome! We've had it for about 10 years and continue to grow and use it more and more! The biggest thing it has helped with is showing us when we are making money! I love the features and ability to plan and account for labor in the kitchen and at events. I LOVE that once I have my recipes in, it will generate for my staff exactly how much of each ingredient to use as well as PRINT ME OUT an ORDER list!! As we have grown over the years, this order list feature saves considerable time and the event production keeps our staff on proper useage. I also use it to run my sales tax report - SO FAST, better than adding all my events by hand. Creating proposals, checking accounts receivables, so many reports, and there are even reports and features that we have yet to take advantage of. We are able to take credit cards thru TPP. The site is never down, I use the webbased program so that myself and my staff can access and work from home or our phone or anywhere we can get online - creating a flexible and family friendly work environment for us! In the catering industry, in international catering groups that I belong to, myself and a multitude of others are known as the tpp groupies! We are always promoting and singing TPP praises as the go to catering software program. I recommend them to everyone and have even suggested using this program in other industries to associates of mine. That the founder came from a catering family business background is evident in this success of this program.

Pros

That it is web based, no info is lost if my computer dies and is accessible from anywhere for myself and my staff thus creating a flexible family friendly workplace for us. I love all the reporting capabilities from sales tax to labor needs and projections, sales projections, order list, ingredient needs for recipes. I love that all my clients info is in TPP for life and I can find and copy previous events, that I can take credit cards through them, that they are always helpful and quick to respond to issues, and that they select update times during the middle of the night so that I don't have to worry about accessing the system due to updates . The system is always available to us while also being on the ball updating with improvements.

Cons

The only downside is that I am still realizing all the features. TPP has helped us to grow and we're so busy now, it's hard for me to find time to play with other features. We continue to notice features and realize new and helpful updated features.

September 2016

Steven from Chef Binks Inc.

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2016

The do all easy to use event management software .

First off I want to say that I am not being paid or compensated to write this review. I have been using total party planner for over 20 years. As a professional chef In my career I have owned a banquet facilitiy, 3 restaurants and five catering companies. I have also consulted for many clients starting up new catering or banquet operations and seasoned veterans focusing on organizational management and culinary . The things that I always look for when implementing a new organizational management piece of software or system is speed of integration and ease of use. Total party planner never fails. Ever. Event bookings client management party planning culinary integration costing all done effortlessly. When the software was first introduced I had zero computer experience nothing. I booked my first party in 10 minutes without even doing a tutorial. The reason I mention this is to emphasize the ease of use. In this modern age of ultra simple apps and dumb down software many times we find ourselves sacrificing attention to detail or the ability to do something specific and unique to our business. This is another area that total party planner shines. The guy that invented the software is the son of a caterer and was probably working weekends in a professional kitchen when he was 10 years old . He knows all the little details and things that make our lives easier when doing a catering job or running a banquet. All the details like what items to pull for a party staffing and client special notes are integrated into a easy to follow format. When I have consulted for clients either starting up or running a catering or banquet business the first thing I always notice is they have multiple salesman and secretaries handling all the paperwork and Client details. I have always been able to cut at least half of the office and sales staff by implementing total party planner. Yeah, do the math in your head, how much money would that save a year? LOL for solo operators the time savings alone is monumental. Allowing you to focus on the fun stuff like developing new recipes designing new menus or making a clients party extra special. No one wants to spend time doing paperwork this allows you to get back to what we all got into this business for, creating great events. If you would like to chat with me about this software and how it works hit me with an email and I'll give you a ring. Chefbinks@chefbinks.com

Pros

Ease-of-use and speed of integration with little or no computer experience.

Cons

There's really nothing that I don't like about this software. It is designed by a food service guy for food service people so it really nails it on all levels.

October 2016

Brian from I.K. Catering- "Catering with Class"

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

We love TPP!

I have been using Total Party Planner for my catering business the last four years and I can honestly say I don't know what we would do without the software. It is the lifeline to our business and helps to keep us organized in the office and in the kitchen! The value of time savings and the functionality of the software is invaluable. They are constantly adding new features and functions to make life easier for the end user. I can honestly say every person that uses the system and program learns quickly and is able to use the components of the software that apply to their job position very easily. I honestly recommend any one with a catering or food related business to check out Total Party Planner for their software solution. It has changed how we do business and has increased our revenue streams as a result of the added organization and time savings the program provides our company. From pack lists to recipe analysis to food cost tracking this software has it all! Highly recommend!

Pros

Ease of use, functionality, and professional presentation

Cons

The speed of the program. I wish some actions within the program had a faster loading time.

Response from Computica of Total Party Planner

Replied October 2016

Brian, we have enjoyed serving you for the past 4 years. Congratulations on the new Venue and we hope that Total Party Planner will assist you in growing that venture. Our new screen designs (coming soon!) have all new optimizations that I think you will find very speedy. If you need anything, please feel free to reach out to myself or the team. --John Cohen

October 2016

Craig from Pinx Catering

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

Total Party Planner (TPP)

TPP is a robust piece of software. You can really tell that John and his team have had every experience in the catering industry and that they have put these experiences into the software. This has been very helpful for us as we fell into catering. Now we are looking to fine tune our operation. The plug in services have worked very well for us as well. TPP has helped take us from a 30k company to just under 7 figures. Thank you.

Pros

This software has the capability to bring together all the disparate parts of our business (admin, kitchen, delivery, service) under one roof so we can all communicate and grow together. That in and of itself is HUGE. It is also web based. Another major coup for small business owners. And the customer service

Cons

UX is not very intuitive. The flow is a bit clunky for my tastes. I prefer the drag and drop simple flow with colors to illustrate the differences in the sections/functions.

Response from Computica of Total Party Planner

Replied October 2016

Craig, I'm glad that TPP has helped Pinx Catering in it's rapid growth. We agree with you that initial data entry is important to companies just starting out with the system. As far as the UX, we will be releasing an entirely new event module design very soon. It's currently in limited release and getting some great reviews! I think you will be happy with it's new intuitive flow and design. We look forward to sharing it with Pinx Catering in the next few weeks. --John Cohen

October 2016

Alissa from Georgia's Smokehouse Food Truck & Catering

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

Amazing Software, Stellar Customer Service

From start to finish TPP's customer service was always friendly, and above & beyond helpful. If they didn't have a feature, they worked on creating one. They have great work-arounds to manage almost anything you need. The use of the software increased our efficiency, productivity and therefore profitability almost instantly. It takes a little bit of practice to get everything sorted out and create proposals but once you get the hang of it you fly through them send customers professional and thorough proposals and invoices super quickly and close the deal. I can't say enough good things about the service and the staff! Totally worth the cost.

Pros

The details and the ability work around and create your own options. The menu details and invoicing ease was great too.

Cons

At the time I was using it (I stopped 2 years ago to raise our son and hire someone to take over for me) there was very little I could do on a mobile device or phone. The ipad version was very difficult. I think that's been worked on but I believe it still lacks a lot of features of the full computer version.

October 2016

Sarah from Creative Hands Cuisine

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2016

Long Time, Happy Customers!

We have been using Total Party Planner for about 10 years. We LOVE the software and the benefits it has to offer. We really wouldn't recommend any other software for catering companies.

Pros

Very straight forward once you learn the program.

Cons

Since we are on the beta, we tend to have some glitches-- but nothing major!

Response from Computica of Total Party Planner

Replied October 2016

Sarah, many, many thanks to you and Camille for being such long time clients of Total Party Planner. Creative Hands Cuisine was one of the EARLIEST adopters of our revolutionary cloud based solution introduced back in 2006. Your input on our BETA team is invaluable and is helping to pave the way for future evolutions of the software. We apologize for the BETA team glitches. I know it comes with the territory, however, I'll make sure the team is aware. Sometimes it's just that we get so excited to release all of the great new things out to the BETA team for feedback! -- John Cohen

October 2016

Lendy from City Catering Company

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

TPP Helped me grow to over 10 million in annual revenue.

I started using TPP's desktop solution in 2005. We wuickly switched to their online solution within the year. In that time TPP has helped City Catering grow to over 10 million dollars in annual revenue. Their catering background shows in the forward thinking updates to the program and their support team is fast and responsive. We use the program to its fullest and have had excellent results. TPP is a valued partner in growing my business.

Pros

Very user friendly. Knowledge of the catering industry was used to design it.

Cons

I don't have any. As with any product there are always small bells and whistles you would like but they are frequently added in the constant updates.

Response from Computica of Total Party Planner

Replied October 2016

Lendy, Thank you for the 11 years that you have entrusted Total Party Planner to manage your company data. As an early adopter in 2006 of our hosted cloud version, I know you have seen a lot of evolution from both our product and our company. We hope to continue working with City Catering Company Company for the next 11 years so you can see even more growth. --John Cohen

October 2016

Angie from Jonz Catering

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2016

Thanks for making me look good!

I just wanted to let you know what a great product that we believe that you have! I first researched your product, after a rave review from another local caterer, I then convinced the company that I was working for to get your software. When I made the change over to Jonz Catering, the owner was still using 'Hammer and Chisel' (Office Word and a calculator, not EVEN excel!!), to do catering proposals. I told her that even as AMAZING that I am, my typing skills leave something to be desired! If she wanted productivity and an updated, professional look, I needed to bring her into the 21st century!! She dragged her feet for about a month and then finally looked at the website'she was hooked! At least once a month for the last year she has thanked me in one way or another for 'revolutionizing' her life! About 6 months ago, we got robbed and they stole her computer. We lost a lot of history for the business, but now that we are in the cloud, we didn't miss a beat. She was so happy!!

Pros

The fact that it has so many functions and can provide so many different reports

Cons

That there isn't a room diagram function with it.

October 2016

Calvin from Naomi's Catering

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2016

It has been a life changer

Well, I started out as a desktop user and I cannot say enough about how TTP changed my life--it cut my time planning events in half and my food cost went down 10%. Making a shopping/ordering list is now something that I can do in 10-15 minutes for a whole week's worth of orders. Customer service is A+++++. They are personally invested in my use. It is unbelievable how helpful the staff is and their follow up. I love the way support calls back to check on me a day or two after a question or a problem. If you take the amount of time you save on event planning, menu costing and ordering and put an hourly dollar value on it, you will find that TPP costs probably half of that a year. I'm just a small business with around $300,000.00 in annual sales and it changed my life. There are also features that a larger catering business would find extremely helpful. I use some new feature regularly and I am always surprised at how much time it saves me. Just do it! The cost will never be an issue because Total Party Planner pays for itself!

Pros

menu costing, event costing, financial information

Cons

Nothing you can do anything about--the data entry.

October 2016