We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Catering Contract?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A catering contract is a form signed between a hiring party and a company performing catering services. It typically includes detailed information on what food and drink will be served as well as the time of the event and how long food and drink will be available. There are usually monetary agreements specified as well.

Both parties typically work together to draw up the contract. Many contracts are written by one party and signed by another, while a catering contract is largely a joint agreement by the provider to supply an event or gathering with requested services. Specified in the contract are function details such as the type of event, venue, date, time, and other relevant information.

The contract will often include detailed information about what is to be served, from appetizers and a main course to soups, salads, and desserts. It will also specify whether the meal will be served seated or buffet style, and indicate whether or not the caterer will provide trays of food circulating among the crowd.

The catering company may or may not provide alcohol and drinks for the event as well as food. Specific drink requests, along with the amount of bottles, cans, or containers, are often specified. In addition, there may be other mixing or corking fees that will be charged, and the company may or may not be supplying a bartender. If the caterer is not providing the drinks, this may also be indicated in the catering contract.

More than the food, the catering contract will also include the costs that the party holding the event will agree to pay; this is usually per head. The cost for some fresh items will fluctuate, and many caterers will allow their clients to indicate a maximum price to be paid with a request to consult if the price goes above that. In return, the caterer is often provided with a general if not exact head count as to how many people will be served. Depending on the type of caterer, there may be information about the tableside service that will be provided as well as the silverware, plates, tablecloths, and other physical items to be supplied.

A catering contract will generally have the inclusion of some vital information standard, regardless of what the rest of the contract looks like. Cancellation information is generally included, indicating how long before the event the hiring party has to cancel the contract and what penalties will be incurred, as well as the last date changes can be made to any part of the food and drink service. Many caterers will require a deposit, with information clearly indicating what is still owed and how long the hiring party has to pay the balance. Many catering contracts also have a built-in clause that states what will happen to the extra food and drink, as well as specifying what will be done if the event goes longer than intended or more guests attend.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.