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How to make a Catering contract

Use this catering contract to provide various hospitality and food services to private individuals or businesses. Ensure that your catering services are recorded in a formal, legally binding contract. This catering contract will help protect both parties by keeping a record of the details included in the provision of services.

Recently reviewed by Lauren Delin, Solicitor. 

This catering contract was last reviewed on 15 June 2022.

A catering contract is an agreement between a caterer and a client (ie the consumer or business receiving the service). It sets out the agreed-upon terms relating to the catering services, including the dates on which the service will be provided, payment to the caterer and expenses incurred by the caterer and circumstances beyond the control of either party (ie force majeure events).

Use this catering contract template if you:

  • run a catering business in England, Wales or Scotland

  • provide catering services to private individuals (ie consumers) or businesses

This catering agreement template covers:

  • caterer details and client details

  • list of services (eg preparing food and beverages, decorating the venue and preparing table settings)

  • the date when the catering will be provided

  • how payment should be made and the procedure for late payment

  • how often invoices will be issued

  • what equipment (if any) will be provided by the client

  • privacy provisions

  • liability and insurance

  • termination of the contract

A catering contract offers certainty and helps protect both parties by setting out the terms of your agreement in relation to the provision of catering services (eg catering corporate events, catering parties or wedding catering).

An employment contract is used to hire employees (who have an employer). A catering contract is used to hire a caterer, who provides the services in their capacity as an independent business in their respective trade or field. As a result, where a caterer is hired to provide catering services, an employment contract is not the correct document, as a catering contract should be used instead.

This catering contract allows the client to request certain menu items (ie food and drinks). Any menu items requested will be set out in ‘Schedule 1 - Menu’ of this agreement.

It will be up to the parties to decide who will provide the equipment for the catering services. You can agree that the caterer provides all the equipment or that the client provides some. The caterer will need to ensure that they have adequate equipment to provide the catering services.

It is up to you to decide if you wish to take a deposit. 

The deposit is a sum of money paid by the client to secure the provision of services by the caterer. A deposit is non-refundable unless the caterer fails to provide the services and is at fault for such failure.

The client should typically pay the deposit before paying any invoices for the provision of catering services.

An Invoice provides a record of services provided (or goods sold), and the amount payable. A caterer should send an invoice to request payment for their catering services. The invoice should then be paid in accordance with this catering contract. For more information, read Invoicing.

An invoice should be issued by the caterer which is payable at the time of booking the catering services. The services will not be provided until after payment is received.

Caterers often charge clients:

  • a flat fee

  • an hourly rate

  • per guest at the event

How you wish to price catering services will be up to you, depending on various factors including your duties and responsibilities, what food you’ll serve and any requested menu items and the number of guests. 

You will also need to set out if value added tax (VAT) is:

  • included in the fees - if your fees include VAT

  • excludes from the fees - if your fees do not include VAT but VAT will be charged

  • not applicable - if you are not registered for VAT

Caterers need to have a Privacy policy if the client supplies personal data to the caterer for the provision of the services. Personal data is information that relates to private individuals who can be personally identified from that data (eg names and addresses).

Having a clear privacy policy in place will help you comply with your data protection obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This catering contract allows you to specify the notice period that must be given by either the caterer or the client to end the agreement. 

Ask a lawyer if:

  • the catering contract doesn't meet your needs or cover what you want

  • you are based outside of England, Wales or Scotland

This catering contract is governed by the laws of England, Wales or Scotland.

Other names for Catering contract

Catering agreement, Catering services contract, Agreement for catering services, Provision of catering services, Contract for catering services, Food service contract, Catering services agreement, Hospitality and food service agreement, Caterer contract.