Many restaurants will look to maximize their profitability through a catering service that can work in conjunction with the restaurant to expand the business into a new, albeit related market. Some current menu items may make it onto your catering menu, but not all. Here we’ll look at some catering menu ideas you should be factoring into when designing your catering menu.

What To Keep In Mind When Designing a Catering Menu

Cost Per Each Serving – menus can serve 5, 10, 20, 40, 50, 100 or more people. So you’ll want to work out the cost per serving for any particular dish. The customer knows best and if they ask for special dishes, you can always adjust your menu to their specific desires and adjust the price accordingly. For less costly options go with the classics.
Ingredient Seasonality and Availability – some recipe items may only be available during certain times of the year. They taste and look great but can be costly. Rare dishes and ingredients will of course cost more. Remember to try to keep the menu seasonal and local where possible. Reduce need for long planning importation and high price items as this will increase your cost and your customers.

Time To Prepare Dishes – this is something that is very important to keep in mind so that you’re getting dishes ready to go in a timely fashion. Some dishes require far more prep and far more cooking time than others. Preparing large amounts of a time consuming dishes adds up, so be sure to consider the entire process in terms of time from prep to cook and re-heat. Find recipes that suit all of these needs well when possible

Traditional Catering Menu Choices

Some recipes we’ve all had before or that seem to always be fan favorites, but more often these days people planning a party will want items that are not always so straight forward or expected. Adding some good choice variations to classics, or offering vegetarian/vegan options can help. For a complete menu, be sure to offer all of the standards to include:

– Appetizers
– Salads, Soups, Sides and Breads
– Main Courses (Entrées)
– Dessert and Coffee Choices

Increasing your restaurants profitability by offering a complete catering service is something all restaurants should do

Catering is truly the epitome of the food service industry. Why? You know how many people, at what time, what staff is needed and what food to prep, and is usually at a premium cost.

Managing this aspect of the business takes more time and should involve a seasoned restaurant and catering manager who is experienced, personable and communicates well.

No Cost Analysis of Your Menu

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