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Catering, An Avenue of Revenue

Every restaurant always looks for ways to enhance sales and increase revenue. Most restaurant kitchens have excess capacity and have the ability to produce more food than your current sales require. So why not utilize that extra capacity to add another avenue of revenue?

Bulk food orders and catering can add revenue to your restaurant with very little added expense. With proper planning, bulk orders and catering can add as much as 6% to 10% to your top-line sales.

Several factors to consider during your planning stages:

  • Create a specific catering menu for the items you plan to prepare and serve in bulk. Consider the equipment that you have in your kitchen and what food items can be prepared with each mixer, stove, oven , etc.
  • You might consider items that are not on your regular menu but lend themselves to advanced preparation for catering.
  • If you are not open to serve breakfast, utilize your opening prep crew to prepare bulk lunch orders.
  • Foods that are portable cater best, e.g., finger foods, sandwiches, etc. Soups do not cater well.
  • Get with your paper supplier to find out the type of catering trays and containers that are available. Plan ways to use trays or aluminum pans in order to make a great presentation when used in catering.
  • If you decide that you want to do off-site catering on your client's premises, make sure you have enough sterno and utensils on hand.

This is by no means a complete checklist. However, this should get you started in planning for catering sales.

To help you determine the selling price for catering jobs, RM101 has created a Catering Job Calculator.  It is our most popular form and has helped many restaurateurs calculate costs and sales price.

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