Whether you’re a small catering business or a large one, managing your day-to-day operations is essential to ensure your clients get the best service possible. That means having a system that allows you to keep track of everything from orders and payments to staffing and inventory.
Having the right catering software can help you streamline your workflow, improve customer experience and boost your bottom line. Below are a few features you should look for when choosing your next catering software solution:
1. Mobile-optimized interface
With today’s mobile-first world, it’s crucial that your catering management system is easy to use and accessible across multiple devices, both on and off-site. Most good catering software systems are cloud-based, which means you can access them on your computer, tablet, or smartphone from anywhere there is an internet connection.
2. Event planning & scheduling
Good catering software will also come with tools to help you plan events, organize tasks, assign personnel, and set up deliverables. This can help ensure that your staff stays on the same page and avoids double bookings or missed appointments.
3. Automated proposals & invoices
A great catering software will allow you to send and receive proposals electronically from your clients, automatically sending an invoice to them for payment when they approve the proposal. Some systems even have the option of allowing your customers to sign their own invoices online, which can help save you time and money.
4. Email communications/scheduling & messaging
Another key feature that you should look for in your catering software is an integrated communication tool, which can help you stay on top of your client’s requests and concerns by sending out reminders and alerts, posting notes and messages or sharing documents with them.
Ideally, your catering software should allow you to sync with other digital calendars, like Google Calendar, so that all parties involved in an event can communicate and stay on the same page.
5. Custom menus and recipes
If you’re a chef, you’ll want to be able to create and manage your own menus. That way, you can ensure that your dishes and ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality.
In addition, you’ll want to be able easily to create and edit menus with nutritional information, pricing, and more in one place. Having a system that allows you to do this is an important benefit of good catering software, as it can help reduce the risk of food safety issues and save you time on meal prep.
6. Reports & reporting
Great catering software should also include reports that can help you monitor the progress of an event or provide valuable insight into how well your business is performing in terms of profit and customer satisfaction.
This is typically done by tracking key performance indicators and providing real-time dashboards that can help you identify areas for improvement, which will ultimately result in more efficient processes.
7. Time management & clocking in/out
If you run a restaurant or catering business, you need to track your employees’ work hours, preferably from their mobile devices. You can also use your catering management software to track their schedules, making it easier to choose the right staff members for each event.