Why Catering Software Is Right for Your Business Needs

By: Gen Wright

Running a catering business is a big responsibility, since it requires you to not only have a grasp of cooking techniques and menu creation but also of inventory control, labor management, and customer relations. Many catering business owners use a number of different programs to help them keep track of various aspects of their business, increasing both their workload and the chance that something will accidentally be overlooked. Choosing a good catering software solution can help with this, allowing you to integrate a number of different functions that are essential to your business into a single easy-to-use program. Here are just some of the benefits that catering software can offer to help meet the needs of your catering business.

Easy Menu Creation
Instead of having to spend hours consulting cookbooks in order to get the recipes you need for a well-balanced menu, catering software allows you to generate the menus that you want in a matter of minutes. You can do multiple menus to allow your customers a choice of several different options for their events, each customized to make sure that you don't include any foods that require ingredients that the customer needs you to avoid. If you need to make revisions to any of the menus based on the customer's requests, this can be done easily using the same simple interface that you used to create the menus in the first place.

Customer Interaction Tools
From email templates to customized correspondence that automatically fills in all of the needed information, your catering software will help you to contact your customers easily. This lets you make sure that you don't accidentally forget any important details when sending off letters and invoices, while also adding a look of professionalism with no additional effort. With the appropriate add-on, you can even sync your software with Outlook Express to give you an easy way to keep all of your customer contact information in one place for future correspondence.

Ingredient and Equipment Control
Making sure that you have enough ingredients on hand without ordering too much can be difficult at times, but your catering software can make it easy. The menus that you create can be adjusted to the exact number of portions that you will require, letting you generate ingredients lists that can then be cross-referenced with the stock that you currently have. This will allow you to order only what you need, eliminating any opportunity for ingredients to be left on the shelf for weeks after an event has occurred. In addition, the software will also help you to determine exactly what equipment you will need so that you can tell at a glance whether you have everything that is required or not.

Labor Management
A number of add-on components are available for your catering software, enabling you to have better control over event staffing to ensure that you have enough employees working while not overstaffing. You can also generate room layouts ahead of time to help your employees become familiar with where the event will be held as well as their assigned areas during the event. The software can even create custom sign-in sheets for each event, giving you a definitive record of when each employee arrived and left for payroll purposes.

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