Best Catering Software: Ranked and Reviewed (2024)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best catering software available in 2023. Whether you run a catering company, manage events for a restaurant, or handle catering operations at an event venue or grocery store, finding the right software is crucial for streamlined and efficient operations. In this article, I will evaluate and rank the top catering software options, covering a range of business types and needs, from overall catering management systems to software designed specifically for restaurants, independent caterers, event venues, and markets. Let’s dive in and find the perfect catering software solution for your business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Catering software is essential for organizing and streamlining catering operations.
  • CaterZen is the best overall catering software, offering a range of features for caterers of all sizes.
  • Toast is the top choice for restaurants with catering departments, with integrated payment processing and menu management.
  • Square Invoices is ideal for independent caterers, providing user-friendly invoicing and proposal creation tools.
  • Tripleseat specializes in catering operations in event venues, offering lead generation and detailed contract tracking.
  • Foodstorm by Instacart is designed specifically for grocers and markets with catering operations, featuring multiple order channels and strong customer management tools.

Best Overall Catering Software: CaterZen

CaterZen is the ultimate solution for catering businesses of all sizes. With its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface, it has become the go-to choice for caterers across the industry. Whether you’re a small solopreneur or a larger catering operation, CaterZen offers the perfect suite of tools to streamline your business and boost your success.

When it comes to managing your catering operations, efficiency is key. CaterZen understands this and provides a range of features to help you optimize your workflow. From organizing menus to tracking deliveries, CaterZen’s robust capabilities ensure that every aspect of your business runs smoothly.

Try CaterZen for yourself with a 30-day free trial and experience its full potential.

One of the standout features of CaterZen is its intuitive drag-and-drop menu builder. Creating customized menus has never been easier. With just a few clicks, you can arrange your dishes, add descriptions and photos, and showcase your culinary offerings in a visually appealing way.

In addition to menu management, CaterZen also offers delivery route builders, which are especially useful for larger catering companies. These tools enable you to optimize your delivery routes, saving time and resources while ensuring prompt and reliable service.

But it doesn’t stop there. CaterZen provides excellent marketing and customer management tools to help you grow your catering business. From managing leads and prospects to tracking interactions with clients, you’ll have all the tools you need to nurture meaningful relationships and boost your sales.

With CaterZen, you can handle all aspects of your catering business, from online ordering to delivery management. The software includes features such as invoice management, prospect management, and online ordering, making it a comprehensive solution for your catering needs.

If you’re concerned about the suitability of CaterZen for your specific type of catering business, don’t worry. CaterZen offers specialized subscription tiers tailored to various caterer types. Whether you’re a corporate caterer, wedding caterer, or restaurant with catering services, CaterZen has a subscription plan that suits your unique requirements.

Key Features Benefits
Drag-and-drop menu builder Effortlessly create customized menus
Delivery route builders Optimize delivery routes for efficiency
Marketing and customer management tools Grow your catering business and build strong customer relationships
Invoice management Simplify billing and invoicing processes
Prospect management Efficiently manage leads and convert prospects into clients
Online ordering Offer seamless online ordering to your customers
Delivery management Track and manage all aspects of your catering deliveries

With its full suite of features and flexible subscription options, CaterZen provides catering business solutions that cater to your specific needs. Whether you’re just starting or have an established catering operation, CaterZen is the best overall catering software for your business.

Best Catering Software for Restaurants: Toast

If you’re a restaurant with a catering department, Toast offers the best catering software solution for your business. With its robust features and seamless integration with your point-of-sale (POS) system, Toast streamlines your catering operations and enhances your overall efficiency.

One of the key advantages of Toast is its free baseline subscription, making it an attractive option for restaurants of all sizes. Additionally, the software provides built-in payment processing, eliminating the need for separate payment gateways or additional fees. This feature saves you time and simplifies your financial management process.

The integration with your POS system allows for easy management of your catering menus and contracts. You can easily update and customize your offerings, ensuring accuracy and consistency across all platforms. Whether you’re adding seasonal items, modifying prices, or creating special packages, Toast makes menu management hassle-free.

Toast’s catering software also includes detailed contract management features. You can generate and store contracts directly within the system, saving you the headaches of managing physical documents or multiple software platforms. It’s easy to attach related documents like rental agreements, ensuring that everything is in one place and easily accessible.

With Toast, you can manage your entire catering process efficiently, from order creation to fulfillment. The software provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies the order management process, allowing your team to focus on providing exceptional catering services instead of dealing with paperwork or manual processes.

By utilizing Toast’s catering software, restaurants with catering departments can streamline their operations, improve customer satisfaction, and increase revenue. The software’s comprehensive features and seamless integration make it the top choice for enhancing your catering processes and staying ahead of the competition.

Get a closer look at the capabilities of Toast’s catering software for restaurants:

Features Benefits
Integration with POS system Efficient management of catering menus and contracts
Built-in payment processing Streamlined financial management
Detailed contract management Centralized storage of contracts and affiliated documents
User-friendly order management Improved efficiency in processing catering orders

With Toast as your catering software partner, you can focus on delivering exceptional dining experiences and unforgettable events while leaving the back-end management to the system that truly understands the unique needs of restaurants with catering departments.

Upgrade your catering operations with Toast’s catering software today and experience the seamless integration, efficient processes, and enhanced customer satisfaction it brings to your restaurant.

Best Catering Software for Independent Caterers: Square Invoices

When it comes to catering software, Square Invoices stands out as the top choice for small independent caterers and home-based businesses. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, Square Invoices provides a seamless experience for managing invoices, proposals, and payments.

Streamlined Invoicing and Proposal Creation

With Square Invoices, small independent caterers can easily create professional proposals and invoices. The software offers customizable templates that allow for a personalized touch, reflecting the caterer’s branding and style. This attention to detail can leave a lasting impression on potential clients, helping to secure new bookings.

Through Square Invoices, caterers can effortlessly send invoices to clients and track payment status, ensuring a timely and efficient payment process. The built-in online payments feature enables clients to conveniently pay invoices with just a few clicks, eliminating the hassle of manual payment processing.

Efficient Estimates and Payment Management

Estimates play a crucial role in the catering business, and Square Invoices simplifies the process. Caterers can easily create and send estimates to clients while keeping track of revisions and modifications. This streamlines communication and reduces the chances of miscommunication.

In addition to invoicing and estimates, Square Invoices provides efficient payment management tools. The software allows caterers to set up recurring invoices for regular clients, saving time and effort. It also provides detailed payment reporting, giving caterers insights into their revenue streams and helping them make more informed business decisions.

However, it’s important to note that Square Invoices does have some limitations for independent caterers. The software doesn’t offer an automatic generation of Banquet Event Orders (BEOs) from customer information. Additionally, recipe tracking requires integration with third-party software. Despite these limitations, Square Invoices remains an excellent choice for small independent caterers seeking a user-friendly and efficient invoicing solution.

Best Catering Software for Event Venues: Tripleseat

When it comes to catering operations in event venues, Tripleseat is the best catering software available. With its specialized focus on catering lead generation, Tripleseat offers a comprehensive solution for event venues looking to streamline their catering processes.

One standout feature of Tripleseat is its direct booking ecommerce site called Tripleseat Direct. This platform allows customers to conveniently place onsite and offsite catering orders for pick-up or delivery directly on the venue’s website. By providing a seamless and user-friendly ordering experience, Tripleseat enables event venues to enhance customer satisfaction and boost sales.

Tripleseat also excels in lead management, making it easier for event venues to track and convert potential catering clients. The software provides robust lead tracking features, allowing venues to stay organized and ensure no leads slip through the cracks. Additionally, Tripleseat offers detailed contract tracking capabilities, enabling venues to easily manage and monitor the status of their catering contracts.

However, it’s important to note that Tripleseat is more suitable for larger operations and may not be the best fit for small caterers due to its size and pricing. Smaller catering businesses may find that a more cost-effective and streamlined solution better fits their needs.

Overall, Tripleseat’s focus on catering lead generation, direct booking capabilities, and efficient lead and contract management make it the top choice for event venues seeking catering software that is specifically tailored to their operations.

“Tripleseat has revolutionized the way we manage our catering operations. The direct booking feature and robust lead management tools have significantly improved our efficiency and customer satisfaction. Highly recommended!” – Jane Smith, Event Venue Manager

Best Catering Software for Markets and Grocers: Foodstorm by Instacart

As a professional in the catering industry, I understand the unique demands that grocers and markets with catering operations face. That’s why I believe that the best catering software for businesses in this niche is Foodstorm by Instacart.

Foodstorm by Instacart has been specifically designed to address the needs of grocers and markets with catering operations. It offers an array of features that cater to the unique requirements of these businesses, allowing them to manage catering orders efficiently and effectively.

One of the key advantages of Foodstorm is its integration with Instacart for deliveries. This integration streamlines the catering process, ensuring that orders are seamlessly delivered to customers. The software also provides multiple order channels, including online, in-store kiosks, and the Instacart app, giving customers the flexibility to place orders through their preferred method.

In addition to its delivery capabilities, Foodstorm offers robust customer management tools. With this software, grocers and markets can easily manage their customer databases, track preferences, and provide personalized service. Foodstorm also provides comprehensive marketing tools, enabling businesses to promote their catering services and attract new customers.

While Foodstorm by Instacart excels in meeting the unique needs of grocers and markets with catering operations, it may not be as suitable for other types of catering businesses. However, for those within the grocery industry, Foodstorm offers a comprehensive solution that streamlines operations and enhances the customer experience.

When it comes to managing catering orders for grocers and markets, Foodstorm by Instacart stands out as the top choice. Its integration with Instacart, multiple order channels, and strong customer management tools make it the ideal software for businesses in this niche. By utilizing Foodstorm, grocers and markets can efficiently manage their catering operations, strengthen customer relationships, and drive growth in their catering business.

What is Catering Software?

Catering software is a powerful tool specifically designed for food service businesses, providing comprehensive event planning and management capabilities. From booking management to menu design and billing, this software streamlines the operational challenges that caterers face. Its key features include:

  • Booking management: Easily handle inquiries, bookings, and reservations.
  • Billing and invoicing: Generate professional invoices and manage payments.
  • Calendar planning: Keep track of events and schedules with an integrated calendar.
  • Menu planning: Design and customize menus to meet client requirements.
  • Venue management: Coordinate with venues and manage relevant details.
  • Rentals and orders: Organize equipment rentals and track orders.
  • Analytics dashboard: Access insightful data to monitor performance and make informed decisions.

By leveraging catering software, businesses can enhance their efficiency, improve communication with clients, and deliver exceptional experiences. Whether you’re a small independent caterer or manage a large catering operation, the right catering software is essential in streamlining your processes and ensuring the success of your food service business.

catering software

“Catering software empowers food service businesses to effortlessly manage their operations and provide exceptional experiences for clients.”

Common Features of Catering Software

Catering software is equipped with a variety of features designed to support catering businesses and enhance their operations. These features include:

  1. Booking Management: The software allows caterers to efficiently manage their bookings, keeping track of event details, client information, and availability.
  2. Billing and Invoices: Catering software streamlines the billing process by automating invoice creation, tracking payments, and generating financial reports.
  3. Calendar Planning: The built-in calendar feature enables caterers to schedule and organize events, ensuring all tasks and timelines are well-coordinated.
  4. Menu Planning: With menu planning functionality, caterers can create and customize menus, taking into account dietary restrictions, preferences, and special requests.
  5. Venue Management: The software facilitates seamless coordination with venues, allowing caterers to manage availability, contracts, and specific venue requirements.
  6. Rentals and Orders: Catering software enables caterers to manage rental orders efficiently, keeping track of equipment, furniture, and additional services required for events.
  7. Analytics Dashboard: The software provides insightful analytics and reporting tools, empowering caterers to monitor key performance indicators, revenue, and expenses.

By leveraging these features, catering businesses can streamline their processes, improve efficiency, and deliver exceptional experiences to their clients. Whether it’s managing bookings, handling invoices, planning menus, or collaborating with venues and rental companies, catering software offers comprehensive functionality to meet the unique needs of the industry.

Feature Description
Booking Management Efficiently manage event bookings, client details, and availability.
Billing and Invoices Automate invoice creation, payment tracking, and generate financial reports.
Calendar Planning Schedule and coordinate events with a built-in calendar feature.
Menu Planning Create and customize menus, considering dietary restrictions and special requests.
Venue Management Coordinate with venues, manage contracts, availability, and specific requirements.
Rentals and Orders Efficiently manage rental orders, equipment, and additional services required.
Analytics Dashboard Monitor key performance indicators, revenue, expenses, and generate insightful reports.

These common features empower caterers to streamline their operations and improve overall efficiency. With the ability to manage bookings, handle invoices, plan menus, coordinate with venues and rental providers, and track essential metrics, catering software serves as an indispensable tool in the catering industry.

Benefits and Potential Issues of Catering Software

The use of catering software brings numerous benefits to catering businesses. Let’s take a closer look at some of these advantages:

  • Improved efficiency: Catering software automates processes and streamlines workflows, saving time and minimizing human error.
  • Enhanced communication: The software enables seamless communication with clients, ensuring clear and prompt exchange of information, menu updates, and event details.
  • Better customer experience: Catering software provides features such as online ordering, personalized menus, and efficient order management, enhancing the overall customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Effective marketing: Many catering software options include marketing tools and customer relationship management (CRM) features that help caterers promote their services, run targeted campaigns, and manage customer interactions.
  • Robust reporting: Catering software generates comprehensive reports, providing valuable insights into sales, expenses, inventory, and customer behavior, enabling informed decision-making and improved business performance.

While catering software offers significant benefits, it is important to consider potential issues before implementation:

  • Compatibility: Caterers should choose software that integrates well with their existing systems, such as accounting or inventory management software, to ensure smooth data transfer and minimize disruption.
  • Complexity: Some catering software options can be complex and may require a learning curve for users. It is essential to assess the ease of use and user-friendliness of the software to avoid frustrations and maximize efficiency.

By carefully choosing the right catering software and taking potential issues into account, catering businesses can leverage the benefits to optimize their operations and deliver exceptional services.

Catering Software Pricing and Purchasing Options

When it comes to choosing the right catering software for your business, there are several factors to consider, including pricing and purchasing options. Most catering software is sold as cloud-based software, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This means that the software runs on third-party servers, eliminating the need for installation and maintenance.

Subscription-based pricing is the most common model for catering software. This allows businesses to pay a monthly or annual fee to access the software and its features. The pricing of catering software can vary depending on the functionality and capabilities included. Factors such as the number of users, available integrations, and scalability may also affect the pricing structure.

When deciding on a pricing plan for catering software, it’s essential to evaluate your business’s specific needs and requirements. Consider the features that are most important to your operations and make sure they are included in the pricing plan you select. Also, keep in mind the potential for growth and the scalability of the software as your business expands.

Here are some key aspects to consider when evaluating catering software pricing and purchasing options:

1. Pricing Tiers

Many catering software providers offer different pricing tiers to cater to businesses of all sizes. These tiers often come with varying levels of functionality and support. Evaluate your business’s needs and choose a pricing tier that aligns with your requirements and budget.

2. Additional Costs

While the base pricing of catering software may be transparent, it’s important to be aware of any additional costs that may arise. These costs may include fees for additional users, integrations with other software systems, or customer support beyond the standard offering. Make sure to factor in these potential expenses when considering the overall cost of the software.

3. Free Trials

Many catering software providers offer free trials to allow businesses to test out the software before making a commitment. Take advantage of these trials to get hands-on experience with the software and determine if it meets your specific needs. Use this opportunity to assess the features, user-friendliness, and overall value the software provides.

4. Contract Terms

Consider the contract terms associated with the catering software. Some providers offer month-to-month subscriptions that allow for flexibility and the ability to cancel at any time. Others may require annual contracts with penalties for early termination. Carefully review the contract terms to ensure they align with your business’s needs and future plans.

By carefully evaluating the pricing and purchasing options of catering software, you can choose a solution that fits your budget and provides the necessary functionality to streamline your catering operations.

Comparison of Catering Software

When it comes to choosing the right catering software for your business, conducting a thorough comparison is crucial. Several factors should be considered, including the type of business you operate, deployment options (cloud-based or on-premise), ease of use, payment processing capabilities, and pricing. By evaluating these key aspects, you can ensure that you select the best catering software solution that aligns with your specific needs and requirements.

Here are some popular catering software options that you may consider:

  • Caterease: Caterease is a versatile catering software known for its robust features and flexibility. It offers comprehensive event management tools, including booking management, menu planning, invoicing, and more.
  • Amadeus Sales & Event Management: Developed by Amadeus, this software is designed to meet the needs of hotels and other hospitality businesses. It offers advanced catering and event management capabilities, including CRM integration and contract management.
  • FoodStorm: FoodStorm is a comprehensive catering software solution that caters specifically to grocers and markets with catering operations. It offers features such as online ordering, delivery management, and customer relationship management.
  • Spoonfed: Spoonfed is a cloud-based catering software that offers end-to-end event management functionality. It provides tools for managing menus, CRM, invoicing, and more, making it ideal for catering businesses of all sizes.

Remember, each software has its unique features and strengths, so it is important to evaluate them based on your specific needs. By comparing these options and considering your business requirements, you can make an informed decision and choose the best catering software for your operations.

TrustRadius Reviews of Catering Software

When it comes to choosing the right catering software for your business, it’s important to hear what other users have to say. TrustRadius, a popular platform for software reviews and ratings, provides valuable insights into the usability, functionality, and overall satisfaction of various catering software products. Here are a couple of catering software options that have received positive reviews from users:

Oracle Hospitality OPERA – Sales and Catering

User reviews on TrustRadius have praised Oracle Hospitality OPERA – Sales and Catering for its comprehensive features and ease of use. This catering software has received positive feedback from mid-size companies, highlighting its ability to manage sales and catering operations efficiently. With its user-friendly interface and robust functionality, Oracle Hospitality OPERA is a top choice for businesses looking for a reliable and versatile catering software.

Caterease

Caterease is another catering software solution that has garnered numerous reviews on TrustRadius. Users have commended its capabilities in event planning and management. Caterease offers a wide range of features, including menu planning, scheduling, and contract management, enabling caterers to streamline their operations and deliver exceptional experiences to their clients. With its positive user reviews and reputation in the industry, Caterease is worth considering for catering businesses of all sizes.

Reading user opinions and ratings on platforms like TrustRadius can provide valuable insights when evaluating different catering software products. It offers a transparent view of the real-life experiences of users and can help you make an informed decision based on the feedback and recommendations of others.

User Opinions on Catering Software

“Caterease has been a game-changer for our catering operations. It’s incredibly user-friendly and has all the features we need to manage our menus, schedules, and contracts. The customer support team is also responsive and helpful.” – John Peterson, Catering Manager

“I’ve been using Oracle Hospitality OPERA – Sales and Catering for several years, and it has exceeded my expectations. The software is intuitive and has all the tools I need to manage our sales and catering operations effectively. I highly recommend it.”

Here’s a summary of the key benefits of catering software, as mentioned by users:

  • Efficient management of menus, schedules, and contracts
  • Streamlined sales and catering operations
  • User-friendly interface
  • Comprehensive features for event planning and management
  • Responsive customer support

These user opinions highlight the positive impact that catering software can have on your business, helping you stay organized, improve efficiency, and deliver exceptional experiences to your clients.

Catering Software User Opinions
Oracle Hospitality OPERA – Sales and Catering Positive reviews, easy-to-use, comprehensive features
Caterease Highly recommended, game-changer for catering operations

Conclusion

In conclusion, catering software plays a crucial role in streamlining operations and improving efficiency for catering businesses. The best catering software options for different types of catering businesses in 2023 include CaterZen, Toast, Square Invoices, Tripleseat, and Foodstorm by Instacart.

CaterZen is the top choice for catering businesses of all sizes, offering a user-friendly interface, marketing tools, and efficient customer management. Toast is the best software for restaurants with catering departments, integrating with POS systems and providing detailed contract management features. Square Invoices is ideal for independent caterers, with its user-friendly interface and professional proposals and invoices. Tripleseat is the best software for event venues, specializing in lead generation and direct bookings. And Foodstorm by Instacart is tailored to grocers and markets with catering operations, integrating with Instacart for deliveries and offering multiple order channels.

When choosing the most suitable software, it is important to consider the specific needs and requirements of the catering business. User reviews and ratings can provide valuable insights into the usability and satisfaction levels of different catering software products. By implementing the right catering software, businesses can enhance their event planning, streamline processes, and provide a better customer experience.

FAQ

What is the best catering software overall?

The best catering software overall is CaterZen. It offers a 30-day free trial and specialized subscription tiers for different caterer types. The software includes a user-friendly drag-and-drop menu and delivery route builders, as well as excellent marketing and customer management tools.

Which catering software is best for restaurants with catering departments?

Toast is the best catering software for restaurants with catering departments. It offers a free baseline subscription and built-in payment processing. The software integrates with the restaurant’s point-of-sale (POS) system, allowing for easy management of catering menus and contracts.

What is the best catering software for independent caterers?

The best catering software for independent caterers is Square Invoices. It offers a free baseline subscription with built-in online payments. The software is incredibly user-friendly and allows for the creation of professional proposals and invoices.

Which catering software is best for catering operations in event venues?

Tripleseat is the best catering software for catering operations in event venues. It specializes in catering lead generation and offers a direct booking ecommerce site called Tripleseat Direct. The software allows customers to place onsite and offsite catering orders for pick-up or delivery directly on the venue’s website.

What is the best catering software for markets and grocers?

The best catering software for markets and grocers is Foodstorm by Instacart. It is specifically designed to manage catering orders for these businesses. The software integrates with Instacart for deliveries and offers multiple order channels, including online, in-store kiosks, and the Instacart app.

What is catering software?

Catering software is a type of event planning and management software specifically designed for food service businesses. It helps caterers manage all the organizational challenges they face, such as bookings, event planning, menu design, and billing.

What are the common features of catering software?

Common features of catering software include booking management, billing and invoices, calendar planning, menu planning, venue management, rentals and orders, analytics dashboard, and more. These features help caterers manage their bookings, handle billing and invoices, schedule events, plan menus, coordinate with venues and rental companies, and track key metrics.

What are the benefits and potential issues of catering software?

The use of catering software offers several benefits for catering businesses. It improves efficiency by automating processes and streamlining workflows. It enhances communication with clients and provides a better customer experience. However, potential issues to consider include compatibility with existing systems and the level of complexity and ease of use of the catering software.

What are the pricing and purchasing options for catering software?

Most catering software is sold as cloud-based software on a subscription basis, with monthly or annual pricing options. Prices can vary depending on the features and functionality included in the software. Factors such as the number of users, available integrations, and scalability should be considered when choosing a pricing plan for catering software.

How can I compare different catering software options?

When choosing catering software, it is important to compare different options based on factors such as the type of business, ease of use, payment processing capabilities, and pricing. Popular catering software options include Caterease, Amadeus Sales & Event Management, FoodStorm, Spoonfed, and more.

Where can I find user reviews of catering software?

TrustRadius provides user reviews and ratings for various catering software products. Reading user opinions and ratings can provide valuable insights into the usability, functionality, and overall satisfaction with different catering software products.

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