How to Adjust Your Restaurant Purchasing to Suit a Catering Menu

From wedding receptions to corporate events, catering can be a great way to grow your business and profits. If your goal is to add a catering business to your business

Couple enjoying brunch buffet together indoors, closeup

offerings, you’ll want to make sure your restaurant purchasing is aligned. Plan your perfect sourcing strategy with our tips below.

Plan for Packaging Needs

No one wants cold or soggy food at their party. That’s why your packaging is just as important as your food. It’s best to design a system for packaging wet and dry items in advance to avoid unpleasant mixing. Plus, you’ll want to make sure the boxes, bags, and other containers you use are strong enough to hold up over a car ride. You’ll also want to look for coolers to maintain temperature.

Bank on Booking in Advance

If you want to make sure your restaurant purchasing plan fits your exact needs, you’ll want to make sure any catering requests are made far in advance. This lead time will help you straighten out menus and ensure you order just enough product to avoid waste.

For wedding catering, most booking is done six months in advance. Smaller gatherings usually only book one to two months beforehand. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose the policy that suits your needs best, so consider testing timelines with your first few catering jobs.

A view of several chafer dishes filled with savory entrees, seen at a local catered event. Guests are seen serving themselves.

Accommodate Customizations

Customizing dishes in your restaurant often means making a simple substitution. When you’re feeding a hundred guests, this simple switch can feel more like a start over. While creating a no customization policy might be the path of least resistance, it can mean missing out on valuable customers, especially when it comes to accommodating allergies and lifestyle differences.

What’s your ideal solution? Build in customization options to your menu. That way, you drop the back and forth with customers, without alienating part of your audience. You’ll want to include a catering options that are:

Vegetarian or vegan

Gluten free

Lactose free


These are the most common dietary restrictions, so they’ll help you cover most base

s. Plus, your options can overlap to accommodate two or three of these types of

consumers. For example, vegan meals will also be lactose free.

Guiding Your Catering Plan

Food Catering Cuisine Culinary Gourmet Buffet Party

Adding a catering plan to your business can open opportunities with new clients and enhance your revenue opportunities. If you’re looking to adjust your restaurant purchasing plan to accommodate this new business move, speak with your Foodbuy Foodservice account manager today.

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