An inquiry is no doubt the first and most significant point of contact with a prospective customer. It is through filling an inquiry form that a would-be client reveals his details, as well as those of the events he intends to hold. This also includes the services that he wishes the catering company provides.
To do all these, he ought to make use of an inquiry form. This is a special form that contains the fields that have to be filled to supply the pieces of information we have highlighted above. Needless to say, this form has to be comprehensive and aptly tailored to the field of catering alone.
How to Create a Catering Inquiry Form
Introduce your company
As always you have to start off by introducing your company. This simply means showcasing the basic details like the name of the company, its physical and postal address, location details, other vital contact details, company logo, and indeed, more besides. All these details are encapsulated in a company letterhead.
Capture the details of the host
Next, you now have to capture the details of the host. You should place fields on the form to capture such aspects as the name of the individual or company that seeks your services, his contact details, the nature and type of event, the location of the said event, and the time when the event is to be held. Place an asterisk (*) next to those fields that are compulsory to make the applicant compelled to fill them out.
Enumerate your products
Next to the forms should be a listing of the products you have on offer. Put a checkbox beside each product you have on offer to ask the client at hand to check appropriately. Chances are that your client may want other products or services you do not offer. At the tail end of the list, put ‘others, please specify.’
Ask for other relevant details
Obviously, the person filling your form has to reveal some vital details that similarly, aid with communications and further follow-up. Examples of these include the event timelines, additional comments, types of services wanted, guest counts, and the event budget. Ask the customer to include as many more details as can be.
Incorporate miscellaneous details
At this stage of inquiry, you will most definitely want to know more about how the client got to hear from you. Ask the client to furnish you with information about how they got to hear you, preferred payment options, and other relevant comments. Finish off by inserting the confirmation text that appears after the send button is pressed. You may mention how the form ought to be submitted for valid consideration.
Catering Inquiry Form Template
Fax/e-mail to _______________________________________________________
Your name _________________________________________________________
Daytime phone ______________ best time to contact _________
Your e-mail address _________________________________________________
Date or month of planned event _______________________________________
Time of day for the event _____________________________________________
Type of event [ ] wedding [ ] birthday [ ] reunion [ ] anniversary [ ] other type of event
Approximate number of people to be served _____________________________
Venue (location) of event [ ] at bar-b-q man complex [ ] off-premises location
Your catering budget $ _____________________ [ ] per person [ ] total budget
How did you hear about us?
How do our services measure up with others?
Any other comments ________________________________________________
To help you in doing a great job, you definitely have to make use of some sample catering forms. These are basically templates that contain fields that you send out to a prospective client to fill out. It is important to find that one which is as nearly relevant to your catering needs as possible.
Catering Inquiry Form Sample
Formal Catering Inquiry Form
Professional Catering Request Form
Catering Inquiry Form for Event
Sample of Catering Inquiry Form
Catering Inquiry Form Format
Example of Catering Inquiry Form
Catering Mistakes to Avoid
Below are some of the common mistakes people mane when catering and how to possibly avoid them:
Ignorance of ingredients in use: As a professional caterer, you not only have to know about the ingredients in use but also showcase the same to the consumers of your meals. In this way, you will ward off any possible and unnecessary lawsuits that do arise whenever there is a conflict of interest with the consumers.
Downplaying the significance of gratuity: Many people expect to be tipped. If you are seeking catering services from a company, you have to set aside some money as a tip. To do this, you will first and foremost inquire about the budget of the restaurant or catering company of your interest. Then, make a decent adjustment of around 10% of the budget.
Disregarding the vegetarian options: In any typical event, chances are that a good proportion of those in attendance will be vegan or vegetarian. Many caterers, however, tend to overlook this crucial reality. Asa shrewd caterer, you should make every attempt to incorporate vegetarian meals and mind those who cannot consume meat products.
Poor timing of the delivery: Foods are highly perishable. Any delays in submitting the consignments will often lead to damages to the foods altogether. To prevent these eventualities from arising, you should make every attempt to deliver the consignments within the shortest duration of time. Make maximum use of the refrigeration appliances to do this.
Underestimating the amount of food: While preparing a catering budget, you have to factor the number of guests in attendance. It is always wise to leave an allowance for those who might come in uninvited. This is to see to it that everyone is catered for and that there is no shortage that might embarrass the guests.
Now you know the steps to take to make the most of your catering, don’t you? With the information we have given, it is now our firm belief that you may now go ahead and do a great job. If you do get stuck along the way, it pays to get back to us for further inspiration.