If you’re looking to start your own catering company, make sure you have the tools you need to get the job done. This guide outlines some of the latest and greatest in catering tech essentials, from software to help you run your business more efficiently to temperature-controlled systems to keep food fresh on the go.

Restaurant, catering and event-management software

Food service businesses have unique needs not easily met by software built for generic businesses. Software solutions that are created for the food service and hospitality industry vary in scope: Some focus primarily on customer relationship management and processing orders, while others are more far-reaching and include such features as inventory management, food cost accounting, employee management, menu construction, payroll, shift scheduling and reporting.

The type of software you choose to manage your catering business should be determined by your current needs, your potential future needs and your budget. If you already own a restaurant and are creating an offshoot catering company, you may want to opt for a solution that focuses on restaurants, not catering exclusively.

Additionally, if you are not only the caterer but also the venue owner and event planner, you will want to choose a system that has event planning features. Popular restaurant, catering and event-management software solutions include Restaurant365, ReServe Interactive, Amadeus Sales and Catering Software, Caterease, Total Party Planner and Gather.

Workforce management software

If workforce management is not built into your primary catering software, you will need to adopt an additional system for tracking employee hours and maintaining schedules. Catering companies often rely heavily on temporary servers and experience more turnover in staff than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, so solutions that offer easy onboarding and deployment are key to workforce management.

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