Looking for the best free catering software? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Running a catering business is hard work. There are so many different elements that go into your operations - like creating menus, managing staff, keeping in touch with clients, and booking new events. By using the right catering management software, you can streamline all of these operations for far easier business management.
The trouble is, with so many different catering and event software platforms out there, choosing the best one can be tricky.
To help you out, this guide explores some of the best catering software (free) available.
What is Catering Software?
Catering software refers to various solutions designed to streamline operations and tasks for catering businesses.
This can include a wide range of tools, such as tools for automating repetitive tasks, creating catering documents, managing clients, managing inventory and recipes, and more. You also get platforms designed to boost catering sales, communicate with customers, and streamline event planning.
By using the right catering software, any catering business can save time and effort while improving operational accuracy. Some catering software platforms can also be used as more general event management software, providing venues and event planners with everything they need to manage events and streamline their processes.
Sime catering software platforms focus on specific functions, like inventory management or food costing, while other solutions take an all-in-one approach.
Best Catering Software (Free)
Investing in a catering software solution can be expensive. Luckily, there are many great free catering software tools out there.
Most free catering software options are only a limited portion of a platform that offers additional features as part of their paid plan. This means trying these free solutions is a great way to understand how the software works and establish what kind of value your business could get from using the platform.
To help you choose the best software for your catering business needs, here are some of the best free solutions available.
Curate is a wedding and event management software platform that can be used by catering businesses. The platform includes various functions to help caterers create professional proposals, manage recipes, and generate shopping lists.
While it’s not the most extensive software solution, the free catering software does provide a solid range of tools to help plan and manage events from start to finish. These tools are particularly useful for catering companies looking to cut down on paperwork, reduce waste, and speed up the proposal process.
Curate is easy to use as the software utilizes templates and helps automate much of the recipe-building process. You can also use Curate to carefully monitor profit margins and markups on catering events to ensure your business is running smoothly. The integrated payments and automated financial reporting tools are also particularly useful.
- Catering proposals
- Custom recipe builder
- Shopping lists and task lists
- Central dashboard providing a business overview
- Cost management tools
When it comes to finding catering software for your business, then Caterease is always a popular option to consider. Caterease is one of the more extensive event management and catering systems that includes a robust set of tools for preparing for events and managing your catering business.
Caterease offers a free trial, so it’s not entirely free catering software. However, the platform does offer one of the more extensive solutions for boosting catering business growth.
Caterers can use the platform to save time with automated proposals, easily manage event details, and maximize sales with various productivity tools. The dashboard includes various tools for online ordering and booking management, managing tasks, creating packing lists, building recipes, creating custom prints, and tracking all event information. The cloud-based software also includes a new payment processing feature.
So while Caterease is not entirely free (and can get pretty expensive), it is one of the more feature-rich tools for event, business, and menu management.
- Online bookings
- Menu management software
- Automated reminders and checklists
- Automated recipes
- Staff management tools
- Client management tools
CaterZen is another full-service catering software solution, offering all of the tools catering companies and restaurants need to streamline their operations. In terms of free catering apps, CaterZen only offers a free trial - not a completely free solution.
CaterZen’s solutions include CRM and sales tools, a complete catering management system, catering marketing tools, mobile event bookings, and more. While the platform is ideal for event catering businesses, there is also a takeout and food delivery solution, which makes CaterZen a good option for food truck scheduling or takeaway-style businesses.
Overall, the platform includes all of the features businesses need to increase sales, manage operations, and improve client relations. While the platform is good for general business and catering management, it’s not ideal as event management software.
- Catering CRM and lead management
- Sales and marketing software
- Catering management tools
- Mobile ordering and delivery management
- Event space booking
- ROI calculator
Is Quickstaff a complete catering management solution? No. Businesses will still need another platform if they want to manage all aspects of catering and event management. However, as a free catering software solution, Quickstaff is certainly a useful addition to any catering company.
The platform is designed for easily scheduling staff members and planning upcoming events. You get a complete overview of your events and their requirements to help you manage the people side of your business.
Quickstaff may not be the most advanced catering software solution, but it’s easy to use and can play a major role in streamlining operations and planning.
- Staff scheduling
- Duplicate past events and event details
- Central event tracking
Function Tracker is a software platform with everything caterers need for smooth business and event management. This includes tools that cover the entire event lifecycle - from an online booking calendar to event costing, menu management, invoicing tools, and everything in between.
Like other all-in-one solutions, Function Tracker is not completely free catering software. The platform offers a free trial, after which you will need to join a paid plan. However, it is one of the more extensive catering software solutions, so you do get pretty much every tool you need for efficient catering business management.
Beyond all of the typical catering operational tools, there is also an online shop feature, staff and customer management tools, logistics reports, and more. It is a versatile platform for any kind of food business.
- Catering management and booking tools
- Quotes, contracts, and running sheets
- Menu and catering equipment management
- Online shop
- Invoicing and payments
- Staff and customer management tools
When choosing a catering software platform, make sure that it includes all of the unique features your business needs for success. While there are many different platforms available, the best one for you offers only the tools that you need for your specific areas of operations. Being able to try these tools out with free software versions is ideal, as it lets you test the abilities of each platform.
If you run an event space, then it’s also important to set your business up with a robust event management solution. Perfect Venue is the most powerful tool here, offering all the features events spaces need to optimize the way they operate. Sign up for a 14-day free trial or watch the demo to get started.