Many restaurants and catering businesses use Total Party Planner as their go-to software for operational automation. We can understand why with features such as kitchen, inventory, and menu management.
Since Total Party Planner identifies as catering software, event and venue managers may be uncertain whether it’s a good choice for their establishment. Catering and events go hand in hand, but will there be gaps in functionality if you need to handle aspects of event management too?
In this Total Party Planner review, we take a detailed look into the platform’s features, pricing, and integrations. This should help you decide whether the software will be a good match for you.
Total Party Planner Review
What is Total Party Planner?
Total Party Planner is one of the most popular catering software solutions for the events industry. With features to manage the event lifecycle, it helps caterers and event managers track their gigs from the kitchen through to their accounts.
From the dashboard, you can stay on top of details related to event timelines, dietary requirements, and specific client requests. There are features to create proposals, allocate tasks, and view reports related to your catering event. In addition, there’s a built-in CRM that allows you to manage leads and drive client communication.
Overall, Total Party Planner (TPP) is relatively straightforward to navigate and offers integrations to extend its abilities.
Pricing starts at $65 a month for one user. Although this is in the mid-range of other similar platforms (see our Total Party Planner alternatives guide), the basic plan is somewhat more limited in functionality compared to its competitors.
Who uses the Software?
Total Party Planner is designed for events catering companies of all sizes. But, because of its price tag, it’s generally used by larger businesses that can afford to pay for a more fully-featured platform.
In particular, sales teams, event planners, and catering professionals find the features useful for streamlining their day-to-day. They can create event proposals and automate back-of-house ops and kitchen reports for events or banquets.
As an overview, some of TPP’s key features include:
- Kitchen and menu management
- Banquet management
- Contract management
- Task lists
- CRM database
- Online payments
- Client billing and communication
- Custom reports
- IOS and Android apps
Let’s analyze some of the main functions this cloud-based catering platform offers.
Build your events on Total Party Planner using customized input fields to capture the requirements. Events appear in the dashboard calendar, where you can click on them to access the relevant data.
A set of drop-down menus allows you to record everything from the event times and status, to the type of occasion, salesperson, and event coordinator. You can input essential information for event planning, including guest numbers, food and beverage menus, rental equipment, and notes for the team.
Total Party Planner offers varying levels of restaurant inventory management across each of its plans. Starting with inventory tracking, it scales to menu recipe costing and bulk update costing to help you price items correctly and keep adequate stock for your catering gigs.
Instant Reports and Proposals
You can create customized reports, such as food costing, proposals, and profitability overviews, using TPP’s built-in templates. Add your branding to these documents for a consistent and professional-looking online presence.
The task management tool lets you create and manage any number of tasks. You can organize these into front- and back-of-house to-do lists and assign tasks to individuals. Besides that, add timelines, due dates, and notes to keep everyone organized and on track.
Communication can take place inside Total Party Planner’s dashboard, where you view and send emails, proposals, and BEOs to your clients. With the communication history housed in the platform, it’s easy to store and track the necessary details and documents.
Analytics and Reporting
TPP’s analytics feature gives you insight into the performance of your catering business. Generate reports which highlight your total leads, sales, and lost gigs. With this information, you can make informed decisions about how to improve the company’s overall performance.
The native mobile phone app lets your team access the dashboard on the go, keeping them updated with the latest catering event details. However, you may find the app slightly frustrating to navigate sometimes. It’s not as well maintained as the other software versions.
Total Party Planner supports integrations with several third-party apps, including:
- Google Calendar
- Microsoft Office
- StaffMate Online
- and more
Total Party Planner offers three plans billed monthly:
- Nibble Plan at $65 per month: 1 User, custom events, calendar, inventory order tracking, basic event reporting
- Feast Plan at $165 per month: 2 Users, Advanced event reporting, task and message templates, basic profit analysis, managed user permissions, basic lead management, packing lists.
- Delicacy Plan at $365 per month: 3 Users, lead and deal management, menu recipe costing, client portal, staff hiring manager, event file uploads, details profit analysis, detailed reporting, and analytics dashboard.
In addition to the monthly fee, you can also expect to pay setup fees ranging from $500 to $1,000, depending on the package you choose. There’s an additional $25 per month per extra user, which becomes more expensive the bigger your venue is.
- Food cost and profit margin analysis
- Create professional-looking custom-branded reports
- Sales and event analytics
- Client portal
- Electronic signatures
- Integrations to extend abilities
- User experience and user interface design are slightly clunky and can be improved
- Not the most affordable solution on the market
- Mobile app is known to be slow in receiving updates
As our Total Party Planner review shows, this software platform benefits companies and contractors in the food hospitality sector. It has a range of inventory, team management, and menu planning tools to help caterers streamline their catering process and generate more revenue for their company.
If you’re an event professional in the market for a powerful event and venue management platform, we suggest looking at Perfect Venue. The features include a bookings calendar, email templates, BEOs, digital documents, payment processing, automations, and analytics.
Overall, it’s perfect for unique venues, caterers, hospitality groups, and country clubs, to name a few. With a free-forever plan and paid plans starting from $59 per month, it’s affordable software with less focus on the intricacies of catering.
Watch a demo to see if our event management software fits your business.