Foodservice Department Catering


Updated: January 2019

Overview: The Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM®, CFPP®) may be responsible for catering within or outside of their facility. The goal of catering is to provide a service offering food and beverage that is satisfying to the customer, which also generates revenue for the foodservice department.

Standard 1

The Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP) ensures that there is a Catering Policy & Procedure in place that is reviewed and updated regularly.


Implement & Evaluate

1.1 The Policy defines what catering services are offered outside of their routine production and meal service.

✓ Do catering services only include special events?
✓ Are catering services available outside of the building?
✓ Will servers and staff be available for the catering event?
✓ Does your catering department offer delivery?

1.2 The Policy gives ordering instructions and guidelines for both internal and external customers.

✓ Determine if the ordering system is verbal, written, electronic, etc.
✓ What is the ordering deadline?
✓ Will you confirm orders in written format?
✓ Do you have a catering contract?
✓ What are the terms of payment?
✓ Are there hours in which your catering department services are not available?

1.3 Packaging, labeling and delivery methods are clearly defined in the policy.

✓ Will you use disposables only?
✓ Will you brand or logo your service items?
✓ Do you offer paper products (plates, utensils, cups) for an additional fee?
✓ Are special carts, vehicles or equipment items needed?
✓ Do you have custom labeling with the food item name or will you use a sticker system? (Example: Veggie trays are 24” round disposable black plastic trays, covered in plastic wrap and labeled with a sticker indicating the date and location of the function.)

1.4 The Policy addresses food safety.

✓ Department has proper equipment to prepare and hold food at safe temperatures
✓ Delivery vehicles and carts are approved and maintained for safety

1.5 Disposal, storage and reheat instructions are clearly defined for the customer.

✓ Food safety standards and local/state regulations are followed.

1.6 Catering production team staffing needs are defined and have job descriptions.

✓ Job descriptions are updated regularly to reflect job functions of catering staff.

1.7 The catering department has necessary licenses & insurance and complies with local and state regulations.

✓ Consider insurance for staff transporting catering items.

1.8 A checklist for catering production and delivery is used and kept in the department.

✓ Staff uses the checklist for production and delivery
✓ The checklist documents payment records
✓ Temperatures are taken at delivery &/or service time of catered items. Temperature logs are kept in the department.

1.9 The catering department has necessary licenses & insurance and complies with local and state regulations.

1.10 Catering staff is trained and evaluated on production, safe food handling, service and customer relations.

Competence Training:
✓ CDM, CFPP trains staff on all catering job duties
✓ CDM, CFPP documents competence training/in-service attendance and competence skill testing evaluation
✓ CDM, CFPP keeps records in the department

Standard 2

The Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP) coordinates menu development and marketing for catering services to provide a revenue building service.


Implement & Evaluate

2.1 The catering department has a catering menu with prices, including fees for delivery, set-up, and service.

✓ The menu capitalizes on current selections of food and beverage in the department
✓ The menu is reviewed regularly, and prices are updated

2.2 The catering menu generates revenue for the foodservice department

✓ Determine budget and income projections
✓ Consider wages, benefits, insurance, etc.

2.3 The CDM, CFPP coordinates and oversees marketing and public relations for the catering department.

✓ Catering menus look professional
✓ Online and social media advertising is accurate and appropriate

Standard 3

The Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP) has a policy for charging other departments within the facility and has clearly defined pricing strategies for internal & external customers.


Implement & Evaluate

3.1 There is a system in place to invoice and receive transfer of funds from other departments within the facility.

✓ Collaborate with the finance department

3.2 Pricing strategies and discounts for internal customers are clearly defined by the policy.

Strategy Options:

Use Meal Equivalents

Catering example: Facility Meal Equivalent (ME): $3.34

Cost of coffee, juice, & muffins: $22.80
DIVIDE by ME ÷ 3.34
MULTIPLY by # of people X20

Discount Catering Menu for Internal Customers

✓ Determine Discount percentage or amount
Example: Breakfast meeting in administration

Catering Menu Choices: $136.60
Discount: 12% for internal customer

$136.60 X .12 = $16.39 discount
$136.60-$16.39 = $120.21

3.3 Pricing strategies for external customers are clearly defined by the policy.

Strategy Options:

Food Cost + Standard Mark-up

1. Determine mark-up (example: 75%) 2. Multiply Mark-up x Food cost

Example: A Morning Meeting with muffins, fruit and coffee.

Food Costs:
Muffins: $12.65/dozen
Coffee: $6.50 for a large pot
Fruit: $21.75 for a fruit salad

Muffins $12.65 x 1.75 = $22.14
Coffee: $6.50 x 1.75 = $11.38
Fruit: $21.75 X 1.75 = $38.06
(round to $71.50 or $72.00)

Food Cost Percent
1. Food Cost ÷ Food Sales=Food Cost %
2. Menu Price ÷ Food Cost Percent=Price

Example: Using the same situation above and a facility food cost percent of 40% (Calculating Food Cost)
$12.65+6.50+21.75 = $40.90
÷ .40

Also to consider:
✓ Delivery or service fees
✓ Taxes


Legvold, Dee, and Salisbury, Kristi. Foodservice Management by Design. Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals, 2nd Edition, 2018.

Kristin Klinefelter, MS, RDN, LD has been in the dietetics field for 20 years, working in a variety of consulting and education capacities. She has been working with the University of North Dakota's Nutrition and Foodservice Training Program for ten years and served on the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM) for six years.

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