Contract catering is catering on a large scale, such as for schools, hospitals, entertainment venues and nursing homes. A catering manager is responsible for contracts with the company's clients and ensuring the requirements and specifications are met.
Some catering companies do business with individual clients on a one-to-one basis. Some examples include weddings, birthday parties and family reunions. Contract catering, however, deals with large companies and other organizations. For example, many companies have a catering service which provides meals for its employees. That catering service is under contract to supply a certain amount of food each week or month, depending on the terms of the contract. A catering company may also provide meals for a nursing home. Rather than have an in-house cooking staff, the facility may decide it is more cost-effective to contract with a catering company.
A company that specializes in contract catering will meet with a prospective client to discuss their specific needs. The client may only require a few simple lunch selections or may need three meals a day for a large number of people. If there are dietary concerns or restrictions, the catering company will need to take that into consideration. It might be necessary to hire a licensed nutritionist in that case. Once the contract is signed, the catering company is expected to fulfill all aspects of that contract or risk being in breach of the agreement.