pen and paper and excel going into a garbage, replaced by catering software

Ditch Excel and Pen & Paper - Revolutionize Your Catering Operations with CaterZen Catering Software

Michael Attias Mar 21, 2024
Michael Attias

When it comes to managing your catering operations, your biggest competitor isn't the shop down the street; it's the DIY approach you're clinging to. This method, reliant on pen and paper, Excel, and tools like QuickBooks, is like trying to piece together a puzzle where the pieces refuse to fit. It's a 2-dimensional attempt at solving a 5-dimensional problem. You're playing checkers while CaterZen's catering software invites you to the chess table.

The truth is, while DIY methods are better than nothing, they're costing you—both in time and in the professionalism that clients have come to expect. Your proposals, your tickets—they're all under scrutiny. And if you're entangled in the web of Excel spreadsheets and QuickBooks alone, you're not just wasting precious hours each week; you're squandering opportunities to shine.

Order Management: Saving Hours a Week


Imagine slashing hours off your order-taking process each week. That’s not a dream; it’s the reality with CaterZen. Gone are the days when manual entries bogged down your workflow. With CaterZen, each order, either through desktop ordering or mobile ordering, is a smooth transition from client request to kitchen prep, freeing you up to focus on what matters most: growing your business and delighting your customers.


"Before we started using CaterZen we had a scratch pad... We advanced ourselves very quickly into using Excel spreadsheets... it was a very arduous job to manage caterings. So once we moved over to CaterZen, it changed our life from that perspective."

Joe Davidson, Founder, Oklahoma Joe's

Read more at Oklahoma Joe's case study.

CaterZen’s order management system turns the arduous, error-prone task of manually jotting down orders into a streamlined, error-free process. Unlike the chaos of managing orders on scratch pads or the static nature of Excel spreadsheets, CaterZen introduces dynamic, real-time order processing.

This system not only captures every detail accurately but also integrates it seamlessly across planning, kitchen production, and delivery, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. It transforms order management from a cumbersome task into an efficient, automated workflow, saving countless hours and significantly reducing the margin for error.

Contact Management: Beyond the Filing Cabinet


Trying to keep up with all your customers using the old pen-and-paper or Excel method? It's an exercise in futility. CaterZen's catering CRM doesn't just store information; it empowers you to manage relationships, offering insights into who's ordering and who's not. Because let's face it, you're at the mercy of the phone ringing without a proactive system in place. With CaterZen, access to past orders, receipts, and credit card information is instant—no filing cabinet necessary.


"Managing customer relationships through spreadsheets was like navigating without a compass. It was nearly impossible to track follow-ups or understand customer preferences. CaterZen changed the game for us. Suddenly, every interaction, every preference, and every piece of critical information was organized and actionable."

Annie Miler, Owner, Clementine

Read more at Clementine's case study.

Switching to CaterZen's contact management system marks a significant improvement over the fragmented, inefficient processes of using manual methods or spreadsheets. This system offers a dynamic, intuitive platform for maintaining detailed customer profiles, tracking every interaction, and leveraging data for targeted outreach.

With CaterZen, caterers gain the ability to not only keep impeccable records but also to use these records to deepen customer relationships, drive sales through personalized marketing, and enhance customer service. This transition from manual to automated CRM processes enables businesses to move from reactive to proactive management of their customer base, ensuring no opportunity for engagement or sales is missed.

Kitchen Production & Planning: Down to the Grains of Salt


For those juggling numerous catering orders, calculating kitchen prep can feel like a guessing game. CaterZen transforms this process into a precise science, providing detailed kitchen production reports at the click of a button. This isn't just about saving time; it's about guaranteeing that not a single grain of salt goes unnoticed.


"When I booked an event with someone for a kitchen prep sheet, I actually had a form that I marked on the form what was supposed to be prepped... With CaterZen, it probably saved me 10 to 15 hours a week."

Butch Scott, COO, Taylor Grocery Special Events Catering

Read more at Taylor Grocery Special Events' case study.

The kitchen production and planning feature in CaterZen eradicates the chaos of manual prep planning. Rather than relying on handwritten forms that are susceptible to errors and omissions, CaterZen automates the entire process.

From generating detailed prep sheets that outline precise ingredient quantities to managing inventory and ensuring that every order is accounted for, CaterZen turns what was once a complex puzzle into a straightforward task. This automation not only ensures accuracy but also dramatically reduces the time needed for kitchen staff to prepare for events, allowing for more efficient use of resources and minimizing food waste.

Delivery Management: The End of Manual Routing


Forget about spending hours routing drivers or scrambling to find someone for last-minute deliveries. CaterZen’s delivery management and driver app, including integration with services like Burq, streamlines this process. Plus, with photographic evidence, you can ensure each setup meets your high standards, even if you can’t be there in person.


"Once we moved over to CaterZen, it changed our life from that perspective, and we got to spend more time selling caterings and delivering caterings than trying to logistically lay everything out."

David Carter, Catering Director, Shane's Rib Shack

Read more at Shane's Rib Shack's case study.

CaterZen’s delivery management system offers an innovative solution to the cumbersome task of manual delivery planning and driver assignment. With features like automated routing, real-time tracking, and photo verification of setup, CaterZen ensures that deliveries are efficient and problem-free.

This system not only saves hours that would otherwise be spent manually plotting routes and coordinating drivers but also enhances the reliability and professionalism of the delivery service. The result? Happier customers and more time for you to focus on growing your business.

Online Ordering: Open 24/7


In an era where convenience is king, allowing your catering customers to order online isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity. CaterZen’s catering online ordering system means upselling is automatic, and your phone lines stay open for more pressing matters. It's about making life easier for you and your customers.


"The online ordering for our customers... is very, very simple and [customers] do like it."

Jessica Lehrer, President, Adam & Joe Know Lunch

Read more at Adam & Joe Know Lunch's case study.

In today’s digital age, the convenience of online ordering is undeniable. CaterZen’s online ordering platform is designed with both the caterer and the customer in mind. Unlike the static, one-dimensional experience of ordering via phone or through simple forms, CaterZen’s system is interactive, user-friendly, and integrated directly into your operations. This means not only a smoother experience for your customers but also direct integration into your production, planning, and delivery systems. Upselling becomes effortless, and the need for manual order entry is eliminated, freeing your team to focus on what they do best.

Accounting/Billing: Streamlined and Swift


Chasing down payments or manually processing credit cards is a relic of the past. CaterZen's catering accounting software tools offer streamlined billing and accounting features that not only ensure quicker payment processing but also offer a more professional appearance to your clients.


"Everything was handwritten... really tough. Really tough before we found CaterZen. By purchasing and working with CaterZen, we've eliminated all of that."

Geoffrey Bezuidenhout, President, Picnikins Catering

Read more at Picnikins' case study.

CaterZen simplifies the complex, often tedious world of accounting and billing for catering businesses. Moving away from the disjointed, manual processes of using Excel for invoicing or QuickBooks for financial tracking, CaterZen integrates these tasks into a seamless workflow.

From automatic invoicing and payment processing to comprehensive financial reporting, CaterZen provides a clear, real-time view of your financial health. This not only speeds up the billing cycle but also offers insights into profitability, cash flow management, and financial planning, contributing to a stronger, more resilient business.

Real-World Impact: From DIY to CaterZen

Transitioning from DIY to CaterZen is like moving from checkers to chess. It’s not just about the pieces moving on the board; it’s about strategic depth, seeing the whole game. Our clients, from small operations to sprawling enterprises, have witnessed first-hand the transformation—more time, increased sales, and operations running smoother than ever before.

In the grand scheme of things, settling for DIY methods because they're "better than nothing" is selling yourself short. It's costing you time, diminishing your professionalism, and limiting your growth potential. With CaterZen, you’re not just adopting software; you’re embracing a comprehensive, integrated solution that’s designed for caterers, by caterers.

Don't let DIY be the cap on your potential. It’s time to play chess with CaterZen.

Not using CaterZen yet? Schedule a quick-start training session to explore the power of our all-in-one catering software, or sign up for a 30-day free trial. Dive into the future of catering management with CaterZen and transform your business. Because in the world of catering, success is savored through seamless efficiency and unparalleled client experiences.

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