How to Write a Catering Menu. No matter how professional a staff you may have hire or how special the foods you prepare may be, your new catering venture still needs an appealing menu to attract customers. In most cases your menu is a customer's first opportunity to meet you. Follow these steps to learn how to compose a menu that reels clients in.

Step 1.

Design the menu's cover page. It must include your business name, the street address, the telephone number, fax number, email and hours of operation. Specify if delivery is available and add a catchy slogan.

Step 2.

Display the foods available in separate categories. The categories can be based on events, such as holidays and religious ceremonies, or you can categorize them by the food type, such as hot entrees or sandwiches. Create category headings, such as Cheese Platters or Team Sandwich Boards.

Step 3.

Write the foods on the menu in these categories. Each food listing should include a description of the dish, the sizes available, the number of servings and the price.

Step 4.

Alert customers about special offerings with call-out headings, such as "Your Choice of Tortilla" or "Ask About Our Kosher Meats."

Step 5.

Suggest sample menus for both common and unusual events to assist customers in planning their party. List the individual foods to serve at such events. Examples include an Italian Festival Menu or Superbowl Party Menu.

Step 6.

Note any substitutions. For example, you might list the availability of soy cheese for people allergic to dairy, or a vegetarian version of a dish containing meat. You can also invite customers to ask for substitutions that don't appear on the menu. Include the disclaimer, "We will do our best to comply with your requests."

Step 7.

Affix photographs of the prepared foods. Customers are more apt to order what they can visualize. Also include photographs of the store, even if it is only the sign outside. This makes customers feel they are in touch with the business.

Step 8.

Design the menu's last page. It should include directions for placing orders, methods of payment accepted and how much notice, if any, is required on catering orders. Conclude with a grateful remark, such as "Thank you for placing your catering order with Katie's Sandwich Shop."