19 things you need to consider before you negotiate a deal with a caterer.
March 02, 2017
This article appeared in the February 2017 issue of Club Life.
It goes without saying that there is an increasing focus on the type and quality of food offered by clubs. The decision on how to best provide the right food at the right price is clearly a very important one. What it comes down to is whether the club wishes to provide catering itself or whether it wishes to engage an external caterer.
If the board decides that it wishes to engage an external caterer to provide catering, the board and management of the club need to decide what the club requires from the caterer. For example, how will the caterer fit in with other club activities such as functions, special club events etc?
Okay, so your club has decided that it wishes to appoint an external caterer-what is the first thing you should do?
In my view, the first thing to do is to have a catering agreement prepared which reflects what the Club wants from the external caterer. Often clubs will seek expressions of interest and then decide on a caterer before the agreement is prepared. There is nothing wrong with this process, but you’ll be in a better position if you have decided what you want upfront and put that in an agreement that can be offered to potential caterers.
Catering agreements are complex commercial and legal agreements. It would be very unwise for a club to prepare the catering agreement itself because there is a risk that important matters may not be included or addressed. Accordingly, clubs wishing to engage an external caterer should instruct a lawyer who is skilled in the drafting of catering agreements for clubs, and who is familiar with the provisions of the Liquor Act, the Registered Clubs Act , the Retail Leases Act and other matters relevant to catering agreements.
The club will need to provide a variety of information to the lawyer for the agreement to be prepared. The sort of information the lawyer will require includes:
Once the draft contract has been prepared it should be closely reviewed by the board of directors, or a separate committee delegated that task by the board, before calling for tenders or entering negotiations with potential caterers.
For more information contact Bruce Gotterson on firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on a legal topic, current at the time of publication. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in specific circumstances.