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The Charter of the French language and its regulations govern the consultation of English-language content.

Businesses That Provide Catering Services

If you operate a business that offers catering services, your business is considered a restaurant establishment if it meets certain conditions, including the following:

  • It offers catering services for events such as banquets, cocktail parties, cocktail dinner buffets, private receptions and business meetings, or for special occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries or birthdays.
  • It offers catering services in a grocery store, bakery, pastry shop or similar business, regardless of whether catering is its main business activity.

The criteria listed below can help you determine if your business provides catering services.

  • Your business presents itself as a caterer, in particular, in its advertising.
  • You prepare and sell food and beverages on a special-order basis, according to the client's instructions.
  • You establish your prices on the basis of the number of people or portions.
  • Delivery is not mandatory.
  • As a rule, the food and beverages sold are delivered to the client or on his or her behalf.
  • You sell food or beverages that can be consumed as soon as they are delivered or after having been reheated.
  • You sell food or beverages with the equipment needed to serve and consume them.

These criteria are not exhaustive and no one criterion has greater bearing than another. In addition, not all of the criteria need to be met for us to consider that your business offers a catering service. In certain cases, a detailed analysis may be required.

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If you cannot determine whether the rules related to mandatory billing apply to all or a part of the services provided by your business or whether your business must use a sales recording module (SRM), contact us.

Example 1

A client asks you to organize a méchoui at her residence. You supply the equipment and see to cooking the lamb and other food, at her home. Does this constitute catering?

Yes. In the case of a méchoui or, for example, a corn boil, it is considered catering. The caterer is supplying the equipment as well as the food that he or she prepares at the client's residence or at the place designated by the client, and that is consumed there.

Example 2

When a business (grocery store, bakery, etc.) has a take-out counter (for example, salads, sandwiches, or sushi), does it constitute a catering service?

No, because the food is not prepared at the explicit request of a client.

However, if the business has a space designed to allow 20 or more people to simultaneously consume their meals, the business is subject to mandatory billing.

Example 3

A salad buffet is set up in a fruit and vegetable business or in a grocery store. Is the buffet considered a catering service?

No, it is not considered a catering service.

However, if the business has a space designed to allow 20 or more people to simultaneously consume their meals, it is subject to mandatory billing.

Example 4

At a grocery store, a client orders everything needed for a barbecue. Some food (buns, beverages, etc.) is taken from the store shelves, while meat patties are prepared by the grocer, who also supplies plates and cups. Is the grocer offering a catering service?

No. It is not a catering service since the grocer supplies the grocery store items that must be prepared and cooked by the client before being consumed.

Example 5

Your business provides catering services in a grocery store. Is your business subject to the mandatory billing measures?

Yes. However, only the catering service is subject to the measures.

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