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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 provides catering services, the place where you carry on your business is considered a restaurant establishment subject to the mandatory billing measures if:

  • it offers catering services for banquets, cocktail parties or special occasions, such as cocktail dinner buffets, private receptions, business meetings, 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 their 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 provides catering services. In certain cases, a detailed analysis may be required.

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Example 1

A client asks you to organize a méchoui at their residence. You supply the equipment and see to cooking the lamb and other food, at their home. Does the business provide catering service?

Yes. For cases such as méchouis or corn boils, it is considered catering. The caterer is supplying the equipment and the food that they prepare at the client's residence or the place designated by the client, and the food is consumed there.

Example 2

When a business (grocery store, bakery, etc.) has a counter with prepared food for takeout (such as salads, sandwiches, or sushi), does it provide catering service?

No. The food is not prepared at a client's explicit request. However, the business is considered to be a restaurant establishment under certain circumstances, unless it falls under one of the exceptions in the definition of restaurant establishment.

Example 3

At a grocery store, a client orders everything needed for a BBQ. 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 because the grocer supplies grocery items that must be prepared and cooked by the client before being consumed.

Example 4

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

Yes. However, in general, only the place where the catering service is operated is covered if it is operated in a place other than the grocery store.

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