One of the few things that actually gets you more time to run your business!
It has allowed us to move into the cloud and keep all of our information in a reliable and easily interfaced system.
This allows any hospitality professional or small business to present itself professionally and efficiently! It brings together all the different parts of our business under one software platform so we can easily communicate and excel. It is a lifesaver for our hectic industry and we cannot recommend it enough! On top of everything else, the customer service from TPP is rapid and helpful.
The UI and UX could be a little bit improved. We are used to seeing all the web software interfaces being very streamlined and modern nowadays. As amazing as TPP is, the interface feels a bit clunky and outdated.
In a World Where Customer Service is a Dying Art, this is Customer Service at Its Finest
The software streamlines the process from inquiry to close. Customer Service is ALWAYS Phenomenal. I'd like to give a shout out to [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] and to any representative whom I have failed to name, THANK YOU TOO! I don't feel like a client, I feel like the TTP Tech Support is part of our Team!!!
I believe the software is extremely user friendly. Having a background in computers and programming myself, I find the various features both invaluable and easy to understand. I am looking forward to the New View slated to be released this year.
It would be nice if there was a report where we could see what items were most popular for a specific client. As always, a multi-day event feature would be nice, as well as, being able to view sent messages in my outlook or godaddy sent items folder.
The customer service is amazing... [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] has always been there to answer any questions I have or help me with any issues. I will continue to use the software during my catering career as a business owner
You cannot delete items - making an item discontinued is not enough. We should be able to delete an item from our menu but not have it affect a proposal. This is the most frustrating part about the software. ALSO the mass emails does not work for gmail users. That is ridiculous and hurting our business daily.
Response from Computica
Hello Colin. Thank you for your feedback. I want to encourage you to reach out to our Client Care team to resolve your GMail issue. We have enhanced the system to be able to use your Gmail application as your personal
Also, at some point we will allow you to delete your Menu Items from the system but for now it's important to retain them for reviewing your historical events.
Used for three years and it was great but the new view they have rolled out is full of flaws!!!
It was a great product that served our company for several years. It allowed our business to grow and service a retail store front, a catering and bakery business in a new expanded facility. Currently we are spending more time trying to fix problems with the software than we are spending with clients. It is costing us money in labor, time off task, plus the added expense of redoing the event over and over to get it correct.
It was easy to use, make changes on and produce a quality product. We were not having any issues so why they made big, big changes I do not understand. For a while we could continue to use the original system but then over night the old system would not work to process payments, create menus, etc. No new manual was created and you must tech support every time you create something new. For the money we pay we should have a quality product again.
Changes were made without preparation to train the users on the new product and the product was not field tested and fixed before the release.
If you are looking for catering or event planning software- look no further!
We love this software!!! It totally changed the way we operate and it has allowed us to expand our business output. The main thing I love about this software is how intuitive it is! The creator of this software came from catering and created this software to help his family business be more efficient and it was such a great program that he shared it with the industry. It is is geared toward catering, is completely customizable and not just a catch all menu software. And their customer service is UNBEATABLE!!!!
There are no cons. As a customer going into our 4th year of using this software, I have absolutely no complaints.
Making My Life Easier!
Super amazing - our productivity is positively benefited!! Thank you TPP team!!
I love the customization of the system- we have been using this software for abut 4 years now and I know we still don't use all of the capabilities! It is super user friendly which is great when it comes to training staff members, and the cross-company ability with being able to use throughout our sales/front-of-house team as well as the kitchen/chef squad!
We always find there are small tips and tricks that we would appreciate, but the TPP team is always receptive to suggestions and are constantly changing and adjusting things to make our lives so much easier on the daily!
Response from Computica
Harley - Thank you for your incredibly kind words! It's great to hear we are making your life easier. That really is our main objective.
Please keep reaching out to the TPP Team as you continue to explore and use more and more functionality.
-- TPP Team
This is a review
Total Party Planner really helps us organize and keep the team on the same page. When we moved from using spread sheets to this software, our team alignment skyrocketed overnight, with our clients seeing the most benefit from this.
To be able to attached PDF files for events such as floor plans. Also, scheduling and staffing sign in and out functions would be key
Response from Computica
Brett - thanks for your trust in TPP. We hope things keep skyrocketing!
We are constantly evolving the software so your feedback about the staffing functions are appreciated.
Great Catering Software
Has the the potential to be perfect with a few add ons.
I can do most of my work on this software.
1) I wish there was an customized online forms for questionnaires.
2) Once contracts are signed, I would like for them to be saved under the clients
3) Would love to have the capability to set up an automatic email to remind the client that a contract/proposal has not been signed or an invoice has not been paid or if they owe us some information pertaining to their event.
Efficient and Effective Software Program
The Total Party Planner software is both an efficient and effective program that I use every day. I rely on the TPP technology to support my busy catering schedule with reliable, detailed, automated information. The program facilitates communication between our customers, our sales team and our staff with ease. Daily reminders keep me on track. From day one, I was confident that it wasn't just a software program, but a partnership between my company and Total Party Planner. The training, set-up and continued customer support is consistently excellent and done in a friendly efficient effective manner.
I have had very few issues with the program. The Total Party Planner software was designed by people with experience in catering who had a strong voice in the design which was coupled with superior technical programming. This makes all the difference. The software is user friendly, specific to catering needs. Each time I had a question, a solution was provided. In most instances, the technology was already in place. The customer service team walked me through the steps to use it effectively. The company is interactive with me and other catering professionals. They are open to exploring suggestions and endeavor to provide solutions.
Great piece of software, with the best customer service around
I work for a mid-sized off-site catering company. We have used Total Party Planner (TPP) for more than a decade, so we have lots of experience in using this product, over 25,000 events. We started off on the stand-alone version and ran it for about 8.5 years, then switched over to the web-based version more than a year ago.
Before we purchased TPP, I tried 3 or 4 other pieces of event planning software over several months. TPP was clearly the best: The most organized, and the easiest to use. And the web-version is easier and faster to use than was the stand-alone version.
TPP is an excellent piece of software. It is stable, and just plain works well. You can tell that the people who designed the software have a background in catering, because it does the things you need it to do to help automate the process.
Many of our sales people (5) are not what I would call 'computer people', and one in particular took some time getting used to TPP, but now they are all lost without it.
One thing we do that is somewhat unusual (for a catering company) is we do a fair number of deliveries where the food is delivered in disposable containers, with no servers, mostly business lunches. We use a different report for these to make clear to the kitchen at a glance that this is a delivery and not a full-service event, and the people at TPP helped us to 'tweak' that report to include everything we needed in it. That was hugely important to us, and TPP was glad to help modify the report.
To be fair, I cannot comment on a couple of features. We don't use the room reservation system, as we have no rooms to manage. I also cannot comment on the recipe section of the software, as we used different recipe software before TPP came along and have stuck with it, because the kitchen people know how to use it.
The best part of TPP may be their Tech Support. It's simply the best I have ever used, for any software. 95% of the time when we call them, a real person answers the phone, and our issue is generally resolved in 5-10 minutes. On the very rare occasion when we get the answering machine, we always receive a call back within 10-15 minutes.
No software is perfect, and TPP is no exception. Occasionally it feels like there is an extra mouse click or two required to do some simple thing, but at least the program is consistent about that from section to section.
For event planning, it would be hard to improve upon Total Party Planner.
Great Customer Support. Consistency from section to section. Ease of use. Speed of screen updating.
Some things feel like they require an extra mouse click to handle. The report on what has and has not sold over time needs some improvement.
Very few things can buy you time to actually run your business - TPP does, and extremely well!
I was you, 1 year ago. My restaurant was running me, requests for catering were pouring in and we had just put our catering food truck on the road. I was stressed to the max, drowning in Excel Catering Event Order spreadsheets and missing catering pick-up orders and panicking my kitchen.
I know.. you assume that I'm a newbie, and that's sweet.
I'm in my 30th year of cooking for a living, and at the age of 43 own one of the top restaurants in my industry category in our Province. We staff 40 plus people for a 15 table full-service restaurant that turns 10 to 11 times a day from Thursday to Sunday - every week. That doesn't include six figures per year in take-out and six figures in Catering now a year later. Add to that, I'm no slouch on the computer and can code in Excel like it's second nature.
Why do you need to know this? It gives you context for this review.
Without Total Party Planner to take away the headaches of searching for pricing, building proposals, databasing clients and providing seamless continuity for all of our communication, we wouldn't be able to grow like we have.
Yes... evaluate how much the software costs, and look at your business and determine if you can afford it - it's not cheap. However, bear in mind this one caveat.
- How much is your time worth?
- How much are you spending in repairing your credibility with clients, when you miss a detail?
- How much are you losing when you forget to add a detail to an order and have to take it at a
- Are your skills being utilized in the right facet? I'm a chef, not an event planner and certainly not an accountant. TPP assists me to be a better business person. I could have designed a database in MS Access, or continued in Excel - but why? My results would not have produced the package that TPP offers.
I know what you're thinking... this reads too good to be true, and in fact, there is one thing that needs to be cleared up.
This program came easy to me, it all made sense from a Culinary perspective and the types of information required to utilize the program to its fullest were familiar to me. There, I said it, this is a professional level program. Not that it's just for enterprise level clients, but, hospitality professionals. Just be prepared. The learning curve here is quite steep for the uninitiated.
But.... Their customer service is outstanding... really... they care - a lot. I use 8 different subscription business services, and TPP is the best!
This software allows hospitality professionals and entrepreneurs who own small to medium sized operations present themselves in a polished and consistent way
The steep learning curve would be a con for those who aren't computer savvy. This was not my case, but teaching other staff members has presented these challenges. With proper coaching, which TPP does so very well, and which I have modelled my internal training on, you can be up and running in a fairly short time.
Be prepared though, no matter which software suite you choose, there is a ton of hard data that needs to be inputed. TPP handles this really well, and after using it for a year, I can navigate around and produce proposals and maintain my financials with ease.
Response from Computica
Chef Steven, thank you for such a detailed and informative review! In addition, thank you for your business. I'm glad we were able to help relieve some of the stress that comes with restaurant catering. We are always working to make the software easier for new clients to learn. In fact, we will be releasing a brand new interface in 2017 that streamlines the entire event building process. We are super excited about it! If there is anything we can do for Memphis Fire barbeque Company please let us know.
-- John Cohen
The do all easy to use event management software .
First off I want to say that I am not being paid or compensated to write this review.
I have been using total party planner for over 20 years. As a professional chef In my career I have owned a banquet facilitiy, 3 restaurants and five catering companies. I have also consulted for many clients starting up new catering or banquet operations and seasoned veterans focusing on organizational management and culinary .
The things that I always look for when implementing a new organizational management piece of software or system is speed of integration and ease of use. Total party planner never fails. Ever.
Event bookings client management party planning culinary integration costing all done effortlessly. When the software was first introduced I had zero computer experience nothing. I booked my first party in 10 minutes without even doing a tutorial. The reason I mention this is to emphasize the ease of use. In this modern age of ultra simple apps and dumb down software many times we find ourselves sacrificing attention to detail or the ability to do something specific and unique to our business. This is another area that total party planner shines. The guy that invented the software is the son of a caterer and was probably working weekends in a professional kitchen when he was 10 years old . He knows all the little details and things that make our lives easier when doing a catering job or running a banquet. All the details like what items to pull for a party staffing and client special notes are integrated into a easy to follow format.
When I have consulted for clients either starting up or running a catering or banquet business the first thing I always notice is they have multiple salesman and secretaries handling all the paperwork and Client details. I have always been able to cut at least half of the office and sales staff by implementing total party planner. Yeah, do the math in your head, how much money would that save a year? LOL for solo operators the time savings alone is monumental. Allowing you to focus on the fun stuff like developing new recipes designing new menus or making a clients party extra special. No one wants to spend time doing paperwork this allows you to get back to what we all got into this business for, creating great events.
If you would like to chat with me about this software and how it works hit me with an email and I'll give you a ring.
Ease-of-use and speed of integration with little or no computer experience.
There's really nothing that I don't like about this software. It is designed by a food service guy for food service people so it really nails it on all levels.
Total Party Planner ROCKS!
Total party planner is awesome! We've had it for about 10 years and continue to grow and use it more and more! The biggest thing it has helped with is showing us when we are making money! I love the features and ability to plan and account for labor in the kitchen and at events. I LOVE that once I have my recipes in, it will generate for my staff exactly how much of each ingredient to use as well as PRINT ME OUT an ORDER list!! As we have grown over the years, this order list feature saves considerable time and the event production keeps our staff on proper useage. I also use it to run my sales tax report - SO FAST, better than adding all my events by hand. Creating proposals, checking accounts receivables, so many reports, and there are even reports and features that we have yet to take advantage of. We are able to take credit cards thru TPP. The site is never down, I use the webbased program so that myself and my staff can access and work from home or our phone or anywhere we can get online - creating a flexible and family friendly work environment for us!
In the catering industry, in international catering groups that I belong to, myself and a multitude of others are known as the tpp groupies! We are always promoting and singing TPP praises as the go to catering software program. I recommend them to everyone and have even suggested using this program in other industries to associates of mine. That the founder came from a catering family business background is evident in this success of this program.
That it is web based, no info is lost if my computer dies and is accessible from anywhere for myself and my staff thus creating a flexible family friendly workplace for us. I love all the reporting capabilities from sales tax to labor needs and projections, sales projections, order list, ingredient needs for recipes. I love that all my clients info is in TPP for life and I can find and copy previous events, that I can take credit cards through them, that they are always helpful and quick to respond to issues, and that they select update times during the middle of the night so that I don't have to worry about accessing the system due to updates . The system is always available to us while also being on the ball updating with improvements.
The only downside is that I am still realizing all the features. TPP has helped us to grow and we're so busy now, it's hard for me to find time to play with other features. We continue to notice features and realize new and helpful updated features.
We love TPP!
I have been using Total Party Planner for my catering business the last four years and I can honestly say I don't know what we would do without the software. It is the lifeline to our business and helps to keep us organized in the office and in the kitchen! The value of time savings and the functionality of the software is invaluable. They are constantly adding new features and functions to make life easier for the end user. I can honestly say every person that uses the system and program learns quickly and is able to use the components of the software that apply to their job position very easily. I honestly recommend any one with a catering or food related business to check out Total Party Planner for their software solution. It has changed how we do business and has increased our revenue streams as a result of the added organization and time savings the program provides our company. From pack lists to recipe analysis to food cost tracking this software has it all! Highly recommend!
Ease of use, functionality, and professional presentation
The speed of the program. I wish some actions within the program had a faster loading time.
Response from Computica
Brian, we have enjoyed serving you for the past 4 years. Congratulations on the new Venue and we hope that Total Party Planner will assist you in growing that venture. Our new screen designs (coming soon!) have all new optimizations that I think you will find very speedy. If you need anything, please feel free to reach out to myself or the team. --John Cohen
Total Party Planner (TPP)
TPP is a robust piece of software. You can really tell that John and his team have had every experience in the catering industry and that they have put these experiences into the software. This has been very helpful for us as we fell into catering. Now we are looking to fine tune our operation. The plug in services have worked very well for us as well. TPP has helped take us from a 30k company to just under 7 figures. Thank you.
This software has the capability to bring together all the disparate parts of our business (admin, kitchen, delivery, service) under one roof so we can all communicate and grow together. That in and of itself is HUGE. It is also web based. Another major coup for small business owners. And the customer service
UX is not very intuitive. The flow is a bit clunky for my tastes. I prefer the drag and drop simple flow with colors to illustrate the differences in the sections/functions.
Response from Computica
Craig, I'm glad that TPP has helped Pinx Catering in it's rapid growth. We agree with you that initial data entry is important to companies just starting out with the system. As far as the UX, we will be releasing an entirely new event module design very soon. It's currently in limited release and getting some great reviews! I think you will be happy with it's new intuitive flow and design. We look forward to sharing it with Pinx Catering in the next few weeks. --John Cohen
Great software for catering!
Our order taking time has definitely improved, and since the reports generate on their own, that saves a ton of time. We used to fill out a paper form, then translate it to a PDF confirmation to email our clients. This software has made my life easy! It's easy to jump between events, and go back in, without losing any information in the process.
I love that my reports generate easily and quickly
Integration was pretty easy for us; and I feel that the software covers the majority of the features we need. I'd love it if the phone numbers automatically translated from 1234567890 to 123-456-7890 (from inquiry form to the software), it would be one less edit I would have to frequently make. It would be great to have an overall company profile and be able to add different employees as different departments place orders, to keep delivery fees, addresses, tax exempt numbers, etc, together and more efficiently tracked.
Amazing Software, Stellar Customer Service
From start to finish TPP's customer service was always friendly, and above & beyond helpful. If they didn't have a feature, they worked on creating one. They have great work-arounds to manage almost anything you need. The use of the software increased our efficiency, productivity and therefore profitability almost instantly. It takes a little bit of practice to get everything sorted out and create proposals but once you get the hang of it you fly through them send customers professional and thorough proposals and invoices super quickly and close the deal. I can't say enough good things about the service and the staff! Totally worth the cost.
The details and the ability work around and create your own options. The menu details and invoicing ease was great too.
At the time I was using it (I stopped 2 years ago to raise our son and hire someone to take over for me) there was very little I could do on a mobile device or phone. The ipad version was very difficult. I think that's been worked on but I believe it still lacks a lot of features of the full computer version.
It has been something I’ve wanted to do for years and I finally made the commitment and extremely happy I did. I was hoping to utilize the packing list portion of the software but just haven’t yet but hope to at some point.
Took a little time and effort to set up but has really helped our sales team get proposals out quickly and professionally.
I would like to utilize more of its capabilities but I haven’t spent the time and energy to do so in the middle of everything else I do day to day. I know it could do so much more for me and my company if I put more time and energy into it. Customer support is great but I don’t utilize, my fault.
User Friendly, Great for Client Proposals
Overall, the experience with TPP has been good, with some room for improvement.
I use TPP daily for all my customer proposals. The quoting process is simple, and once all options (menus, signatures, contract, company info) are entered and saved, it is easy to go down the list and check everything that you want to appear on your proposal/quote. The proposal comes out clean, and I appreciate the features. For clients, I believe it is easy to read and understand. TPP connects to my email, so the client receives the proposal directly from my email, and when they respond it goes right to my outlook. I would recommend.
There are some features that are extra, like online payment links. I wish these features were included, since it is such a convenient feature. Also, when saving more that 1 proposal, if they are not on the same day, you cannot save them combined. When saving more than one proposal on the same day, you're unable to click on them and directly email the client. You must first save them to your computer, then separately email the client with the attached file. This take more time, as you can imagine.
Thanks for making me look good!
I just wanted to let you know what a great product that we believe that you have!
I first researched your product, after a rave review from another local caterer, I then convinced the company that I was working for to get your software. When I made the change over to Jonz Catering, the owner was still using 'Hammer and Chisel' (Office Word and a calculator, not EVEN excel!!), to do catering proposals. I told her that even as AMAZING that I am, my typing skills leave something to be desired! If she wanted productivity and an updated, professional look, I needed to bring her into the 21st century!! She dragged her feet for about a month and then finally looked at the website'she was hooked! At least once a month for the last year she has thanked me in one way or another for 'revolutionizing' her life! About 6 months ago, we got robbed and they stole her computer. We lost a lot of history for the business, but now that we are in the cloud, we didn't miss a beat. She was so happy!!
The fact that it has so many functions and can provide so many different reports
That there isn't a room diagram function with it.
It has been a life changer
Well, I started out as a desktop user and I cannot say enough about how TTP changed my life--it cut my time planning events in half and my food cost went down 10%. Making a shopping/ordering list is now something that I can do in 10-15 minutes for a whole week's worth of orders.
Customer service is A+++++. They are personally invested in my use. It is unbelievable how helpful the staff is and their follow up. I love the way support calls back to check on me a day or two after a question or a problem.
If you take the amount of time you save on event planning, menu costing and ordering and put an hourly dollar value on it, you will find that TPP costs probably half of that a year. I'm just a small business with around $300,000.00 in annual sales and it changed my life. There are also features that a larger catering business would find extremely helpful. I use some new feature regularly and I am always surprised at how much time it saves me.
Just do it! The cost will never be an issue because Total Party Planner pays for itself!
menu costing, event costing, financial information
Nothing you can do anything about--the data entry.
I Love This Program!
I have been using TTP for approximately 4-5 years. It is the most convenient way to do menus, keep track of menu items, do proposals, invoicing, checklists, almost everything I need for my catering company. They are super responsive to emails and calls and very very nice to work with. In addition to the benefit of your information being stored OUTSIDE your computer (which is much safer - yes I've lost mine), they do frequent updates to the program resulting in easier use and better applications.
They have an app. It doesn't have too many functions yet. I'm hoping that will improve soon. But it's useful for looking up basic event information on the go.
Try it out! It's one of the best out there! (And, yes, I've used others)
Ease of use, easy to figure out, training videos, responsive staff. Takes care of my whole business in one place!
Mobile app is almost useless to me. I wish it had more functionality.
TPP Helped me grow to over 10 million in annual revenue.
I started using TPP's desktop solution in 2005. We wuickly switched to their online solution within the year. In that time TPP has helped City Catering grow to over 10 million dollars in annual revenue. Their catering background shows in the forward thinking updates to the program and their support team is fast and responsive. We use the program to its fullest and have had excellent results. TPP is a valued partner in growing my business.
Very user friendly. Knowledge of the catering industry was used to design it.
I don't have any. As with any product there are always small bells and whistles you would like but they are frequently added in the constant updates.
Response from Computica
Lendy, Thank you for the 11 years that you have entrusted Total Party Planner to manage your company data. As an early adopter in 2006 of our hosted cloud version, I know you have seen a lot of evolution from both our product and our company. We hope to continue working with City Catering Company Company for the next 11 years so you can see even more growth. --John Cohen
Great Tool for a Growing Catering Company
Total Party Planner has been an amazing tool for our small, but quickly growing catering company. The features are exactly what we need, and the program is extremely intuitive to use, which makes it a breeze to learn for our new event coordinators. TPP's customer service team is extremely responsive and will get back to you within hours (if not minutes!) of a report of any issues or questions. We highly recommend this software!
How intuitive it is to use for event planning (I honestly haven't delved deep into the rest of its features yet at this point, but I'm sure I'd love them too!).
It does run slowly on occasion, or even freeze up and you have to wait a few minutes before you can access your events.
Response from Computica
Arin, so glad to hear that TPP has been an asset to B.Lin Catering. Definitely try some of our extended features outside of the event planning. We know you will love them! As far as the issues you mentioned, the team is working on a new server architecture coming very very soon. TPP has been receiving a tremendous amount of positive buzz in the industry which added thousands of new users this year. Our new load balancing model will definitely better prepare us for both the present and future in terms of response time. -- John Cohen