Creating a food budget that ensures guests are well fed without over ordering is no easy task. That being said there are ways to ensure that you are ordering the correct amount of produce for purpose.
We are all well aware that food waste is one of the biggest issues currently facing the food industry, but how can we make our on-going commitment to reducing waste more beneficial to the customer? Born out of this communal need to reduce, reuse and recycle, is a range of ingenious techniques that can help us cut down wastage, without taking away from the overall customer experience.
At The Brewery we ensure the use of all parts of an ingredient, whether that means using bones to make stock, or creating bite sized canapés from off-cuts. This requires a bit of ingenuity, but means we are able to turn potential waste into a completely new dish. For example, any leftovers from preparing a fish dish can be turned into sushi or sashimi with minimal effort, while still being an impressive addition to a meal.
Utilising cuts for additional dishes is one way to increase output, however the most important thing is to reduce opportunities for waste in the first place. Sourcing produce from local suppliers not only increases general quality and freshness, it also means lower transportation costs and reduces the chance of produce being lost to expiration. Locality of produce is definitely something diners will appreciate.
You want to avoid running low on food, so to compensate it can be easy to over order – to combat this consider dishes, that, while different, share key ingredients. Creating dishes which share ingredients can, with a little innovation, double your capacity to produce dishes without the need for additional buying. It’s always worth having a contingency plan in place so that you’re covered if certain dishes are less popular than others, meaning you can quickly adapt the recipe to meet guest needs without any extra produce being used.
There has been a huge surge recently in one item menus and this is not due to a lack of culinary expertise. Long gone are the days of 10 page menus filled with dishes from every corner of the globe. Defining the ethos and style of your menu is key, selecting a smaller amount of dishes that share a taste pallet can go a long way for improving your sustainability practices. It’s about utilising a few ingredients from stem to tip, and executing them perfectly.
It is essential to maximise your produce and minimise waste when developing a budget. Figuring out the volume of food needed for your clientele varies from event to event and can take some getting used to, however remaining flexible with your menus will go a long way to ensuring you are able to deal with any issues that should arise.
Written by Tom Gore
Heavily influenced by his global culinary experiences, from working in kitchens all over the world, Tom’s ethos is to keep the basis of his dishes simple and use classic flavours, to create recipes with unusual combinations to a fine-dining standard.
Bringing his vitality and passion to the kitchen, Tom has pushed the boundaries of clients’ expectations for conferences and events, and working with his brigade of chefs, cater for all in-house events from private parties to award ceremonies and conferences for up to 1,000.