How to make a sustainable catering – “weet hoe je leeft edition”
Last week Tuefoodsblog got asked to help an organisation in Almere with a catering. Here is our article on : How to make a sustainable catering.
Weet hoe je leeft is a place where people with dissabilities can work and life out their creativity in several stations like: Bike fixings, gardening, creative work and several more. Next to that they extented their porject by a social supermarket at which they sell their own products as well organic products.
For the celebration of opening the supermarket they were in need for someone to organize some nice warm food, next to the offers of coffee, pancakes, snacks and treats.
So the challange was to watch our ressources!
Of course we wanted to be environmentally sustinable but also reduce any costs for the organistaions. So here is how we did that and tips for caterings or party food or any bigger cooking session you are planning.
Tip number one :
- possibly the most obvious one: PLAN WELL!
- How to:
- How many guests are expected or invited? – subjectively look at the event & decide for yourself. Are there coming more or less ?
- How many portions of food do you have? – calculate with 1,5 – 2 portions for the most preffered dishes (oftentimes the dessert, the one with meat if you have one, the things easy to eat, something of which you now is the most delicious) make a little ranking for yourself. Forthe rest you can calculate with 1- 1,5. As always: take this into consideration and decide on your own intention.
- Take a look at ALL the offers! – that means also take snacks, maybe another caterrers or any other oofers of food into consideration. Think about hat s most preffered, the size of the offers of the others and: see the next point.
- Think about your physical position: – that means were is your booth being placed. Are you in the entrance ? Are you next to the bar (that mostly increases the demand) or are you in the back and especially where are the other offers placed. Take those variables into consideration as well.
- Always have some safety snacks with you: – Whether its nuts, veggies, doughy things, Bread or whatever you would also eat in front of the TV. Keep them as a backup, so you can use them when you feel like your food isnt enough. Later on here are tipps for the timing.
- Presentation: – in Germany we have a saying “The eyes eat as well”, which basically means that your hunger is also influenced by presentation. Try to create a outh-watering athmosphere. Add details that suit the event. Decoration is very important. Maybe add ingredients of your dishes like fresh veggies or fruits, spices or flowers. (we added veggies and edible flowers)
- Be clear with what you offer: – maybe you design little signs for each dish, saying its name and main indredients. Be playful and a little poetic (not too much, please) with the descriptions.
- Little waste in the production: – be respectful with your raw material & take care about storage.
- More is more!- that also counts when you are aiming to have as little waste as possible! There are many ways to take care about leftovers, but its a desaster to leave people unsatisfied and hungry !!!!
- Timing is key: – I think this is familiar to anyone who has a little experience. Don’t be too fast and definitely not too slow with refilling. If you are too fast you risk running out of food too fast, but the customers should always have the feeling that the food is enough. To acheive this you have to have a good team and high concentration on observating the buffet . you know that in the beginning the people are “attacking” the buffet, so prepare the portions in advance!
- Be prepared for the second wave!– shortly after the first wave there is going to come the second! most people are seeing the first round as kind of a taste test, so the second will be big again.
- Be prepared for the third wave! – just when you think, okay slowly we can wrap up this thing they are coming- the snacky people ! depending on the event the people are starting to drink and than they get hungry again so thats the moment when the way to the buffet is being taken again.
- Snacktime!- If everything went well , the third wave should be the point when you just have enough leftover to feed the people that are comin to the buffet! But to avoid lacking food at any point, you should start cutting bread and palcing your backup snacks on the buffet!
- Have a good team: – in every stage of your catering you should have a strong and embitious team who knows of all these tips, so they can help and support you with this. This makes planning and observating way easier.
- Let the Leftovergame begin: ideally you should have a little leftover of everything. That actually is the goal, because that eans that nobody went home hungry or unsatisfied.
- The Doggybag: – take care to organize some doggy bags and storing utilities beforehand. Its a pitty but you are actually not alowed to officially give out doggy bags, nevertheles you can tell the guests at the end that there are doggy bags and they can take whatever they feel like. Just as a recommendation for them 😉 you understand? Otherwise, your staff is allowed to take home how much they can carry. This counts for you as well.
- The bitter end: – So you still have some leftovers? than there are several options:
- Freeze the rest
- Give to animals that you know! (take care of what you give them)
- You might donate the food ( this is actually kind of tricky-just by law you are obliquable to take EVERY responsibilty for the donated food. In other words if a single person gets sick or complains about your food you are f*****)
Enjoy some impressions of the party for the opening of the social supermarket Weet hoe je leeft!